The Inca Trail near Cusco in the Peruvian Andes is an ancient path, used by Incan pilgrims as the route to the spiritual citadel of Machu Picchu. Now is possible to experience the excitement of hiking the trail, camping for one night and visiting Machu Picchu on a less demanding, but equally spectacular 2 day tour.
Starting with a unique and unforgettable train journey, our hike begins at KM104, the official start of the ‘Short Inca Trail’. Our route takes us into the heart of the majestic Andes and we climb to take in breathtaking views of the snow-capped mountains and the ancient ruins that still stand as a testament to the incredible engineering feats of the Incas.
Our hike culminates with our arrival at the Sun Gate of Machu Picchu. Arguably one of the most famous views on the planet, seeing this new wonder of the world for the first time is an experience that we guarantee will stay with you forever!
Spending the night camping under the most amazing starlit skies, you will feel truly immersed in the spirit of this sacred area. We have worked hard to ensure that your camping experience is as comfortable as it can be, so from the comfort of the quality camping equipment we use to the sumptuous food that our camp chef prepares, you can be assured of a fantastic night in the mountains .
On our second day of the Short Inca Trail we rise early to take a full tour of Machu Picchu. Our guides are especially selected for their knowledge of Incan culture and history, and will provide a fascinating and informative tour that really brings things to life. There is an option to climb Huayana Picchu mountain (at additional cost).
With all transfers and tickets booked in advance, we believe this tour offers the perfect combination of an authentic Peruvian hiking adventure and a tour of Machu Picchu.
So why not join us at Peru By Locals for this unforgettable adventure!
High lights of the Short Inca Trail
- Trek with our passionated local guides that hiked the Inca trail more than 500 times and guided Machu Picchu more than 1000 times
- Enjoy one night camping
- Savor the true Peruvian cousine with our hiking chef
- Follow the original Inca trail and explore all the Incan sites along your journey
- Enter to the most sacred city of the Incas Machu Picchu through the Sun gate before Sunset
- Tour Machu Picchu very early in the moorning before the big crowds
SHORT INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU – DEATILS
Type of tour: Train ride, hike, historical
Total hiking distance : 12 km / 7.4 miles
Total walking time: 6 to 7 hours, about 3 hours up the hill and 2 hours in relativily flat ttrail and the rest of the time is for resting, explore Incan sites, pictures, etc.
Lowest Elevation: 2150m (7,053 ft)
Highest Elevation: 2670m (8,759 ft)
Difficulty: This hike is considered moderate due the low elevation but for some unusual hiker it can be chalenging especially the uphill seccion.
Type of accomodation: . This hike ends in camping at Puente Ruinas campground thats located at the bottom of Machu Picchu and along Urubamba River which later becomes the Great Amazonas.
Good for: Don’t have enough time? to hike the complite 4 day Inca trail but still want hike, and still want to camp we will make your dream come true of taking you on the short Inca trail so you can hike part of the classic Inca trail and enter Machu Picchu through the Sun gate.
Our guides: PERU BY LOCALS was a dream that came thuth on 2015 for Jose Condor who guided treks from 2014 un till today and have been to Machu Picchu for over 1000 times, now Peru by Locals has a groups of top guides around among men and women that had a proffesional degree and get refresh trainning every year these folks had been to USA training with NOLS (National Oudoor Leadership Shool) training about WILDERNESS FIRST RESPONDER sinze our treks go in the wilderness and your helth is our priority in our trips so, our guides are totaly trained to assist any fo your needs while on you are vacationing, we envest on our guides because we belive they are the main ingredient of any trip.
Peru by Locals is not only a travel company but a group of great leaders that love sharing our culture with you and love being around with travellers.
We think it’s important that all of our guests have the opportunity to ask questions about the trek (the itinerary, the level of difficulty, what to bring etc) before we start Short Inca Trail with camping . At a pre-arranged time, your guide will provide a full pre-trek briefing at your Cusco hotel the day before the start of the trek. A Peru by Locals representative will also be available at the briefing to collect any outstanding balance for the tour, in cash.
Day 1: In the footsteps of the Incas
Our adventure starts with a journey by mini-van and then by train. Collecting you early in the morning from your Cusco hotel, we drive for around 1.5 hours to the Sacred Valley town of Ollantaytambo. From here we join the Expedition train service that takes us the remainder of our journey to KM104, and the start of our trek. The train journey provides a unique perspective of the surrounding area. Have your camera at the ready as we pass by majestic snowcapped peaks, eerie cloud forests and traditional Andean villages.
