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1 day Inca Trail Information 2021

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Highlights of the 1 DAY Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

The main attraction the 1 day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is the chance to walk part of the Inca Trail at a comfortable pace and without the difficulty of the high altitude section of the trail. You will get to walk in the footsteps of the Inca, visit marvelous Inca constructions along the trail, see your first glimpse of Machu Picchu from the Sun Gate and arrive by foot to Machu Picchu. The Inca Trail route winds upward and enters directly into Machu Picchu through the Sun Gate, just like the Classic Inca Trail. The hiker will enjoy unforgettable views of the valleys below, the surrounding mountains, and trek through lush cloud forests, ending up at the magnificent New 7th Wonder of the World: the Machu Picchu Citadel!

Why to hike the ONE day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu?

  • Hike the last 1/3 of the famous Classic Inca Trail, that is on bucket lists worldwide.
  • Explore Winay Wayna, an amazing and unique Inca archeological site.
  • Trek the actual trail that the Ancient Incas hiked more than 600 years ago.
  • Hike through the Sun Gate (Inti Punku) all the way to famous Machu Picchu Citadel.
  • Experience the spectacular views of Machu Picchu from the Sun Gate.
  • Visit Machu Picchu Citadel in the late afternoon when it is less crowded.

Short Inca Trail Map

Times are approximately and depends on your fitness. Permits need to be booked way in advance!

THIS THE THE SCHEDULE WHEN YOU DO THE 1 DAY INCA TRAIL

At 4am starts with you being picked up from your hotel, Then we drive to the train station at Ollantayatambo,
At 6:10am we take the train to the Km 104 following the Urubamba River until we reach Km 104, where we’ll begin our trek and along the way you’ll see spectacular views of farmlands, snow-capped mountains and the mighty Urubamba River. The Urubamba River is one of the sources of the massive Amazon River so it’s very impressive to see.

By 7:40 am at KM 104 (2,000 m), we’ll begin our breathtaking trek, then we’ll set off to visit our first Inca site. You will get a short orientation about this historical Inca site as well as a walking tour. Then we’ll begin hiking as we head for the Classic Inca Trail. We’ll have tremendous views of Machu Picchu, the Urubamba River and other surrounding Inca Sites.
By 11am; After hiking for three hours we’ll reach the most beautiful Incan site on the Inca Trail Wiñay Wayna (Forever Young) at 2,600 m/8,500 ft. Few people get the opportunity to see these elaborate water fountains, temples and agricultural terraces. These provide a perfect opportunity to learn about the history of the Incas. The backdrop of this site is a dramatic cliff drop with beautiful mountains surrounding the area.
By 12:00h; from Wiñay Wayna, we will walk to the Sun Gate, from which you have your first view of Machu Picchu! Though the hour long walk is a gentle rolling up and down, it does end with a set of steep stairs carved directly into the bedrock by the Inca. Once you reach the stairs you will know that you’re almost at the Sun Gate! It is a breathtaking view of Machu Picchu, so take some time to savor the moment and take photos.

By 13h, We start hiking the last 45 minutes down to Machu Picchu, having many opportunities to take more photos of Machu Picchu from this unique vantage point. There are also a couple more important Inca sites between the Sun Gate and Machu Picchu, so make sure to go slowly, enjoy your time walking in the footsteps of the Inca on the Inca Trail and ask your guide questions about these historical places on the last bit of your hike to Machu Picchu.

By 14h; Your guide will give you the full tour, which takes about two hours. You will see all of the most important parts of Machu Picchu, including the Temple of the Sun, Temple of the Condor, Temple of Three Windows, Sun Dial, Quarry and the House of the Inca. You will also learn about how Machu Picchu is divided into three sectors: agricultural, residential and religious.
Take your time to enjoy this magical experience before you take the bus down to Aguas Calientes.
By 16:30h, you will take the 25m bus ride to Aguas Calientes.
At 18:20h, you will take the return Expedition train to Ollantaytambo and catch our private van to Cusco and your hotel.
By 22h, you will arrive around to your hotel in Cusco city

1 DAY INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU – ITINERARY

  • 01

    Cusco – Ollantaytambo – KM104 – Wiñay Wayna – Sun Gate – Machu Picchu – Aguas Calientes – Cusco

