2 Day INCA TRAIL TREK Details.
DAY 1: CUSCO –KM 104 – WIÑAY WAYNA – SUN GATE – MACHUPICCHU- AGUAS CALIENTES
Your guide will pick you up at your hotel at 4am in Cusco for a scenic drive through the Sacred Valley of the Incas to catch our train from the quaint town of Ollantaytambo. We also offer pick-ups if you already in the Sacred Valley, please request at booking. If you are already in Ollantaytambo, your guide will pick you up from your hotel lobby at 5:30am. Recommended hotel in Ollataytambo: Veronica View Hotel.
The journey from Cusco to Ollantaytambo in our private modern vans takes about 1 hour and 45 minutes. We recommend that you ask your hotel for a boxed breakfast. Upon arrival in Ollantaytambo you have a few minutes to grab a quick coffee before catching the 6:10AM train to KM 104, the starting point for the Short Inca Trail. The train journey is a scenic and comfortable ride, passing through rugged mountains, vivid and vibrant flora and lush vegetation as you near the Amazon Jungle.
Once you disembark the train, you crossover the footbridge that goes over the magnificent Urubamba River to the checkpoint. On arrival, you have time to apply insect repellent, sunscreen and use the bathroom facilities . The guide will hand over your box lunch to pack in your ruck sack, before helping you present your passport and entrance tickets to the park rangers. Purchase any last-minute items like water or chocolate bars here, there are no vendors or stalls along the trail.
Your first Inca site awaits, just as you enter the trail. Chichabamba (2 171m/6 995ft) is an interesting site that was also a late discovery, only being discovered in 1940, at the same time as Wiñay Wayna. It’s surrounded by massive green mountains and lush vegetation typical in a subtropical Andean Forest. The structure of this site was designed to conform to the shape of the terrain that it encompasses. The stone work is sturdy and impeccable in its built and design. There are a number of water baths within the site, giving the impression that it could have been used as a religious site to worship water. The land around it is extremely fertile, meaning the water baths could have also been used for irrigation purposes. The Incas planted potatoes, cassavas, medical plants and herbs to be distributed throughout the empire.
After exploring this Inca site, we start our gradual hike to the second most famous Archeological site on the trail Wiñay Wayna. Along the route, you are flanked by incredible mountain views, the Urubamba River to your left and the extensive valley with its abundant terraces. The flora and fauna are unique to this region and there is a lot to feast your eyes on. Some of the fauna includes the cock-of-the-rocks (Peru´s national bird), the Andean bear, the giant humming bird among many others. The most famous flora includes the orchid Wiñay Wayna, the Cendral Montana and the Molle shrub. Stop at various outlooks to snap picture for this once in a lifetime experience.
Just before reaching the climb to Wiñay Wayna, you will have the pleasure of stopping at a serene waterfall with crystal clear waters. This presents a great opportunity to stop, refresh and reenergize for the upcoming steep hike to Wiñay Wayna archeological site.
Wiñay Wayna (2 650m/ 8 694ft) is an enigmatic Archelogical site. It has not aged a day since being constructed by the Incas and aptly named after the famous orchid meaning ´Forever Young´ in Quechua. You get glimpses of this site from the footbridge, perched on the mountain hill, looking at though its floating on the clouds that surround it. The climb up its chiseled steps is a bit daunting, however, your guide will stop periodically to share information and stories about this site. Once we reach the top, we have our lunch stop at a campsite of the same name. This campsite is where the Classic Inca Trail and Short Inca Trail intersect. We stop here to enjoy our gourmet lunch and use the bathroom facilities.
Our final journey will take us around an hour. The climate here is a bit toasty, typical subtropical jungle weather. Enjoy this final section as the Andes mountains meets the Amazonia Jungle. The vegetation is lush and vibrant. Also, the walk is a gradual climb and very relaxing. Your journey nears the Sun Gate as soon as you come up to the gringo killer steps. These steps are narrow, steep and have been built into the bedrock. The climb is very short, but also very intense. However, once you reach the top, the Sun Gate awaits.
