Explore the Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in a 2-day hike and visit Chachabamba, Wiñayhuayna, Sun Gate (Intipunku), and Machu Picchu. Enjoy the sunset in Machu Picchu on the first day with a few people, and arrive early on the second day to witness the amazing sunrise. Available every day with Panoramic trains included.
Overview of the Premium Short Inca Trail Tour to Machu Picchu!
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 from the Classic 4 days 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 empty city.
The Short Inca Trail hike 2 days to Machu Picchu is perfect for solo travelers, couples, groups of friends, families with children as it is only one-day hiking, and the next day you explore the citadel of Machu Picchu. This tour lets you arrive at Machu Picchu twice through the Sun Gate (Intipunku).
Why book with TreXperience?
- Places we visit: We start with pick-up Cusco, travel to Ollantaytambo by bus, board the train to Km 104, have a guided tour of Chachabamba, Wiñaywayna, Sun Gate (Intipunku), and Machu Picchu.
- Arriving at Machu Picchu in the afternoon and through the Sun Gate (Intipunku) is one of the most amazing experiences from where you will have the first and best view of Machu Picchu with the sunset.
- Tour Guides: TreXperience tour guides are professionals fluent in English and experts in Peruvian history, flora, and fauna. You will get information from each Inca Site and Machu Picchu.
- Hotels: We work with top-rated 3-star hotels in Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu Pueblo), such as Susanna INN, Intipunku, and Waman Hotel; you can upgrade hotels, or you can book your hotel.
- Meals: For the first lunch, we provide a box lunch prepared with fresh local products; dinner is served in a local restaurant in Aguas Calientes. Vegetarian, Vegan, and Gluten-Free options are available.
- Trains: TreXperience is the only company that includes the Panoramic trains (Vistadome or 360°) during the Short Inca Trail. You will travel to Km 104 on the Expedition train. To return on the second day, you will board the Vistadome panoramic train with comfortable seats and wide windows to enjoy the fantastic landscapes.
- We have another option with glamping option: The Short Inca Trail with camping
- Distance: 16 km / 10 miles
- Duration: 2 days 1 night
- Depart: From Cusco or the Sacred Valley
- Destination: Machu Picchu
- Considered: Moderate
- Accommodation: 3-star hotel
- Type: Adventure – Cultural
- Book with Confidence and Flexibility
- Arrive at Machu Picchu twice at exclusive hours
- Return on the Panoramic trains (Vistadome or 360°).
- Small-Group tours for a personalized service
Short Inca Trail at a Glance:
Day 1: Cusco – Ollantaytambo – Km 104 – Machu Picchu (16km, 8 hrs)
Start in Cusco around 4:00 am and drive to Ollantaytambo to take the first train to Km 104. The hike for about 7 hours to Machu Picchu, arriving in the afternoon through the Sun Gate, and enjoying Machu Picchu almost empty. Later, take the bus down to Aguas Calientes. Dinner in a local restaurant, and spend the night in a hotel (Susanna INN, Intipunku, or similar).
Day 2: Machu Picchu (The Lost City of The Incas) (3 hrs)
On the last day, wake up early in the hotel. After breakfast, take the first buses to Machu Picchu to explore the citadel on a 3-hour guided tour. After exploring Machu Picchu, you will board the Panoramic Vistadome train to return. Arrive in Cusco around 7.30 pm, back in your hotel.
- Safety briefing the day before the tour
- Pick up from your hotel on the morning of the tour.
