PERMIT UPDATE: 2019 Permits GOING FAST!
4D/3N Inca Trail Permits sold out most of April, all of May.
2D/1N Inca Trail still available
Don’t miss your chance to hike this famous trail! Book Now!
The INCA TRAIL is the most popular trek to Machu Picchu. The SHORT 2 DAY INCA TRAIL to Machu Picchu is a shorter and less strenuous way to experience the original Inca steps and still end the trail in Machu Picchu via the Sun Gate (Inti Punku).
The 2D/1N Inca Trail trek passes 2 archaeological sites along the way, has a variety of flora and fauna, and is rich in history. The 2 day trek is 14km/8.7m, goes up to 2,700 m/8,858 ft, and is classified as an easy-moderate trek with minimal altitude gain. If you love the idea of hiking directly into Machu Picchu via the Sungate, but want a shorter hike, then the 2D/1N Inca Trail Trek is the one for you!
This trail requires a permit and a limited number of people are allowed to trek per day. These spots fill quickly so booking well in advance (at least 3 months recommended) is essential. Minimum passengers necessary for trek departure: 2 people (1 person or private/custom treks possible with extra fee). Maximum trekkers per group: 10 people (special, private party groups can exceed maximum).
The Nitty Gritty Trek Details
Easy-moderate, minimal gain
Touristy, popular, crowded
When to Go
6-10 trekkers: 650, 3-5 trekkers: 690, 2 trekkers: 775 (per person)
DAY 1: CUSCO – CHACHABAMBA – AGUAS CALIENTES
Private transport picks you up from your hotel very early and takes you to the Ollantaytambo Train Station. We take the train for about 1 hour 45 minutes to the beginning of this Inca Trail Trek, at Km 104 or Chachabamba. After the train ride we cross over the Urubamba river to reach the Control Checkpoint where we will show our permits, tickets, and original passports (make sure you have the same passport number as when you made your reservation for this trek). Once the tickets are stamped we will begin our 4-hour ascent to the Wiñaywayna (forever young) archaeological site (2,700 m/8,858 ft) where we will have lunch. After lunch we continue for 1 1/2 hours to reach the Sun Gate, the entrance to Machu Picchu from the Inka Trail, and then another 1/2 hour to reach the southern agricultural zone of Machu Picchu city (where the most famous photos of the site are taken). After our arrival in Machu Picchu city we leave the park and take the 25-minute bus ride down to Aguas Calientes Town (2,040 m/ 6,692 ft). Once in town you will be taken to a hotel for the night and you can visit the local hot springs if you wish before or after our dinner in a local restaurant.
Walking distance approximately 14 km/8.7 miles (7-hour hike)
DAY 2: AGUAS CALIENTES – MACHU PICCHU – CUSCO
Breakfast is very early, before 5:00am, to allow us to take the 25 minute bus ride directly to Machu Picchu (2,400m/7,875ft) at 5:00am. Once we arrive at the entrance to Machu Picchu, your guide will provide you with your entrance ticket. Please fill the ticket out and have your passport ready in order to gain entrance. If you are a student you must bring your ISIC card to the entrance or you will not be permitted entrance. You are allowed to take in a small backpack (under 20L). From the entrance it is a 15 minute walk to the famous views from the South Zone of the farming terraces at the end of the Inka trail. Enjoy the early tour of Machu Picchu with your guide who will unfold the mysteries of this magical site, explaining the history and flora/fauna. Your guide will spend about 2 1/2 hours relating interesting and amazing stories, explaining temples and special sectors. Your tour of Machu Picchu will finish between 9 and 9:30am after which you will have free time to take photos before the 10:30 crowds arrive. After you are done exploring the ruin site take the bus down to Aguas Calientes. There are many restaurants to choose from and your guide can also help find a nice place for lunch. After lunch you will take the train back to Ollantaytambo where private transport will pick you up and take you back to your hotel in Cusco.
NOTE: there are no bathrooms in the ruin site. There are bathrooms right outside the entrance, cost 1 sol per entrance, and they provide a little toilet paper.
