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1 Day Inca Trail Hike to Machu Picchu

Duration 1 day
Travel Style Adventure, hike
Difficulty Moderate
Group size Min 2 - Max 8

Embark on an unforgettable journey with 69 Explorer. We will guide you on the Full Day Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. This one-day excursion, also known as the 1 Day Inca Trail Hike, is a condensed version of the classic Inca Trail. It offers a unique blend of adventure, history, and breathtaking landscapes.

Our journey begins early in the morning at Km 104, which is easily accessible from the Sacred Valley. From here, we will embark on the hike. The hike totals approximately 13 km (about 8 mi) from start to finish. We will immerse ourselves in the stunning beauty of the Andean mountains. 

As your dedicated tour operator, we ensure a memorable experience. Awe-inspiring views will great us at every ridgeline and mountain pass of the Inca Trail Trek. Additionally, it will include rich historical insights.

The hike, being moderately challenging, will lead us to significant Inca sites, including the fascinating Wiñay Wayna. Meaning “Forever Young” in Quechua, this is not a well known ruin however, its surprisingly well preserved stone structures are a sight to behold. Wiñay Wayna offers a glimpse into the sophisticated Inca architecture and agricultural practices. Our experienced guides will share stories and facts, bringing these ancient ruins to life.

As we approach the Sun Gate or Inti Punku, prepare for the climactic moment of our hike: the first breathtaking views of Machu Picchu! This moment, where the majestic citadel unfolds before our eyes, is a highlight for many on the Short Inca Trail. The panoramic vistas from here are unmatched, providing a perfect opportunity for memorable photographs.

Discover the Hidden Treasures of Machu Picchu on the Short Inca Trail

Descending from the Sun Gate, we’ll need to exit the complex, take a short break, then renter Machu Picchu in the afternoon for our guided tour. By this time the crowds have thinned allowing for a more peaceful tour. 

Your guide will take you through the main areas of this iconic site explaining the purpose and history of each attraction. As we walk through Machu Picchu take the time to appreciate the intricate stonework. Ask your guide any questions you may have as they are a great resource of Incan knowledge and history.

Before our journey concludes, we will descend to the town of Aguas Calientes. Here we can reflect on our adventure over a delicious box lunch. Our return to the train station marks the end of our Full Day Inca Trail Tour. However, the memories and experiences will last a lifetime.

Throughout this 1 Day Inca Trail, 69 Explorer will take care of every detail. This includes everything from Inca Trail permits to comfortable transportation. Our commitment to excellence makes hiking the Inca Trail with 69 Explorer experience to cherish. 

Join us for this magnificent Full Day Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. Be part of an unforgettable adventure that harmoniously combines the wonders of nature with the marvels of Incan heritage.

From US$ 417

95% of travelers recommend this experience

Important information


  • Hotel Pickup: Private transportation is provided from your hotel in Cusco or Ollantaytambo to the trailhead and back to your hotel.
  • Train Tickets: Round-trip train tickets,  from Ollantaytambo to the Km 104 trailhead.
  • Inca Trail and Machu Picchu Entry Permits: All necessary permits for hiking the Inca Trail and entering Machu Picchu.
  • Professional Guide: An experienced, English-speaking guide to lead the hike and provide historical and cultural insights.
  • Meals: Includes a box lunch. 
  • Bus Tickets: Bus transportation from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes and back.
  • First Aid and Emergency Equipment: Basic first aid kit for emergencies, carried by the guide.


  • Hikes to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain: Due to time constraints on the one-day hike, it is not possible to include climbs. Climbing Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain cannot be accommodated.
  • Energy Snacks: Additional energy snacks like chocolate bars and dried fruits are not included. Hikers should bring their own snacks.
  • First Breakfast and Dinner at Aguas Calientes: Meals other than the provided lunch, specifically the first breakfast and dinner at Aguas Calientes, are not included.
  • Tips for the Staff: While not mandatory, tips are not included in the package price. Though the staff receives fair payment, tips are optional and greatly appreciated by them.
  • Upgrade to Vistadome Train: The upgrade to the Vistadome Train for the return journey is available at an additional cost of USD 57 per person and is not included in the standard package.

Recommend to carry

  • Valid Passport: Required for entry to the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu.
  • Comfortable Backpack: A small daypack to carry personal items.
  • Water Bottle: To stay hydrated throughout the hike. Water purification tablets or a filter can be useful.
  • Snacks: Energy bars, fruits, or nuts to keep your energy up during the hike.
  • Rain Gear: A rain jacket or poncho, especially important as weather can be unpredictable.
  • Sun Protection: Sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat or cap to protect against sun exposure.
  • Insect Repellent: To protect against mosquito bites.
  • Comfortable Hiking Shoes: Good quality, well-fitting hiking boots or shoes with adequate tread.
  • Layered Clothing: Layered clothing is recommended as the weather can change in a instant. This includes moisture-wicking shirts, fleece, and breathable pants.
  • Camera or Smartphone: For capturing photos of the stunning scenery and historic sites.
  • Personal Medications: Any necessary personal medications, along with a basic first aid kit.
  • Extra Money: For tips, souvenirs, or unexpected expenses.
  • Walking Sticks: If you’re used to hiking with them (make sure they have rubber tips as required by the trail regulations).


