The short hike of the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, will provide you with views of impressive Inca ruins, expansive mountains, lush subtropical vegetation and extraordinary ecological varieties. The ancient and original Inca Road goes through the National Park and takes you through the Sun Gate with unforgettable views of Machu Picchu! 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 again for a guided tour the next morning! This trek was designed for those with little travel time or who prefer hotel rooms to camping, yet still want to experience part of the Historic Inca Trail and walk the magical wonder of the world that is Machu Picchu!
Your Inca Trail Trek Begins!
Your guide will pick you up bright and early at 4 am from your hotel in Cusco. Our comfortable private transportation to Ollantaytambo will give you plenty of time to catch some sleep to charge up before your first day. Once we arrive at the train station, your guide will provide you with a lunch pack to add to your daypack. At 6:10, the train will depart from Ollantaytambo, giving you over an hour to soak in the beautiful scenery and have breakfast (not included). You can either request a picnic breakfast from your hotel or pack your own.
Our journey begins as we disembark at KM 104, the starting point of the Inca Trail. Crossing the Urubamba River on a picturesque footbridge, you’ll need to show your passport at the first checkpoint. Just a short walk from there is the Inca site of Chachabamba, where you can spend some time exploring and taking photos. Then, we embark on a 3-hour trek to Wiñay Wayna, known in the Quechua language as “Forever Young” at an altitude of 2,650 feet.
The first hour and a half of the hike is a gentle incline. Along the way, we’ll make stops at various outlooks that offer expansive views of the Urubamba River. We’ll pass through different microclimates, including a cloud forest, and small waterfalls. Before tackling the steepest part of the trek, we’ll pause at a beautiful waterfall to take photos and rejuvenate our energy. Wiñay Wayna is perched on the mountainside, and the climb to the top is divided into sections to allow short and necessary breaks. In each section, our guide will share fascinating information about the site—its construction, discovery, purpose, and even the parts still hidden beneath the dense jungle.
After conquering this challenging ascent, we’ll take a break at the campsite of the same name and enjoy a gourmet box lunch. The pace of this hike is quick in order to ensure we reach Machu Picchu in a reasonable time for a fully guided tour inside the citadel.
After a quick breather, we journey on for another hour to conquer the last trek to the Sun Gate at an elevation of 2,730 meters. You’ll know you’re nearing the Sun Gate when you encounter the final set of steep stairs carved into the bedrock. These large steps, often referred to as the “gringo killer steps” or “monkey steps,” present our final challenge. After conquering these stairs you will pass through the Sun Gate and will be welcomed with a rewarding feeling and a breathtaking view of Machu Picchu. Indeed awe-inspiring, this magnificent view will leave you speechless. After some moments to soak it all in and take pictures it’s a one-hour hike down the flat rock stairs to Machu Picchu. Keep your camera handy and be ready to capture the incredible views of the Machu Picchu Citadel along the way.
After reaching beautiful Machu Picchu take plenty of time to capture more photos from the viewing platforms above the site. We will be sure to visit the famous Guard House where you can take those postcard-worthy pictures of Machu Picchu. Your arrival in the afternoon will be graced with less tourists as the site will start to empty of people, offering you the opportunity to savor the beauty of the afternoon light and capture stunning shots with fewer crowds. Take time to fully immerse yourself in this magical experience before hopping on the bus to Aguas Calientes and checking into your hotel. Further, you’ll have a delicious dinner, and find plenty of time to stroll around the charming town, visit the hot springs, or simply relax at your hotel after such an exhilarating day.
***You can leave an overnight bag at the Ollantaytambo train station to be sent by train directly to Aguas Calientes (Up to 5 kilos per person).
**** This unique hike can start in Cusco, Urubamba, or Ollantaytambo.
The Full Machu Picchu Experience!
Get ready for the day you’ve been eagerly anticipating! To start your day off, indulge in a delicious breakfast at your hotel to fuel up for the incredible day ahead. A bright and early start is recommended to ensure you catch one of the first buses up to Machu Picchu. This way, you can be sure that you don’t miss the mesmerizing sunrise. It’s a moment you won’t want to miss, as Machu Picchu unveils its breathtaking beauty in the gentle and warm morning light. Following an incredible view of the site waking up, your guide has prepared a captivating two-hour tour of the magnificent Machu Picchu Citadel.
