Short inca trail to Machu Picchu

When you hike the Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, you will see impressive Inca ruins, expansive mountain views, lush subtropical vegetation and extraordinary ecological varieties. The Ancient Inca Road goes through the National Park and takes you through the Sun Gate with unforgettable views of Machu Picchu! We will pass through cloud forests and finally into subtropical vegetation. People hiking the short Inca Trail Trek will have the privilege of seeing the famous Machu Picchu Citadel in the afternoon on the first day and also visiting it the next morning! This trek was designed for those with little travel time who would like to experience a part of the Historic Inca Trail and walk to the New 7 Wonder of the World: Machu Picchu!

  • It is completely different than any other hiking trail in the world.
  • You are hiking the last 1/3 of the famous Classic Inca Trail that everyone worldwide desires to hike.
  • You are hiking the actual trail that the Ancient Incas hiked more than 600 year ago.
  • It is a trek through history with archeological sites all along the way to view and explore.
  • It is a very beautiful scenic hike though exotic side by side mountains, primitive lush tropical vegetation and fauna.
  • You get to hike through the Sun Gate (Inti Punku) all the way to famous Machu Picchu Citadel.
  • The views from the Sun Gate to Machu Picchu Citadel are spectacular.
    It offers an opportunity to hike a part of the Classic Inca trail for those that do not have the time or ability to hike 4 day trail.
  • You get to visit Machu Picchu Citadel twice, the 1st and 2nd day of the trek.
  • You have the opportunity to climb Huayna Picchu Mountain or Machu Picchu Mountain.

Short Inca Trail: 2 days to Machu Picchu!

ITINERARY:

DAY 1: CUSCO – KM 104 – WIÑAY WAYNA – SUN GATE – MACHU PICCHU

Your Inca Trail Trek Begins!

You will wake up early for your adventure of a lifetime! Your guide will come to your Cusco hotel to pick you up at 4am. Rest or even sleep a bit more in our comfortable, private transportation on the way to Ollantaytambo. When you arrive at the train station, your guide will give you your lunch to add to your daypack. Your train departs Ollantaytambo at 6:10 and you will have just over an hour on the train to enjoy the scenery and have breakfast (not included), Your hotel can provide you a picnic breakfast to take with you or you can pack your own breakfast.

Your guide will get off the train with you at the famous Km104, where your hike begins! (2,000m/6,560 ft. above sea level) After crossing the Urubamba river on a picturesque foot bridge, you will show your passport at the checkpoint and visit your first Inca site nearby. The first hour and a half are a gentle up, with several shelters along the way to pause for a bit out of the sun, or rain, depending on the season. Along the way, you will stop at several outlooks where you have an expansive view of the Urubamba River. You will also pass through several microclimates, including cloud forest, so be ready for damp or even rain at any season of the year. The next hour and a half are a slightly steeper uphill with a beautiful waterfall as your reward at the end of the hike!

Cross the bridge below the waterfall, take some time for photos and then you will find yourself gazing up at the spectacular Wiñay Wayna! (2,600m/8,500ft above sea level) These amazing Inca ruins have a fascinating history and some parts are still hidden by the dense jungle. This close to Machu Picchu, you are hiking through lush sub-tropical jungle. Your guide will tell you all about the ruins, plus the incredible flora and fauna of this microclimate and answer any questions you have before the short 5 minute walk to your lunch spot.

Your lunch spot is a covered shelter at the Wiñay Wayna campground, which is the last campground for those hiking the four day Inca Trail. Nearby are outdoor sinks to wash your hands and also restrooms. Take your time enjoying your hearty, gourmet lunch and admiring the tropical flowers around the campground. Be sure to notify us of any food allergies or dietary restrictions when you book!

After lunch, you will have a mostly flat 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. The last 45 minutes down from the Sun Gate provide 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.

Once you reach Machu Picchu, you will have time to take more photos from the viewing platforms above the site. You will arrive in the afternoon, as the archeological area starts to empty of tourists, which gives you the opportunity to take beautiful photos in the afternoon light with fewer people in your shots. Take your time enjoying this magical experience before you take the bus down to Aguas Calientes to check into your hotel. Your will have a delicious dinner, then have time to walk around this picturesque little town, visit the hot springs or just go to your hotel to rest after such an exciting day.

