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The Short Inca Trail Machu Picchu in two days

Plan your trek on the short Inca trail

Kandoo's View

If you have set your heart on arriving at Machu Picchu through the iconic Sun Gate but are short on time or don't fancy a longer trek, then our Short Inca Trail is perfect for you. Starting early from Cuzco, you travel to KM104 on the Ollantaytambo to Agua Calientes railway before trekking up to the famous ruins at Wiñay Wayna for lunch. From there you hike down to the Sun Gate itself for your first views of the famous ruins. 

Overnight is in a hotel in Agua Calientes after which you have an early start for a full private tour of the ruins of Machu Picchu. After the tour, you will catch the train back to Ollantaytambo and from there back to Cuzco.

A permit is required for the Short Inca trail, there are only 250 available each day. So to avoid disappointment, we recommend booking early! For more about Inca trail permits see here.

Please note you must be in Cuzco the day before your trek starts in order to attend a pre-trek briefing and in order to ensure you are on-time for the very early start on the day of your trek.

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Frequently asked questions

The questions and answers below specifically relate to the Short Inca trail. For more general questions and answers about trekking to Machu Picchu see here.

Q1What is included in the Short Inca trail?

This is a trek only package and includes all transfers to and from Machu Picchu, your guide, all permit and entry costs, a hotel in Agua Calientes and a packed lunch on day one.

Q2Are porters provided on the Short Inca trail?

You are overnighting in a hotel in Agua Calientes and so will only need to bring with you your wet-weather gear, a toothbrush and a change of undies so we do not provide a porter on this trip.

Detailed itinerary

Day 1Meet for pre-trek briefing

If you book to join this trek you must be in Cuzco the day before the trek starts for a briefing. You will be notified of the time and venue for the briefing before you arrive in Cuzco.

Day 2Cuzco to KM104 to Aguas Calientes

On the day of your trek, we will meet you at a central location in Cuzco around 5:00 am and transfer by private vehicle to the Sacred Valley of the Incas. From Ollantaytambo, we will catch a train to KM 104, the starting point for our trek where we will need to show our permits and passports.

After crossing the Rio Urubamba, the trail heads towards our first Inca ruin, Chachabamba. Archaeologists believe that Chachabamba was once an important religious site. Chachabamba is also thought to have played a secondary role protecting this entrance to Machu Picchu. After leaving the site, the trail begins to ascend and enters the cloud forest. We continue trekking uphill, crossing a grassy hillside before reaching a spectacular waterfall. From here it is a short trek to the impressive Inca site of Wiñay Wayna where we will stop for lunch. Approaching from the lower terraces of the ruins, we will climb a long stone staircase to reach the upper levels of Wiñay Wayna. Here we meet the main Inca Trail and will continue walking for 1-2 hours through cloud forest to the Sun Gate, the entrance to Machu Picchu. At this time of day there will be few tourists around and there will be plenty of time to soak up the view before we catch the bus down to Aguas Calientes for an overnight stay at a hotel.

  • Elevation: from 3400 metres to 2750 metres to 2050 metres
  • Trekking distance: 10 kilometres
  • Trek time: 6-7 hours
Day 3Tour of Machu Picchu. Return to Cuzco

An early start is required as we catch the bus back up to Machu Picchu. You will be given a guided tour of the site, which will last for around 2½  to 3 hours. There is an option to climb Huayna Picchu, the famous mountain behind the ruins, but you will need to book a permit in advance.  In the afternoon, we will catch the train from Agua Calientes to Ollantaytambo, where you will be met by our driver who will transfer you back to Cuzco.

Availability and prices

Last Updated October 8 2018
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Arrival: October 12 2018
Days: 3
Prices from: £429 $534 €0
Comment: OFFER Save £50 was £479
Arrival: October 26 2018
Days: 3
Prices from: £429 $534 €0
Comment: OFFER Save £50 was £479
Arrival: November 19 2018
Days: 3
Prices from: £429 $534 €0
Comment: OFFER Save £50 was £479
Arrival: December 13 2018
Days: 3
Prices from: £429 $534 €0
Comment: OFFER Save £50 was £479
Arrival: December 26 2018
Days: 3
Prices from: £479 $599 €0
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Days: 3
Prices from: £479 $599 €0
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Days: 3
Prices from: £479 $599 €0
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Days: 3
Prices from: £479 $599 €0
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Days: 3
Prices from: £479 $599 €0
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Days: 3
Prices from: £479 $599 €0
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Days: 3
Prices from: £479 $599 €0
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Days: 3
Prices from: £479 $599 €0
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Prices from: £479 $599 €0
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Days: 3
Prices from: £479 $599 €0
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Days: 3
Prices from: £479 $599 €0
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Days: 3
Prices from: £479 $599 €0
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Days: 3
Prices from: £479 $599 €0
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Arrival: December 7 2019
Days: 3
Prices from: £479 $599 €0
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