Our 2-day Inca Trail begins with an idyllic early awakening. Then, we are taken by our private transport to the railway station at Ollantaytambo to board a train taking us to the starting point of the 2-day trek: so-called Km 104. We get off there and pass through an Inca Trail check-point to start hiking through the lush vegetation of a cloud forest while greeted by local exotic birds such as the Andean guan, the grey-breasted mountain tucan, etc. In the forest, we can see various wild orchids and bromeliads along the path too. Our Tour Guide explains to us about the Chachabamba Ruins that were re-discovered in 1940. Near the ruins, we have lunch. Our next stop is in Wiñay Wayna, an Inca complex neighboring Machu Picchu. The complex, which name means "Eternal Youth, can boast a stunning view down the Urubamba River. Later in the afternoon, we descend to Inti Punku (the Sun´s Gate) which is the gateway of Machu Picchu. From there, we keep descending until we reach our hotel in Aguas Calientes (a small town below the historic Inca citadel) where we have a rest. The following early morning adventure begins with the Machu Picchu hiking tour for two hours. Once we get up the hill, we enter the "Lost City of the Incas" to enjoy its guided tour.
Hiking the Inca Trail is an unforgettable experience, so do not hesitate to join our group!
By saving time doing the Short Inca Trail, you will have extra days off to explore the beautiful city of Cusco and its surrounding attractions, Titicaca Lake and the Puno Region, or cities full of history and beautiful nature such as Lima and Arequipa. Take a look at some of our other packages involving these sites.
Due to the Coronavirus situation, we have taken a couple of precautions to keep our clients health and safety during the Inca Trail.
Departure Point: We pick you up from your hotel (please check the Starting Point & Pick-Up section under the Essential Info bookmark).
Briefing Point: Our guide will visit your hotel 2 or 1 day prior to the trek.
Briefing Time: Between 5:00 - 6:00 pm.
Return Point: Cusco - our driver will drop-off at your hotel/hostel/Airbnb apartment.
Sustainable Tourism: The Short Inca Trail involves an eco-friendly service and a community project for its porters.
Service Level: Comfortable, tourist-class accommodation, tourist-class train, and private transport.
Trek's Difficulty: 2 = moderate; a low-altitude hike, accessible to healthy travelers.
Age Requirement: 4+. Please note: all participants under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
Inca Trail Permits: It is included in your hike. Please note: the trail is fully booked months in advance during the high season.
Short Inca Trail Operator: Tierras Vivas.
Crew: A professional Tour Guide.
Meals: 1x breakfast, 1x lunch, 1x dinner, 1x bag of snacks.
Transportation: Private van, 2x train (Expedition train service).
Accommodation: Hotel, 1 night. During the 2-day Inca Trail tour, you will spend a night in a comfortable hotel with a private bathroom (see the Essential Info bookmark).
IMPORTANT NOTE: A FEE FOR MONEY TRANSFER IS ALREADY INCLUDED IN THE TOUR PRICE!
Day 01: Cusco - Ollantaytambo - Km 104 - Aguas Calientes
Day 02: Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu - Cusco
Click on the Inca Trail Book Online button (quite on top or quite below) and pick out the best month and day for your hike. Complete your personal details.
You might check the 2 day Inca Trail Permits Real-Time Availability for 2021 by yourself. It is very important that you complete all details correctly to obtain your Inca Trail permits and Machu Picchu tickets! Once arrived at the trailhead, you need to present your original passport and Inca Trail permits. In case, any details are incorrect, you must book and buy a new ticket to the trail!
If you would like to experience more adventure, you can book the 2 Day Inca Trail Hike with Camping, and spend the night observing stars at the campsite "Puente Ruinas".
Yes, the 2-day Inca Trail is the best option if you do not like to hike the 4-day Inca Trail. You can view a part of the traditional Inca path.
BOOK ONLINE with a hotel or camping. Choose the best option for you!
Minimum Altitude: 2,100 m / 6,900 ft.
Highest Altitude: 2,730 m / 8,792 ft.
Walking Distance: 12 km / 7.46 miles
Tierras Vivas is a fully licensed tour operator and has 5-star reviews on TripAdvisor. The copy of our 2 Day Inca Trail Tripadvisor reviews below proves our experience and enthusiasm to offer our customers the best trip to Machu Picchu.