The Sun Gate (2 720m/ 8 924ft) also known as Inti Punku is famous because of its absolutely jaw dropping view of the 7th wonder of world. This was used as a control gate for people entering and leaving Machu Picchu. It was strategically located so the empire could welcome only the most elite of guests into the Citadel. You can only get this astonishing view if you are doing the Inca Trail. From the top you get a fully comprehensive panoramic view of the city and the two famous mountains flanking it, Machu Picchu Mountain and Huayna Picchu Mountain.
After enjoying this incredible view, you descend to the Inca Citadel of Machu Picchu, to have your very first up and close personal look of the Citadel. The best thing about this time of the day is that Machu Picchu is not crowded. The crowds have despersed and it´s a great time to take unobstructed pictures of Machu Picchu. You will have some time to walk around and explore before catching the bus to Aguas Calientes to spend the night at our carefully selected hotel .
- Meals included: Box Lunch, dinner in a restaurant in Aguas Calientes
- Distance: 12 kms/7.5 miles
- Time: 6hrs approximately
- 3* Accommodations: Ferre Hotel
- Difficulty: Moderate
DAY 2: AGUAS CALIENTES – MACHUPICCHU – CUSCO
After an early breakfast at your hotel, we are ready to get an early bus at 5:30am up to Machu Picchu just in time to witness the sunrise. It is a truly mystical site out of history and not something you’ll want to miss! After enjoying the sunrise your guide will provide a guided tour of Machu Picchu, which takes around two hours. You will see many of the most important parts of Machu Picchu Citadel during your tour.
After the tour, those people that have booked in advance for the extra hike up Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain will have time to hike it on their own. When they have had their fill of the incredible views of Machu Picchu, a bus back down to Aguas Calientes will be waiting. Upon arriving at Aguas Calientes lunch is waiting with numerous restaurants to choose from (lunch not included). Depending on your train departure time, you will have time for sightseeing and perusing the flea markets in town.
The Expedition train will take you back to Ollantaytambo at 2:55pm or 3:20pm, following the spectacular Urubamba River. Close to Aguas Calientes, the canyon is narrow and the river has many beautiful sections of whitewater. 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 van. You can expect to arrive at your hotel about 7:00pm.
- Meals included: Breakfast at your hotel
- You can upgrade to the Vistadome Train for the same times, 2:55pm or 3:20pm, 4:22pm, or 4:43pm. The cost is $57 USD.
- Early trains can be organized by requested and it has to be done by booking time.
- The Huayna Picchu Mountain Hike depends on availability and let us know about it at booking time.
WHAT WE INCLUDE FOR THE SHORT INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU?
- Pick up and drop off at your hotel
- 3 bus tickets Machupicchu – Aguas Calientes – Machupicchu
- Professional English tour guide
- Expedition train from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes (Round trip)
- Admission tickets for the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu ruins (Circuit #3).
- Accommodation in Aguas Calientes
- First aid kit
- Oxygen tank
WHAT WE DO NOT INCLUDE FOR THE SHORT INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU?
- Huaynapicchu mountain US $75 per person
- Day 1 breakfast
- Day 2 lunch in Aguas Calientes
- Optional hotel upgrades
- Optional train upgrades: Vistadome extra US $57 per person (return only)
The Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is almost always available year round except 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 some amazing Inca ruins. along the way like Wiñaywayna Inca City.
If you are a single traveler, check with our office if there are any groups already scheduled for the dates you require.
|Price per person|
|Without Hotel||$407 USD|
|2* Hotel||$427 USD|
|3* Hotel||$447 USD|
|4* Hotel||$537 USD|
**** Free backpack (small) transfer from Cusco to Aguas Calientes hotel.
- 18 to 25 years old: $20 USD Information required on student card: name of university, student name, photo of student, expiration date etc. A copy of the card at booking is required & government approval for discount.
- Under 18 years old: $25 USD Please send us a copy of your passport at the time of booking.
- Under 11 years old: $30 USD. Please send us a copy of your passport at the time of booking.