Start your exhilarating Full Day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu with 69 Explorer. It’s a journey that blends history, stunning landscapes, and an unforgettable trekking experience. Perfect for those seeking the essence of the Inca Trail in a single day, our 1 Day Inca Trail Hike offers a unique experience. It’s an adventure you won’t want to miss.

We will pick you up at your hotel in Cusco at 4 am for a drive to the Ollantaytambo train station. If you’re staying in Ollantaytambo, we’ll meet you at your hotel at 5:30 am. Our comfortable, private transport ensures a smooth start to your day.

Before boarding the train in Ollantaytambo, we will provide your box lunch to carry in your daypack. Enjoy a scenic train ride of the Sacred Valley taking around one hour and fifteen minutes. Then, disembark at the renowned Km 104 2,000m/6,560ft above sea level. This marks the start of our hiking adventure.

Crossing a picturesque footbridge over the Urubamba river, we’ll show our passports at the checkpoint and begin our ascent. The first hour and a half is a gentle upward hike. On the hike you’ll have expansive views of the Urubamba River and pass through various microclimates, including a cloud forest. Bring your rain gear, In the cloud forest rain can come at any time.

Wiñay Wayna

The trail becomes slightly steeper for the next hour and a half, culminating in a beautiful waterfall. Here, we’ll stop to take photos and to admire the breathtaking Wiñay Wayna ruins 2,600m/8,500ft meaning “Forever Young” in Quechua. Wiñay Wayna is remarkably well preserved making it the most impressive ruin on the Inca Trail. Lush sub-tropical jungle surrounds this site, shrouding it in mystery.

After exploring Wiñay Wayna, we’ll enjoy our box lunch at a sheltered area near the Wiñay Wayna campground. With nearby facilities for convenience, take your time to savor your meal in the surrounding tropical beauty.

Sun Gate (Intipunku)

After lunch, we’ll continue on the trail for one hour which covers a few ups and downs before coming to a steep section made of stone steps leading us directly to the Sun Gate. The Sun Gate, or “Inti Punku”, is a significant structure as it was the original entrance to Machu Picchu during the times of the Inca Empire. Upon reaching the Sun Gate, the first stunning view of Machu Picchu awaits – a moment to cherish and capture in photos.

Machu Picchu Citadel:

After admiring the views at the Sun gate we’ll descend towards Machu Picchu. Along the way, take every chance to snap more photos from this unique angle of Machu Picchu.

Upon reaching Machu Picchu, we’ll take photos from the Guard House, this is where the famous postcard pictures are taken,m offering iconic views of the site. Arriving in the afternoon, we’ll enjoy a quieter exploration as the crowds diminish. Our guide will take you on a 2-hour tour. They will be covering the agricultural, residential, and religious sectors of Machu Picchu.

After our 2-hour tour of the majestic of Machu Picchu, we’ll take a bus down to Aguas Calientes. In the evening, at 6:20 pm, we’ll board the Expedition Train back to Ollantaytambo. Once in Ollantaytambo our private van will take you directly to your hotel arriving around 10:00 pm. If you opt for the Vistadome Train, you will depart Aguas Calientes at 6:10 pm.

Key Statistics of the Full Day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu:

  • Distance Covered: 13 kilometers (8 miles)
  • Highest Altitude: 2,720 meters (8,924 feet) at the Sun Gate
  • Lowest Altitude: 2,040 meters (6,692 feet) at Machu Picchu
  • Level of Difficulty: Moderate to Challenging

Join 69 Explorer for this memorable Full Day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. Here, wonders and natural splendor create an unparalleled trekking experience.

FAQs about 1 Day Inca Trail Hike

The 1 Day Inca Trail Hike is a condensed version of the classic Inca Trail, allowing you to experience a part of the trail and visit Machu Picchu in just one day.

A moderate hike, there are several hours of walking, including some steep sections and uneven terrain.

The hiking distance is approximately 13 km (about 8 mi).

Essential items include a valid passport, comfortable hiking shoes, water, snacks, rain gear, sun protection, insect repellent, and a camera.

Yes, a permit is required for the Inca Trail, even for the 1-day hike. 69 Explorer will handle the permit arrangements.

The highest point is at the Sun Gate (Inti Punku), which is around 2,720 m (8,924 ft) above sea level.

No, hiking the Inca Trail without a registered guide is not permitted.

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Why choose us

These popular destinations have a lot to offer

At 69 Explorer, we are committed to providing an exceptional experience. Your safety, comfort, and enjoyment are our top priorities. We continuously strive to exceed expectations and ensure that every trip with us becomes a cherished memory.


Local Experience

Our guides are locals with extensive knowledge about the history, myths, and secrets of the region.

Small personalized groups

Our groups never exceed 10 people, giving you an unforgettable experience

Our experience

Our With seven years of experience and more than 20 packages to Machu Picchu alone, our team knows how to carry out a successful expedition.

Sustainable Travel

We believe in responsible tourism. Our tours are designed to respect the local communities and environment, ensuring a positive impact.