HIKES WITHIN MACHU PICCHU
There are hikes within Machu Picchu that you can do on your own if you wish. The hikes that do not require an entrance ticket are: The Inka bridge and the Sun Gate (where the Inka Trail ends with a view of Machu Picchu city). Wayna Picchu Mountain and Machu Picchu Mountain hikes both require a paid ticket and there are a limited number of spots (200 at 7am and 200 at 10am). It is only possible to hike one per day due to regulations. If you want to hike one of these mountains please let us know well in advance as these spots fill up very quickly. Price per hike is 75USD. Please note we cannot guarantee you a spot for the mountains requiring tickets and that the trail is very steep and slippery and not for those afraid of heights or with vertigo. The price for these interior hikes is higher for those hiking the Inca Trail – rates have been set by the Peruvian government and are outside of our control.
INCLUDED ON THE TRAIL
- Pre-Trek briefing the night before the trek to go over the itinerary, meet your guide(s) and answer any question
- Collection from your hotel in the morning or our departure point Plaza Regocijo (your choice)
- English speaking professional tour guide
- Private transport to Ollantaytambo
- Tourist Train tickets round trip: Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes and back
- Entrance fee to Machu Picchu Archaeological Complex and Inca Trail Permit
- Round-trip bus tickets from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu and back
- Guided tour of Machu Picchu, plenty of time to explore on your own
- Hotel (double room) in Aguas Calientes and dinner in a local restaurant
- Meals (Day 1: light breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks, Day 2: breakfast and snacks)
- First-aid kit including oxygen tank
- Private transport from Ollantaytambo to your hotel in Cusco
NOT INCLUDED ON THE TRAIL
- Walking poles (must have intact rubber bottoms)
- Lunch and dinner on the second day
- Extra hikes within Machu Picchu requiring fees (Wayna Picchu & Machu Picchu Mountain: 75 USD each) – advanced booking essential
- Entrance to hot springs in Aguas Calientes (10 soles)
- Items of a personal nature/souvenirs
- Travel medical insurance
- Hotel before/after the trek
- Tip for your guide(s) are optional but highly encouraged if you enjoy your trek
PRICE AND NUMBER OF TREKKERS
ON THE TRAIL
WHEN TO GO AND DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY
WHAT TO BRING ON YOUR TREK
- Sunscreen: the sun is very strong in Cusco
- Sun hat
- Lip balm
- Hiking shoes/boots
- Hiking pants and shirts (layers)
- Layers – long underwear and/or warm sleep pants for cold nights
- Hand warmers if you wish
- Warm hat, gloves, scarf and thick warm socks (or you can buy a traditional Peruvian hat and scarf – they are beautiful!)
- Daypack and rain cover
- Rain gear – rain jacket and rain pants (optional for the pants), can buy an inexpensive poncho before the trek
- Cash for tipping, buying items along the trail, for in town, emergencies, etc. Note: Cash should be in perfect condition (ripped, damaged soles are NOT accepted anywhere in Peru)
- Swim suit, flip flops, towel for the hot springs in Aguas Calientes if you wish to go
- Torch/flashlight/headlamp (and batteries)
- Insect repellent
- Extra snacks if you wish (beyond snacks provided by us)
- First aid kit, including blister protection (though your guide will have one, you may wish to carry one of your own)
- Personal medication and toiletries you might want
- Camera, extra memory cards/film, batteries
- Water bottle or water bladder to refill
- Passport (must be valid 6 months past your travel dates for most countries)
- Copies of passport (keep copies separate, give to travel friends to keep, etc)
- Power adapter/converter
- Travel lock(s) approved by TSA (or they cut them off – US only)
- Tickets, itinerary, emergency contact information
- Any medications you currently are taking or need/may need (see suggestions below)
What to bring: medications – medications are optional and depend on your specific needs
- Antibiotic for travelers diarrhea or UTI
- Antibiotic for a severe bacterial infection
- Medication for upset stomach/indigestion
- Anti-diarrhea medication
- Anti-nausea medication for motion sickness/altitude sickness if needed
- Cold/flu medication
- General pain killer/fever reducer
- Vaccinations – recommend bringing all boosters up to date (MMR, tetanus, etc)
View latest travel advisories and recommended vaccinations and medications for the regions you plan to visit. For Lima, Cusco, and Machu Picchu there are generally no vaccinations required. If you are going to the jungle or any other higher risk area you may need: yellow fever vaccine, medicine for malaria, typhoid vaccine, etc. Click here for updated info: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/peru.aspx NOTE: Please visit your doctor several weeks before your trip to discuss any health restrictions you may have, medications he/she might recommend for you personally, and to seek more information about any vaccinations or medications recommended for Peru (or any of your other destinations). Additionally: speak with your doctor before taking any over-the-counter and/or prescription medications alone or combined.