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Two Day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu – Short Inca Trail Hike

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Two Day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu Details
Short Inca Trail Hike

Two-day Inca trail to Machu Picchu popularly known as the Short Inca Trail hike is one of the popular trails to reach Machu Picchu from Cusco. The Short Inca Trail Hike is an easier option as it does not involve long hikes or campings. Instead, you will be accommodated in a comfortable hotel in Aguas Calientes town.

To protect the authenticity of the Classic Inca Trail, the Peruvian government has introduced Inca Trail permits that allow only 500 people to hike the trail each day. This number includes porters, chefs and guides so barely 200 travelers from hundreds of operators get to hike the trail each day. 

Inca Trail permits are open for booking six months before and tend to be sold out immediately. 

Often travelers who could not get their permit to hike the legendary trail, look for alternative options like Salkantay Trek or Lares Trek. However, the Short Inca Trail hike offers you the highlights of the Inca Trail. 

Short Inca Trail Hike:

Two-day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu takes you through three iconic Inca sites – Chachabamba, Wiñay Wayna, and Sun gate (Intipunku) before entering Machu Picchu. 

The first day of this Short Inca Trail hike involves a half-day hike through the cloud forest. It is home to distinct flora and fauna that is exclusive to the region.

The second day is dedicated to visiting Machu Picchu where we will be giving you a guided tour of the complex. You will then be boarding the train back to Ollantaytambo and onward transfer back to Cusco City.

Reasons to choose Kuntur Peru for 2 Day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu:

We are a fully locally owned licensed Inca Trail operator based in Cusco. We have an excellent team of local tour guides who are born and raised in the region.

Short Inca Trail Hike is one of our signature tours. We operate this experience both in private and in small groups.

Please note that the two-day Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu is a high-altitude experience. We highly recommend you spend at least four days in Cusco before the trial and acclimatize to avoid altitude sickness.

If you want to upgrade to the Vistadome Train, do let us know at the time of booking the tour.

We invite you to spare a moment to check out our reviews on Tripadvisor

Departure & Return Location

Cusco Hotel Transfer

Departure Time

0400 AM

Price Includes

  • Professional English Speaking Tour Guide
  • Round trip train tickets
  • Entrance to Inca Trail and Machu Picchu citadel
  • Round trip transfers from your hotel in Cusco
  • Meals (1L|1D|1B)
  • 01 Night accommodation in Aguas Calientes
  • Bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu and back
  • First Aid Kit

Price Excludes

  • Hike to Huayna Picchu Mountain / Machu Picchu mountain
  • Any Private Expenses
  • Travel Insurance

Recommended To Carry

  • Travel Insurance
  • Hiking Boots and Hiking Poles
  • Original Passport and ISIC Card (if availing for student's discount)
  • Some Peruvian Soles in cash

Day 1Cusco - KM 104 - Aguas Calientes

Your epic two-day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu starts with an early morning transfer from your hotel in Cusco to Ollantaytambo train station in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. You can relax and wink a nap in our comfortable transport so you arrive fresh to start the 2 Day Inca trail hike.

We will be boarding an Aguas Calientes bound tourist train from Ollantaytambo and alight at Km.104. This is the trailhead of the Short Inca Trail hike. 

After passing through the security control, we will be visiting a lesser-known yet prominent Inca site, Chachabamba. At 2150m/7053ft above sea level, Chachabamba houses a massive stone altar. 

The Incas used this place to worship Inti (Sun) and Apus (Mountain Peak). Our local expert will be giving you detailed information on these. 

After touring the complex, we will begin a gradual uphill hike for sour hours to Wiñay Wayna (2650m/8694ft). In Quechua, the name signifies “forever young”. Arguably, this is the most beautiful Inca site along the Inca Trail. Our tour guide will be giving you a detailed tour of the complex.

After the tour, we will be stopping for lunch at the campsite next to Wiñay Wayna.

We will then hike for an hour to Inti Punku (Sungate). You will get a panoramic view of Machu Picchu citadel from here. This is undoubtedly the highlight of the Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.

After contemplating the view, we will trek to Machu Picchu’s entrance and take a bus down to Aguas Calientes town. We will be accommodating you in a hotel here.

Day 2Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu - Cusco

We will begin the day quite early in the morning and embark on a 30 minutes drive up the hill to the entrance of Machu Picchu citadel. 

Our tour guide will meet you at the entrance and will assist you in entering the citadel. Your original passport will be verified against the entrance ticket to Machu Picchu. As you enter Machu Picchu, you will be welcomed to the sight of the golden rays of the sun reflecting on the Inca walls. 

After a quick introduction to the Inca empire, we will begin the guided tour of the Inca citadel. We will be visiting the main square, ceremonial centers, remains of royal quartets and Inca temples, and more. 

After this immersive tour, you will have time to explore Machu Picchu. If you have tickets for climbing Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain, our tour guide will be directing you to the respective trailhead. 

Once you have had your fill of the Inca citadel, you will be taking the bus down to Aguas Calientes where you will have some free time to have lunch or do some shopping. 

We will be taking the train that departs at 1455 from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo. Once in Ollantaytambo train station, our representative will be meeting you and will be transferring you back to your hotel in Cusco city. We will be reaching Cusco between 0900 and 0930 PM. 


Is 2 day Inca Trail worth it?

Although the short Inca trail or the 2 day Inca trail does not take you through the sites that trekkers on the classic Inca Trail hike through, this shorter route is certainly worth it. It starts from Km.94 and takes you to the prime Inca ruins, Wiñay Wayna which played a major role during the Inca civilization.

Moreover, just like the classic Inca Trail, on this 2-day trial, you will be entering Machu Picchu through the sun gate or Intipunku. So yes, if you could not get a permit for the classic Inca trail then it is worth considering this as an alternative. 

1 Review
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Stella Arturo

Group Traveller

My trip to Peru will always be a memorable one. My 3 friends and I booked a trip to hike the Inca Trail and we were blessed to have Ruben Huillca as our tour guide. Over the 2 day hike we were graced by amazing porters, who helped carry our extra bags, tents, cooking supplies, etc. They also set up our tents every night and day. Ruben was so knowledgeable about the history of the Incan ruins and told us incredible stories.

December 10, 2019