    • Meals included: Picnic lunch, dinner in a restaurant in Aguas Calientes
    • Distance: 12 kms/7.5 miles
    • Time: 6hrs approximately
    • 3* Accommodations: Inti Punku Machu Picchu or Waman Machu Picchu
    • 4* Accommodation: El Mapi or Tierra Viva Machu Picchu (superior room)
    • Difficulty: moderate

You will leave an overnight bag at the Ollantaytambo train station to be sent by train directly to Aguas Calientes.

DAY 2: AGUAS CALIENTES – MACHU PICCHU – CUSCO
The Full Machu Picchu Experience in an exclusive and private tour!

This is the day you’ve been waiting for! After an early breakfast at your hotel, you’ll take one of the first busses up to Machu Picchu so that you can be there to witness the sunrise. It is a truly extraordinary site and not something you’ll want to miss! 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.

After your tour, those who have booked in advance for the extra hikes up Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain will have time to enjoy those views on their own. When you have had your fill of the exceptional views of Machu Picchu, you will take the bus back down to Aguas Calientes for lunch (not included). Depending on your train departure time, you may also have time for some shopping, sightseeing or a visit to the museum or hot springs. Your train will depart at 14:55 or 15:20.

The train will take you back to Ollantaytambo, following the spectacular Urubamba River. Close to Aguas Calientes, the canyon is narrow and the river has many beautiful sections of whitewater. You can also see Wiñay Wayna from the train, if you look up high on the steep canyon wall! Back at Ollantaytambo, your driver will meet you at the exit from the train station to take you back to your hotel in Cusco in our private vehicle. You can expect to arrive at your hotel by 19:00.

  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Difficulty: Easy

INCLUSIONS:

WHAT IS INCLUDED FOR THE 2 DAY INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU?
  • Hotel pick up
  • Private transport from your hotel to the train station
  • 3 Bus tickets from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu
  • English speaking guide experienced in trekking
  • Private guided tour in Machu Picchu
  • Round-trip Expedition Tourist Train from Ollantaytambo to KM 104 – Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo 14:55 or 15:20pm (train time depends on availability)
  • Admission Tickets to the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu Archaeological site
  • One night accommodation in Aguas Calientes (hot shower, bathroom, private room and breakfast included)
  • First-aid kit including emergency oxygen tank
  • Taxes
WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED FOR THE 2 DAYS INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU?
  • Huayna Picchu Mountain: $75 USD per person
  • Machu Picchu Mountain: $75 USD per person
  • First breakfast (served in hotel), last lunch at Machu Picchu
  • One Way bus ticket (Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes), it can be hiked in 1 hour
  • OPTIONAL UPGRADES: Hotel or Train
  • VISTADOME Train: $67 USD per person (RETURN ONLY)
  • Tips for your staff (Sam Travel Peru staff receives a fair and decent payment immediately after they end their trip, tips are optional but greatly appreciation)

**Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain are optional treks within Machu Picchu Citadel which do not include a guide. The climb is usually done on your own after your tour of Machu Picchu Citadel. If you would like the extra hike to be guided, please request in advance. There is an extra cost for this extra guided tour. 

PRICE & AVAILABILITY:

The 2 Days Inca Trail to Machu Pichu is available on any day that suits your schedule! We only need a minimum of two people in order to book!

PRICES – PRIVATE SERVICE
  Without Hotel 2* Hotel 3* Intipunku Machu Picchu 4* Hotel
Price Per Person $537 USD $547 USD $567 $657
  • 1 hiker only: $777 USD per individual with 3* Hotel

3* Hotel options are Intipunku Machupicchu, Waman Machupicchu or Retama Inn

DISCOUNTS
  • 18 to 25 years old: $30 USD. Information required on student card: name of university, student name, photo of student, expiration date etc. A copy of the card is required at booking for government approval for discount.
  • Under 18 years old: $30 USD. Please send us a copy of your passport at the time of booking.
  • Under 11 years old: $40 USD.  Please send us a copy of your passport at the time of booking.
  • Groups of 5 or more: $30 per person
EXTRAS
  • Huayna Picchu Mountain Hike: $75 USD per person
  • Machu Picchu Mountain Hike: $75 USD per person
  • Vistadome Train: $67 USD per person – (RETURN ONLY)
  • Single supplement: $40 USD per night (for solo travelers with 3* hotel single room)

**Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain are optional treks within Machu Picchu Citadel which do not include a guide. The climb is usually done on your own after your tour of Machu Picchu Citadel. If you would like the extra hike to be guided, please request in advance. There is an extra cost for this extra guided tour. 