- Huayna Picchu Mountain Hike: $75 USD per person
- Vistadome Train: $57 USD per person – (RETURN ONLY)
- Single supplement for standard hotel: $35 USD per night (for solo travellers with single room)
- Free duffel bag transfer (5 kilos): to your hotel in Aguas Calientes for those staying extra days
FREE ADDED VALUES
- TRANSFER FROM AIRPORT: Pick up from the airport with transfer to your hotel in Cusco included (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.
- HOTEL AT AGUAS CALIENTE CITY: includes private bathroom, hot shower, buffet breakfast, wifi, etc.
CHECK YOUR SHORT INCA TRAIL HIKE TO MACHU PICCHU AVAILABILITY BY CLICKING ON MONTH OF YOUR CHOICE!
Please read the following information to help answer any questions you may have about our Services and the 2 Day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.
ARRIVAL TO CUSCO
We will pick you up from the Cusco airport and take you to your hotel in Cusco. Please let us know your flight details at least 14 days before arrival. Our representative will be holding an orange sign reading ORANGE Nation outside the arrivals. You must exit the terminal to find our representative as they cannot enter. (Please let us know if your hotel is in the Sacred Valley so we can make the necessary arrangments).
The Briefing will be the night before the trek at 6pm in our office which is located at Garcilaso Street 210, Office Nº:213 (2and Floor) in the la CASA DEL ABUELO shopping center.
CAN I STORE MY LUGGAGE AT YOUR OFFICE:
ABSOLUTELY! During the Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, your main luggage can be stored at our office, or your hotel, both are free. Please pack anything you will need for your hike in your day pack for Machu Picchu.
HOW TO BOOK:
FIRST, to book your 2 day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu trek, we need you to fill out our booking form by clicking on BOOK NOW on our home page or click here – BOOK NOW.
Please be ready with the following information (FROM EACH PARTICIPANT in your group). We cannot purchase a Short Inca Trail Hike to Machu Picchu permit without the following information:
- Personal information (your full name, exactly as it appears on your passport):
- Passport number
- D.O.B. (dd / mm / yyyy)
SECOND, we require a deposit of $211.00 USD per person in order to purchase a permit for the 1 day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. You can make your deposit by clicking on the PAYPAL symbol on the top of our home page, or you can click on the PAYPAL symbol on our booking page.
WHAT ABOUT THE BALANCE?
It would be greatly appreciated if you pay in cash at our office (US dollars or Peruvian soles) here in Cusco. We have many ATMs within the historical center to withdraw money. You can also pay by PAYPAL online but you will have to pay a 5.5% service charge by PAYPAL. To pay your balance through PAYPAL, you need to log into your PAYPAL account; use our email address of email@example.com to pay.
MAY I CHANGE THE DEPARTURE DATE AFTER THE TICKETS HAVE BEEN BOUGHT?
Unfortunately, the answer is No. Once the tickets have been purchased, the government does not allow any changes, so we can’t change any departure date after the ticket has been bought. Tickets are also not transferrable nor refundable. If you cancel your Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu Trek, the deposit is not refundable at all!
DO I NEED MY ORIGINAL PASSPORT ON THE SHORT INCA TRAIL HIKE TO MACHU PICCHU?
DEFINITELY! You have to bring your original passport, and it must be the same passport number you sent to us to book your Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu permit. In case you are renewing your passport, go ahead and send us your old number to secure your permit, and we can change it when you get your new passport number. Please send the new passport number as soon as possible.
Remember to check your current passport to make sure it doesn’t expire within 6 months of your arrival to Peru!!! The Government of Peru is enforcing the existing law that requires all foreign travelers to have a passport valid for a minimum of six months past the time of entry into Peru. Peruvian authorities will deny entry into Peru for travelers not meeting this requirement.
WHAT IS THE WEATHER LIKE IN THE 2 DAY INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU?
The weather is very unpredictable, and it’s difficult to predict. The climate in Cusco has a temperature fluctuating between 14º – 16º C / 57º – 60º F, with warm days and cold nights. The best time to do the Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is between April and October when the weather is warm.
The rainy season is from November through March, when doing the Inca Trail during these month, we advise that you bring rain gear and warm clathes. Also, be prepared for slippery steps in certain areas on the trek. The walk can be a bit more challenging, but you will enjoy the beautiful landscapes and colorful flowers.