During this tour, you’ll explore its most significant landmarks and learn about its fascinating history. At this moment you will be grateful for that early wake up as you get to see Machu Picchu waking in its breathtaking beauty. With your knowledgeable guide by your side, get ready for a captivating two-hour tour of the magnificent Machu Picchu Citadel. Firstly, you’ll explore its most significant landmarks and then delve into its fascinating Incan history. As you navigate through this ancient wonder, the transition from one enchanting site to another immerses you in the rich culture and intriguing history that surround Machu Picchu.
After the tour, those who have pre-booked the additional hike up Huayna Picchu will have the opportunity to savor the stunning views at their own pace. Once you’ve soaked in the exceptional views of Machu Picchu, it’s time to take the bus back down to Aguas Calientes for lunch (not included). Depending on your train departure time, you may also have some leisure time for shopping, sightseeing, or visiting the museum and hot springs.
At either 2:55 pm or 3:20 pm, hop on the Expedition train, which follows the breathtaking course of the Urubamba River. As you embark on your return journey to Ollantaytambo, you’ll be treated to the picturesque sight of the narrow canyon and, the captivating stretches of whitewater in the river. Furthermore, make sure to keep an eye out for Wiñay Wayna, which is perched on the steep canyon wall, offering a truly remarkable view from the relaxing train.
Upon arrival at Ollantaytambo, rest assured that your driver will be waiting at the train station exit. They will be ready to escort you back to your hotel in Cusco. The comfortable drive back will allow you to relax and at the same time reflect on the unforgettable experiences you had at Machu Picchu. You can anticipate reaching your hotel around 7:00 pm, carrying with you cherished memories and photos of an incredible day spent at this awe-inspiring wonder.
**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 it in advance. There is an extra cost for this extra guided tour.
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 to guarantee departure!
|Price per person
|3* Hotel (Included)
|3* Hotel (Others)
***** Single supplement USD $40 for 3*** (other 3* upgrades $60 USD) Hotel, US$110 for 4**** hotel like el Mapi or $75 USD for 4**** hotel like Tierra Viva superior room
*** The 2 day short 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 some amazing Inca ruins along the way like Wiñay Wayna.
Please read the following information carefully as it will help answer all of your questions about our services and the Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu trek below:
Your briefing will take place the night before your trek. It will be held at our office at 6 or 6:30 pm, depending on your confirmation email details. The office is located at Calle Garcialzo 210, office 213 second floor, La Abuela shopping center.
Absolutely! We understand that carrying your main luggage during the Short Inca Trail may not be ideal. You have the option to safely store your main luggage either at our office or at your hotel, depending on what suits you best. We want to ensure that you have a comfortable and hassle-free trekking experience. Simply let us know your preference, and we’ll make the necessary arrangements to accommodate your needs.
To book your incredible adventure on the Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu Trek, we kindly ask you to complete our booking form. Just head over to our homepage and click on the “BOOK NOW” button or simply follow this link: BOOK NOW.
Before you begin, please make sure you have the following information ready for each participant in your group. We want to ensure that your experience is seamless, and we need these details to secure your permits for the Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu:
Please note that we require copies of everyone’s passports as they are mandatory for permit purchases.
Once you have filled out the necessary information, we kindly request a deposit of $211.00 USD per person to secure your spot on the Short Inca Trail. You can conveniently make your deposit by clicking on the VISA or PAYPAL symbols located at the top of our homepage, or you can also find these symbols on our booking page.
We appreciate your cooperation and look forward to providing you with an unforgettable experience on the Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu Trek!
It’s understandable that you may prefer alternative payment methods to avoid high credit card fees while in Peru. We offer the following options for paying your balance:
We want to ensure that you have flexibility and options when it comes to settling your balance. If you have any further questions or need assistance with payment arrangements, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Our friendly staff are here to make the process as smooth as possible for you.
NO! We understand that plans can change, but we regret to inform you that once the Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu permits have been purchased, the Peruvian government does not allow any modifications or changes to the dates. It is important to note that the permits for the Short Inca Trail are non-transferable and non-refundable.
Therefore, if you choose to cancel your Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu reservation, please be aware that the deposit made is non-refundable. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding regarding the government regulations in place.