Beginning our trek, we immediately find ourselves on the ancient Inca Trail, winding quickly away from the hustle and bustle of KM104 into beautiful mountain scenery, and fresh Andean air! Making a moderate 3 hour climb we arrive at the Incan ruins of Wiñaywayna (2,650m). Perhaps the most beautiful and well preserved ruins on this section of the trail, your guide will provide a comprehensive commentary about the site as you rest, take in the views, and enjoy the boxed lunch that we will have prepared for you.
Our afternoon begins with a short 1 hour hike to Inti Punku or the “Sun Gate”, the excitement building as our eyes feast for the first time on the glorious spectacle of Machu Picchu, the lost city of the Incas! Without question one of the most famous ancient sites in the world, these are images that are unforgettable and we will have plenty of time to take them all in.
Then, hiking downhill for 40 minutes to the entrance to Machu Picchu, we will have yet more opportunities to view this incredible citadel. This is where our time on the Inca Trail ends and we catch a bus for the short ride to the Puente ruins and our campsite for the night. Everything will have been prepared ahead of our arrival, and so all you need to do is to change into some warmer clothing, relax and enjoy the sumptuous dinner that our chef will have prepared; our reward for the efforts of the day.
- Distance Covered: 12 km / 7.4 miles
- Walking Time: 6 to 7 hours
- Lowest Elevation: 2150m (7,053 ft)
- Highest Elevation: 2670m (8,759 ft)
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Good For: anyone with a moderate level of fitness
Day 2: Machu Picchu Tour
Day 2 starts before dawn! After being gently woken by our crew, you will find that our kitchen team got up even earlier to prepare a delicious breakfast for us. After breakfast we then take an easy 30 minute walk to Aguas Calientes, our departure point for Machu Picchu. Walking the trail with just the pre-dawn to light our way is a unique and tranquil experience!
Taking one of the first buses to Machu Picchu this 30 minute drive take us steadily upwards to the citadel, and we arrive to see the sun rising magestically over the Andes.
Joining a short queue, we enter the site together and your guide will then provide a fascinating tour of the site. Taking between 2 and 3 hours, the tour is designed to bring the spirit and history of Machu Picchu to life. Whilst there will be many other tourists visiting at the same time, our guides are skilled in orientating the tour to avoid the biggest crowds and to ensure you get access to all of the best photo opportunities. This is, after all, a once in a lifetime opportunity!
There are 2 options once the tour is over. If you chose to climb Huayana Picchu mountain, then you can begin your hike immediately after the tour. The ascent takes around an hour, but the views across the Andes with Machu Picchu below are outstanding and well worth the effort. Alternatively, you may choose to simply spend more time immersing yourself in the spirit of Machu Picchu; wandering and wondering at this marvel of ancient engineering and spiritual importance.
Having spent about 3 hours of touring in Machu Picchu, eather you climb Huayna Picchu mountain if you booked in advance or we take the bus back down to Aguas Calientes. After collecting your luggage from your hotel, we take the train back to Cusco at around 3pm. After the effort and excitement of the last 2 days, this is the perfect opportunity to relax and reflect on the experience. Finally, on arrival to train station, you will be met by one of our representatives who will transport you back to your hotel by mini-van.
Inclusions & exclusions
Services included on the Short Inca Trail Machu Picchu:
- Mini-van transfer to and from your Cusco hotel
- Train ride service from Cusco to Km 104 (start of the hike)
- Train ride service from Aguas Calientes to Cusco (this train service can be upgraded to the Vista Dome service at an additional cost of US$ 25 per person).
- Entrance tickets for the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu
- All bus tickets to and from Machu Picchu
- Professional tour guide, knowledgeable in Inca history, tradition, fauna/flora and first aids in the wilderness
- First Aid Kit and Oxygen tank carried by your guide
- 1 night camping
- Boxed lunch on Day 1
- Dinner on Day 1 with our chef
- Breakfast on Day 2 with our chef
- All camping equipment (sleeping tent, dining tent, kitchen tent, bathroom tent, sleeping mats, stools, table etc.)
