Embark on an unforgettable 2-day Short Inca Trail hike with camping to Machu Picchu. This experience includes personalized service, exclusive campsites, delicious picnic meals, and tours in small groups for a more intimate experience. Enjoy freshly prepared buffet-style picnic meals, spacious and comfortable tents, camping cots for a good night's rest, and warm, cozy sleeping bags.

Our tours are designed for small groups to ensure a more personal and enriching experience. This setting allows you to connect more deeply with the stunning natural scenery and the ancient wonders you'll encounter along the way, making your journey truly memorable.

Trek details

2 days 1 night
Hiking - Camping - Adventure
Maximum Altitude
2700m - 8858ft
Short Inca Trail & Machu Picchu
Group Size
6 to 10

The Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, a 2-day, 1-night camping trip, lets you explore the famous Inca Trail in just one day. You will visit ancient Inca sites like Chachabamba and Wiñaywayna, and pass through the Sun Gate to catch your first glimpse of Machu Picchu from a distance.

You will arrive at Machu Picchu in the late afternoon when most people are leaving. This is an excellent time for taking photos and enjoying the view of the Inca citadel with fewer people around. The sunset makes the scene even more beautiful and peaceful.

Our campsite is located below Machu Picchu Mountain, next to the Vilcanota River. Enjoy our ultimate camping experience with comfortable tents, camping cots, warm sleeping bags, hot showers, and fresh picnic meals prepared by our expert trekking chefs.


  • Explore the famous Inca Trail in 1 day to Machu Picchu
  • Visit Chachabamba, Wiñaywayna, Sun Gate, and 
  • Arrive at Machu Picchu twice (sunset & sunrise)
  • Ultimate Camping experience with large tents, camping cots, showers
  • Return on the Panoramic Vistadome trains

Short Inca Trail with Camping at a Glance:

Day 1: Cusco — Km104 — Machu Picchu Pueblo (Aguas Calientes)

The tour begins with a 4:00 a.m. pick-up from your hotel and a drive to Ollantaytambo, where you'll catch the first train to Chachabamba (Km 104) to start the Inca Trail. The 7-hour hike includes stops at Chachabamba, Wiñaywayna, and the Sun Gate, offering stunning views and opportunities to see local wildlife. You'll arrive at Machu Picchu when it's less crowded and camp in comfortable tents next to the Urubamba River.

Day 2: Machu Picchu (The Lost City of the Incas) — Cusco

Wake up early, enjoy breakfast at the campsite, and hike to catch the first buses to Machu Picchu. Enjoy a 3-hour guided tour of its highlights with your guide, then have some free time to relax or hike Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain. After exploring, take the Vistadome train back and expect to reach your hotel by 7:30 p.m.

Important to know before booking

  • Minimum of two people per booking
  • Vegan, Veg, and GF meals are available

Optional hikes after the guided tour in Machu Picchu:

  • Huayna Picchu Mountain: It takes 2 hours to hike on a round trip; you must hike after the Machu Picchu tour; the cost is $68 extra per person.
  • Machu Picchu Mountain (Montaña): It takes around 3.5 hours to finish this mountain, the highest mountain in the area, and it costs $68 extra per person.
Full Itinerary
Day 1: Cusco — Km104 — Machu Picchu Pueblo (Aguas Calientes)

The adventure starts at 4:00 a.m. in Cusco, with a drive to Ollantaytambo. From there, take a scenic 1.5-hour train ride along the Urubamba River to Chachabamba (Km 104). For a more relaxed start, you might consider staying in Ollantaytambo the night before; this saves you two hours of travel the next day.

Once you arrive at Km 104, you will show your passport at the checkpoint. Then, enjoy a picnic breakfast and start the Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. The first stop is at Chachabamba, an ancient Inca site, where your guide will explain its history.

The trail continues for 4 hours to Wiñaywayna, a beautiful Inca site known for its impressive ruins. You can explore old buildings, temples, and water fountains, and enjoy the stunning views of the Andes. Have a picnic lunch here, prepared by our chef.

