Machu Picchu Architecture and the buildings of the Incas

Short Inca Trail 2 Days

2 Days / 1 Night
Vidal Expeditions video
Accommodation Icon
Hotel Accommodation
Group Size Icon
Up to 10 People Group Size
Max. Altitude Icon
2,720 m / 8,924 ft Max. Altitude
Difficulty Icon
Moderate Difficulty

The Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

KM 104 - Chachabamba - WiñayWayna - Sun Gate - Machu Picchu
Accommodation Icon
Hotel Accommodation
Group Size Icon
Up to 10 People Group Size
Max. Altitude Icon
2,720 m / 8,924 ft Max. Altitude
Difficulty Icon
Moderate Difficulty

No permits left for the Inca Trail 4 Days/3 Nights? or you are short on time? No Worries!!! Hiking along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu offers an experience of a lifetime; however, if you don’t have enough time. We have a great alternative: hiking the Short Inca Trail 2 Days.
This hike offers unique views of some archaeological sites located along the trail, including Chachabamba, Wiñay Wayna, and the Sun Gate, where you’ll have the first view of the mystical Machu Picchu. Reach the lost city of the Incas in the afternoon, when the crowds have already left this Inca site.

  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Inclusions
  • Packing List
  • Faqs
  • Pricing
  • Enquire Now

This 2-Day Inca trail Tour was designed for people who are traveling with limited time but want to experience hiking on a section of the Inca Trail. This hike allows you to visit incredible archeological sites located along the classic Inca Trail, especially on the last part of it. You will also get fantastic views of the valley, learn about Inca history, and be amazed by the flora and fauna of the area. After hiking for a few hours, the trail connects to the Sun Gate and finally ends at Machu Picchu.

Highlight of this Tour: Wiñaywayna, Sun Gate and Machu Picchu
Hiking distance: 9Km/5.59 miles
Considerations: Permit Required
Season: March through January

Itinerary at a Glance

  • Day01

    Cusco - Ollantaytambo - KM 104 - Wiñaywayna - Sun Gate - Machu Picchu - Aguas Calientes.

    Embark on a lifetime adventure through the best train journey and get to the beginning of the Inca Trail, surrounded by incredible biodiversity and history.
  • Day02

    Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu - Train station - Ollantaytambo-Cusco

  • Explore the most fascinating Inca site built at the top of the mountain, Machu Picchu, now one of the Seven World Wonders.
Day 01

Hiking to Machu Picchu

Walking Distance: 12km / 7.4 miles
Starting Elevation: 2,100 meters ASL / 6889 feet ASL
Machu Picchu Elevation: 2,430 meters ASL / 7,972 feet ASL
Difficulty: Moderate
Meals: Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Hotel
Adventure: Absolutely, completely satisfactory
Highlights of today: Hiking on the ancient Inca trail, best trail in South America with unique views that ends in Machu Picchu.

You will be picked up from your hotel at 4 a.m. Following, we will head to the train station in Ollataytambo, which leaves at 6:10 a.m. The train follows the Urubamba River until we reach km 104 of the railway (trail head). Along the way, you will see spectacular views of the farmlands, snow-capped mountains, and the mighty Urubamba River, one of the sources of the Amazon River. At km 104 (2,100 m or 6,889 ft), we will begin our trek. Once you have everything you need, we will provide you with a packed lunch, energy drinks, and a group photo before visiting our first Inca site. After an orientation and tour of the Inca site, we will begin hiking upward as we head for the Classic Inca Trail. If the weather is clear, we'll have tremendous views of Machu Picchu mountain, the Urubamba River, and other surrounding Inca sites.

After hiking for about three hours, we will reach the most beautiful Incan site on the Inca Trail, Wiñay Wayna (Forever Young), at 2,600 m (8,500 ft). Most people do not get the opportunity to see this mystical inca ruin, its temples, and some agricultural terraces, which provide a perfect opportunity to learn about the history of the Incas. The backdrop of this site drops off a cliff, with beautiful mountains surrounding the area. From Wiñay Wayna, we will walk to the Sun Gate, where we'll see the most incredible landscape over the breathtaking Machu Picchu. After taking in the once-in-a-lifetime views, we'll descend to Machu Picchu.

A big advantage of this hike is that by the time we reach Machu Picchu, most of the day's travelers will have returned home, so you will have the area to yourself. After taking photos, we take the bus down to Aguas Calientes and head to your hotel. Following a rewarding dinner after your day of trekking, we recommend going to bed early to make the most of the next day.