- All transportation during the duration of the trek
- Professional tour guides
- 1 night 3-star hotel in Agua Calientes (Machu Picchu Pueblo)
- 1 Box Lunch, 1 dinner, 1 breakfast
- Entrance ticket to Inca Trail and Machu Picchu
- Bus down from Machu Picchu on day 1
- Round trip buses to Machu Picchu on day 2
- Train to Km 104 (Expedition or Voyager)
- Panoramic trains to return (Vistadome or 360°)
- Drop off back at your hotel
- Oxygen tank, first aid kit, satellite phones
- Complimentary luggage storage
- All taxes and booking fees included
- 1st breakfast and last day lunch
- Huayna Picchu or Montaña entrances
- Tips for your staff
Optional hikes after Machu Picchu Tour:
Huayna Picchu Mountain – This ticket costs $75 per person. You can climb after the Machu Picchu tour, which takes 2 hours roundtrip; you need to book far in advance.
Machu Picchu Mountain – Also called Machu Picchu Mountain, it is the highest mountain, and climbing takes almost 3 hours, cost is $75 per person.
Full Itinerary of the Short Inca Trail Tour
Day 1: Cusco – Km 104 – Machu Picchu – Aguas Calientes.
We will pick you up from your hotel in Cusco at approximately 4 am (depending on the location) and drive to Ollantaytambo. If your hotel is located in the Sacred Valley or Ollantaytambo, the pick-up could be around 5.30 am. For all travelers hiking the Short Inca Trail, we recommend staying the day before somewhere close to the train station in Ollantaytambo; you can save 1.5 hours of travel from Cusco. If you participate in a tour like Sacred Valley the day before, you can request the drop-off in Ollantaytambo and spend the night in a hotel. TreXperience will pick you up from any location in Sacred Valley or Cusco.
From Cusco, it’s a 1-hour 30-minute bus drive to the train station in Ollantaytambo. We will board the first trains and travel along the Urubamba River until we arrive at km 104 – Chachabamba (located in the cloud forest). We will head straight to the checkpoint at Chachabamba to start your Short Inca Trail Trek. Please note that you will need the original passport to pass the checkpoint. You will have time to prepare for the hike, use the restrooms, and warm up.
Our first stop is the beautiful Inca site of Chachabamba, where your tour guide will introduce you to Inca history and Machu Picchu. After exploring the beautiful Inca site, we will hike along an ancient Inca Trail abandoned in the 16th century.
The first section of the Short Inca Trail is a gradual uphill hike for 4 hours until we arrive at Wiñaywayna (the place that never gets old); this is one of the most beautiful Inca sites on the Classic Inca Trail. We will take some time to explore this stunning archaeological site while enjoying spectacular views of the Andes. An organic, packed lunch and refreshments will be provided; once fed and energized, we will continue our hike to the Sun Gate (Intipunku) to catch your first glimpse of the Lost City of the Incas – a truly unforgettable sight. We will arrive at Sun Gate around 3 to 4 pm when the crowds from Machu Picchu have left, allowing you to enjoy this place with few people.
From the Sun Gate, it’s another one-hour downhill walk to Machu Picchu, with breathtaking views. We will arrive at Machu Picchu in the afternoon and have the unique opportunity to experience the city almost empty. This day is the perfect photo opportunity! Then take the bus to Aguas Calientes, have dinner in a local restaurant, and spend the night in a 3-star hotel.
Dinner is served in top-rated restaurants in the town, and your hotel is also located on exclusive sites with a private bathroom, hot showers, WiFi, and beautiful views.
- Highest altitude: 2700m / 8858ft
- Distance: 16km / 10 miles
- Duration: 7 hours
- Meals: Lunch, snacks, and dinner
- Accommodation: Susanna INN (or Similar)
- Difficulty: Moderate
Day 2: Explore Machu Picchu (Lost City of the Incas) - Return to Cusco
On our final day of the Short Inca Trail tour, we will get up very early to prepare for the highlight, visiting Machu Picchu – the Lost City of the Incas. Breakfast will be served in the hotel, and we will wait for the first bus to Machu Picchu. Arriving as the sky brightens, we will visit the city’s incredible views. You can watch the spectacular sunrise over Machu Picchu on a clear day. This is truly an unforgettable sight.