    Your guide will pick you up at your hotel at 4 am in Cusco for the journey with our private transport to the train station of Ollantaytambo. (If you prefer to begin in Ollentaytambo, we will pick you up at your hotel 5:20 – 5:30). After an hour 10 minute on the Expedition train trip, we arrive at Kilometer 104 (2,100m/6,927ft) of the Cusco-Machu Picchu road, where we begin your trek and pass by the first checkpoint. Afterward, we begin a moderate climb for three hours to the magnificent archaeological site of Wiñay Wayna (2,650m/8,747ft). Once we arrive, you will enjoy the spectacular views of the Urubamba canyon, stunning Inca sites and the connection with the traditional four days Inca Trail. After your tour of these important Incan ruins, we go to the Wiñay Wayna campground for lunch. You will have a covered place to eat that is close to toilets and sinks for handwashing. After, we have had time to enjoy Wiñay Wayna, we continue our hike towards the Sun Gate (2,730m/9,007ft). From there, you will have the first spectacular view of Machu Picchu in all its brilliance and majestic monumentality. After enjoying the view, we walk downhill for about one hour to the citadel of Machu Picchu. Once there we will visit one of the most important mystic centers of the world: Machu Picchu. A 2 hour guided tour takes you into the fascinating history of these mysterious ruins. On your private tour, your guide will expertly direct you through the enigmatic ruins and its most important sites. You will see the Temple of the Sun, Temple of the Condor, Temple of Three Windows, Sun Dial, Quarry, the House of the Inka, the urban areas, agricultural terraces and many different types of architecture. After that, you will have plenty of time for taking photos before we head down to Aguas Calientes for dinner. In the evening (6:20 pm), you will take the return Expedition train to Ollantaytambo and catch our private van to Cusco and your hotel. You will arrive at around 10:30 pm. If you upgrade to the Vistadome, you will depart at 6:10pm. Meals: Box lunch Difficulty: Moderate to difficult.

Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu
Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Packing Check List for the 1 day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

  • Original passport (it has to be the same you have used for booking your trek)
  • Good daypack (20-30 liters is recommended), It will be carried by yourself – No porters available on this day hike.
  • Reusable water bottle (in an effort to reduce plastic waste, disposable bottles are not allowed)
  • Comfortable hiking boots with ankle support
  • Toilet paper
  • Windbreaker or warm jacket
  • Layers, so you can take off warm clothes when hiking up and bundle up at the top
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Wet wipes
  • Personal medications
  • Sun hat, wool wat (only in the cold season) and sunscreen
  • Rain gear (if rainy season)
  • Snacks like chocolate bars, cereal bars or any dry fruits
  • Insect Repellent
  • Rain plastic poncho
  • Camera
  • Extra money for souvenirs and tips

The weather on the Inca trail to Machu Picchu

Dry Season

May through November is dry season. That does not mean that it never rains in the dry season but it is mostly dry with an occasional light shower.

Rainy Season

The rainy season begins usually in December and last until April. In the rainy season, we have heavy tropical showers frequently.

The Cusco region has a tropical high mountainous type of weather. That means the weather can change quickly from sunshine to a rain shower within a few minutes. A few clouds form (usually in the afternoons), it can rain for a few minutes and then out comes the sun again. There is rarely rain all day long, only occasionally in the rainy season. The weather reports can very misleading. It can show that it is raining every day; but all that means is that somewhere in our mountainous region there will be a shower. It can be rainy in one area of the Cusco region and completely dry in another area. The higher the altitude, the faster storms and clouds move across, rapidly changing the weather.

On the Inca Trail, the weather depends on whether it is the rainy season or the dry season. The 1 day Inca Trail (Section) is at lower altitude than Cusco, by about 1,000 meters or about 3,000 feet lower. Thus it tends to be a bit warmer during the day and at night.

However, it is more tropical and more humid than Cusco. There is always a chance of rain showers, especially in the cloud forest areas. In the rainy season, these showers will last longer and be much more intense tropical rain showers. The Inca Trail is made of stones laid in the ground so it can be more slippery to walk on in the rainy season.

