Machu Picchu Full day Tour, Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 2D/1N

Trip Overview

The short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is not very challenging, which makes it perfect for families with children and travelers on a tight time schedule. However, we still recommend that you be well prepared, moderately fit, and healthy prior to starting the trek.  To prepare, try walking 10km a day or start going to the gym a month before the trek.

There will be trekkers of different abilities and differnet lenguaje in your Inca Trail group.. Our guides are very experienced and will work to accommodate the needs of all of our trekkers in a safe and friendly manner. However, if you and your friends or family all have the same fitness level and you would prefer to hike in a private group, contact us today about booking a private service for your Inca Trail adventure!

Please note; the first day of this trek includes a box lunch, which usually consists of a sandwich, fruits and some cookies, As part of our commitment to sustainability, your box lunch comes in a specially – designed, reusable cloth bag, which you may either keep at the end of your tour or return to your tour guide to be recycled. Please be aware you will be required to carry your own box lunch during the trek, The bags is ideal for fitting inside or over a daypack and weight no more than two kilos when is full

Please be aware this trek may not be suitable for travelers with vertigo.

New Regulations

  • The new regulations of the Peruvian government regarding the Inca Trail indicate that the guided tour in Machu Picchu after your arrival at the Inca citadel will follow circuit number 3. Therefore, we recommend that you make the most of the opportunity to take all your photographs once you begin the descent from the Sun Gate and reach the viewpoint, where they will take the classic photograph of the entire Inca citadel. See the article on Machu Picchu and circuit 3 for more information.

Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 2D/1N

Included

  • Pick up from your hotel on your departure
  • Train tickets to the trail head (Km104)
  • Entrance fee to the Inca Trail
  • Packed lunch for the first day
  • Vegetarian food is available
  • Visit to 3 Archaeological Inca sites
  • Bus ticket down  to Aguas Calientes
  • Dinner and Basic Hotel in Aguas Calientes( includes breakfast)
  • Bus up to Machu Picchu
  • Entrance fee to Machu Picchu
  • 2 hours guideed tour by your english speaking tour guide ( plenty of free time to enjoy  Machu Picchu
  • Tourist train from Aguas Calientes  back to Ollantaytambo
  • Touris bus from Ollantaytambo back  to Cusco

NOT INCLUDED

  • Breakfast on the first morning
  • Third bus tickets down to Aguas Calientes
  • Lunch in Aguas Calientes on the final day
  • Entrance to the thermal springs in Aguas Calientes (optional: 10 soles)
  • Tips for the guide
  • Entrance to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain


short inca trail to machupicchu, camino inca corto a machupicchu

$395 per person

Get in touch with our travel advisor to use this itinerary as a base to design together your perfect Machupicchu adventure!

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Itinerary

Day 1: Cusco – Km 104 – Aguas Calientes

We will pick you up early from your hotel at approximately 5:30 a.m. (depending on the train schedule) and take you by private van to the train station in Ollantaytambo. We will travel over picturesque mountain roads for an hour and a half to Kilometer 104 – the start of the two day hike. From Km 104, we will walk for approximately four hours up to the Inca site of Wiñay Wayna, which means “forever young” and is at an elevation of 2,680m/8,792ft. Here you will get to explore what many consider to be the most impressive site on the Inca Trail.

After exploring Wiñay Wayna, we will continue hiking to Inti Punku, the “Sun Gate”, where you will have your first dramatic, panoramic view of Machu Picchu, from 2,400m/7,873ft. After taking in the magnificent view, we will walk down the last part of the trail towards the ancient city. Once we arrive in Machu Picchu, we will be able to celebrate our accomplishment and take unforgettable pictures together.

We will then descend to the main entrance, where you will take the bus to the town of Aguas Calientes to have dinner and spend the night. We will have a walking tour of Machu Picchu the next morning.

Day 2:  Machu Picchu  Walking Tour – Return to Cusco

We’ll start early with a bus ride to Machu Picchu. Our knowledgeable guide will take you on a tour of the citadel and share fascinating insights into the Inca culture and history. According to the new Inca Trail regulations, we will re-enter Machu Picchu using  circuit number 3.