Your guide will take you on a 2 to a 3-hour comprehensive tour of the city before leaving you in Machu Picchu to explore or climb either Huayna Picchu Mountain or Machu Picchu Montaña (tickets must be booked as far in advance as possible).
Explore the most remarkable places of Machu Picchu with a private exclusive TreXperience tour guide, visit the temples, palaces, and farming terraces, and learn the history of Machu Picchu.
Optional: After the Machu Picchu tour, you can hike down from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes using the Hiram Bingham original trail; on the way, you can visit the Machu Picchu museum, butterfly station and enjoy the fantastic views.
Your tour guide will explain how to take the bus from Machu Picchu back to Aguas Calientes for lunch (not included). You will have time to explore the town, choose the restaurant of your preference, and buy souvenirs in the local market; later in the afternoon, you will board the Panoramic trains (Vistadome or 360°) and bus back to Cusco. TreXperience Team will meet you off the train and return you safely to your hotel. The arrival time to Cusco is around 7.30 pm.
- Altitude: 2400 m / 7874 ft
- Duration: 3-4 hours tour in Machu Picchu
- Meals: Breakfast (hotel)
- Difficulty: Easy
Packing List for the Short Inca Trail 2 days tour
During the Short Inca Trail, remember there will be no porters to help you carry your belongings, so you should try and pack as lightly as possible. We recommend you bring a good quality daypack that is light and comfortable. It is important to note that due to local regulations, your backpack should not exceed 25L. All larger packs can not be taken into Machu Picchu; you must store them outside the gates.
If you require a personal porter, this can be requested when booking for an extra charge. However, we do not recommend it as we can even send some of your belonging directly to the hotel by train.
What do you need to take for the Short Inca Trail 2 days?
- Original passport (a copy will not be accepted), passports must be valid for 6 months beyond the date the traveler will enter Peru.
- Valid Student Card (if you booked as a student), the original student card must be issued by the university up to the age of 25, containing the following: university information, personal information of the student, photo of the student, and a valid date no greater than December 31 of the current year.
- Hiking boots for the Short Inca trail, you'll need to ensure comfortable shoes.
- A good quality daypack, lightweight and comfortable, with enough room to carry water, snacks, and a few other essentials
- Water storage for at least 2 liters; either a camel bag or water bottle(s); 1-liter water bottles work very well, 2 of them to have the 2 liters recommended. Plastic disposable bottles are prohibited in Machu Picchu; make sure you have reusable containers.
- 2 t-shirts (wicking t-shirts work best) and one pair of hiking pants/trousers
- A change of clothes for walking around Machu Picchu
- Toiletries, sunscreen, lip balm, and bug spray
- Rain gear and warm layers
Others for the Short Inca Trail
- Hat, bandana, and sunglasses
- Hand sanitizer, Toilet paper
- Plenty of socks
- Toothbrush and paste
- Personal medication
- Band-aids, moleskin
- Camera, extra batteries for Machu Picchu
- Additional snacks, power bars, chocolates
- Extra money for souvenirs, drinks, and tips during the Short Inca Trail
- Swimsuit for hot springs in Machu Picchu Pueblo (optional)
Price for the Short Inca Trail
Price per person:
- 520.USD for adults
- 480.USD for children and students
To book the Short Inca Trail, you need to make an initial payment of 200.USD per person, the remaining balance can be paid online, in installments, or Cusco with any credit card at no booking fees at all.
You can also book this tour as a private service!
All travelers under 17 will have a $40.
If you are 25 years old or under at the time of traveling, you can get the 40$ discount with your Student ID. Please advise by email to give you a code for the discount. Info@trexperienceperu.com
Valid Student ID for Inca Trail and Machu Picchu
To get the student discount, travelers should have a Valid ID with the following:
- 25 years or less at the time of entering Machu Picchu. Older than 25 can not enter as a student
- The ID must have the Name of the university, name, and photo of the student
- The ID must have a valid expiration date
Invalid Student IDs
Student IDs are not eligible for a discount when:
- Traveler is older than 25
- Expired ID
- Student Id without expiration date
- ISIC cards are not valid.