Marco comment:What an amazing experience this was. Efrain, in particular, made the trip really special with his knowledge of the land and Inca culture. We are both very active and enjoy hiking and this, even though it’s the shorter trek, was still plenty of hiking for us. Would highly suggest these guys and Efrain. No stone was left unturned.
Huong Le comment: This company is very good and responsive, we booked this tour at least 6 months in advance and they were able to answer all of our questions. They provide everything from transportation, a debriefing before the trip, food, etc. Yolanda was our tour guide, and we got lucky because we were the only two people in the group so it was like our own private tour :). Yolanda was very knowledgeable, she provided us with a lot of history during the trail and fun facts. She was also very caring, making sure we were ok throughout the journey, making sure we drank water, making sure we took a lot of pictures, making sure all of the small details were taken care of and just making sure we had a great time, and we did! Yolanda also gave us tips and suggestions on what to do outside of the trail, such as food recommendations, activities, etc. She went above and beyond with everything. I'm so glad to have done this and now I can take it off my bucket list :) it wouldn't have gone any better if it wasn't for Yolanda!
Maggie comment: Efrain was an amazing guide with a lot of knowledge about the history and customs of Machu Picchu. He shared traditions with us and waited for us when we needed to take breaks up the mountain. It was a really great experience for my friends and I!
If you would like to learn about our foundation, please click at Responsible Travel.
2 Day Inca Trail Train (VISTADOME Perurail or 360° Inca Rail)
We pick you up from your hotel in Cusco to transfer you during a 2-hour ride to the Ollantaytambo´s railway station. There, we get on a train and continue until Km 104, where a checking point of the Inca Trail is located. We get over the bridge of the Vilcanota River and start the Inca Trail trekking! The first archaeological site to visit is Chachabamba, where you received a guided tour. Then, we continue through a mixture of cacti vegetation and cloud forest. On the way, we enjoy a refreshing dip in a local waterfall! Then, we have lunch and a rest before we continue towards another Incan significant site - Wiñay Wayna. Later on, we keep hiking until we get to the Sun´s Gate (Inti Punku) to admire the sunset above Machu Picchu. However, today is too late to have a guided tour of this overwhelming Incan city so we descend slowly to Aguas Calientes Town enjoying beautiful surrounding scenery on the way! We spend the night in a comfortable hotel in Aguas Calientes.
After an early morning breakfast, we take a bus up to the mysterious city of Machu Picchu. There, our Tour Guide shows us around the Incan city and explains to us about its history and purposes. After the guided tour, you have free time which is the best opportunity to take more pictures and walk through the Lost City of the Incas by yourself. You can see some animals there such as llamas and birds. If you like to make the most of your experience, book either Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain (peaks above Machu Picchu) well in advance. This gives you an opportunity to climb up for either 45 minutes (Huayna Picchu) or 1 and a half hours (Machu Picchu Mountain) to take some panoramic photos of the Inka citadel.
Machu Picchu is both, the best and the least known site of the Incas as it is not mentioned in any Spanish conquistador´s chronicle so that contemporary archaeologists can not do anything more than just speculate on its functions. Local Quechuan farmers had known about Machu Picchu for centuries before an 11-year-old boy showed the American historian Hiram Bingham (who was in a search of Vilcabamba) this site on the 24th of July 1911. At that time, all the rest of the world became aware of its existence. However, the site was covered with thick vegetation so Hiram Bingham along with his team returned and within the years of 1912 and 1915 cleared its surface. Over the years, plenty of work has been done on excavating and studying the site. Despite these efforts, many unanswered questions remain.
After exploring Machu Picchu, you come back to Aguas Calientes descending. The 2 day Inca Trail ends up with a train ride to Ollantaytambo (alternatively to Poroy), from where we are taken by van back to Cusco.
Our guide will visit you a day prior to the trek in your hotel to brief you about the 2-day hike. For this reason, it is very important to let us know in advance where you stay in Cusco.
All Tierras Vivas trekkers are accompanied by our Tour Guide. The objective of our guides is to take the hassle out of our customers’ trips and to help them to have the best trip possible. The guides provide details on places visited, offer suggestions of what to see and to do, recommend a good place to eat, and introduce his/her colleagues. Our guides have a broad general knowledge of each place visited during the tour, including historical, cultural, religious, and social aspects.