While on the walking tour in Machu Picchu, it is recommended that you take advantage of the opportunity to take pictures in every location your tour guide takes you to. This is especially important because, under the new regulations, you will not be able to backtrack and revisit any locations on the same circuit.

Once you have finished your walking tour in Machu Picchu, your tour guide will provide you with your returning train ticket. You will then proceed to the main exit of Machu Picchu in order to catch one of the buses that will take you on a 25-minute drive down to Aguas Calientes. In Aguas Calientes, there are many restaurants where you can take the opportunity to have lunch. After that, and depending on your returning train schedule, you will have to go to the Agua Calientes train station 30 minutes prior to your train’s departure.

Depending on your train’s departure time, you will have a 1.5-hour train journey back to Ollantaytambo train station. There, one of our company members will be waiting for you with a sign displaying your name, in order to take you to the place where our transportation is waiting for you. After that, you will have another 1.5-hour car or van drive before you arrive back in Cusco.

Price

PRICES SHORT INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU 2 DAYS

Group service – Season 2024

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DISCOUNT

  • icon studentsStudent Discount: $20 USD
  • icon teenDiscount for Under 18: $30 USD
  • icon childrenDiscount for Under 7: $50 USD

Valid Studen ID Inka Trail Backpacker

STUDENT DISCOUNT:

The student discount is available to students worldwide who meet the requirements of the Peruvian government. It can be applied when purchasing tickets for Machu Picchu directly from the Peruvian government.

To qualify for the student price, make sure you meet the following requirements:

Your student ID must be an original document issued by your university, made of PVC material.

  • The student ID must include the following printed information:
  • University information.
  • Student’s name.
  • Student’s photograph.
  • The student ID must have a valid expiration date printed on it, which is valid for only one year. For example, if you plan to visit Machu Picchu in 2024, the expiration date on your ID should be 2024 or 2025. If you visit Machu Picchu in 2024, the maximum allowed expiration date is 2025.
  • The student discount is available only for students 25 years of age or younger.
  • The International Student Identity Card (ISIC) is not valid for the discount, even if it meets the requirements mentioned above.
  • The only accepted document for the student price is the original student ID that meets the requirements set by the Peruvian government. Other documents, such as certifications or virtual cards, are not accepted as proof of student status.
  • To request the student price, please send a photo of both sides of your student ID to inkatrailbackpacker@gmail.com when booking the tour. If you send it later, you will not be eligible for the student discount.
  • Feel free to contact us if you have further questions or need assistance.

Additional Upgrades for Your Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu:

Train schedule

The schedule for the return train at the end of the Tour/Trek is the Expedition Train, departing at 6:20 p.m. or 7:00 p.m., depending on availability.

If you prefer an earlier train for the return journey, we can arrange it for an additional cost of $35 per person. The available times are 2:55 p.m. or 4:35 p.m. We also offer the option to book the Vistadome train at 3:40 p.m. for an additional cost of $65 per person. Please let us know in advance which train schedule you prefer. Please note that none of the reserved trains go directly to Cusco; they only go to the Ollantaytambo or Poroy stations. In any case, we will ensure that transportation will be arranged to pick you up and bring you back to Cusco.

Can I change my return train ticket to an earlier one at the Aguas Calientes station?

Yes, you can make this change in person at the Aguas Calientes train station. However, they will ask you to pay an additional fee for changing the ticket, and the change will be subject to availability of space and train schedules.

How long does the return trip to Cusco take?

The return journey to Cusco takes approximately 3 hours. First, you will board a train in Aguas Calientes, which will take you to the Ollantaytambo train station for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Then, a transfer from our office will be waiting for you at the train station exit with a sign bearing your name to drive you back to Cusco in a car or van for approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes. Finally, they will drop you off at your hotel or hostel. You will receive your train tickets once your Machu Picchu tour has concluded.