- Sleeping bag (all of our sleeping bags are professionally cleaned before each hike)
Services not included on the Short Inca Trail Machu Picchu:
- Lunch on day 2 after Machu Picchu tour in Aguas Calientes before your trail ride ( Aguas Calientes town is very small and interesting town where you don’t even find cars, where ever you go will be on foot because the size of the town does not allow cars)
- Tips for your guide, chef. We recomend 15% of the total trip cost
- Tickets to climb Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountains (these can be arranged at an additional cost of US$ 70 per person)
Short Inca Trail with camping – Additional options
- HUAYNA PICCHU (US$ 70) – Huayna (or Wayna) Picchu mountain has a 400 permit per day limit which is divided into two groups; the first group from 7-8 am and the second from 10-11 am. If you would like to climb the mountain we recommend that you notify us at least 2 or 3 months in advance (especially between April and August) so that we can confirm availability and arrange the permit.
- USD $560 (Group Service) Our gorups are usually small because we like to provide personolize service and can be 6 people in a group
- USD $650 (Private Service). This service is recomended for group of friends, family with kids, couples, honey monners and can be costumized at your needs with no extra costs.
- Students:$30 (please provide a copy of your university student card when booking the hike)
- Children up to 15 years of age will be considered as students (please provide a copy of the child’s passport when booking the hike)
Are you ready to book? email us to firstname.lastname@example.org or send us a Whatsaap message to +51 989585967 and joun us for an incredible hiking trip to Machu Picchu.
- Students:$30 (please provide a copy of your ISIC card when booking the hike)
- Children up to 15 years of age will be considered as students (please provide a copy of the child’s passport when booking the hike)
WHAT TO BRING ON THE HIKE?
Please, remember to bring your original passport and that should be current one, if you have acquired a new one after you made your booking, bring both the one you use for booking your trip and the new one, the information you provided us in time of your booking have to match with your tickets in the Inca trail, the reason we ask you for your personal information when you book the trip.
Hiking shooes, they should be confortable for your feet.
Fleece, Temperatures are usually over 50F° during the day and night so one fleece is enough
T-shirt, you may consider bringing one that you will be wearing during the hike and one for Machu Picchu on day 2.
Socks, recomended one pair you will be wearing during the hike and one pair for Machu Picchu day.
Sun hat, some days can be hot and sunny, we recommend you to bring a sun hat that can keep the sun off your face.
Light long pants, trekking pants are the best those that you can sip off the legs, plus they dry fast in case it rains
Sunscreen SPF 35+ recommended
Camera or your phone for capturing those beautyful moments.
Bug repellent, there are mosquitos all around the year make sure you pack your bug spray.
Cash. Its always good to bring cash for apreciations to your guide, or buy any goodies but most of the restaurants or shops take credit cards.
Frequently asked questions
What is the terrain like? How challenging is it?
The trek is rated as moderate to and covers approximately 12 km / 7 miles on uneven, rocky terrain with steep uphill and downhill with about 60% of up hill and 40% of down and flat seccion.
How long before should I book the short Inca trail?
- The short Inca trail spots should be booked in advance especially from April to August, as this is busy season, and from September to January there are usually spots left.
- The Peruvian Ministry of Culture administer control Inca Trail. They are the only ones able to authorize access to the Inca Trail.
- Access to the Inca Trail is limited to 500 people per day, which includes tourists and guides.
- Reservations for the Inca Trail can only be made from March to January. During February the Trail is closed for maintanance.
- The availability applies to the INCA TRAIL itself and not to any tour operators. For this reason any agency you may contact will have the same availability of permits for the Inca Trail.
What is the weather like on the ShortInca trail during the year?
The Machu Picchu area has a humid climate and tends to be warmer, since it is located at a lower altitude and near to the Amazon Jungle. The average temperatures at Machu Picchu are between 23°C to 25°C (73°F and 77°F), with the minimum temperature around 18°C (64°F). The Cusco area has only 2 well-defined seasons: wet season and dry season. The wet season starts in November and ends in March. During this period, it rains almost every day for three or four hours, but also there are several sunny days. The dry season begins around March and lasts until October. June and July are the coldest months. Paradoxically at noon the temperatures can reach 23 °C (77°F), the annual highest temperature.
How many days should I stay in Cusco before the hike to adjust to the altitude?
Cusco is at an elevation of 3,400 meters / 11,154 feet, but the short Inca Trail and Machu Picchu are located below 7000 ft so, you can eather start the hike right after the following day you arrive to Cusco, you wont have any problem with altitude.