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Short Inca Trail 2 days Frequently Asked Questions
When most people think of the Inca Trail, they think of the long, arduous 4-day trek to Machu Picchu. But many don't realize that a shorter version of the trail can be completed in just 2 days. This shorter trail is often referred to as the Short Inca Trail, Inca Trail Express, or Inca Trail 2 days, is an excellent option for those who want to experience the Inca Trail but don't have 4 days to spare.
Below are the most common questions asked for the Short Inca Trail.
How can I book the Short Inca Trail with TreXperience?
To secure a permit for the Short Inca Trail:
- Click on any BOOK NOW button
- Select your departure date
- Fill up the form with all passport information requested
- Submit the initial payment required to book the Inca Trail
- Wait for Manual confirmation from our booking team
Due to the permits' strict booking policy for the Inca Trail administered by the Peruvian government, all Inca Trail bookings must be confirmed manually; this process can take up to 24 hours on weekdays.
Why do I need to pay an initial deposit?
We require an initial deposit of $200 per person to book the trek. The initial payment is non-refundable as it is necessary to purchase the Inca Trail Permits, train tickets, and book hotels.
When can I pay the remaining balance?
The balance can be paid up to 48 days before your departure date online with any credit card and no fees. If you plan to pay in cash, you can pay during the safety briefing 12 hours before the tour departure.
Can I change the dates of my original booking?
Unfortunately, Inca Trail permits are non-refundable and non-transferable. Once the permit is booked, we can not change dates, get a refund, or cancel the permits. Our company allows date change in case of force majeure (like strikes or the COVID-19 pandemic), events, or travel restrictions that affects the tour directly or prevents you from arriving on your tour dates.
Where can I store my luggage?
There are no porters during the Short Inca Trail; you will only travel with a small backpack with all equipment for 2 days. The rest of your luggage must stay in Cusco. You can store at:
- In your hotel: If you return to the same hotel after the trek, we recommend storing your bags in your hotel. Most hotels in Cusco can store your bags at no charge.
- With TreXperience: We recommend storing your bags with us if you return to a different hotel after the trek. We have a safe room to store all your bags. We will deliver to the new hotel after the tour.
Where should I stay before the Short Inca Trail?
Try to arrive in Cusco city at least 2 days before the trek departure. This time will help you to acclimatize to the altitude.
The day before the tour, you must stay in a hotel in Cusco city or the Sacred Valley near Urubamba or Ollantaytambo. We recommend staying in Ollantaytambo, near the train station and almost 1.5 hour's trip from Cusco. You don't have to worry about the briefing the day before; we will accommodate you according to the hotel location.
Where Can I stay after the Short Inca Trail?
After finishing the Short Inca Trail, you must return to Cusco. Most day tours, buses, and flights will depart from Cusco city unless you want to spend a few days relaxing in the Sacred Valley.
How challenging is the Short Inca Trail?
The Short Inca Trail is considered to be moderate in difficulty. It is 10 miles (16 kilometers) long and has an elevation gain of 2,000 feet (600 meters). The trail includes several uphill sections and some staircases, but it is generally well-maintained and not overly strenuous. Most people find that they can complete the hike without any significant issues.
Of course, as with any hike, risks are always involved. Be prepared for the hike by bringing plenty of water and food and wearing proper hiking shoes. Also, be aware of your surroundings and don't take unnecessary risks.
How many spots are available every day?
There are 250 spots available daily on the Short Inca Trail, including travelers and all staff of guides, chefs, and porters.
Can I enter the Short Inca Trail by myself?
No, you must book a tour with an authorized operator like TreXperience.
Do I need a tour guide?
You can enter the Short Inca Trail without chefs and porters but with a Licensed Tour Guide.
