Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu – Short Inca Trail 2 Days

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Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu Details
Short Inca Trail 2 Days

Venture into the heart of Peru with Explore Peru Guide. You’ll find yourself immersed in the mystique of the Short Inca Trail 2 Days journey. 

This unique trek starts at a special point. It leads you through a tapestry of history and natural beauty. It beckons you to discover the ancient secrets of the Incas.

With every step on the Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, you experience a journey. Your tour guide brings the rich tapestry of Incan history to life. 

Picture this: You, traversing the breathtaking landscapes, winding beside the roaring Urubamba River. Around a bend, the Wiñay Wayna archaeological site unveils itself, showcasing the Inca’s architectural genius and their connection to nature.

The trek is as exhilarating as it is enlightening. As you ascend, the iconic Sun Gate awaits you. When you pass through its time-worn arches, a panoramic view of Machu Picchu will take your breath away. 

Time lost this Inca site, and the jungle reclaimed it. It stands as a testament to the Inca civilization’s might and ingenuity.

Navigating the Short Inca Trail

Now, while the allure of the trail is undeniable, you must come prepared. Even on the day Inca trail, the weather can be unpredictable. Packing your rain gear is essential, ensuring you remain comfortable as you navigate the path’s twists and turns.

After your guided tour through the wonders of the trail, you can recapture your energy. Then, reflect upon your journey in one of the cozy hotels in Cusco. These establishments provide the perfect respite after your Inca trail treks, offering comfort and local charm in abundance.

But a word to the wise: The altitude can be challenging for some. Before you embark on any Inca trail tours, familiarizing yourself with ways to combat altitude sickness can be invaluable. The mountains are grand, but they demand respect.

In the end, a trip with us on the Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is more than just a trek. It’s an opportunity. An opportunity allows you to step back in time and visit Machu Picchu. 

You can immerse yourself in a world that, though lost to the annals of history, remains very much alive in spirit. Join us, and let’s make history together.

Departure Time

04:30 AM

Price Includes

  • Trekking Permits: Necessary permits to trek the Short Inca Trail.
  • Entrance Fee: Admission to Machu Picchu
  • Professional Guide: A bilingual tour guide for the duration of the trek and for exploring Machu Picchu.
  • Transport: Train tickets to the starting point (Km 104) and return train tickets from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo or Cusco.
  • Meals: Includes unch on the first day and breakfast on the second day.
  • Accommodation: One night's accommodation in Aguas Calientes.
  • Bus Tickets: Shuttle bus tickets from Aguas Calientes up to Machu Picchu and back

Price Excludes

  • Travel Insurance: Personal travel and health insurance for the duration of the trip.
  • Personal Gear: Hiking boots, rain gear, and other personal equipment.
  • Tips: Gratuities for guides, porters, and staff are not included and are left to personal discretion.
  • Entry to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain: If you want to climb one of these mountains, tickets are separate from the main Machu Picchu entrance and are not included.

Recommended To Carry

  • Comfortable walking shoes or hiking boots with good grip. The terrains can be uneven.
  • Light layers of clothing. The weather can change, so it's wise to dress in layers that can be added or removed as needed.
  • Warm jacket or sweater. Even if the day starts warm, it can get chilly, especially in higher altitudes.
  • Sun protection: Sunscreen, sunglasses, and a wide-brimmed hat or cap.
  • Water bottle. It's essential to stay hydrated, especially when being active.
  • Personal snacks or energy bars. While some tours might provide snacks, it's always good to have your own, just in case.
  • Personal medications and a basic first aid kit.
  • Cash. For purchasing souvenirs, snacks, or any additional costs that might arise.
  • Camera or smartphone. The sites are picturesque, so you'll likely want to take photos.
  • Personal identification and a copy of your passport.
  • A small backpack or daypack to carry these items.

Day 1Cusco - Km.104 - Chachabamba - Wiñay Wayna - Aguas Calientes

Morning light in Cusco signifies the start of your Short Inca Trail 2 Days journey. From the heart of Cusco, a ride will whisk you away to Km.104. As the urban maze recedes, you’ll find the raw beauty of the Andes stretching out before you.

Upon reaching Km.104, excitement is in the air. Your first encounter? The ancient Inca site of Chachabamba. Here, you can marvel at the genius of Inca architecture and their harmonious relationship with nature.

Your next destination, Wiñay Wayna, beckons. The path takes you through breathtaking terrains. Before you know it, you’ll arrive at what many consider the best campsite along the Inca Trail. Under the watchful eyes of the mountains, you’ll enjoy a hearty lunch, replenishing your energy for what lies ahead.

But the day is far from over. With renewed vigor, you’ll tread the path leading to Inti Punku, also known as the Sun Gate. This vantage point offers vistas that will etch themselves into your memory.

As the sun casts long shadows, you’ll make your descent to Aguas Calientes. Here, comfort awaits. A hotel room, with its soft bed and warm shower, will be ready for you. After all, you deserve some luxury before the climactic visit to Machu Picchu on day two.