Rental Items

  • Small day pack $10
  • Walking poles (sticks) $10

what to bring

What you need to bring

  • Original passport
  • For students: ISIC card
  • Hiking boots
  • Waterproof jacket or rain poncho
  • Two t-shirts
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Comfortable trousers
  • Hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • We strongly recommend to bring your Camel Back and water canteen due to that government of Peru will not allow disposable plastic bottles anymore on the Inca trail and in Machu Picchu.
  • Toiletries
  • Camera, batteries, and extra memory cards
  • Shorts
  • Walking stick
  • Bandages
  • Sandals
  • Extra money
  • Bathing suit for hot springs in Aguas Calientes town

Why Us

Why does Inka Trail Backpacker charge less than other Inca Trail operators?

At Inka Trail Backpacker, we offer you the basic and essential version of the popular treks in the region. We are a 100% local company that wants to provide everything you will need at the real cost of operations—never unfair upcharging! That is why our slogan is “Fun, Not Fancy Trip.”

Are you a certified company?

Inka Trail Backpacker has been a Licensed Inca Trail Tour Operator since 2014. All companies managing the Inca Trail must be certified and have an Inca Trail operators license. This license is issued annually each December; Inka Trail Backpacker is licensed through the year of 2027.

Our license as an Official Travel Agency is under the name Inka Trail Backpacker E.I.R.L. Our license as an Inca Trail Operator is under the name of INKA TRAIL BACKPACKER E.I.R.L We also work with partner company licenses, such as QESWACHAKA PERU TOURS  E.I.R.L and GRUPO CAMINOS DEL PERU E.I.R.L. For tourists´protection, getting the permit for the Inca Trail from the government is a complicated and stringent process: in order to guarantee an Inca Trail Permit for all the tourists that have decided to book their adventure with us, we are registered to book using any of the above mentioned company licenses. We are all registered on the official Government web site: www.machupicchu.gob.pe.

Does Inka Trail Backpacker care for their porters?

Yes, we absolutely take care of our porters. We do not charge you less than other companies at the expense of our porters’ pay and wellbeing. Since the end of 2014, Inka Trail Backpacker has been paying our porters a wage of 400 soles for the 4 day trek, plus their transportation costs. That is nearly 20% above the legally required minimum wage agreed upon with the Porters Union. Following talks with our porters, they have told us that they know of only a few trekking companies that offer such competitive pay and benefits. Only two companies pay slightly more (and charge their clients almost US$100 more than us). Of the remaining 170 other licensed trekking operators, only about 60% pay the legal wage and 40% pay less than the legal wage. Some companies pay only 70% of the legal wage. Unfortunately, this is difficult to prove as their porters receive a low wage but are asked to sign receipts showing they received more!

However, improving porter welfare is not just about paying fair wages. It is important that the porters have adequate food, a warm and dry place to sleep, and access to medical attention, just the same as any other member of the group.

The wages that the porters get paid are by no means high by Western standards, but you have to look at wages relative to other professions in Peru. For example, a school teacher gets paid the equivalent of about US$400 per month and has trained for 5 years to become a professional. A porter, if he works 4 treks a month, receives about the same if you include his tips. Most porters are seasonal workers and have no formal qualifications. For just 16 days work per month, they receive wages similar to a teacher who works 22 days. Inka Trail Backpacker also tries to help the porters in additional ways, such as financial and educational support for their families.

Trek with like-minded travellers

As a traveller, you know that one of the most rewarding and memorable experiences of going new places is the people you meet along the way. When you book a trek with us, you can be confident that your group will be filled with similar travellers looking for adventure in the Peruvian Andes. Our groups provide a great opportunity to meet new people and bond with them in an exciting environment. You never know who you will meet!

Community

We are really proud of the work we do for our community. This is a main focus for our company. We have worked with villages directly to help supply them with needs, buy all our food from local farmers and markets, and serve the freshest ingredients.

100% Guaranteed Departures

At Inka Trail Backpacker, we like to think we do trekking a little differently than our competitors. We stand by our customers and guarantee that we meet 100% of our departure dates on our treks even if you are a solo traveler.