What is the weather like?
The Short Inca Trail is located in the cloud forest region where the weather is warm and humid. The weather on the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu can be variable during the day can be sunny, and early morning and late afternoon can be cloudy and even rainy.
We have 2 seasons in the Andes; the dry season (April to October) and the wet season (November to March). No matter what season you travel, it would be best to prepare for all kinds of weather.
When is the best time of the year to hike the Short Inca Trail?
The best time of the year to hike the Short Inca Trail is from April to October. This is because the weather is dry and sunny. However, it is essential to note that rain can occur even in the driest months.
What is the difference between the Short Inca Trail and Classic Inca Trail?
The Short Inca Trail begins at Km 104, where we visit the Chachabamaba Inca site and hike for 4 hours to Wiñaywayna, an impressive archaeological site in the middle of the mountain. After lunch, we hike to Sun Gate and enjoy the sunset; we will arrive at Machu Picchu late afternoon and explore the citadel on the second day.
The Classic Inca Trail begins at Km 82 and takes travelers through mountains, camping in nature, and arriving at Wiñaywayna in the afternoon of day 3. We arrive at Sun Gate and Macu Piocchu early on the fourth day.
What is the difference between the Short Inca Trail with a hotel and Camping?
Both tours are very similar; they follow the same route and visit the same places. The main difference is that during the Inca Traikl with Camping, you will sleep in comfortable walking tents, camping cots, and picnic meals.
Our Short Inca Trail with Glamping experience is available daily with at least 2 participants.
How much is it to hire a Personal Porter?
If you require a porter to help you carry your backpack during the Short Inca Trail, you must request it at the time of booking; the cost is 60$ per 1 day. However, you don't need to hire a porter; we can transfer some of your belongings by train directly to the hotel for free.
Can I request a picnic service on the Short Inca Trail?
Yes, you can! We offer a picnic service with private chefs and private porters. Please get in touch with us if you would like to quote this service, even a glamping service.
What are the train schedules that I will be using?
TreXperience is the only company that provides panoramic trains for all our trekking tours.
When traveling from Ollantaytambo to Km 104, we will provide the Expedition or Voyager trains; we will use trains from 6:00 am up to 8:00 am. the specific time will depend on the availability and time of booking.
When returning from Aguas Calientes town to Ollantaytambo, we will provide the Vistadome or 360° train; we will travel in trains from 1:00 pm to 4.22 pm. The specific time will depend on availability, activities in Machu Picchu, and time of booking.
Can I book/upgrade my hotel?
You can book or upgrade your hotel for the Short Inca Trail. The cost of the hotel for this tour is 35$ per person based on double occupancy 3-star hotels. You can book your hotel, and we can discount this amount or quote the hotel of your preference.
Are there any age or fitness restrictions for the Short Inca Trail?
There are no age or fitness restrictions for the Short Inca Trail. However, we recommend that children under 6 should not attempt the hike. The Short Inca Trail is a challenging hike with some steep sections. It is also important to note that no rescue or medical assistance is available on the trail.
Younger children might be able to attend with special assistance, like a porter, to help carry on the steep parts.
What are people's most common mistakes when hiking the Short Inca Trail?
People's most common mistakes when hiking the Short Inca Trail are:
- You are not prepared for the altitude. Try to arrive at least 2 days before the trek departure.
- Not packing enough water and snack. There is no shop inside the Short Inca Trail; you need 2 liters of water and snacks.
- Not be prepared for rain, sun, and mosquitoes.
- Pack too many clothes. You will spend 2 days on this tour, taking only the essentials.
- Hike fast and not enjoy the nature and ancient Inca Sites full of history
- Go party in Cusco the night before. This is a full day of hiking; you must be at your best.
How do I prepare for the Short Inca Trail?
