Short Inca Trail
TreXperience - 2 days
- Short Inca Trail
- 2 days / 1 night
- Max. group: 10 Persons
- Difficulty: Easy
> Meditation time during the Short Inca Trail.
> Arrive to Machu Picchu through the Sungate.
> Learn and interact with our native Tour Guides.
Short Inca Trail is a unique opportunity for those who may not have as much time to hike the full Inca Trail. This trek combines highlights from the original Inca Trail with some of the most beautiful Inca ruins nested in the dense vegetation of the cloud forest. During the Short Inca Trail you will visit archaeological sites such as Chachabamba and Wiñay Huayna (the place that never gets old) and see a wide variety of flora and fauna along the way. We enter Machu Picchu through the Sungate (Inti Punku) and from here you can take in one of the most spectacular views of The Lost City of the Incas. We arrive in Machu Picchu late in the afternoon and therefore have the unique opportunity to see the city almost empty. We will spend the second day exploring all the wonders of Machu Picchu city. For those with limited time but still wanting to experience hiking in the Andres, this is the perfect trek for you.
Important Notice: The Inca Trail is the most popular trek of Peru and maybe even South America. Because of a limited amount of permits issued by the authorities, you have to book your spot at least well in advance. The months of April, May, June, July, August, September and October need reconfirmation.
What’s the plan?
DAY 1: CUSCO – KM104 – MACHU PICCHU PUEBLO (AGUAS CALIENTES)
For the Short Inca Trail we will pick you up from your hotel at approximately 4am (depending on the location) and drive to Ollantaytambo. From here its a 1 hour 30 minute train ride along the Urubamba river from Ollantaytambo (in the highlands) to km 104 at Chachabamba (in the cloud forest). We will head straight to the checkpoint at Chachabamba to start your Short Inca Trail Trek. Please note, you will need your original passport in order to pass through the checkpoint. Our first stop is a beautiful Inca ruin also called Chachabamba. We will then hike along an ancient Inca trail, that was abandoned in the 16th century, and leads to Machu Picchu.
The first section of the trail is a gradual uphill hike for 4 hours until we arrive at Wiñay Huayna (the place that never gets old). At this point we will take some time to explore this stunning archaeological site while enjoying spectacular views of the Andes. A packed lunch and refreshments will be provided. Once fed and energised we will continue our hike to the Sungate to catch your first glimpse of the Lost City of the Incas – a truly unforgettable sight. From the Sungate its a one hour down hill walk to the city, with breathtaking views along the way. We will arrive into Macchu Picchu in the afternoon and will therefore have the unique opportunity of experiencing the city almost empty. This is the perfect photograph taking opportunity! We will then take the bus down to Aguas Calientes where we will have dinner and spend the night in a hotel.
Average altitud: 2000m / 6561ft
Highest altitude: 2700m / 8858ft
Distance: 15km / 8 miles
Duration: 8 hours
Meals: Lunch, snacks & dinner
DAY 2: MACHU PICCHU (LOST CITY OF THE INCAS)
On our final day after the short Inca trail we have to get up very early to prepare for the highlight of your Short Inca Trail Trek; visiting Machu Picchu – the Lost City of the Incas. We will go straight to the line to wait for the first bus going up to Machu Picchu at 5:30 am. Arriving as the sky brightens, we will walk for an hour back up to the Sungate, with incredible views of the city along the way. On a clear day you can watch the spectacular sun rise over Machu Picchu. This is truly an unforgettable sight. Your guide will take you on a 2 to 3 hour comprehensive tour of the city before leaving you in Machu Picchu to explore on your own or climb either Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain (tickets must be booked as far in advance as possible). Your guide will explain how to take the bus from Machu Picchu back to Aguas Calientes for lunch (not included) and then take the train and bus back to Cusco. The Trexperience Team will meet you off the train and return you safely to your hotel.
Highest altitude: 2700m / 8858ft
Distance: 6km / 3 miles
Duration: 2 – 3 hours
Meals: Breakfast (hotel)
√ Pre-departure briefing
TreXperience welcome you to our Cusco offices on the evening prior to your trek for a pre-departure briefing for the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. The briefings take place at approximately 6:00pm. TreXperience understand that many hikers may be nervous or inexperienced and so the briefing is an opportunity to meet your guide(s) who will talk you through what to expect over the coming days. Our trekking guides are very approachable and experienced so feel free to use this opportunity to ask them any questions you may have.
All admission permits to the classic Inca trail trek & Machu Picchu Archaeological Complex are included. In order to obtain all relevant permits for your hike we will require a photocopy of your passport. We kindly request you share this with the team as soon as you book your trek.
TreXperience offer a door to door service in the Inca Trail tour; we will pick up from your hotel on the morning of the trek and drop off back at your hotel on the last day. All required transportation throughout the trek is included, as well as the train back from Machu Picchu Pueblo. The train is Expedition class but can be upgraded to the Vistadome train for $55 per person. In addition TreXperience offer a complementary transfer service to and from the airport and your hotel.