Office Location

Our office is located at 392 Calle Triunfo (the street is also called Sunturwasi), inside the Centro Artesenal Arte Inka Building, which is on the corner across the street from the Museo Arzobispal and the Twelve-Angled Stone, by a small fountain. We are on the second floor, in Suite 209.

Travel Info

Pre-Trek Briefing

At Inka Trail Backpacker, providing a personal experience and ensuring you are thoroughly prepared for your trek is very important to us. Before you depart on the Inca Trail trek, you will receive a briefing in our office. At the briefing, you will get to meet our staff, receive maps and a detailed description of each day of your tour, be given duffel bags if you have hired a porter, and have the opportunity to ask questions.

Do the tour guides speak English?

Our team of guides are all local to the Cusco area and speak both Spanish and English fluently. Many of them also speak Quechua (the native language of Peru). With degrees in tourism and with two years minimum of experience under their belts, they are full of energy, information about the native flora and fauna, and the Inca sites, with a vast knowledge of ready sourced stories and legends told by the Andean people.

How many people are there per group?

The maximum size of our Inca Trail 4 day group service is 16 people. For groups of over 8 people we also employ an assistant guide to help out (the assistant guide is a fully qualified guide but may lack some of the experience of the main guide or still need to improve his/her English skills.)

Is the 2 Day Inca Trail hike difficult?

The 2 Day Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu features only 6 hours of walking, which makes it perfect for new hikers  or active families. However, we still recommend that you  be well prepared and healthy prior to starting the trek. You must be moderately fit to complete this hike. To prepare, try walking 10km a day or start going to the gym a month before the trek. Also try to  spend a few days in Cusco adjusting to the high altitude before you will start the Inca Trail

Can you pick us up in the Sacred Valley?

Ollantaytambo is the best place to stay other than Cusco. By staying in Ollantaytambo, you actually get a little more sleep because we will be picking you up about 1.5 hours after the Cusco pick up time. However, please keep in mind that the pre-trip briefing can only be done in Cusco.

Storage during your trek

You can leave any of your belongings that you do not want to bring on the trek at your hotel or hostel you were previously staying in. These hostels/hotels usually have a secure, locked room where you can store your belongings. If you do not trust your hostel, we would be more than happy to securely store you belongings for you.

Faqs

Which part of the Inca Trail does the 2 day hike go through?

This trail starts at the 104km train stop and ascends to the ruins of Wiñay Wayna before continuing on to Machu Picchu. Since we arrive later to Machu Picchu, you will not have much time at Machu Picchu on the first day. We will spend the night in the town of Aguas Calientes and return to Machu Picchu again the following day.

How many kilometers will we walk on the trek?

We will walk a total of 10 km / 6.3 miles.

At what altitude will the trek start and finish?

We will start the trek at km 104, located at (2,200m/7,2600ft) above sea level. The highest point of the trek is the Sun Gate, located at (2,700m/8,858ft). Aguas Calientes, where we will stay overnight, is located at an elevation of (2,040m/6,690ft).

What type of hostal does Inka Trail Backpacker use for this tour?

We always book through the El Tambo Inn, which has three different properties and offers private, double rooms that offer comfortable beds, hot water for showering, WiFi, and breakfast.

 Can I book my own hotel/ hostal in Aguas Calientes?

You can choose any hotel to stay in Aguas Calientes – it´s a very small town – and absolutely can book on your own. This will reduce the price of your trek by $10 per person. If you choose to book your own hotel, make sure you tell us where you plan on staying so we can get you there safely

Can I spend an extra night in Aguas Calientes?

Of course. If you are ok with taking the same train out of Aguas Calientes that is part of your original itinerary, which is typically at 6:20 pm or 7:00.p.m that evening, than there is no additional charge to move the train back a day.

Will we have porters on this trek? How much should I carry on the trek?