Below are a few tips on how to best prepare for the Short Inca Trail:
- Book the Inca trail permits far in advance
- Make sure you practice hiking at home
- Buy good hiking shoes and use them before
- Buy a good quality and light hiking backpack
- Arrive in Cusco on time to rest and adjust to the altitude.
- Pack plenty of water and snacks to stay hydrated and fueled throughout the hike.
- Be sure to wear comfortable shoes and clothing
- Follow the tour guide's instructions at all times
- Pay attention to your surroundings and take breaks as needed. The trail can sometimes be strenuous, so it is essential to listen to your body and take it slow if needed.
How long is the Inca Trail 2 days?
The Short Inca Trail 2 days, 1-night tour to Machu Picchu covers a total distance of 16km or 10 miles; you will be hiking for about 7 to 8 hours until you arrive at the great citadel of Machu Picchu. On the first day, we will walk along the last part of the Classic Inca Trail, and on the second day, we will visit Machu Picchu.
Food during the Short Inca Trail?
The first breakfast is not included in this tour, we will depart early from Cusco or the Sacred Valley, and you need to request a box breakfast from your hotel.
Lunch on the first day is included; we will provide a box lunch. Dinner will be at a local restaurant in Aguas Calientes.
Breakfast on the second day is included in the hotel. After the Machu Pichu tour, lunch is not included on the second day. You will have time to explore the town and have lunch before taking the train back to Cusco.
What must I carry for the Short Inca Trail for 2 days?
We can provide you with a duffle bag to pack clothes for the second day of the tour and all you need for this 2 days tour; this bag we can transfer by train in case you don't want to carry it. You will need a daypack for this trek that you need to take with you.
The duffle bag will travel straight to the hotel in Aguas Calientes or Machu Picchu pueblo; this must be a maximum of 5 kilos per person.
Your daypack must travel with you during the Inca Trail hike. Remember that we do not have porters on this tour, and your duffle bags will be waiting at the hotel for you. In your daypack, you must carry water, sunscreen, a snack, the box lunch provided by TreXperience, rain gear, a passport, insect repellent, toilet paper, a camera, and room for the clothes you will need to remove once you start hiking and warm up.
Are porters included in the Short Inca Trail tour?
Porters are not included in the Short Inca Trail 2 days with the hotel; we used porters during the long and Short Version 2 days with camping.
We provide duffle bags for this tour; however, they will be sent by TreXperience directly to your hotel in Aguas Calientes; anything you need during the hike, like water, sunscreen, and rain gear, must be in your daypack. Porters can be included in this tour on request and at an extra charge.
Is the Short Inca Trek Dangerous?
Any adventure trip you go on, there are always risks involved. Dangerous situations during the Inca Trail could be due to negligence or the force of nature. Following your tour guide's instructions is the best way to stay safe on the Inca Trail.
All you need to know about the Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
The Short Inca Trail is one of the world's most popular and well-known treks. The trail takes hikers through stunning scenery, Ancient Incan ruins, and ultimately to the lost city of Machu Picchu. Below find all the information you need to know when hiking the Inca Trail for 2 days to Machu Picchu.
The Short Inca Trail is located about 70 kilometers northeast of Cusco in the Cloud Forest region, in the Machu Picchu District, Province of Urubamba.
The Short Inca Trail was built during the 1400s as an important trading and ceremonial route that connected the Sacred Valley, Wiñaywayna, and Machu Picchu.
During the Spanish Conquest, the Short Inca Trail and Machu Picchu were abandoned and long forgotten. It wasn't until the early 20th century that the trail was opened up to tourists.
Today, the Peruvian government manages the Inca Trail, and only 250 people are allowed to hike it daily. The limitation is to protect both the archaeological sites along the trail and the natural environment.
The weather on the Short Inca Trail can be quite variable. You can expect hot days and cool nights, with possible showers anytime. Be sure to pack appropriate clothing and rain gear. The best time to hike the Short Inca Trail is from April to October, when rainfall is at its lowest.
