Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 2 days
The Short Inca Trail hike 2 days to Machu Picchu is a unique opportunity for those who may not have as much time to hike the entire Inca Trail. This trek combines highlights of the Classic 4-day Inca Trail with some of the most beautiful Inca ruins in the dense cloud forest. Enter Machu Picchu through the Sun Gate (Inti Punku) late in the afternoon and have the unique opportunity to see the Machu Picchu citadel empty.
The Short Inca Trail hike 2 days to Machu Picchu is perfect for solo travelers, couples, groups of friends, and families with children as it is only one day hiking, and the next day you explore the citadel of Machu Picchu.
Day 01: Cusco – Km 104 (Inca Trail) – Aguas Calientes
We pick you up from your hotel in Cusco to transfer you during a 2 hour ride to the Ollantaytambo´s railway station. There, we get on a train and continue until Km 104, where a checking point of the Inca Trail is located. We pass through to the Vilcanota River (bridge) and start the Inca Trail Trekking! The first archaeological site to visit is Chachabamba, guided tour. Then we continue through a mixture of cacti vegetation and a cloud forest towards another Incan significant site – Wiñay Wayna. But before we reach it, we enjoy a refresh in a local waterfall! Where you have lunch and a rest. Later on, we can admire the sunset above Machu Picchu when we get to the Sun´s Gate (Inti Punku) before entering the Inka citadel. However, today is too late to have a guided tour of this overwhelming Incan city so we descend slowly to Aguas Calientes Town enjoying beautiful surrounding scenery on the way! We spend the night in a comfortable hotel in Aguas Calientes.
- Highlight: Trekking the Inca Trail, enjoying the views from the Sun Gate, sunset views from Machu Picchu.
- Walking Distance: 15 km / 8 miles
- Meals: B + L
- Elevations: Trek starting point 2,000 m, the highest point is Sun Gate 2,720 m, the hotel is at 2,000 m
- Weather: Hot and humid
- Accommodation: Hotel night in Aguas Calientes
Day 02: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco
After an early morning breakfast, we will take a bus up to the mysterious city of Machu Picchu. Then our Tour Guide shows us around the Incan city and explains us about its history and purposes. After the guided tour, you will have a free time and its best opportunity to take picture and walk in the lost city of the Incas. There are some animal such Llamas and birds or if you would like best experience, you can pay the extra for the mountains and we are given the opportunity to climb up for about 45 minutes to Huayna Picchu or to Machu Picchu Mountain (peaks above Machu Picchu serving to take some panoramic pictures of the Inka city). Then, we are given time off to spend and explore Machu Picchu on our own.
Machu Picchu is both, the best and the least known site of the Incas as it is not mentioned in any Spanish conquistador´s chronicle so that contemporary archaeologists can not do anything more than just speculate on its functions. Local Quechuan farmers had known about Machu Picchu for centuries before an 11-year-old boy showed the American historian Hiram Bingham (who was in a search of Vilcabamba) this site on the 24th of July 1911. At that time, all the rest of the world became aware of its existence. However, the site was covered with thick vegetation so Hiram Bingham along with his team returned and within the years of 1912 and 1915 cleared its surface. Over the years, plenty of work has been done on excavating and studying the site. Despite these efforts, many unanswered questions remain.
After explore Machu Picchu, you come back to Aguas Calientes walking.
- Highlight: Arrive early to Machu Picchu to enjoy the sunrise
- Temperature: Warm and humid
- Meals: Breakfast Only
- Train: Expedition tourist class at 14:30 or 14:55
Frequently Asked Questions Short Inca Trail 2 Days
What type of backpack is necessary for the trip?
For this trip, we recommend a 30-40 liter backpack with clothes that are only necessary for the 2 days of the trip. The rest of your luggage will be left in storage at your hotel in Cusco or at the Peru Adventure Trek office.
How can I access Huaynapicchu or Machupicchu Mountain?
To climb one of the two mountains, you must purchase the entrance ticket in advance. Huaynapicchu has an extra cost of $60 USD per person and it is recommended to book tickets at least 3 months in advance. If you wish to book the entrance ticket for Huaynapicchu, please contact our reservations team.
Will there be accommodations or will we be camping?
The one night will be in accommodations. (hotel in Aguas Calientes)
Is the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu hard?
Altitude is the most difficult aspect of the Inca Trail for many people. If you have spent two or three days acclimatizing in Cusco beforehand, the altitude on most hikes will not cause you any problems.
How long is the Inca Trail 2 days to Machu Picchu?
The classic 2-day Inca Trail is 11 km.
Does the Inca Trail lead to Machu Picchu?
Yes, the Incas used the Inca roads to connect all their territories with Cusco, thus, we can find Inca roads throughout Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina. Today it is called Qapaq Ñan, which is translated as Imperial Road.
How to book the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu?
To reserve you have to hire an authorized tour operator (required by the Peruvian Government). Peru Adventure Trek is one of the best options with high quality and personalized service.
Where is the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu located?
Your trip to Machu Picchu will begin in the city of Cusco and this impressive two-day trek begins at a place called Kilometer 104.
How difficult is the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu?
Talking in days would be:
Day 1: Moderate to a bit difficult as there are several steep sections.
Day 2: Easy, on this day you visit Machu Picchu.
How to hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu?
First of all, look for a licensed agency, Peru Adventure Trek is a licensed tour operator. Then book in advance, especially in high season.