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All you need to know about the 2 day inca trail to Machu Picchu

The desire to experience the Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu comes from the stunning Inca ruins, spectacular side by side mountains, lush vegetation and remarkable ecological varieties.

The Inca Trail hikes up and enters into Machu Picchu through the Sun Gate (“Inti Punku” in quechua). This is the most famous and unforgettable view of the citadel. Hike through a cloud forest, and through subtropical vegetation, ending at the magnificent wonder of the world: Machu Picchu.

Trekkers on the Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu have the privilege of visiting the Ancient Machu Picchu City two times. The 1st afternoon when you arrive to Machu Picchu will give you the opportunity to take pictures and marvel at the site from the famous Sun Gate. The second day is an early morning to witness the beautiful sunrise over the glorious archealogical site. They then take a 2 hour guided tour with their knowledgeable guide.

On the second day, you will be transported by shuttle bus from Machu Picchu Pueblo, just in time for the sunrise over the mountains and Machu Picchu (2,400m/7907ft). You then begin your exploration of the ancient culture in the City of Machu Picchu. Your guide will take you on a journey back through time as you explore the majestic Incan ruins and learn about the thriving culture of the people who once lived there. You’ll have the opportunity to explore the most relevant areas of Machu Picchu and gain insights into how it divides into three sectors: agricultural, residential, and religious.


  • You visit Wiñaywayna which is an amazing and unique Inca city
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • You get to visit Machu Picchu Citadel twice, the 1st and 2nd day of the trek.

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

Day by Day ITINERARY for the 2 day Inca Trail:


With a compacted 2 days of excitement ahead, we will pick you up from your hotel at 4:00am and drive you to the train station. After an hour and ten minute scenic train ride to 104 kms point (2,100m/6,927ft) we arrive to the beggining of our trek. At this point we begin a moderate climb for three hours to the chiseled remnants and remote archaeological site of Wiñayhuana, (2,650m/8747 ft). Enjoy the spectacular plunging views of the Urubamba Canyon, and the ethnic wonders of the ancient Inca sites. After some time to soak up the beauty of this marvelous sight, we will continue onward towards the Sun Gate. (2,730mts/9,007ft) Following the ancient and original footpath we get our first spectacular view of Machu Picchu Citadel in all its brilliance and majesty. As we move closer to the citadel of Machu Picchu you will begin to feel her mystical presence. Then we will take our bus to Aguas Calientes, where we will spend the night in our hotel.

  • Meals: Box Lunch & Dinner.
  • Accommodation: Wiracocha Inn Hotel or Andean Terra Hotel
  • Difficulty: Moderate.


Today you will get to enjoy exploring Machu Picchu and experience her magical presence by taking the first bus at 5:30AM to the front entrance of this spectcular archeological wonder. If you hurry you will get to see the sunrise over Machu Picchu. Take your time, making sure you tour every nook and cranny of this New 7 Wonder of the World and UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site. It is an unforgettable experience. Your guide will expertly direct you through the energetic ruins and its diverse main streets. Ask as many questions as you can, as our guides are very knowledgeable and love sharing the history. Then on your own, wander around the town squares and feel the spiritual energy, esoteric wisdom, and rich history of this cite. Or stay still and soak in the pure majesty of her presence; enjoying the pure delight of the moment.
Here are a few of alternative activities that you might wish to indulge in on your own:

Climb up Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain and appreciate the beauty and magnificence of Machu Picchu (not included in your tour price and must be booked in advance.) Other optional activities in Aguas Calientes include a visit to the new local museum or to the hot springs (entrance fees required)
You will descend to Aguas Calientes when you are ready to eat lunch and later on board the Expedition train at 4:22pm for the return trip to Cusco stopping at the Ollantaytambo Train Station. From there you will be driven back to your hotel in Cusco from Ollantaytambo in our private van arriving at around 8pm.

  • Meal: Breakfast
  • Difficulty: Easy.

Huayna Picchu mountain ($75) and Machu Picchu mountain ($70) are available on this option. It has to be booked in advance and depends on availability.


  • Original Passport (it has to be the same you have used for booking your trek)
  • Good daypack (the smaller, the better)
  • Water bottle: 2 liters
  • Comfortable hiking boots with ankle support
  • Toilet Paper
  • Jacket
  • Dress in layers
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Wet wipes
  • Personal medications
  • Sun Hat, Wool Hat (only in the cold season) and Sunscreen
  • Rain gear (if rainy season)
  • Snacks like chocolate bars, cereal bars or any dry fruits
  • Rain plastic poncho (provided by Orange Nation)
  • Camera
  • Extra Money for Souvenir


The weather in the region can be highly unpredictable, making it 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.

We have 2 main seasons:

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 our weather can change quickly from sunshine to a rain shower within a few minutes. A few clouds form (usually in the afternoons), it rains for a few minutes and then out comes the sun again. We do not usually have rain all day long, only occasionally in the rainy season. The weather reports are 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 Cusco and completely dry in another area.

On the Inca Trail the weather depends on whether it is the rainy season or the dry season. The 1 and 2 day Inca Trail is at lower altitude than Cusco, 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 a rain showers but in the rainy season these showers will last longer and will 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.

Is the 2 day Inca Trail worth it?

Absolutely! For explorers who can’t do the 4-day Inca Trail, this short Inca trail to Machu Picchu is a perfect second option. Not only do hikers have the opportunity to enjoy marvellous landscapes, you also get to see great Inca constructions!

Retrace the footsteps of the ancients as you hike along original Inca paths, explore arguably the most fascinating archaeological complex on the whole Inca Trail, and experience that unique moment of walking through the Sun Gate for your first view of Machu Picchu. Honestly, what more could you ask for?

Sam Corporations


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Our company is 100% locally owned. We directly contribute to economic development and environmental sustainability in Peru.

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Our groups never exceed 10 people, giving you a personalized tour in our small comfortable vans

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100% Customised itinerary

Contact our travel advisors to plan the most complete trip of your life.

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Our guides are local and have vast knowledge in Peruvian culture and history.

Local peruvian company

100% local company. Development and environmental sustainability

Small personalized groups

Our groups never exceed 10 people, giving you an unforgettable experience

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