The average temperature is 10 to 25°C (50 to 77°F). Since the location is in the cloud forest, rain can occur at any time, and most of the time is cloudy.
The trek starts in Km 104 - Chachabamba - Wiñaywayna - Sun Gate and Finally reaches Machu Picchu after 7 hours of hike. The Total distance covered is 16 kilometers (10 miles).
Despite its shorter length, the Short Inca Trail is no easy feat. The trail is challenging, with steep sections and plenty of stairs. But it's worth it for those who like stunning views – not to mention the sense of accomplishment at completing such an epic journey!
There is a surprising amount of flora to be found along the short Inca Trail. Many species of plants and flowers can grow in the wild along the trail. Some of the more common ones include:
- Aguaymanto: Also known as Peruvian cherry, this small fruit often grows in the wild along the trail.
- Alstroemeria: A type of lily native to South America, alstroemeria can often be seen growing alongside the trail.
- Bromeliads: These colorful plants are common in the tropical forests of South America and can often be seen growing on trees along the Inca Trail.
- Cattleya Orchids: One of the most iconic flowers of South America, cattleya orchids can occasionally be seen blooming along the trail.
- Hibiscus: A brightly colored flower commonly found in tropical climates, hibiscus can sometimes be seen blooming near streams or rivers along the Inca Trail.
There is an abundance of wildlife to be found along the Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. Visitors may spot:
- Spectacled Bear (Tremarctos ornatus)
- Andean Cock of the Rocks (Rupicola peruviana)
- Andean Agouti (Dasyprocta punctata)
- Northern Mountain Vizcacha (Lagidium peruanum)
- Dwarft Brocket Deer (mazama Chunyi)
- Butterflies, spiders, snakes, lizards, birds, and many more.
- Aso is possible to see llamas on the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu
Inca sites and places to visit
- Chachabamba (We explore the area)
- Choquesuysuy (Seen from a distance)
- Wiñaywayna (We explore the site)
- Intipata (Seen from a distance)
- Sun Gate (We explore the site)
- Machu Picchu (We explore the site)
Best time to hike
The best time to hike the Short Inca Trail is between April to October. This is because the weather is dry, sunny, and has fewer rain chances. However, during the rainy season, the trail is almost empty; you only need good equipment to enjoy the trail despite the weather conditions.
Short Inca Trail regulations
The Peruvian government administers the Short Inca Trail. Every year, thousands of people from all over the world come to hike the trail, which culminates in a visit to the magnificent Machu Picchu Citadel. The Inca Trail is a protected area, so some regulations are in place to minimize the impact on the trail and its surroundings. Here are some of the principal rules to be aware of:
There ate 3 checkpoints in the Short Inca Trail that you need to pass, and at each place, you will get a stamp;
The first one is at Km 104,m where you must show the passports and compare them with your entry ticket. T
The Second checkpoint is 4 hours later at Wiñaywayna, where the tour guide needs to present the Anexo and entry tickets, and they will get a stamp.
The last checkpoint is at Machu Picchu; on the second day, you can explore Machu Picchu using circuit 3.
Number of visitors
The Total number of people allowed daily is 250, including tour guides, chefs, and porters.
The Inca Trail opens when the first train arrives around 6.20 am. Most groups will come after 7.00 am and have all day to hike to Machu Picchu.
The latest time to enter the Short Inca trail is before 11.00 am. Otherwise, travelers will not be able to arrive on time at Machu Picchu. Another point to consider is the bus from Machu Picchu down to Aguas Calientes town; the last bus will depart at 5.30 pm.
The Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu closes all February every year. The closure of the Short Inca Trail is for maintenance and the heavy rainy season.
There are no age restrictions to enter the Short Inca Trail. Travelers must be able to hike for about 8 hours in uneven terrain with steep stairs and narrow paths.
An adult must accompany travelers under 18, and travelers under 6 years old are recommended to have extra help, like a porter to carry.