After lunch, it takes about an hour to walk to the Sun Gate, where you will see Machu Picchu for the first time. Enjoy the view, then walk for another hour to enter Machu Picchu itself. Visiting in the late afternoon means fewer people and softer light, perfect for photos.

End the day with a bus ride to Puentes Ruinas, where you'll spend the night in comfortable tents. Dinner is served picnic style.

  • Puente Ruinas: 2000m - 6561ft
  • Highest altitude: 2700m - 8858ft
  • Distance: 15km - 8 miles
  • Duration: 8 hours
  • Meals: lunch, dinner
  • Accommodation: Camping
  • Difficulty: Moderate
Day 2: Machu Picchu (The Lost City of the Incas) — Cusco

Start your day early at the campsite with a refreshing picnic breakfast, then hike for 20 minutes and board a bus for a 30-minute ride to Machu Picchu. If the weather is clear, you might see a breathtaking sunrise over the mountains.

Your tour guide will show you the best parts of Machu Picchu, including temples, palaces, and ancient streets. After the guided tour, you'll have some free time. If you're interested in more adventure, consider optional hikes to Huayna Picchu Mountain or Machu Picchu Montaña. Please note that you must book permits for these hikes well in advance as they are not included in the standard tour package.

After exploring Machu Picchu, take the bus back to Aguas Calientes. Lunch here is up to you and is not included in the tour. In the late afternoon, take the Vistadome Panoramic train to Ollantaytambo. When you arrive, our private transport will take you back to your hotel in Cusco, arriving around 7:30 p.m.

  • Campsite Altitude: 2000m - 6561ft
  • Highest altitude: 2400m - 7874ft
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Meals: breakfast at the hotel


  • Hotel pick-up on the day of the tour.
  • Door-to-door transportation service.
  • Entrance tickets to the Short Inca Trail and Machu Picchu.
  • All required bus tickets to Machu Picchu (3 buses in total).
  • Professional tour guide.
  • Round trip Train tickets.
  • Vistadome Panoramis Train to Return
  • 1-night camping near Machu Picchu.
  • Picnic Meals: 2 Breakfasts, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner.
  • First aid kit and oxygen tank.
  • All applicable taxes.

Not Included

  • Hayna Picchu Mountain
  • Machu Picchu Mountain
  • Last lunch at Aguas Calientes
  • Travel Insurance

Is the 2-day Inca Trail Camping harder than the hotel version?

Although both treks follow the same path and have similar schedules, the 2-day Inca Trail with camping is a bit easier when it comes to walking. This is because porters will carry your lunch and equipment. 

Also, while camping, you'll sleep outside and use basic facilities, which is more adventurous and a bit more challenging than staying in a hotel. However, camping offers a special chance to connect with nature and enjoy the starry nights.

What are the camping sites like on the Short Inca Trail?

The camping site on the Short Inca Trail is located near Puente Ruinas, just 30 minutes from the town of Aguas Calientes. This well-organized and scenic campsite is equipped with basic washrooms. What makes our campground special is the high-quality equipment we provide. We offer walk-in tents, camping cots, warm sleeping bags, hot showers, and picnic meals, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable experience.

What weather should I expect on the 2-day Inca Trail Camping?

Expect a range of weather conditions on the 2-day Inca Trail. During the day, it can be sunny and warm, which is ideal for hiking. However, the weather can change quickly in the mountains, bringing rain and cooler temperatures, especially at night. It's wise to prepare for both sun and rain to stay comfortable.

What kind of food is served during the Inca Trail Camping?

The food served during Inca Trail camping is both nourishing and satisfying. Expect a variety of meals that include local Peruvian dishes and familiar international foods. Breakfast includes hot drinks, cereals, eggs, and bread. Lunches and dinners are typically served buffet style and may include soups, rice, chicken, vegetables, and pasta. This variety ensures you have the energy needed for the trail while enjoying delicious meals.

Do the tents have a lot of space?