Meals Icon
Lunch & Dinner Meals
Difficulty Icon
Moderate Difficulty
Walking Distance Icon
12km/7.4miles Walking Distance
Walking Time Icon
7-8 hours Walking Time
Starting Elevation Icon
2,100 me/ 6,889 ft Starting Elevation
Highest Elevation Icon
2,700m / 8,858 ft Highest Elevation
Day 02

Visit the “Lost City of the Incas”

Walking Distance: 4km / 2.48 miles( or bus to Machu Picchu)
Starting Elevation:  2,040 meters ASL / 6,692 feet ASL
Machu Picchu Elevation: 2,430 meters ASL / 7,972 feet ASL
Difficulty: Moderate
Meals: Breakfast
Adventure: Absolutely, completely satisfactory
Highlights of today: Machu Picchu the mystical Inca archaeological site will rise as we are hiking early in the morning through the forest to reach the site before most other tourists – even the other Inca Trail trekkers! You will have plenty of time to explore this truly magnificent World Wonder while you enjoy the beautiful sunrise from this once-in-a-lifetime viewpoint.

We will wake up early in the morning in order to catch the sunrise at Machu Picchu and avoid the crowds. You'll walk for a few minutes to board the bus that'll take you to the entrance of the Inca citadel. After admiring the beauty of Machu Picchu, you will have a two-hour guided tour by your English-speaking guide. After that, you will have time to explore Machu Picchu on your own. Those who have tickets to Huayna Picchu will have time to climb the mountain, which takes approximately an hour and a half round-trip. When you are done exploring, you can either take a bus or walk down to Aguas Calientes for a free afternoon before you board the train, which will depart later that afternoon back to Ollantaytambo, and then we will drive you back to Cusco.

Meals Icon
Breakfast Meals
Difficulty Icon
Moderate Difficulty
Walking Distance Icon
No Walking Distance
Guided Tour Icon
3 Hours Guided Tour
Starting Elevation Icon
2,040 m / 6,692 ft Starting Elevation
Highest Elevation Icon
2,430 m / 7,972 ft Highest Elevation

At Vidal Expeditions, we are transparent and provide specific details of what is included and excluded in the short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. We know this is very important so that you know exactly what to bring and don’t miss anything. We provide this information to ensure that you have an incredible experience during your trek.


Vidal Expeditions Team Provide

  • Pre-departure briefing

    Once you book the tour with us, you will get a notification about the pre-departure briefing, where you will meet with your trekking guide and the tour group in our office the night before your Machu Picchu hike. During this briefing, you will receive important details about the Inca Trail trek.

  • Professional Trekking Guide

    All our tour guides have a great reputation for customer service. Our tour guides have graduated with a tourism career from the National University San Antonio Abad of Cusco. They have also studied English at a private language institute. Through their patience, responsibility, knowledge, passion for trekking, and pride in having been born in the land of the Incas, we ensure our tour guides provide an excellent experience for you when you explore the magical Machu Picchu.

  • Permits Inca Trail and Machu Picchu

    Once we receive your details and the deposit for the tour, we purchase all the necessary tickets for your trek (subject to availability). These permits will be for a specific date and will be in your name. Unfortunately, this information can’t be modified under any circumstance once confirmed. Only your passport number can be updated; however, for this change, you must bring both your old and new passports.

  • Accommodations

    Along this short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, you will spend a night in a hotel located in Aguas Calientes town, near the Machu Picchu citadel. Your tour guide will transfer you there after the day's hiking along the Inca Trail.


  • Private Transport

    We include all the transportation during your trek. We will pick you up from your hotel in Cusco and take you to Ollantaytambo, near the train station. At the end of the trek, the bus returning from Ollantaytambo to Cusco will drop you off at your hotel.

  • Train Ticket

    For the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, we include the return train ticket after you have explored Machu Picchu on the last day. The train ticket will be for one of the available trains scheduled for 14:20 hrs., 14:55 hrs., or 16:20 hrs.

  • Bus Ticket

    The bus ticket from Machu Picchu down to Aguas Calientes once you are done exploring Machu Picchu is also included.

  • Medical First Aid Kit

    All tour guides at Vidal Expeditions are very well trained in first aid. They received training courses every six months on how to assist someone who is in an emergency situation. Also, they are trained on how to supply balloon oxygen if someone requires it.


  • Meals

    At Vidal Expeditions, we know food is such an important part of any vacation, and getting the right fuel on an active holiday is crucial. For your trek, we include 1 breakfasts, 1 lunches, and 1 dinners. We cater to all dietary restrictions. Vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and others—just let us know your dietary restrictions at the time of your booking.