To enter the Short Inca Trail is necessary to book the Inca Trail permits with an authorized tour operator. These permits are nonrefundable and nontransferable.
Many tour agencies in Cusco, however, few of them have licenses to work on the Inca Trail. Tour companies must obtain authorization to work on the Inca Trail from the Peruvian government under strict conditions and contract terms.
One of the most popular tour operators for the Short Inca Trail is TreXperience. They have been in business for over 7 years and have an excellent reputation. They offer a 2-day Short Inca Trail package with entry tickets, meals, hotels, and panoramic trains.
Whichever tour operator you choose, be sure to read reviews and do your research before booking. This will ensure a positive experience on the Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.
Tour guides also need a special license to work on the Inca trail and renew it every 2 years. To obtain authorization to work on the Inca trail, tour guides must have First Aid and Mountain rescue training and know the history and the natural environment. To become a tour guide in Peru, one must study for at least 3 years and speak a foreign language.
Your guide will be with you every step of the way. They will help you navigate the trail, find the best spots to take photos and answer any questions about the Inca people's history and culture.
Your guide will also be able to provide information about the different types of plants and animals you may see along the trail. And, if you're lucky, they may even spot a condor or two!
Chef and porters
Chefs and porters also need the training to get the authorization to rok in the Inca Trail.
During the regular Short Inca Trail tour, porters and chefs are not part of the package. You will hike only with a tour guide. However, you can upgrade the tour or book a camping trip, and you will have the full trekking team.
You are not allowed to leave any trash inside the Inca trail. Whatever you take, you must exit with it. When hiking with a trekking team, they will take a red trash bag for plastic and non-biodegradable and a green bag for biodegradable waste.
The use of plastic bottles is not allowed on the Short Inca Trail. This is because they are a significant source of litter and can harm the environment. You need to take a reusable container only.
You can only book the Inca Trail permits through an authorized tour operator. First, contact to verify availability, and you can then make the payment. Make sure you wait for manual confirmation that your permits have been secured, and only then can you finalize flights and hotels.
Inca Trail permits are nonrefundable and nontransferable. If you need to cancel your trip for any reason, you cannot get a refund for your ticket. Additionally, if you cannot make the trek on the date your permit is valid, you cannot transfer your permit to another date or person.
When a traveler can not arrive on a specific date, this permit is considered a no-show, and the total cost of the permit is lost. The policy has no exceptions as this strict policy comes from the Peruvian government and applies to all tour operators.
Pets or any exotic animals are not allowed on the Short Inca Trail. Only guide dogs can be allowed on the Inca trail and Machu Picchu.
Safety and Security
There are no doctors or medical centers during the 16 kilometers of the Short Inca Trail. You need to be careful and follow your tour guide's instructions. To guarantee the safety and security of our guests, we ensure the following:
- We hire experienced tour guides with all training required to work on the Inca Trail
- We provide a First Aid kit, Oxygen tank, and satellite phones
- The Inca trail has checkpoint and emergency response plan
Code of conduct
The Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is a great way to see the fantastic sights of Machu Picchu. However, there are a few things you need to know before you embark on your journey. Here is a short guide to the code of conduct on the Short Inca Trail:
- Follow the rules and regulations set by the Peruvian government.
- Do not litter or damage any archaeological sites along the trail.
- Be respectful of other hikers and residents.
- Make sure to pack out all of your trash when you leave the trail.
- Have a great time!
You cannot bring a few things to the Short Inca Trail, most common sense.
- Visitors are not allowed to bring animals except guide dogs.
- Alcohol or any illegal substances
- Weapons such as firearms, knives, and other weapons
- Explosives - flammable liquids or solids
- Large tripods, drones, and large cameras for video production
- Visitors are not allowed to touch or climb on the ruins in Machu Picchu
- Visitors are not allowed to bring backpacks or bags into Machu Picchu