  • Most of the trek is uphill and with a fair number of precipices, steep cliffs, tons of STEPS (ups & downs), and its humid.
  • Tour operators must be licensed, there is NO WAY to do this hike by yourself, see above for some operators
  • It is very important for potential trekkers for the 1 Day Inca Trail to understand that you are doing the same trail as the 2 Day Inca Trail, just more quickly. Trekkers need to be in moderate to excellent physical condition to be able to do this trek and arrive at Machu Picchu Citadel in time.
  • The Hike cover 12km/ 8 miles which can be done around 5 hours

HOW DIFFICULT ITS THE ONE DAY INCA TRAIL?

It is very important for potential trekkers for the 1 Day Inca Trail to understand that you are doing the same trail as the 2 Day Inca Trail, just more quickly. Trekkers need to be in moderate to excellent physical condition to be able to do this trek and arrive at Machu Picchu Citadel in time. If you think the trek may be too strenuous, you may book the 2 day Inca Trail which arrives to Machu Picchu in one day but at a slower pace later in the day..

WHERE IS THE STARTING POINT TO OF THE HIKE?

The actual hike starts at KM 104, from this point to Machu Picchu Takes 12km. .

DO I NEED PERMITS FOR THIS HIKE?

YES,
Government issued permits are required and only from a licensed tour operator – Orange Nation
There are only 250 permits per day for the Short Inca Trail. All visitors and professional crew needs a permit. Tickets do sell out fast (Peak season sells out within days) We recommend booking as soon as there’s availability for your preferred dates.

HOW LONG TAKES FROM KM 104 TO MACHU PICCHU CITY?

It takes around 5 to 6 hours, depending on your fitness, it covers 12km in total.

WHAT ABOUT THE ALTITUDE?

Machu Picchu is 2,430 meters (7,972 feet) above sea level, which is much lower than the city of Cusco — 3,400 meters or 11,152 feet — so it’s likely you won’t suffer from altitude sickness if you’ve already spent time acclimatizing in Cusco first. But if you hike the 1 day Inca Trail is about 2,700 meters (~8,858 feet) tall, so you may feel it, especially if you’re being active. If you’re concerned about altitude, take it slow and drink plenty of water. Sipping coca tea, chewing coca leaves or taking a soroche pill

What is the best time to visit Machu Picchu?

Consider visiting Machu Picchu from April through May and from September through October. The high-tourist season months are June, July and August when it doesn’t rain.

When was Machu Picchu discovered?

Machu Picchu wasn’t exactly ‘discovered’ because local people have always known about its existence. In 1911, the American explorer Hiram Bingham made public his findings and -wrongly- called it ‘The Lost City of the Incas’.
Nine years before Bingham had arrived, the Peruvian Agustin Lizárraga had found the ruins and left his signature on one of the walls of the Three Windows Temple in the Citadel.

*** The 1 day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu Information has been updated on 2022!

packages operated by Sam Travel Perú or Orange Nation Perú

Hotel In Hollantaytambo

A scenic 10 m drive from Ollantaytambo, follow the river and the train tracks to the Veronica View Hotel. Along the way, watch across the river for the original terraces from Incan times! Arriving at the hotel, you will be greeted amid gardens of native flowers and orchids. Take in the stunning sight of the Veronica Mountain, covered with glaciers year-round. After you settle into your room, walk through the gardens to the pool and restaurant area. There is a steam sauna, dry sauna, spa, heated swimming pool and restaurant at your feet.

Triple Accommodation Room

Three comfortable single beds, ideal for groups of friends or family, enjoy the same spectacular view of the Veronica Mountain as the other rooms in the main building. Each room has a private bathroom with beautiful marbled counter tops.

King Size Room

Enjoy the luxury of a King size bed, along with all of the other indulgent services offered by the Veronica View Hotel. Each room is carefully situated to give you the best view of the Veronica Mountain. King rooms are in the main building on either the first or second floor. All King Rooms include jacuzzi

Double Accommodation Room

Double rooms are located in the main building, a beautiful room with an expansive view of the snow covered Veronica Mountain and the Urubamba Valley. Double rooms have one double bed, one twin bed and a private bathroom. These rooms are located on the first and second floor