Tierras Vivas is operating the Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu since 2006!
Accommodation During the Short Inca Trail
The following hotels are used to accommodate our customers during the tour:
You spend a night in a small locally owned hotel where you will have a room (twin or matrimonial) with a private bathroom and breakfast. All of the hotels we use in Aguas Calientes are located within walking distance of the railway station.
|Hotel Retama Inn Machu Picchu|
Single Accommodation: If you are traveling on your own, we pair you with another trekker of the same gender, so there is no extra cost. In case, you prefer a single room for yourself, there is a surcharge of USD 50 that needs to be paid in advance.
If you like to upgrade any service of train or accommodation or you prefer to stay an extra night in Machu Picchu, please contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and await our confirmation.
You must present your passport including the TAM immigration slip (copy) at every hotel! The national sales tax (18%) is charged to all Peruvian citizens and foreigners staying over 60 consecutive days. In case the room is shared by both a taxable and non-taxable guest at the same time, the sales tax will be applied to the whole room. So please take every caution to not lose this piece of paper. You need to bring it to our Cusco office for your check.
MACHU PICCHU HIKE UPGRADE HOTEL: If you would like to stay in a 3* hotel or higher, you have to pay extra.
5 Stars Hotel
Single: U$ 1,500
Double: U$ 1,500
3 Stars Hotel
Single: U$ 218.5
Double: U$ 218.5
3 Stars Hotel
Single: U$ 110
Double: U$ 150
3 Stars Hotel
Single: U$ 230
Double: U$ 230
Sanctuary Lodge Machu Picchu: The above prices correspond to the "Standard Patio" type of accommodation.
Casa Andina Machu Picchu: The above prices correspond to "Standard Traditional"
Tierra Viva Hotel Machu Picchu: The above prices are for "Standard"
Ferre Machu Picchu Hotel: The above prices are for "Standard".
The following train services are included in the trail:
Ollantaytambo - Machu Picchu
|Departure||Arrival to Inca Trail|
|Expedition 81||06:10 am||07:40 am|
|Expedition 83||7:45 am||09:45 am|
Machu Picchu - Cusco
|Departure||Arrival to Ollantaytambo||Arrival to Cusco|
|Expedition 74||2:55 pm||4:31 pm||6:30 pm|
|Expedition 84||6:20 pm||8:05 pm||10:00 pm|
|Expedition 86||8:50 pm||10:50 pm||11:50 pm|
Ollantaytambo - Machu Picchu
|Departure||Arrival to Inca Trail|
|The Voyager||06:40 am||08:01 am|
|The Voyager||07:40 am||09:30 am|
Machu Picchu - Cusco
|Departure||Arrival to Ollantaytambo||Arrival to Cusco|
|The Voyager||2:30 pm||3:56 pm||6:40 pm|
|The Voyager||7:00 pm||8:41 pm||10:30 pm|
|The Voyager||8:20 pm||9:59 pm||11:00 pm|
If you prefer a "Vistadome" train service or a "Machu Picchu Train 360" service during the trek, it is US$ 50 extra. Let us know before booking your service please.
The Vistadome train has panoramic windows allowing you to appreciate the beautiful scenery along the route. Live an unforgettable experience of magic connection with nature along the Machu Picchu - Ollantaytambo route.
Vistadome Service Includes:
a) Long-distance (from Poroy, Cusco):
b) Short distance (from Ollantaytambo):
The only train in Peru having an entertainment app aboard allowing you to learn more about the train journey and the Inca civilization. Experience a unique way to travel to Machu Picchu exploring the Andean landscape like never before with wider and higher panoramic windows. Its observation outdoor carriage includes even a bar. Treat yourself with their appetizing selection of cold and warm drinks, prepared using fruit juices and Andean herbs, as well as delicious and organic goodies made of products originating from the Sacred Valley.
If you like to go ahead and book the Short Inca Trail, you will need to send us your passport details such as full name, passport number, nationality, and date of birth in order to be able to process it. Once you arrive at the trailhead, the archaeological park rangers check your Inca Trail permit along with your original passport and compare your personal details.