Day 1 Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu Stats:

  • Distance: On this day, you’ll traverse approximately 11 kilometers, or roughly 6.8 miles.
  • Highest Altitude: Wiñay Wayna will elevate your experience to around 2,650 meters, or about 8,692 feet.
  • Lowest Altitude: Starting off at Km.104, you’ll be at a base altitude of 2,040 meters, translating to around 6,693 feet.
  • Level of Difficulty: A blend of terrains categorizes this segment as a moderate challenge.

Embrace the Short Inca Trail 2 Days adventure. Every step you take weaves a narrative, connecting you deeply with the world of the Incas. So, immerse yourself fully, for this journey promises memories that linger long after your footprints fade.

Day 2The Pinnacle of the Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu Experience

As the first rays of the sun touch Aguas Calientes, you’ll feel the anticipation build. The true climax of your Short Inca Trail 2 Days expedition awaits. 

From Aguas Calientes, a 25-minute bus ride propels you upward. It winds through lush greenery and breathtaking panoramas. Soon, you’ll be at the monumental gates of Machu Picchu.

You’ve arrived. The majesty of Machu Picchu, with its stone structures standing stoic against time, unveils itself. Here, for the next two hours, your guide becomes the bridge between the modern world and the tales of yesteryears. They will narrate the stories, legends, and architectural marvels, ensuring the spirit of the Incas envelops you.

Time may seem to stand still, but soon, the call to return becomes evident. Another scenic 25-minute bus journey will transport you back to Aguas Calientes. But the journey doesn’t end there. 

From Aguas Calientes, your path leads you to Ollantaytambo, a place teeming with history. From Ollantaytambo, the final leg of your journey culminates with a return to Cusco, where modernity meets antiquity.

Day 2 Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu Stats:

  • Distance: Your exploration spans roughly 2 kilometers (1.24 miles) on foot, with the rest covered by bus and train.
  • Highest Altitude: At Machu Picchu, you’ll stand tall at 2,430 meters, or approximately 7,970 feet.
  • Lowest Altitude: Aguas Calientes, your starting and ending point for the day, sits at about 2,040 meters or 6,693 feet.
  • Level of Difficulty: This day is characterized by its explorative nature. People generally perceive it as easy to moderate. This allows you to absorb every moment fully.

The Short Inca Trail 2 Days journey promises a tapestry of emotions, vistas, and memories. On this second day, you’ll touch the very essence of what makes this trail iconic. So, capture every moment, for these experiences are the stories you’ll recount for years to come.


What is the Short Inca Trail?

The Short Inca Trail is a condensed version of the classic 4-day Inca Trail, typically lasting 2 days and 1 night, offering a quicker route to Machu Picchu without missing key sights.

How long is the Short Inca Trail trek?

The trek is approximately 13 km (8 miles) long, starting from the Km 104 train stop.

Do I need a permit for the Short Inca Trail?

Yes, a permit is required. They are limited in number and often sell out quickly, especially during peak season. Booking well in advance is recommended.

What is the fitness level required?

While shorter, the trail can be challenging with uphill climbs and uneven paths. A moderate level of fitness is advised, but no previous trekking experience is necessary.

What are the main attractions on this Short Inca Trail?

Trekkers visit archaeological sites like Chachabamba and Wiñay Wayna before entering Machu Picchu through the Sun Gate (Inti Punku).

Is accommodation included?

Our Short Inca Trail includes one night’s accommodation in Aguas Calientes, the town nearest to Machu Picchu. This might be a hotel or hostel, depending on the package.

Can I climb Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain during this trek?

Climbing either requires a separate ticket. If you wish to climb, ensure you purchase this additional ticket in advance and allocate extra time.

When is the best time to do the Short Inca Trail?

The dry season, from May to September, is ideal. However, the trail is open year-round, excluding February when it’s closed for maintenance.

2 Reviews
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Couple Traveller

The Short Inca Trail with Explore Peru Guide was an experience like no other. The team ensured a seamless journey from start to finish. Our guide was knowledgeable and passionately brought the history of the ancient Incan paths to life. The condensed trek didn’t skimp on sights – the ruins of Wiñay Wayna were a highlight, and entering Machu Picchu through the Sun Gate was an emotional climax. The logistical arrangements, including accommodations in Aguas Calientes, were flawless. Kudos to Explore Peru Guide for making this trek not just a hike, but a journey back in time. Highly recommended!

October 11, 2023


Family Traveller

The Short Inca Trail with Explore Peru Guide was nothing short of spectacular! From the seamless booking process to our knowledgeable guide, every detail was meticulously planned. Traversing the historic paths, we were immersed in the rich tapestry of Incan history, complemented by breathtaking vistas at every turn. Reaching Machu Picchu through the Sun Gate was a surreal experience, made even more special by our guide’s passionate storytelling. For those short on time but eager to experience the essence of the Inca Trail, this 2-day journey with Explore Peru Guide is a must! Highly recommended.

October 3, 2023