If you are looking for a shorter and just as beautiful experience of the Inca Trail, the Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is an excellent option. This trek includes a great portion of the Classic Inca Trail, as well as a tour of the Inca Ruin Chachabamba and Wiñay Wayna, which are special to only this trek!
Along this 2 day Inca Trail trek you will explore the land of the Sacred Valley of the Incas and the Andean Mountains. On your journey to Mach Picchu, you will walk along the same trails as the Incans did years ago and visiting numerous Inca Ruins.
Starting at the later part of the trail, you are able to see a view of Machu Picchu on your first day. On day two you take the bus up to Machu Picchu where we have an extensive walking tour of the sacred city with your expert guide. The tour consists of the fascinating history, knowledge, and ingenuity of the Incan Empire taught from our experienced tour guide. This trek also includes lodging at a very nice hotel in Aguas Calientes and a wonderful dinner at the finest restaurant in town.
Starting Altitude – 2,170 m / 7,170 ft
Highest Altitude – 2,720 m / 8,920 ft
Walking Distance – 13 km / 8 miles
Prior to your trek, you will have a thorough briefing with your guide, conveniently done at your hotel. Your guide will answer any questions and assist you in preparations necessary before your trek.
On your first day, at 4 a.m., you will be picked up at your hotel in Cusco. You will drive through the mountains into the sacred valley to Ollantaytambo. From here, you will board the train and enjoy a comfortable and scenic ride through the stunning sacred valley till kilometer 104 of the train tracks. This is where we take our first steps on the trail of the Incas and begin our quest through the Andean mountains to Machu Picchu.
Chachabamba is our first Incan ruin, believed to have once be a guard station to Machu Picchu. After exploring here, we gradually ascend for three and a half hours reaching (2,650 m / 8,700 ft.)
Wiñay Wayna is our next destination, which in Quechua means “Forever Young”. The name Wiñay Wayna comes from the perennial orchids that paint the landscape, making it one of the most beautiful places along the Inca Trail. This ruin has four main sections: an urban area, ritual site, agricultural terraces, and a temple dedicated to the rainbow. It is said the Temple of the Rainbow is one of the finest sites architecturally and a place of deep religious and social importance.
After touring the grounds and sharing a delicious box lunch you will continue for two more hours on flat terrain to the Sun Gate “Inti Punku” (2,720 m / 8,920 ft.). At a distance, here is where we first spot Machu Picchu! After, we make a 40 minute descent to the citadel proper. Along the way taking in magnificent views. Once our descent is completed we will end our day’s journey to Aguas Calientes by bus. Here we will spend the night in a comfortable and lovely hotel and share a dinner at the finest restaurant in town.
Today, we wake up early and take the bus for a 25 minute drive to Machu Picchu. Our 2 hour guided tour of the citadel begins, rich in history and information. You will be able to see firsthand the incredible and intricate works of the Incas that still shine through each stone centuries later. Their master engineering skills are evident in the precision of the carved walls which you are able to soak in all amongst the beauty of nature.
While soaking up the historical, cultural, and spiritual energy here you may want to relax and maybe even meditate or you have the option to hike Huayna Picchu “The Young Mountain”. It is a 45 minute climb and once at the top you see the stunning view of Machu Picchu. (There are limited tickets per day to Huayna Picchu, so please order in advance. This ticket is not included in the trek price.)
Don’t worry though, if you decided to opt out of Huayna Picchu, there are endless areas to explore. Machu Picchu is made up of three main areas: the urban sector, experimental sector, and adjacent zones. Consisting of sacred sites, temples, observatories, a cemetery, and much more.
After a full and glorious day, you will take the bus back down the beautiful mountain side in to Aguas Calientes. Here we will gather our belongings from the hotel and hop back on the train to Poroy. After a scenic train ride, we take a bus back to Cusco, arriving at approximately 19:45.