The two-day Inca Trail camping tents are walk-in tents. They are compact yet spacious enough to ensure a good night's sleep on comfortable camping cots after a day of trekking.

Are beds or sleeping bags provided for camping?

For camping on the 2-day Inca Trail, sleeping bags and a camping mattress are provided. Instead of actual beds, you'll sleep on a comfortable camping cot. This cot keeps you off the ground and provides cushioning, ensuring a restful night's sleep.

How many people are in each tour group?

Each tour group on the Inca Trail camping tour typically consists of around 4 to 12 people. This small group size ensures that each traveler receives personalized attention and guidance, making for a better and more intimate hiking experience.

Can I take a hot shower at the campsite?

Hot showers are available at the campsite on the 2-day Inca Trail. The facilities are basic and designed to minimize environmental impact. Both cold and hot showers are available to use.

What’s special about the Winay Wayna campsite?

The Winay Wayna campsite is renowned for its stunning location near the ancient site of the same name. This campsite offers exceptional views of the mountain and the surrounding lush greenery. It's a highlight for many hikers, providing a memorable place to rest before the final leg to Machu Picchu. During the Short Inca Trail, we will enjoy lunch at this place and continue to Machu Picchu in the afternoon.

How does the 2-day Inca Trail compare to the 4-day Inca Trail?

The 2-day trail is shorter and involves less hiking on day 1 compared to the 4-day Inca Trail, making it a more condensed experience. It's perfect for those who have limited time or prefer a less physically demanding route but still want to enjoy the beautiful scenery and archaeological sites.

What views will I see on the trail?

Along the Short Inca Trail, you will enjoy a diverse array of views, from sweeping mountain vistas and lush cloud forests to ancient Inca Sites. The climax is the stunning panorama of Machu Picchu seen from the Sun Gate, which provides a dramatic first view of the site at sunset.

Does the tour include a train ride with good views?

Yes, the tour includes a scenic train ride along the Urubamba River, which offers amazing views of the Andes. At Ultimate Trekking, we provide a return trip on the Vistadome Panoramic Train, enhancing your experience with its large windows and glass ceiling, allowing for spectacular views of the surrounding landscape.

Are there guided tour in Machu Picchu Included in the camping trip?

Yes, on day 2 of the tour, you will have a guided tour of Machu Picchu that lasts about 2 to 3 hours, focusing on the highlights of the Inca site.

During the two-day tour, experienced guides will lead you, providing insights into the local flora and fauna and the historical significance of the Inca sites encountered along the way. This will deepen your understanding and appreciation of the trail.

What animals might I see on the trail?

The trail offers the chance to see a variety of wildlife, especially birds like the brightly colored Andean cock-of-the-rock and various species of hummingbirds. Mammals such as the Andean fox and possibly the rare spectacled bear might also be sighted along more secluded parts of the trail.

Are the camping practices environmentally friendly?

Yes, Ultimate trekking tours are designed to be environmentally friendly. Most tour operators enforce principles like "Leave No Trace," ensuring that campsites are kept clean, waste is carried out, and the natural environment is respected and preserved.

What toilet and washing facilities are there at the campsites?

Toilet facilities at the campsites are basic but functional. Washing facilities are similarly rudimentary, emphasizing low environmental impact.

Is the trail busy with lots of hikers?

The 2-day Inca Trail can be quite busy, especially during peak tourist seasons. However, it tends to be less crowded than the more extended 4-day trail, providing a bit more space and tranquility for those who choose this option.

What’s the best time of year to hike the 2-day trail?

The ideal time to hike the 2-day trail is during the dry season, from May to September when rainfall is minimal, and the paths are drier and safer to navigate. This period offers the most stable and pleasant weather conditions for hiking.

How are picnic meals prepared and served during the hike?

Picnic meals during the hike are freshly prepared by our expert trekking chefs. These meals typically feature a variety of local dishes made with fresh ingredients. Meals are served buffet-style and enjoyed in tents to provide an authentic camping and trekking experience.