The 2 Days Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is almost always available year round except when it is closed in February for maintenance. This trek takes you into Machu Picchu by walking through the SUN GATE like in the ancient times. You will explore amazing Inca ruins along the way including the magical Wiñay Wayna.

CHECK YOUR 2 DAYS INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU AVAILABILITY BY CLICKING ON MONTH OF YOUR CHOICE!

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FREE ADDED VALUES:
  • TRANSFER FROM AIRPORT: to your hotel in Cusco included (Airport to Hotel in Cusco only).
  • SMALL GROUPS: average 4 to 6 with a maximum of 8 hikers
  • AFTERNOON TRAIN: We give you enough time to explore Machu Picchu and have a relaxing lunch at Aguas Calientes.  Your train back to Ollantaytambo is at 14:55 or 15:20, and when you arrive in Ollantaytambo you  catch your private van to Cusco, arriving in Cusco by 7:00 PM.
  • HOTEL AT AGUAS CALIENTES: includes private bathroom, hot shower, buffet breakfast, and wifi etc.

IMPORTANT INFORNATION:

Please read carefully the following information as it will help you answer all of your questions about our services and the short Inca Trail trek

ARRIVAL TO CUSCO

You will be welcomed at the Cusco airport and taken to your hotel. Please ensure that you inform us of your flight details at least 14 days prior to arrival. Look out for our representative holding an orange  SAM Travel Peru board at the arrival terminal. You must exit the terminal in order to find our representative (they cannot enter inside).

THE BRIEFING

Your briefing will take place the night before your trek. It will be held at our office at 6 or 6:30pm, depending on your confirmation email details.  The office is located at Calle Santa Teresa  Nº383 ; office 107 (second floor). We are next to Subway sandwich shop and share a lobby with Hotel Casona Corrales.

CAN I STORE MY LUGGAGE AT YOUR OFFICE?

Of course! During the The 2 days IncaTrail to Machu Picchu, your main luggage can be store at our office or at your hotel, whichever is more convenient for you.  Please pack what you will be needing for the trek only.

HOW TO BOOK

FIRST, to book your 2 days Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, we need you to fill out our booking form by clicking on BOOK NOW on our homepage or click on this link: BOOK NOW.

Please be ready with the following information (FROM EACH PARTICIPANT in your group).  We cannot purchase  Inca Trail permits without the following information:

  • Personal information (your full name, exactly as on your passport):
  • Gender
  • Passport number
  • D.OB. (dd / mm / yyyy)
  • Nationality

*** We require copies of your passports as well as they will be needed to make the booking.

SECOND, we require a deposit of $211.00 USD per person, in order, to purchase permits for the Inca Trail.  You can make you deposit by clicking on the VISA or PAYPAL symbols on the top of our home page, or you can click on the VISA or PAYPAL symbols on our booking page.

WHAT ABOUT THE BALANCE?

If you would like to avoid the high credit card fees in Peru, you may pay in cash at our office (US dollars or Peruvian soles) here in Cusco. There are many ATMS within the historical center to withdraw money. You can also pay by VISA or PAYPAL online but you will have to pay a 5.5% service fee, charged by VISA and PAYPAL.  To pay your balance through PAYPAL, you need to log into your PAYPAL account and use our email address samtravelperu@gmail.com. 

HOW DO I QUALIFY FOR THE STUDENT DISCOUNT?

According to Peruvian Law, you must be under 18 years of age at the time of your trek or tour to Machu Picchu (students 18 & above need student cards). For example: if you book a trek at the age of 17 but you turn 18 before you do your trek, you must have a valid university ID card to qualify for the student discount.

  • University students must provide a copy of their ID card showing a photo, University name and card expiration date. Cards must be valid for the current academic year only.
  • All students from 11 to 17 years, the discount is $30 USD.
  • For children from the age of 2 to 11 the discount is $40 USD.
  • Children from the age of 0 to 2 are free.