√ Experienced tour guides
The TreXperience Inca Trail team are fluent English speakers and are extremely experienced professional tour guides from the local area. We provide a single guide for groups smaller than 8 people and a second guide for groups with 8 people or more. We very much enjoy sharing our extensive knowledge of local history and culture with you along the trek. All guides are proficiently trained in high mountain rescue, as well as yoga and meditation. We are committed to ensuring all clients have the best possible Trexperience!
Lunch, Snack and Dinner on Day 1. Breakfast on day 2.
A hotel night in Aguas Calientes is included.
All drinkable water along the trek – from your first lunch to your last breakfast – will be provided (you need to supply your own water bottles / camel back and we recommend carrying at least 2L). The water is boiled, filtered and cooled before it is distributed.
√ Medical kit
All trekking guides have received training in first aid and high mountain rescue. In the event a guest requires medical attention while on the trek our staff will be able to assist you. A medical kit is kept with the team at all times. In extremely rare case of a serious medical emergency you will be evacuated to the nearest medical centre.
We are committed to ensuring your Inca Trail trip is as comfortable as possible. We therefore provide hand towels, pillows, hand sanitizer, hot water for washing, drinkable water, snacks, daypack covers and rain ponchos. All these additional comforts are included in the price of your trek.
√ Satellite phones
To ensure your safety and in case of an emergency we are the first trekking company to introducing satellite phone technology. This is because during the Inca Trail we will be hiking in the mountain with no cellphone service.
√ Taxes and fees
All taxes and permit fees associated with the Inca Trail are included in the listed price.
× Accommodation in Cusco including breakfast
Before and after the trek you have to take care of your own accommodation.
× Trekking poles
You can rent trekking poles for $15 dollars per pair.
× Travel Insurance Including Repatriation
Your international travel insurance is your own responsibility. It is important that your travel insurance also covers adventures at a high altitude. Discuss your itinerary with the insurance company before you travel to Peru.
Tips for guides and porters are exclusive. You decide what you want to tip, but be generous.
×Lunch on last day
Lunch on the last day is excluded.
Hotel in Aguas Calientes
You will spend the night in a 3-star hotel In Aguas Calientes
Safety is of the utmost importance to us. That is why this is an area in which we simply do not compromise when it comes to keeping the cost of our trekkings low. Our guides have been selected on the basis of their technical competence, proven safety performance, impeccable judgment, friendly attitude and ability to provide useful and expert instructions. They are also very professional and well trained in first aid and personal protection equipment. First aid kits are available on all treks. In addition, the routes are ideally designed to give you enough time to acclimatize.
Altitude Mountain Sickness
If you’re keen on Machu Picchu, you’re obviously headed to Cusco. Once you’re in the city, particularly if you’ve flown in, you’re likely to find yourself huffing and puffing just scaling the stairs to your accommodation. For this reason, it’s recommended you give yourself time to acclimatize to the thin air before setting off up the mountain. If you want to know everything about AMS while trekking in Peru, please read our extensive blog post. For now, keep the basics in mind. Make sure you are hydrated properly, avoid alcohol before your trek, and if you are a smoker, you better at least quit for a few days, or else you are going to have a lot of trouble making it through.
Trekking in the rainy season
The wet (rainy) season lasts from November to April. The mountainous terrain around Cusco means the area is prone to flooding and landslides after torrential rain. It’s always better to go in the dry season. You can’t? At least you won’t be fighting the crowds. Please be prepared and read everything about this season in our blog post.
In the Short Inca trail remember that there will be no porters to help carry your belongings on this trek so you should try and pack as light as possible. We recommend you bring a good quality daypack which is both light and comfortable. It is important to note that due to local regulations, your backpack should not exceed 25L. All larger backpacks can not be taken into Machu Picchu and will need to be stored outside the gates.
- Valid, original Passport (a copy will not be accepted)
- Valid, Student Card (if you booked as a student)
- Immigration Card (given to you on the plane as you enter Peru)
- Trekking boots (light, comfortable and broken in)
- A good quality daypack (light, small and comfortable)
- Water storage for at least 2 liters; either a camel bag or water bottle(s)
For your daypacks
Below is a list of items that we highly recommend you keep with you at all times in your personal backpack. Remember you will be carrying this with you everyday of the trek so we recommend you bring a good quality daypack which is both light and comfortable. It is important to note that due to local regulations, your backpack should not exceed 25L. All larger backpacks can not be taken into Machu Picchu and will need to be stored outside the gates.
- Hat and sunglasses
- Rain gear
- Warm layers (fleece / long sleeved tops)
- Sun cream, bug spray
- Hand sanitiser
- Toilet paper
- Personal medication
- Band aids, moleskin
- Camera, extra batteries
- Head torch
- Extra snacks, power bars, chocolate
- Extra money for souvenirs, drinks & tips (small change is useful for paying to use the villagers’ toilets on the first day)
We are a team of dedicated professionals who love Peru and are passionate about sharing our country’s nature, history and culture. Our experts bring a wealth of experience from their many years of working in the Peruvian tourism industry. It is this experience that enables us to create itineraries that are both authentic and unique. We listen carefully to the feedback and desires of each and every visitor and are committed to continuously improving our service. Our personal approach and pioneering ideas has resulted in some of the most innovating tours in Peru.
