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Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu – 2 Day

Cusco, Ollantaytambo, Wiñay Wayna, Aguas Calientes, Machu Picchu
Duration 2 days - 1 nights
Travel Style Adventure, hike, traditional
Difficulty Moderate
Group size Min 2 - Max 8

Embark on an extraordinary journey with 69 Explorer as we venture together on the Short Inca Trail. Experience a two-day trek that offers an exhilarating blend of adventure, culture, and natural beauty.

A unique experience, the 2-day Inca Trail Hike is meticulously designed 2-day Inca Trail hike. The hike brings you closer to the mysteries of the Inca civilization. Additionally, it immerses you in the breathtaking landscapes of the Andes.

As we set out on our journey, the Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu awaits to reveal its secrets. Spanning a distance of 12 kilometers (approximately 7.5 miles), this trail caters to a specific need. It is a perfect choice for those who want to hike the Classic Inca Trail but don’t have enough time in their trip. 

The first day of our 2-day Inca Trail hike will begin with moderate climb. We will be ascending to an altitude of 2,700 m (approximately 8,860 ft). As we trek, we will encounter fascinating remnants of the Inca civilization, each with its own story to tell.

Discover the Magic of the Andes: A 2-Day Inca Trail Adventure

As night falls on the first day, we will rest at our campsite, nestled in the heart of the Andes. Surrounded by the tranquility of the mountains under the peaceful light of the night sky, take this moment to share trail stories with you fellow hikers. Get a good nights rest and prepare yourself for the next part og the journey.

On the second day of our Two-Day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, we’ll experience the pinnacle of our journey: the majestic Incan CItadel Of Machu Picchu. The culmination of our short Inca trail is nothing short of magical. As the sun rises, we will enter Machu Picchu through the iconic Sun Gate or Inti Punku. At the Sun Gate you’ll get your first views of Machu Picchu! Standing before this modern wonder, we will take a moment to absorb the profound sense of achievement.

Throughout the 2-day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, our expert guides will be with you every step of the way. They will be ensuring a safe, informative, and unforgettable experience. Their knowledge of the trail, its history, and the local environment will be invaluable on the journey. This makes it more than just a hike, it’s a journey through time and culture.

Prepare to step into a world of adventure with 69 Explorer. The Short Inca Trail, a 2-day adventure, will not only lead you to the gates of Machu Picchu. It will also take you on a journey through the heart of the Inca civilization, leaving you with memories that will last a lifetime. Join us, and together, let’s make lifelong memories.

From US$ 417

95% of travelers recommend this experience

Important information


  • Transport Services: These include private transfers during the tour, transportation from Cusco to the Ollantaytambo train station, round-trip bus tickets between Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu, and return transportation to Cusco.
  • Accommodation: A one night stay in a 2-star hotel is generally included.
  • Meals: Various meals are provided throughout the trip, including dinner, breakfast, and snacks. Lunch on the last day in Aguas Calientes is typically not included, allowing travelers to explore different dining options.
  • Tour Services: These include a pre-tour briefing, a private guided walking tour at Machu Picchu (Circuit #3) and other sites, and professional English-speaking tour guides.
  • Equipment: Essential trekking equipment, such as  first aid kit including an oxygen tank are provided.
  • Train Tickets: Expedition class train tickets are included for the journey between Ollantaytambo and Km 104, and the return trip from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo.
  • Entrance Fees: Tickets for the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu Citadel (circuit #3) are included.


  • Entrance to Huayna Picchu ($70 per mt): This is an additional hike within Machu Picchu that requires separate tickets, which are not included in the standard package.
  • Last Lunch in Aguas Calientes: The final meal in Aguas Calientes town is usually excluded, giving travelers the flexibility to choose their dining experience.
  • First Breakfast: The tour does not include the first breakfast, as most hotels in Cusco offer this meal.
  • Tips: Tips for guides, porters, and other staff are not included and are at the discretion of the traveler.
  • Travel Insurance: Participants are expected to have their own travel insurance.
  • Additional Costs or Delays: Any costs or delays that are beyond the control of the tour management are not covered.
  • Additional Permits: If you wish to hike additional mountains like Machu Picchu Mountain, separate permits are required which are not included.
  • Personal Expenses: Personal expenses such as souvenirs, snacks, and other individual purchases are not included.
  • Extra Services: Some services that are available for an additional fee, like upgraded accommodation or train tickets, are not included in the standard package.
  • Vistadome Train
  • Hotel Upgrades

Recommend to carry

  • Original Passport: Required for entrance to the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu.
  • Walking Boots: Durable and comfortable for the trek.
  • Waterproof Jacket/Rain Poncho: Essential for unpredictable weather.
  • Warm Jacket: For cooler temperatures, especially in the evenings.
  • Hat and Gloves: To protect against the cold and sun.
  • T-Shirts: Preferably moisture-wicking or quick-drying.
  • Comfortable Trousers: Lightweight and breathable for hiking.
  • Sun Hat: To protect against strong sunlight.
  • Sun Cream: High SPF for sun protection.
  • Insect Repellant: To protect against mosquito bites.
  • Toiletries and Hand Sanitizer: For personal hygiene.
  • Personal Medication: If required.
  • Camera and Film: With extra batteries for capturing memories.
  • Torch/Headlamp: With spare batteries for early morning or late evening.
  • Daypack: For carrying essentials during the hike.
  • Water Bottle: To stay hydrated; refill stations are available.
  • Snacks: Energy bars, fruit, or nuts for additional energy.
  • First Aid Kit: Basic supplies for minor injuries or ailments.
  • Cash: For small purchases, tips, or emergencies.


