The Inca Trail Treks are known as some of the world’s best hikes. The trail was built by the Incas over 900 years ago to connect their capital city of Cusco to the Sacred Citadel of Machu Picchu. The Classic 4-day Inca Trail is in extremely high demand and permits sell out quickly. However, for some the Classic Inca Trail is too challenging of a trek, or they do not have the time, or permits are sold out.
The Short Inca Trail, the last one third of the Classic Inca Trail is a perfect option. A hiker still enters through the Sun Gate straight to Machu Picchu Citadel, gets to visit the archeological site of Winay Huayna and visits Machu Picchu twice, the 1st and 2nd day of the trek. A great option for all!
SHORT INCA TRAIL: If you are booking the 2 day Inca Trail, it is preferred that you also book in advance, however 2 to 4 months before is possible depending on the date you chose to trek.
*** Please note: To protect this historical trek, the Peruvian government heavily regulates it. There are only 500 permits issued per day for the short Inca Trail. Before there were usually enough permits for this trek, however due to the high demand months of May through September, some dates are may be sold out.
Orange Nation makes sure all their hikers’ information is updated and ready to use to secure the Inca Trail permit on the date the client is hoping to secure. Thus, the moment the permits are released for sale, we can purchase the permits before they are all sold out. Some dates in May or June may sell out within minutes, others in hours. Any delay in this process could mean Orange Nation is unable to secure your Inca Trail permit, especially for the Classic Inca Trail. It is always wise to provide an alternative date to be sure of getting your permit.
It may be possible to book at the last minute with the 2 day or 1 day Inca Trail if you are looking to trek in a month of the year where demand is lower. However, it is not recommended! The permits are not the only item that can book out, tickets for the 6AM early entrance to Machu Picchu, trains and hotels can also book out. Please do not wait until the last minute, book now if you have set dates!
Orange Nation needs your personal details and they must match your passport. What is required is your full name as written in your passport, passport number, date of birth, nationality and gender. Once again, it must match exactly your passport! After booking, please send us a copy of your current passport or driver’s license if you are booking with that.
If you are renewing your passport, Orange Nation can book with your old passport number (or driver’s license number) and we will update once your new passport arrives. Further details are written below.
If you are still in the process of obtaining your passport, you can still book with your driver’s license information and when you obtain your new passport then simply email Orange Nation a photo of both your new passport and your driver’s license and we will update your permit information at the government office. Please bring your drivers license and new passport when you come to Peru.
If your passport will expire before you trek, you can book the Inca Trail hike with your current passport and when you obtain your new passport, you can take photos of both your old and new passports. Then email Orange Nation those photos and they will update your permit information at the government. It is also wise to bring both your old passport and new passport to Peru when you come if your still have your old passport.
NO, IT IS IMPOSSIBLE! The government of Peru strictly controls the Inca Trail. This hike can only be booked by a fully licensed tour operator. Orange Nation is a 100% licensed Inca Trail tour operator by the government here in Cusco, Peru. (Not all tour operators can do the Inca Trail) We take pride in the journeys we create for our clients and we guarantee you won’t regret putting your trust in Orange Nation!
Orange Nation specializes in small intimate groups! We want to guarantee the best possible experience for all our hikers. it allows you to get to know your fellow hikers better and to better enjoy your trekking experience. Our group sizes range from 2 to 8 persons. If 2 persons book it is guaranteed you go even if no other people book. You book, pay your deposit, you go!
YES, you absolutely can book a private hike at an additional cost! The cost varies depending on the size of your private group. A private tour means that you will have your own personal guide.
***However, you may not be hiking completely alone on the Ina Trail as there will be other groups hiking the trail as well.
Booking with Orange Nation is easy. All you need to do is click on the BOOK NOW link and follow the instructions. If you have questions, please chat with us or give us a call using the phone numbers on the top of the main page for the Peru office or the USA office.
***Please be sure you have all your passport information ready when you book and send us a copy of your passport via email afterwards. (see earlier instructions if you do not yet have a passport or it will expire before the trek begins. It is still possible to book now!
As soon as we receive your completed booking form and your $200 deposit per person, we will email you a confirmation. Once permits are released from the government, our staff will confirm once again that your permits are secured for your preferred date after we have purchased them in October 2019.
We pick you up from your hotel at 4:00am and drive 90-minutes private transfer towards the Ollantaytambo train station to take the Expedition train at 6:10am. After an hour and 15-minute train ride, we arrive to kilometer 104 (Inca Trail Starting Point – 2,100m/6,927ft). Then, we begin a moderate uphill hike for three hours towards the ancient archaeological site of Wiñayhuana (2,650m/8,747ft). Where we will have fabulous views of the Urubamba Valley, Inca sites and the connection with the original 4-day Inca Trail. This climb has relatively flat areas mixed with upward stairs, which is how the Incas went uphill.
After we rest and enjoy this beautiful sight, we continue our trek to the Sun Gate (2,730m/9,007ft) which has slight ups and downs. From here, we will have our first view of Machu Picchu from where most of the famous photos of Machu Picchu are taken. It is all downhill trek from here, about 1 hour to Machu Picchu.
We take a 25-minute shuttle bus ride down a zig zagging road towards Aguas Calientes, where we spend the night in our hotel and enjoy a celebratory dinner.
On this early and very exciting morning, we will take the 5:30am shuttle bus back up the zig zagging hill to catch the sunrise over Machu Picchu. Our guide will give us a 2.5-hour private tour, teaching us the history and secrets hidden away by the Incas who once resided there. Then, you have plenty of time to explore on your own until 12 noon.
