Explore the Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in an intimate small group setting. Hike at your own pace, delve into Inca sites with a dedicated tour guide, arrive at Machu Picchu during special hours, and camp nearby. Return on the Panoramic Trains. 

Trek details

Duration
2 days 1 night
Activities
Hiking - Camping - Adventure
Difficulty
Moderate
Maximum Altitude
2700m - 8858ft
Destination
Short Inca Trail & Machu Picchu
Group Size
16
Overview

Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu with camping allows you to explore the last part of the Classic Inca Trail in one day, visit Chachabamba, Wiñaywayna, and Sun Gate, and arrive at Machu Picchu late in the afternoon to see the Inca citadel when everybody is leaving. The afternoon arrival through the Sun Gate is perfect for pictures and enjoying the spectacular Inca site with the sunset and is almost empty.

Tour details:

  • Duration: 2 days, 1 night
  • Route: Cusco to Cusco (Door-to-door service)
  • Age Range: 10 to 65
  • Season: March to January
  • Starting Point: Km 104 - Chachabamba
  • Difficulty: Moderate

Highlights

  • Experience a condensed version of the Classic Inca Trail.
  • Marvel at iconic sites: Chachabamba, Wiñaywayna, Sun Gate, and Machu Picchu.
  • Benefit from a private, professional, native tour guide.
  • Customize your hike over the most picturesque two-day trail.
  • Comfortably camp near Machu Picchu in quality tents.

Short Inca Trail with Camping at a Glance:

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

The tour starts with a pick-up from your hotel at 4:00 a.m. and a drive to Ollantaytambo to take the first train to Chachabamba (Km 104) to start the Inca Trail. The hike to Machu Picchu takes around 7 hours. Visit Chamchamba, Wiñaywayna, and Sungate, with amazing views, flowers, birds, and orchids, and arrive at Machu Picchu when it is almost empty—camp below Machu Picchu with comfortable tents.

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

Wake up early, have breakfast in your hotel, and board the first buses to Machu Picchu; your tour guide will take you to the best of Machu Picchu. You'll explore the most beautiful places in Machu Picchu for around 3 hours, and then you'll have free time to enjoy free time or hike to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain (optional). Once you are done exploring the citadel, take the Vistadome train to return. Drop off at your hotel around 7.30 pm.

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 round trip; you must hike after the Machu Picchu tour; the cost is $75 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 $75 extra per person.
Full Itinerary
Day 1: Cusco — Km104 — Machu Picchu Pueblo (Aguas Calientes)

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

Upon reaching Km 104, remember to present your original passport at the checkpoint. Then, enjoy a delicious picnic breakfast and embark on the Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. Your first stop is the ancient Inca site of Chachabamba, where your private trekking guide will walk you through its rich history.

The trek continues along the historic 500-year-old Inca Trail leading to Wiñaywayna, a magnificent Inca site renowned for its grandeur. Explore ancient buildings, temples, and water fountains here, and embrace the breathtaking Andean views. Our trekking chef provides a picnic lunch, which you can savor in the serene surroundings of Wiñaywayna.

Post-lunch, a 1-hour journey will bring you to the Sun Gate, where you'll first see the majestic Inca city of Machu Picchu. Relish some personal time soaking in the panoramic views, and then proceed for another hour into Machu Picchu itself. The late afternoon exploration offers a unique opportunity: witness Machu Picchu in the soft light of sunset with fewer visitors, making for a serene and photogenic experience.

Conclude the day with a bus ride to Puentes Ruinas, where you will spend the night is our comfortable walk-in tents. Picnic style dinner is porvided.

  • 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

Begin your day early at your hotel with a refreshing picnic breakfast, hike for 20 minutes, and board the bus for a 30-minute ride to Machu Picchu. If the weather cooperates and the skies are clear, you might be treated to a breathtaking sunrise over the mountainous landscape.

Your dedicated tour guide will lead you to the best of Machu Picchu, temples, palaces, and age-old streets. After the guided tour, you'll have some free time. If you're up for more adventure, consider the optional hikes to Huayna Picchu Mountain or Machu Picchu Mountain (Montaña). Please note that you'll need to book permits for these hikes well in advance, and they are not part of the standard tour package.

Once you've had your fill of Machu Picchu's wonders, catch the bus back to Aguas Calientes. Lunch here is at your discretion and not included in the tour. In the late afternoon, board the Vistadome Panoramic train to Ollantaytambo. Upon arrival, our private transportation will be ready to transfer you back to your hotel in Cusco, with an expected arrival time of around 7:30 p.m.

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

Included

  • 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 Panoramci 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
FAQs

What is the Inca Trail?

The Inca Trail is a historic path in Peru that leads to the ancient Incan city of Machu Picchu. A popular trekking route takes travelers through the Andes Mountains, past the Incan ruins and stunning vistas.

How long is the short Inca Trail?

The short Inca Trail is approximately 16 km (710 miles) long and typically takes two days to complete.

Do I need a permit to hike the Inca Trail?

Yes, a permit is required to hike the Inca Trail. The number of permits available is limited, so it's important to book in advance.

Do I need to hire a guide to hike the Inca Trail?

Yes, it's mandatory to hike the Inca Trail with a licensed guide.

What is camping like on the Inca Trail?

Camping on the Inca Trail is basic but comfortable. You will be provided with a tent, sleeping bag, and sleeping mat. Meals will be prepared by a cook and served in a communal dining tent.

What is the altitude on the Short Inca Trail?

The highest point on the Inca Trail is 2700 meters (8858 feet) above sea level. It's important to acclimate to the altitude before starting the trek to avoid altitude sickness.

What should I bring on the Inca Trail?

During the Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, we do not use porters; this means that you must to carry all your equipment during the one-day hike along the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu Tour on day 2; if your backpack is small, we can arrange to transfer part of your stuff by train to the hotel. For this tour, you need to take it.

  • Original Passport (The one used to book the tour)
  • Comfortable, good quality daypack (25 to 35L)
  • Water container with 2 liters at least (no plastic bottles allowed)
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Toilet paper, wet wipes
  • Sets of clothing for the two days tour
  • Toiletries
  • Rain gear
  • Warm Jacket
  • Sunscreen, sun protection, sun hat
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Personal medications, band-aids, moleskin
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunscreen
  • Snacks, chocolate bars, energy bars
  • Camera with extra batteries
  • Extra money for souvenirs, drinks, and tips

Is it safe to hike the Inca Trail?

Yes, hiking the Inca Trail is generally safe. However, it's important to follow the guidance of your guide and take precautions to avoid altitude sickness and other potential hazards.