Important notice: if you fail to send correct details, you will be denied entrance to the Inca Trail!!!
If you still like to get on the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu, you would need to pay a new permit (US$ 100.00). So, we would like to kindly ask you to be very careful when sending us your personal information.
Yes, it is possible, BUT it is very important to bring a copy of your old passport with you too! When on the Inca Trail, you can present your current passport along with a copy of your old passport.
The Short Inca Trail starts in Cusco, but if you spend a night outside of Cusco, then please check the below table to see possible starting points and pick-ups.
|Trip/ Hiking||Starting Point & Pick-Up|
|Inca Trail||Cusco, Chinchero, Urubamba, Yanahuara, Ollantaytambo|
|Lares Trek||Cusco, Pisac|
|Inca Jungle Trek to Machu Picchu||Cusco, Urubamba, Yanahuara, Ollantaytambo|
|Inca Quarry Trail||Cusco, Urubambam Yanahuara|
|Daily tours||Only Cusco|
If you have extra luggage, it can be store safely in your hotel in Cusco or at the Ollantaytambo railway station or at our Tierras Vivas luggage storage. When you decide for the latter, our driver picks your luggage on the day of your trail departure and leaves it at our office. When you return to Cusco, we give you your luggage back.
The Machu Picchu Mountain, also known as the 'Old Mountain', is the mountain on which the Inca citadel was built. It is located at an altitude of 3,082 meters, which almost 600 metres above the Inca city. Machu Picchu was denominated after this mountain.
At present, the Machu Picchu Mountain is able to receive 800 tourists daily, who ascend the wide mountain path while experiencing breathtaking views of the entire geography of the place. The path is ideal for family visitors since it is neither steep nor has vertiginous gorges, unlike Huayna Picchu.
To be able to visit the mountain, you need to acquire a Machu Picchu + Mountain Ticket in advance!
Huayna Picchu, or the 'Young Mountain', is a mountain situated north of the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu. It is the summit that stands out in the classic postcard of the Wonders of the World and lies at an altitude of 2,693 metres, 300 metres higher than the Inca city. On the way up, there is the Temple of the Moon, Temple of the Moon, a religious site carved in the stone of a cave.
The Huayna Picchu climb is requested by most of the adventurous visitors as they enjoy taking selfies there. To reach its top, one must ascend a narrow path till the margins of vertigo cliffs to be rewarded by splendid views of the New Wonder of the World at the end. The climb is considered one of the most incredible short walks in the world. However, only 400 visitors can enter it daily.
In order to hike Huayna Picchu, you need to buy a Machu Picchu + Huayna Picchu Ticket (USD 80/person) beforehand!
In case, it is sold out, Tierras Vivas books the Machu Picchu Mountain for you.
Generally speaking, you should pack as lightly as possible since you will carry your luggage from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes Town. We recommend keeping the weight under 5 kg/10lb (including personal clothes). Remember that you take your daypack with you. As you spend a night at a hotel in Machu Picchu, you do not need to bring a sleeping bag.
Do not forget to bring a cover for your backpack, because the weather on Inca Trail is changeable a lot, so it is hard to predict rain. If you do not have any, we recommend putting your clothes and other belongings inside a plastic bag.
The high-mountain region of Cusco has well-defined winter and summer seasons. Winter days (June - August) are very sunny, dry, and warm, but the temperature drops to near freezing at night. Summer (January to March) is characterized by rain. December and January are two of the nicest months for trekking with only occasional rain shower while observing blooming flowers.
The heaviest rainfalls usually occur between January and March.
October is still dry, but colder, with temperatures dropping to 0 degrees at night.
The rainy season from November to April gives the feeling of a tropical downpour. Heavy rain, but rain showers usually do not last long or rain is often at night.
From May to September (which is the high tourist season), temperatures alongside the Short Inca Trail range from 20 - 35º C during the day when is sunny to 10 - 20º C during the day if it is cloudy and 5 - 15º C at night (either spend in the Aguas Calientes Town or the Puente Ruinas campsite). At Wiñaywayna and Machu Picchu, where altitudes are lower, temperatures are usually warmer (warm clothes are still recommended at night, anyway).