The month of February, they close the the Short Inca Trail Hike to Machu Picchu for maintanance. The weather along the Short Inca Trail hike to Machu Picchu:
- The Average weather conditions on the Inca Trail:
- Dry Season April – October
- Day temperature 20ºC – 25ºC – Night temperature -1ºC – 7ºC
- Wet Season November – March
- Day temperature 17ºC – 22ºC – Night temperature 4ºC – 7ºC
We highly recommend you to bring some warm clothes and good rain gear in your day backpack.
IS THE TREK DIFFICULT, DO I NEED TO BE FIT?
The Short Inca Trail Hike to Machu Picchu is a 12km (7.5 miles) hike through the Andes in the Cusco region. The maximum altitude reached is 2700mt.
In preparation: try walking 15kms in a day or go to the fitness club in the months leading up to the trek. It is also important that become well acclimatized to the altitude. Try to spend at least 2 or 3 days in Cusco (3350m/11,047ft) before starting the trek.
How do people feel after a night of drinking? Thirsty. That’s how you’ll feel when you arrive in Cusco. As already stated, the body dehydrates quickly in high altitudes. It is recommended you drink lots of water before and during your trip to Cusco. Also, avoid heavy meals since your stomach takes longer to digest food at high altitudes. A diet of low proteins and high carbs is advisable.
No one knows the effects of high altitude better than indigenous people. Coca is the best natural medicine to combat altitude sickness. It was even considered sacred because of its curative powers and is still used in the same way now as it was in the time of the Incas. It contains iron, vitamins A, B1, B2, and calcium, among other nutrients. Coca makes it easier for your bloodstream to absorb oxygen, suppresses hunger, combats fatigue, headaches and can ease your stomach. Instead of chewing leaves, another option is drinking coca tea, which can found in most hotel lobbies in Cusco.
If you’re happy with the services provided, a tip – though not required – is appreciated. While it may not be customary to you, it’s of great significance for the people who will take care of you during the trek. It inspires excellent service and is an established feature of the tourism industry across many Orange Nation Peru destinations. Of course, you are free to tip more or less as you feel, depending on your perception of the quality and the length of your trip. Remember, the staff does not require a tip, but fully appreciate and comes only with excellent service.
ARE YOU SUSTAINABLE?
Yes, we are a local sustainable & responsible tourism operator that incorporates the 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 HIKE TO MACHU PICCHU?
The Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu DOES NOT INCLUDE the extra porter, so you will need to carry all your things. Please try to pack as light as possible to enjoy this trek.
We can transfer small backpack from Cusco to Aguas Calientes Hotel for free!
- Original Passport(it has to be the same you have used for booking your trek)
- Good daypack
- Drinking Water – 1 to 2L
- Comfortable hiking boots
- Toilet Paper
- Necessary clothes
- Warm clothes
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Personal medications
- Sun Hat
- Warm Hat
- Snacks like chocolate bars, protein bars
- Rain plastic poncho
- Extra Money for Souvenirs, Drinks & Tips
10/10 Amazing experience
If you’re thinking about which agency to use, look no further- Ray and Jimmy went well above and beyond and made this a memorable, safe, fun, and professional experience.
Ray is the most knowledgeable guide I’ve ever had in any country for any excursion - during both the Short Inka Trail and the actual tour of Machu Picchu, Ray’s expertise shined through in his ability to give us a detailed background on every aspect of the history, climate, nature, flora, animals.. anything!
Likewise, Ray and Jimmy were truly the friendliest, kindest hosts that I could have imagined our group having.
Thank you both so much and I will definitely book with you again if (when) I come back!
Did the 2 day Inca trail with Ray and Jimmy they were great and knowledgeable. Ray not only guided us along trail to Machu Picchu but also was an excellent photographer and taught us the history. It was a group of 10 and we had a great time. Even everything going on in Peru, we always felt in good hands.
Short Inca Trial (2-Day)
This tour was the perfect experience for our (group of 10) short trip to Peru. The trail was sometimes challenging, but the views and history made it all worth it. Ray and Jimmy were our guides and imparted sooo much knowledge about the history of Peru, Inca, and beyond. I would definitely recommend!