For the 2 day Inca Trail hike we do not employ the services of porters. You should bring with you only the essentials: passport, rain pancho, camera, water, and a change of clothes. Your pack should not weigh more than 6 kg. Please also remember that you need to have enough room to pack your box lunch in your day pack  This box lunch is provided  by us on the morning of the first day.

When do I need to pay the balance for my tour?

We require everyone to be in Cusco for at least 2 nights prior to starting the trek, although 3 nights is even better.

You must pay your trek balance at least 2 days before trek departure. For example if your trek departs on a Monday you must come to our office before 7.30 pm on Saturday to pay the trek balance. This ensures that everyone in the group is well acclimatized to the high altitude before starting the trek.

How many days will I need to acclimatize to the altitude before the Inca Trail Trek?

It is very important to be well acclimatized before exerting yourself on a trek. This is why we require everyone to be in Cusco for a minimum of 2 days prior to regular treks like the Inca Trail. However, if you are doing one of our longer treks like the 6 day Combined Salkantay/Inca Trail Trek, you will need at least 4 days to acclimatize because these treks occur at much higher altitudes than Cusco. You can use this time spent acclimatizing to visit the city of Cusco, nearby Inca ruins, and the Sacred Valley of the Incas.

Can I wear sneakers on my trek? Why do I need hiking boots?

No, sneakers are not recommended for the Inca Trail! The terrain is very steep, with loose gravel, puddles, mud, and other obstacles. You must have sturdy, waterproof footwear designed for this type of terrain, with good traction and ankle support. Be sure to break in your hiking boots before your trek! Wear them on several shorter walks or hikes before your trip, so that your feet can get used to them.

If you do not have hiking boots, or they are too bulky for your suitcase, you can rent them in Cusco for under one hundred soles.

Can I stay in the Sacred Valley?

Ollantaytambo is the best place to stay other than Cusco. By staying in Ollantaytambo, you actually get a little more sleep because we will be picking you up about 1.5 hours after the Cusco pick up time. However, please keep in mind that the pre-trip briefing can only be done in Cusco.

Is there an oxygen bottle available during the trek, just in case?

Yes, all our tour guides take an oxygen bottle with them along the trail and will provide oxygen as needed.

What is included in the boxed lunch? Do I have to carry my own lunch?

The first day of this trek includes a box lunch, which usually consists of a sandwich, fruit, and some cookies. As part of our commitment to sustainability, your lunch comes in a specially-designed, reusable cloth bag, which you may either keep at the end of your tour or return to your guide to be recycled. Please be aware you will be required to carry your own lunch during the trek. The bag is ideal for fitting inside or over a daypack, and weighs no more than two kilos when full.

Is there a direct train from Cusco to Machu Picchu? How long is the train journey back to Cusco?

The train travels between the town of Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley and Aguas Calientes, a small town located fifteen minutes below the Machu Picchu complex. The journey from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes is an hour and forty minutes. (The return journey will be about three and a half hours, because the drive from Ollantaytambo station to Cusco is about an hour and forty minutes.) From Aguas Calientes, it is either a fifteen minute bus ride or hour hike up to Machu Picchu.

There is no direct train from Cusco to Machu Picchu. Although there is an additional station located at Poroy, about 25 minutes from Cusco, it is not always open. Train service from Ollantaytambo, meanwhile, is constant and reliable. Furthermore, taking the train from the Poroy station extends the total length of your journey between Cusco and Aguas Calientes to more than four hours, instead of three and a half.

Where do I have to be on the morning of the trek and where will I be dropped off at the end of the trek?

On the morning of the trek departure, we will pick you up from inside your hotel in Cusco (don’t wait outside in the street) and drop you off either in the Plaza de Regocijos ( next to the main square) or Plaza San Francisco (two blocks from the main square) upon your return to Cusco. You won’t be dropped off directly at your hotel/hostels.

It helps us if you try to stay in a hotel/hostal that is within a few blocks of the Plaza de Armas (Main Square). If your hotel/hostal is far away from the main square we will ask you to come to our offices with the exact location and name of your accommodation. If you are not staying in the city center, we may not be able to pick you up from your hotel. You must take a taxi to the center. 