February - the Inca Trail is closed due to maintenance all the month which falls into the so-called "low season". At that time, you can still enjoy hiking to Machu Picchu though. For instance, you might do the Salkantay Trek, Short Salkantay trek, or the Inca Jungle Trek to Machu Picchu without struggling with crowds of hikers.
Landslides are an occasional problem. Although this was rare, it happened that visitors got stuck on Machu Picchu or between Aguas Calientes and Cusco, because a driver blocked the road. However, the mud was quickly removed and travel continues without further problems.
Hiking pants and T-shirts are recommended during the day, completed by sweaters, fleeces, and waterproof jackets. It is very necessary to have light raingear available at your daypack (rain poncho or jacket and/or rain pants) as the weather changes easily and rains can suddenly occur. At night, warm clothing is required, down jackets can be useful as well as a fleece sweatshirt and a jacket. During the day (if sunny) and in Machu Picchu, convertible hiking pants are handy as they can be switched into shorts if necessary. Machu Picchu has a warm climate, getting only cold at night. For more complete advice, please see the below section “Short Inca Trail - Suggested Items”.
Book your space now for the Inca Trail 2020! Remember that the famous Inca Trail has only 300 spaces per day. The beginning of the sale of spaces for March, April, May, June, July 2020 begins in October 2020. Take advantage of the Inca Trail experience now! Or, book 5 months in advance. Email at: email@example.com
The 2 Day Inca Trail Hike with Camping is one of the highlights for everybody planning a trip to Machu Picchu. It gives you a taste of the Classic Inca Trail hike, but it takes half the time and requires less than half the physical effort. This hike involves 2 days of hiking on the Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and 1 night of camping in Puente Ruinas. Enjoy our 2 Day Inca Trail Hike with Camping!
The 2 Day Luxury Inca Trail is one of the most comfortable hiking to Machu Picchu. This hike includes a luxury hotel in Machu Picchu, a luxury train service, a proffesional Tour Guide, Chef, and Porters. Taste the buffet lunch in Wiñaywayna. See the stars of the sky of the Machu Picchu from your hotel at night. Wake up early morning and view the sunrise from the hotel. Have breakfast near the mystical citadel. Explore the Lost City of the Incas and the surrounding mountains. Book Online the 2 Day Luxury Inca Trail.
For a more relaxed travel style, this trip involves transportation from/to the Ollantaytambo train station to/from Aguas Calientes, a shuttle bus to and from Machu Picchu, and a guided tour of the ancient citadel. There is also free time for a variety of optional activities, including hiking Huayna Picchu, visiting the hot springs of Aguas Calientes, and exploring Machu Picchu individually. This is the most meaningful Machu Picchu trip and is a great option for those who are unable to or not interested in hiking the Inca Trail.
Sacred Valley to Machu Picchu 2 Days tour involves the experience of visiting the famous Pisac Market, the Pisac Inca complex, and the Ollantaytambo archeological site. Moreover, you get to Aguas Calientes by train and spend a night there. The next day, you wake up early and take a shuttle bus up to Machu Picchu. There, you explore the Inca city during a guided tour. Afterwards, you got a chance to climb Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain (please note that any of them must be purchased in advance) or walk around the ruins at your pace. Book Online the Sacred Valley to Machu Picchu 2 Day tour.
This world-famous trek to the even more widely known New Wonder of the World! It leads through the variety of climates and ecosystems that are placed in such close proximity only in Peru. The trail involves visits to a multitude of other Incan sites along the path ranging from 2, 680 to 4,200 meters above sea level. Its trailhead lies at Km 82. The final day starts very early in the morning to enable you to see Machu Picchu at sunrise. Unlike others, longer trips along the Inca trail, there is no night in a hotel in Aguas Calientes included as travelers instead return home (to their hotels) by train on the third day. Experience Inca Trail Machu Picchu 3 Days with us!
This 3-day tour is created for every traveller. It includes touring of the traditional sights of the Sacred Valley (the Pisac market, the Inca sites at Pisac and Ollantaytambo) and a part of the Inca Trail taking you to the remote Inca sites of Chachabamba, Wiñaywayna, Intipunko (Sun Gate) plus the highlight of Machu Picchu. If you like, you can add camping near the town of Aguas Calientes. Book Online the Sacred Valley & Short Inca Trail 3 Days tour.