Machu Picchu Tickets
To conserve the Machu Picchu site, the Peruvian government has limited the access and gives out a limited amount of tickets. There are different sorts of tickets and availability.
Machu Picchu Only
This type of ticket allows you to visit the citadel of Machu Picchu which has as main attractions: Intiwatana Temple of the Three Windows, Sun Temple, Temple of the Condor, Main Plaza, Agricultural Zone. The maximum capacity to enter to Machu Picchu is 2500 people per day.
Machu Picchu + Huayna Picchu Mountain
Huayna Picchu is part of a set of related with the Salkantay, mountains known as the Central Cordillera of the Andes. Huayna Picchu, “Young Mountain“, is located opposite the mountain of Machu Picchu “Old Mountain” and has a height of 2,693 meters. It can be accessed by following a steep and narrow path with steps carved into rock; It covers an elevation of approximately 360 meters. The tour on this mountain has an approximate duration of 3 hours, in what it concerns to rise and to go down, it is an extraordinary adventure. The maximum capacity to go up to Huayna Picchu group is 200 people per day.
Machu Picchu + Old Mountain
Machu Picchu Mountain is located 3,082 meters. In it, is seated the Inca city of Machu Picchu, and every day more people decide to venture to it, possibly by the energy emanating earth, considered sacred to the Inca civilization. Its summit was used by Inca priests to perform rituals on special dates and it was the place of worship of the Apu Salkantay.
The ascent depends on the physical condition of the individual and can take anything between 2 and 3 hours.The maximum capacity to enter Machu Picchu Mountain is 800 people per day,
Your trekking company provides the bus tickets and the Machu Pichu only entrance tickets. If you wish to do climb the Huayna Picchu or the Old Mountain it will cost you $75 dollars extra. This needs to be reserved in time.
Frequently Asked Questions
The best time to hike the Peruvian Andes is from April to October when the weather is relatively warm. In the months of June, July and August the nights are cold and a four season sleeping bag is recommended. The rainy season lasts from November to March, with February as the highlight. In this month the Inca Trail is closed for maintenance. Rainy season or not, prepare for sun and rain. The mountains make the weather pattern unpredictable.
Dry season (April – October)
Day: 20’C – 25’C / 68’F – 77’F
Night: -1 – 7’C / 30’F – 45’F
Rainy season (November – March)
Day: 17’C – 22’C / 62’F – 71.6’F
Night: 4’C – 7’C / 39’F – 45’F
On the Inca Trail and other Peruvian trials, it is normal to tip porters, guides and chefs. Opinions on how much are divided. We advise you to bring along an amount of 60 to 120 Nuevo Sol for tips. That is equivalent to USD 25 to 50. This is often given by the group in a pot, towards the end of the trek.
Do you make it to your destinations as planned? Often this depends on the unpredictable weather in the mountains. However, it can also depend on your own physical condition.
All our Trexperiences are designed so that they can be accomplished by trekkers of every ability. Some sections of the trek are challenging while others are much easier. Remember that nothing is impossible. Our guides are very experienced, they are used to accommodating groups of mixed abilities, and they will of course be there to help you. We advise that you exercise regularly prior to your trip and that you arrive in Cusco at least 2 days ahead of your trek to acclimatise to the altitude.
Restrictions on the Number of Visitors to the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu
The number of visitors to the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu are limited by the government. There is a limit of 500 people per day to the Inca Trail and 2500 people per day to Machu Picchu. Additionally, train tickets, tickets to Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain all sell out well in advance. In high seasons hotels may also sell out. We therefore recommend you book your trek as far in advance as possible to avoid disappointment. We are always here to help if you require any support.
How To Book
How does it work?
On Bookatrekking.com you can find and compare the adventures of your dreams. Is this trekking adventure your match? In that case you can proceed to booking. At Bookatrekking.com you make a deposit of 15% of the total amount. You pay the remaining amount on location prior to the trek directly to the trekking company.
Bookatrekking.com uses only the safest payment methods. Once your booking has been received, your place is reserved, your place is safe and you can look forward to your chosen trekking.
After you have made your booking, you will receive an e-mail confirmation with all necessary information and the contact details of the trekking company. If you have any questions or if you want to clarify something, you can obtain information directly from the right person. Of course, you can also always ask us your question. Send us an e-mail on firstname.lastname@example.org
The trekking company will also receive your details and can therefore always contact you and provide you with extra information.
You wish you didn’t have to, but there is no other way: You find yourself having to cancel your plans. In this case, you lose your deposit, but since you haven’t paid the large sum yet, you at least save that. Please do let us know if you cannot make it. A no-show can be a small disaster for your trekking provider, who did its best to block your dates. View our complete cancellation policy here.
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