The guide will come into your hotel and ask for you at reception. Because the centre of Cusco is full of small cobblestone streets, our larger bus/van is not permitted to enter certain zones in the city centre, so you will then have to walk a short distance to where the bus/van will be waiting for you. Traffic regulations prohibit large buses/van from entering the main square but usually after 10pm we don´t have a problem and will be able to drop you off in the main square upon your return. You can then take a taxi back to your hotel (between US$2 to US$4 for a taxi).

If we have to drop you off in Plaza San Francisco, you may be a bit disoriented (some people may need to be woken up!!) but we recommend that you ask for directions to the Plaza de Armas and our guide or driver will be happy to help. It’s only two blocks away, but usually it’ll be quite late at night so it is best to walk together as a group back to the Plaza before taking a taxi or walking back to your hotel.

Is there a minimum group size and what happens if Inka Trail Backpacker does not meet the minimum size?

We require a minimum group size of just four people. During the last few years, Inka trail Backpacker has always managed to meet the minimum group size for ALL of our departure dates and have never had to cancel any group departures due to group size.

If in the unlikely event that we do not reach the minimum required number of persons we reserve the right to combine our clients with another trekking company of similar cost.

What vaccines do I need for my trip? Will I need malaria pills?

Before traveling to Peru, you should consult your doctor. Routine vaccines, Hepatitis A, and typhoid vaccines are recommended for most travelers by the CDC. Some travelers may also need vaccines for Hepatitis B, rabies, and yellow fever. Women who are pregnant or may become pregnant should also be advised that the Zika virus is present in Peru.

Malaria pills are not necessary for these treks.

Do you recommend a rain poncho, or is a rain jacket okay?

The rainy season in Cusco is generally from November to April, when there are near-daily showers and the ground—especially in trekking areas—is wet and muddy. However, there are occasional showers throughout the rest of the year; you should always pack a rain jacket, regardless of when you plan to visit. For treks, a rain poncho is highly recommended—since you will be walking through rain for potentially several hours without shelter, a poncho will be much more effective at keeping all of your belongings and your base layers warm and dry. Waterproof shoes are also strongly recommended.

What if I get sick on the trail during my tour?

In the event of illness or injury, we will offer all of the support and care we are able; however, you should carry any medications you expect to need with you (ask your doctor for specific recommendations or prescriptions for altitude sickness, traveler´s diarrhea , colds and sore throats, and pain or inflammation). If you are not capable of completing the trek, we will transport you back to Cusco, where you can seek medical treatment. However, the cost of this transportation is not included in your tour and you will be expected to pay the additional expense—for this reason, we highly recommend travel insurance for your trek.

Will I have a private bathroom in the hostel?

Yes, in all of the hostels that we book for you, you will have a private room and bathroom.

Do I need walking poles?

Although not required, walking poles are recommended for any trekkers worried about joint stress or balance. They also are quite helpful in providing stability and leverage on especially steep climbs and descents. If you do not have poles or are unsure how to use them, we are able to rent them to you and provide instruction.

What documents do I need to bring to Machu Picchu?

As of July 1, 2017, you must have your original passport to enter Machu Picchu. You also need to have your entrance ticket, which your guide will give to you at the appropriate time. The passport that you bring to Machu Picchu must be the same one that you used to book your tour and entrance; if you change or renew your passport between booking and your trip, please be sure to bring the originals of both.

Do we go to Machu Picchu for sunrise?

Your entrance time to Machu Picchu will depend on when you book your trek. As of July 1, 2017, there are two possible entry times to the site: 6:00 am to 12:00 pm, or 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm. Your ticket will grant you entry for either the morning or the afternoon—not both. The morning entry is significantly more popular and quickly sells out—unless you book your trek two to three months in advance, we cannot guarantee a morning entry.

If you book far enough in advance to secure a morning entry, you will start to hike up to Machu Picchu at 4:30am, arriving at the site by about 6:00 am—just in time for the sunrise!

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