We offer the Inca Trail Short 2-day option which is an unforgettable trek to Machu Picchu. This hike is an excellent option for those who want to journey on the Inca trail and take in the beauty of the area as you walk to one of the Seven Modern Wonders of the World!
We get an early start to our day and will pick you up from your hotel at 5:00 a.m. and drive to the train station in Ollantaytambo to take the train to Kilometer 104, where we will start our trek. The journey here from Cusco will take approximately three hours. KM 104 is an unscheduled train stop so you may feel a twinge of satisfaction knowing the train is stopping especially for you and that you will see things many others don’t have the opportunity to see! At KM 104 we will get off the train and pass the Inca Trail checkpoint where we will see your first archeological site called Chachabamba located at 2 170 m / 6900 ft. These ruins were one of the last shelters used by the Incas before they reached the citadel of Machu Picchu. This site was also used as a religious and administrative center and features several buildings. We will gradually ascend for about two- or three-hours climbing Inca stone steps which our guide points out different flora and fauna along the trail. We will then pass a waterfall before arriving at the Inca site of Winaywayna which is found at 2 650 m /8694 ft. This site is named after and orchid and means Forever Young in Quechua. We will climb to the top of the ruins and enjoy lunch with an incredible view of the ancient Inca ruins and the Sacred Valley. This large site sits on a mountainside and features experimental terraces that the Incas used to grow different crops. You’ll also get to visit an important temple with seven windows that were dedicated to the rainbow as well as observe the amazing engineering of the water channels that still function today. Once we finish our tour here, we will continue our hike for about one and a half hours on a part of the Inca Trail which is relatively flat and small ascents and descents along the way. At approximately 5:00 p.m. we will reach the Sun Gate (2 750 m / 9000 ft ) which is called Inti Punku in Quechua. This is where we will have our first view of Machu Picchu and from here, we will hike down to the ruins to take a 25 minutes bus down the mountain along a series of switchbacks to reach the town of Aguas Calientes where we will spend the night. The natural hot springs in town are an unbeatable way to spend a late afternoon or early evening if time permits before dinner.
After breakfast we will take the first bus shuttle back up the mountain to Machu Picchu in order to be there before it gets crowded and to see the beautiful sunrise. You will have a two-hour guided tour of the site where you’ll visit and learn about the various parts of this ancient citadel. Following the tour you will have time to take pictures and explore the site on your own. After your visit of the site, we will then travel back to Aguas Calientes in order to catch the afternoon train back to Ollantaytambo and continue by bus to Cusco where we will arrive at approximately 8.30 p.m.
Pre-departure briefing with your guide
English-speaking guides with knowledge of archaeological sites along the Inca Trail.
Transportation: Private transportation to and from Cusco, train ticket from Ollantaytambo to Km 104, train ticket from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo, as well as bus shuttle to and from Machu Picchu
All entrance tickets and permits for the Inca Trail and the historic sanctuary of Machu Picchu
Two-hour guided tour of Machu Picchu
One-night accommodation in Aguas Calientes
Excellent Peruvian meals which include 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
Your guide will be equipped with a walkie-talkie as well as an Oxygen tank and first aid kit
All local taxes
Breakfast on Day 1, hotel usually offers breakfast, and lunch on Day 4 *After visiting Machu Picchu you will have free time to enjoy the ruins and you can choose to have lunch at the site or back in Aguas Calientes
Tips for staff – guide, chef, assistant cook and porters
Backpack with a waterproof cover
Wear comfortable clothing
Warm jacket or layer
Gloves and a warm hat Trekking/hiking shoes
Micro fiber or wool socks
Small towel or sarong
Swimsuit (if you intend on swimming in the hot springs)
Sunscreen and sun glasses as well as a hat
Insect repellent (minimum recommended 20% DEET)
Passport and International Student Identity Card (ISIC – if you have one)
Reusable water bottle and water bladder for your day pack
Water purification tablets
Snacks (energy bars, nuts, chocolate, etc.)
Personal hygiene items
Small first aid kit with any special medications you might require and “Mole Skin” for blisters, etc.
Flashlight or headlamp with extra batteries
Cash for snacks, tips and souvenirs.