All students must provide a copy of their passport at the time of their booking to get the student discount. Send us a copy at info@samtravelperu.com

MAY I CHANGE THE DEPARTURE DATE AFTER THE PERMITS HAVE BEEN BOUGHT?

Unfortunately, the answer is No. Once the permits have been bought the Peruvian government does not allow any changes, so we can’t change any departure date after the permit has been bought. Permits are also not transferrable nor refundable. If you cancel your 2 days Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, the deposit is not refundable at all!

DO I NEED MY ORIGINAL PASSPORT  FOR THE 2 DAYS INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU?

Yes! You have to bring your original passport and it is very important that it is the same passport, you sent to us to book your Inca Trail permit.  Passports will be checked when you enter Machu Picchu, Inca Trail and board the train. In case, you are renewing your passport, go ahead and send us a copy of  your old passport to secure your permit and we can change it when you get your new passport. Please send the new passport as soon as possible.

WHAT IS THE WEATHER LIKE IN THE INCA TRAIL?

The weather is very unpredictable and it’s difficult to foresee. We recommend that you plan to always dress in layers to facilitate adjusting to the quickly changing weather conditions.

WHAT ABOUT ALTITUDE SICKNESS?

In general, if you exercise regularly and spend a couple of days in Cusco or the Sacred Valley, you will be able to acclimate normally. It usually take between 24 hours to 2 days.

The recommended remedies for altitude sickness is WATER, COCA TEA and OXYGEN, IF NEEDED. Our guides are trained to treat you for Altitude Sickness. We offer the Cusco City or Sacred Valley Tours that you can book while you are acclimating.  Check out our Day Tours on our Home Page.

HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE THERE PER GROUP?

The maximum group size is 8 persons. Our groups are usually between 2-6 persons. Sam Travel Peru is specialized in SMALL and PRIVATE groups and provide a personalized service.

ARE WE DROPPED AT OUR HOTEL AFTER THE TREK?

Absolutely!! Hotel pick ups and drop offs are included with all of our packages! If you have booked your hotel in the Sacred Valley, we will drop you off there and vice versa.

AT WHAT TIME IS THE TRAIN’S DEPARTURE?

It will depend on the train availability but the idea is to give you as much time as possible in Machu Picchu and enjoy the amazing views on the way back to Cusco while on the train. Therefore, you will take the train at 14:55 or 15:20.

HOW MUCH IS THE VISTADOME TRAIN UPGRADE?

The Vistadome train service has nicer seats, panoramic windows and ceiling. You will be offered snacks and a dance show will take place on board. You can upgrade to the Vistadome Train for $67 USD. These trains run from Aguas Calientes to Poroy. We will you up in Poroy and drive you back to Cusco, which takes about 25 minutes. Please request in advance.

TIPPING

If you’re happy with the services provided, a tip – though not compulsory – is appreciated. While it may not be customary in your country, it’s of great significance for the people who will take care of you during the trek.  It inspires excellent service and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many SAM Travel Peru destinations. Of course, you are free to tip as much as you want, depending on your perception of the quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

ARE YOU SUSTAINABLE? 

Yes, we are a locally sustainable & responsible tourism operator. We incorporate universal principles of tourism: protect the environment and benefit the local communities respecting their culture and religion. With this in mind, we have trained all our staff to know, understand and respect the local places and its people.

PACKING LIST FOR THE SHORT INCA TRAIL 2 DAYS TO MACHU PICCHU TREK

The Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu DOES NOT INCLUDE an extra porter. Your duffel bag will be sent by train from Ollantaytambo to Aguas calientes. Please try to pack as light as possible, which is key to enjoying this amazing trek.

In your daypack, or on the first day’s hike you will need:

  • Original Passport ( the same you have used for booking your trek)
  • Good daypack (25 to 30L)
  • Water 1 to 2 liters of water
  • Comfortable hiking boots with ankle support
  • Polar or sweater for early mornings and evenings
  • Rain jacket
  • Sun hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Snacks like chocolate bars, cereal bars or any dry fruit
  • Rain plastic poncho (provided by SAM)
  • Camera
  • Valuables
  • Extra money for souvenirs, drinks & tips
  • Toilet paper
  • Hand sanitizer

In your duffel, you should pack

  • a change of clothes for visiting Machu Picchu the next day
  • Face moisturizer
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Personal medications
  • Battery chargers

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