Embark on the thrilling first day of the Two-Day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. It is a journey combining rich history with breathtaking landscapes. Starting in Cusco, we will travel to the Ollantaytambo Train Station, nestled in the heart of the Sacred Valley. Here, a captivating train ride awaits, taking us through picturesque Andean landscapes.

Our hike begins at Km 104, where a certain excitement fills the air. At this point, we’re at an altitude of approximately 2,100 m (6,890 ft). We will start our ascent, feeling the spirit of the Incas guiding us.

Our first significant stop is at Chachabamba. Chachabamba is a mysterious Inca site sitting around 2,150 m (7,052 ft) above sea level. Here, we will explore the ruins and learn about their historical significance. As we trek onwards, the trail gradually rises, surrounded by lush greenery and the sounds of nature.

The highlight of our day is Wiñay Wayna, an awe-inspiring Inca site perched at about 2,650 m (8,694 ft). We’ll tour this ancient wonder, taking time to appreciate its intricate terraces and waterways. After exploring the ruins, we’ll enjoy a well-deserved lunch break, refueling for the journey ahead.

Our path then leads us to the Sun Gate or Inti Punku, sitting majestically at around 2,720 m (8,924 ft). At the Sun Gate you’ll get your first views of Machu Picchu. The sight of the iconic citadel from this vantage point is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

As the day winds down, we will descend to Aguas Calientes, located at about 2,040 m (6,692 ft). This charming town is the perfect place to rest and prepare for the exploration of Machu Picchu the following day. We’ll check into a hotel, where comfort and relaxation await after our adventurous day.

Key Statistics of the First Day:

  • Total Distance: Approximately 13 kilometers (8 miles), a fulfilling challenge for avid hikers.
  • Highest Altitude: Reaching up to 2,720 meters (8,924 feet) at the Sungate, offering unparalleled views.
  • Lowest Altitude: Starting at around 2,100 meters (6,890 feet) at Km.104, making the hike an ascending journey.
  • Level of Difficulty: Moderate, suitable for hikers with a good level of fitness and a sense of adventure.

This two-day Inca Trail hike is a must-do for those seeking immersion in the ancient world of the Incas. It also offers enjoyment of the natural beauty of the Andes.

Remember to secure your Inca Trail permits in advance, as they are essential for this unforgettable journey.

On the second day of our Two-Day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, we will experience the pinnacle of our journey. This includes exploring the majestic Machu Picchu. This day combines awe-inspiring history with stunning scenery, creating memories that will last a lifetime.

We will start our day early in Aguas Calientes a town situated at about 2,040 m (6,692 ft) above sea level. After a refreshing breakfast at our hotel, we’ll set off for the day’s adventure. The town serves as the gateway to Machu Picchu and buzzes with anticipation from travelers all around the world.

Our journey to Machu Picchu begins with a short bus ride up the winding mountain roads. The ascent offers breathtaking views of the surrounding Andes and builds excitement for the marvel that awaits. Once we arrive at Machu Picchu, perched at about 2,430 m (7,972 ft), we will be greeted by its awe-inspiring beauty and grandeur.

A 2-hour guided tour of Machu Picchu awaits us. Our knowledgeable tour guide will lead us through the ancient ruins. They will be sharing insights into the history and significance of this world-renowned archaeological site. 

We will explore its main areas. These include the Temple of the Sun, the Intihuatana stone, and the Room of the Three Windows. This experience offers not just a walk through an ancient site but a journey back in time to the height of the Inca Empire.

After our exploration, we will take the bus down to Aguas Calientes. Here, we’ll have some time to relax, enjoy a meal, and reflect on our incredible experience at Machu Picchu.

Later, we will board a train back to Ollantaytambo. This scenic train ride allows us to unwind while enjoying the stunning views of the Sacred Valley. Once we arrive at Ollantaytambo, we’ll transfer to a vehicle for our final journey back to Cusco. 

The drive back is a perfect time to rest. It also offers a chance to reminisce about the unforgettable experiences of the past two days.

Key Statistics of the Second Day:

  • Distance Covered: The journey includes a bus ride and exploration of Machu Picchu, covering various terrains.
  • Highest Altitude: Machu Picchu stands at about 2,430 meters (7,972 feet), offering spectacular views and a rich historical experience.
  • Lowest Altitude: We start our day in Aguas Calientes at approximately 2,040 meters (6,692 feet).
  • Level of Difficulty: Moderate; while the exploration involves walking and climbing steps, it is accessible for most fitness levels.

This two-day Inca Trail hike is an excellent option. It’s ideal for those who wish to experience the magic of Machu Picchu in a shorter time frame. Make sure you buy your permits for the Inca Trail in advance as they will sell out.

FAQs about Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

The Short Inca Trail is a two-day trek covering around 10 km, while the Classic Inca Trail is a four-day trek extending about 42 km. The Short Trail is less strenuous and does not involve camping.

It’s ideal for those with limited time, prefer a less physically demanding hike, or want to avoid camping, while still experiencing key highlights of the Inca Trail.

It includes a bus drive and train ride from Cusco, followed by a four-hour uphill hike to Wiñay Wayna ruins, and then a hike to the Sun Gate for the first view of Machu Picchu. You will spend the last night in Aguas Calientes, returning to Machu Picchu the next day for a guided tour.

The dry season from April to October is generally the best time, with warm and humid conditions during the day.

Good physical condition and proper equipment like sturdy hiking shoes, weather-appropriate clothing, and a backpack with essentials like sunscreen, hat, insect repellent, and a torch are necessary. Acclimatizing to the altitude in Cusco beforehand is also important.

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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.