To ensure a smooth entry to the 2-DAY SHORT INCA TRAIL, it is essential that you bring your original passport with you. It is important that the passport number matches the one you provided when booking your permit, entrances, and reservations. If you are in the process of renewing your passport or changing your name, please provide us with the information from your old passport so that we can secure your permit. Once you receive your new passport number or update your name, we can make the necessary changes for a fee of $25 USD per person. We will require copies of both your old and new passports to complete the process. We advise you to keep a copy of your old passport before making any changes.
Alternatively, if you prefer to avoid the fee, you can bring both your old and new passports with you to Peru. While you can enter Peru with your new passport alone, you will need to present both passports when entering the Inca Trail, Machu Picchu, or boarding the train. Failure to provide both passports may result in denial of entry to these sites. We strongly recommend having both passports on hand to ensure a seamless experience during your journey.
The weather in the region can be highly unpredictable; consequently, it becomes challenging to anticipate specific conditions. To prepare for this variability, we recommend dressing in layers. This will allow you to easily adjust your clothing to accommodate quickly changing weather patterns. By wearing layers, you can add or remove clothing as needed to stay comfortable throughout your trek.
At SAM CORPORATIONS, we prioritize personalized service by limiting our tour groups to a maximum of 10 people. This distinguishes us from other companies that operate with larger groups, ensuring a more intimate and tailored experience for our guests.
As part of the package, we provide a drop-off service at your hotel on the last day. If you have booked a hotel in the Sacred Valley, such as Ollantaytambo or Urubamba, we will also drop you off there. If you are staying in Ollantaytambo the night before the trek, we will pick you up from there as well.
For an elevated experience, you have the option to upgrade to the Vistadome Train for an additional $67 USD. This exclusive train service operates from Aguas Calientes to Poroy, ensuring a scenic and enjoyable journey. Upon reaching Poroy, we will be ready to greet you and provide a comfortable 25-minute drive back to Cusco. To ensure a seamless experience, we kindly request you inform us in advance of your preference for this service.
If you are satisfied with the services provided during your tour, it is customary and greatly appreciated to give a tip. Tipping is an important part of the tourism industry in various destinations, including those offered by SAM CORPORATION. Firstly, it serves as a way to show appreciation to the staff who have taken care of you throughout your tour. Furthermore, it can inspire them to continue providing excellent service in the future. Importantly, the amount you choose to tip is entirely up to you. It should be based on factors such as your budget, the level of satisfaction with the service you received, and the duration of your tour.
At our core, we are a local, sustainable, and responsible tourism operator. We commit ourselves to upholding the universal principles of tourism, which involve protecting the environment and supporting the well-being of local communities while respecting their culture and religion. In order to uphold these principles, we have implemented several measures. Firstly, we prioritize comprehensive training for all our local staff. This training equips them with the necessary knowledge and understanding to respect the places we visit and the local people we interact with. Moreover, we emphasize the significance of cultural sensitivity and responsible tourism practices. By doing so, we aim to foster meaningful and positive experiences for both our guests and the communities we engage with.
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:
In your duffel, you should pack
Inca Trail 2DAYS – 1NIGHT
Live the adventure with one of the most famous walks in Peru Inca Trail 2 days
One of the 7 Wonders of the World, Machu Picchu the lost citadel of the Incas
Our company is 100% locally owned. We directly contribute to economic development and environmental sustainability in Peru.
The quality of our service is one of our most important values which demands all our effort, determination, and courage to be successful in what we are doing and the services we provide
We aim to have a positive impact in all the areas that we visit. Through our training sessions and social projects, we empower women, indigenous communities and children
Our groups never exceed 10 people, giving you a personalized tour in our small comfortable vans
Interested in visiting only specific destinations? No problem, all our packages can be fully customized to suit your budget and schedule. Contact our travel advisors to plan the most comprehensive trip of a lifetime.
We commit socially and culturally to the community and adapt our business strategies to the preservation of the environment
Contact our travel advisors to plan the most complete trip of your life.
Simplified ease of communication, text us on WhatsApp, email or call us.
Our guides are local and have vast knowledge in Peruvian culture and history.
100% local company. Development and environmental sustainability
Our groups never exceed 10 people, giving you an unforgettable experience
Discover an exceptional journey where perfection meets adventure.