Do I need to bring money on the trek?
You should consider bringing money, as you may want to buy bottled water, snacks, Gatorade, beer? etc. especially in town after fenishing the hike or buy souveniers.
The lunch after Machu Picchu tour at Aguas Calientes is not included, so you will need money for that as well. We recommend you to bring soles rather than dollars; there are banks and exchange offices in Cusco where you can change any type of currency.
Do I need to carry my own medicine or first aid?
Your guide will have a first aid kit all the time while you are on the trek, which includes some pain killers, bandages, small bandages to prevent blisters, oxygen tank, pills for case of diarrheas and similar. At any time of the trek please feel free to ask for anything you may need , however, if you need any special medication or you have a special medical condition, please, contact your doctor to get the best advices prior to the trek.
How big my group is going to be?
We are specialized in both small and big groups, but we like small groups because that way our clients get personalized service especially when you encounter lots of thing on treks, such as Incan sites, flowers, flora and fauna – your guide spends lots of time with you so you can learn more about our culture and history.
Of course, in case any situation requires to take more than 8 people in a group, that is not any problem for us at all, – for example, a group of friends or family that is more than 8, we are happy to have them in a single group.
Will I get to see the sun rise?
Probably seing the sun rise up in Machu Picchu is something you want to have and we can make it happen, on day 2 after you hike thorugh the short Inca Trail we will be catching a bus very early in the moornign from A guas Calientes town to Machu Picchu so we can get to see the sunrise over the mountains in this espectacular city of the Incas.
How do I get water on the hike?
You will need to bring water for the hike, we recomend you to bring about 2 litters at least for the hiking part and then you can buy more water at the town of Aguas Calientes for later at night or Machu Picchu tour, there are not places to refill so.
Is there any age limit?
In the Inca trail there is not a minimum age or limit ,- any person who is prepared for trekking can do it., The short Inca trail is a moderate hike so, you will still need to have a certain lever of fitness.
Can I enter Machu Picchu with my backpack?
You are allowed to take into Machu Picchu backpacks up to 20 liters we don’t think there is a need to bring a bigger bag.
What time will I be back to Cusco?
You will be back in Cusco around 7pm after the Machu Picchu tour, If for any reason you have to be back in Cusco earlier than that, please advise us at the time of your booking or at least over one month before your hike begins, as we have to buy you the train ticket for exactly specified trains.
Will I have any extra time in Machu Picchu after the tour with my guide?
You will be finishing the tour in Machu Picchu by 10 am and then your guide will leave you in Machu Picchu on your own so, you can enjoy it at your leisure and take a bus down to Aguas Calientes anytime you feel ready to leave Machu Picchu. At Aguas Calientes you can meet everybody from the group then for lunch before your train leaves.
Should I have to book Wayna Picchu mountain in advance?
The Wayna Picchu mountain has a limit of permits up to 400 per day which is divided into two groups -, the first group from 7am to 8am and the second one from 10am to 11am., We really recommend you to book it in advance, especially for the dry season or high season that runs from April to August,. Consider booking it 2 or 3 months in advance and email us for the availabilities.
What is the toilet situation on the Inca trail like? Should I bring my toilet paper?
There will be one toilet at the begining of the hike, one in the midle and one at Machu Picchu but they don’t provide toilet paper so you should considere bringing some.
How big my day backpack should be?
Thirty litre backpack will be big enough to carry your belongings such as water, rain gear and extra cloths, because it is pretty much like day hike sinze day 2 is only a tour of Machu Picchu.
Can I pay the rest of the balance in credit card or does it have to be in cash?
We take the balance of the payment in cash, so you won’t need to pay extra fees,.Of course you can use PAY PAL, or CREDIT CARD, but you will need to pay the fees that are usually over 6%.
In the day of your briefing when your guide will meet you, one of the representatives will meet you too to collect the rest of the balance for your trek.
In order for us to reserve your spot on this Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, you are required to send us the following information below (detaisl): full names, passport number, age, gender, nationality and make the relevant deposit of US$200 per person using VISA as indicated below:
When you have sent us the information of each person, made your deposit using VISA and once we have both, we will confirm your tour. Thank you so much for choosing PERU by LOCALS.
If you have any questions, send us an e-mail to: email@example.com or send us a message to Whatsapp +51 989585967