Here are some other activities you can do on your own:
Around 12 noon, we will depart Machu Picchu and descend again back down the curvy road to Aguas Calientes. You can have a relaxing lunch and explore Aguas Calientes before boarding the Expedition train at 4:22pm (be there 1/2 earlier – 4pm at the latest), returning to Ollantaytambo Train Station.
Finally, we will drive approximately 90 minutes to drop you off on the doorstep of your hotel in Cusco, arriving around 8pm.
There are now 3 sessions to enter Machu Picchu and you can stay ONLY for 4 hours into Machu Picchu.
The Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is available on almost any day that suits your schedule – we only need a minimum of two people in order to book. Single travelers are welcome to join a group if there is a group already programmed.
|Price per person|
|Without Hotel||$397 USD|
|2* Hotel||$427 USD|
|3* Hotel||$467 USD|
|4* Hotel||$527 USD|
**** Free backpack (small) transfer from Cusco to Aguas Calientes hotel.
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.
CHECK YOUR SHORT INCA TRAIL 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 Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.
You will be met and welcomed at Cusco airport and taken to your hotel, please ensure that you inform us of your full flight details at least 14 days prior to your to Cusco. Our representative will be holding an Orange Board at the arrival terminal.
It will take place the night before the trek at 6pm in our office, which is located at Calle Santa Teresa Nº383; 101 (first floor), we are next to SUBWAY restaurant.
ABSOLUTELY! During the Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, your main luggage can be stored at our office or at your hotel, both are free. Please pack anything you will need for your hike in your day pack for Machu Picchu.
FIRST, to book your Short 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 to Machu Picchu permit without the following information:
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 VISA, MASTERCARD, DISCOVER, AMERICAN EXPRESS or PAYPAL.
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 VISA – MASTERCARD – DISCOVER – AMERICAN EXPRESS or PAYPAL online but you will have to pay a 5.5% service charge, charged by VISA, MASTERCARD, DISCOVER, AMERICAN EXPRESS or PAYPAL. To pay your balance through PAYPAL, you need to log into your PAYPAL account using our email address of firstname.lastname@example.org.
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!
DEFINITELY! You have to bring your original passport and it is very important that it is 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.
The weather is very unpredictable and it’s difficult to foresee. The climate in Cusco has a temperature fluctuating between 14 º to 16 º C, with warm days and cold nights. The best time to do the Short Inca trail to Machu Piicchu is between the months of April through October, when the weather is warm. During the months of June, July and August nights are very cold which is why you are advised to bring a good quality 4 season sleeping bag.
The rainy season is during the months of November through March, if you want to do the Inca Trail this season has to bring warm clothes and be prepared, as the walk can be a bit more difficult, on the other hand, enjoy sight of a beautiful landscape and colorful flowers.
The month of February, the Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is closed for security reasons, as this month the rainfall is more intense. The weather along the Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu:
We highly recommend you to bring some warm clothes and good rain gear in your day backpack.
The Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is a 12km (7.5 mile) 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 to be well acclimatised to the altitude. Try to spend at least 2 or 3 days in Cusco (3350m/11,047ft) prior to starting the trek.
Absolutely! Included in our packages is dropping you off at your hotel on the return from your trek or tour. If you have booked your hotel in the Sacred Valley like Ollantaytambo or Urubamba, we will drop you there too!
If you spend the night at Ollantaytambo before the trek, we wil pick you up there.
For some visitors, the first hours in Cusco can be summarized as: shortness of breath, a discomfort in the body, dizziness, headaches, stomachaches, even vomiting. As great connoisseurs of natural medicine, the Incas used coca leaves to counteract soroche, quechua for high-altitude sickness.
If you travel from Lima to Cusco, the effect can be immediate. This lack of oxygen, scientifically known as hypoxia, begins to manifest itself at 7,874 ft (2,399 m) above sea level. That’s why right after landing in Cusco, visitors can feel fatigued and have difficulty walking. Walking one block could feel like walking ten blocks carrying a backpack full of rocks. It is advisable to take it really easy on the first day and, if possible, rest the first few hours to help the body acclimatize to the altitude.
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 knew better the effects of high altitude than indigenous peoples. 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. If you do not feel like chewing leaves (which can be bitter, apart from numbing your mouth), you can try drinking coca tea, which is most commonly found in the lobby of hotels in Cusco.
The maximum group size is 8 persons. Usually our groups are between 2-6 persons. ORANGE Travel Peru specializes in SMALL and PRIVATE groups and provides personalized service.
If you’re happy with the services provided, a tip – though not compulsory – 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 entrenched 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, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.
Yes, we are a local sustainable & responsible tourism operator f 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.
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 enjoying this trek.
We can transfer small backpack from Cusco to Aguas Calientes Hotel for free!
Our expedition staff are experienced, enthusiastic and among the best in the industry - they are our secret to success
Travelling with us will always feel like going with friends and not with a group of strangers in an organized tour.
With ten years’ experience and over 25 Packages to Machu Picchu alone, our team knows how to deliver a successful expedition.
The food is one of the most important things on the trek, we bring balance, and nutritive food along the trail, most of our meals are buffet with.
Education and conservation are our passion. We aim to create lifelong ambassadors for the protection of all wilderness areas.
When renting a camping tent or renting a backpack from Orange Nation, you are renting camping gear and backpacking.