  • Snacks

    Our team will provide a snack every morning before leaving each campsite, so you can enjoy it during your hike throughout the day. There will be many breaks where you can enjoy the delicious local fruits, biscuits, and caramels.


  • Sleeping bag

    Every trekker along the Inca Trail needs a proper sleeping bag, which has to be for -15°C or 5°F. We recommend you bring your own, but if you don’t want to bring your own or don’t have one, you can rent a sleeping bag from us.

  • Water

    Hiking the Inca Trail you will need water. You must bring your own water container, bottle, or camelback that can hold water for hiking for a few hours. We recommend a capacity of 2 liters.

  • Walking Sticks/Trekking Poles

    Hiking with trekking poles has its benefits—protect your knees while you are hiking downhill. Specially on ancient Inca trail which are many stairs up and down, trekking poles help you during the ascent, increase stability. If you don’t have a pair of trekking poles, you can rent them from our office.

  • Breakfast on the First day

    We do not provide breakfast on the day of your departure. However, most hotels offer breakfast during your stay. In case your hotel does not provide breakfast, we will stop at a restaurant near Ollantaytambo where you will be able to purchase breakfast.

  • Lunch in Aguas Calientes

    Lunch on the last day at Aguas Calientes is not included in the trek. However, you and the group can enjoy the last lunch together at a restaurant recommended by your tour guide.

  • Travel Insurance

    We recommend buying travel insurance before leaving your country in case something happens during your visit to Peru.

  • Tips for our team

    Tips are not included. Tipping the team is typical on any excursion to Machu Picchu. Although we pay good salaries to our entire team, tips are welcome as a token of your appreciation for the team hard work.

  • Huayna Picchu

    Huayna Picchu is the mountain that stands next to Machu Picchu. It is a really famous hike that normally takes 45 minutes to hike up the narrow, steep steps to the top with a great view of Machu Picchu citadel. If you would like to hike Huayna Picchu after your tour to Machu Picchu, there is an extra cost of USD 75.00. Also, this booking must be done at least 3 months in advance due to its popularity.

  Packing List

At Vidal Expeditions, we focus on making your trip an unforgettable experience, and we want to provide all the details you need to know before leaving your country and starting your life experience in Peru.

What you need to pack? Important
  • Passport
  • Valid, STUDENT CARD (if you booked as a student)
  • Immigration Card (given on the plane as you enter Peru)
  • Good daypack (the smaller, the better)
  • Water storage: Water reservoir like Camelback is encouraged - but enough for at least 2-3 liters.
  • Comfortable hiking boots (lightweight with good soles)

A daypack can be any size for hiking, but we always say the smaller, the better. Inside Machu Picchu, bags larger than 25 liters will not be allowed. If it is larger, you will need to store it outside the citadel gates. But don´t worry; they have a secure storage facility.

  • 2 wicking t-shirts
  • 2 hiking pants
  • 2 sets of undergarments.
  • 1 Fleece
  • Waterproof jacket/rain poncho
  • 1 sun hat
  • 1 wool hat
  • Bathers / swimsuit for the hot spring
  • Comfortable shoes for camp or flip flops
  • Walking boots
  • Waterproof jacket/rain poncho

  • Battery Charger: You can change it once you arrive to Machu Picchu
    Large plastic bags: to help organize and keep clean from dirty.

Important Items:
  • Sun hat
  • Camera
  • Music (iPhone)
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Toilet paper and small plastic bag for waste
  • Extra Money for Souvenirs, Drinks & Tips
  • Earplugs
  • Some snacks (Chocolate, fruits, energy bars, etc.)

  • Sunscreen
  • Face moisturizer
  • Bug spray
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Wet wipes
  • Toothbrush and paste
  • Toilet paper
  • Personal medication
  • First aid kit: band aids, moleskin, etc.
Here some frequently asked question about the Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

At Vidal Expeditions, we make the booking system as easy as possible for you. Once you decide to do the Inca Trail, we will send you a booking form where you need to complete all the required details, which can’t be changed once confirmed. We also need a previous deposit of $200 USD per person. As soon as you pay, we immediately book a spot on the Inca Trail. Once we are done with it, we will send you your invoice and confirmation that all the booking processes have been set up satisfactorily.

To book the Inca Trail permit, you should do it in advance because there are limitations on how many people can hike this trail every day; the capacity is 230 tourists per day. Once your permit is confirmed, the start dates and your name cannot be changed under any circumstance. According to government rules, the only information we can change is the passport number, which you should take care of before confirming the booking form.

The government will only allow us to change passport numbers if we have a copy of the new and old passports. If you no longer have your old passport, any government-issued ID will be accepted, as long as the name is the same. Also, make sure your passport does not expire six months or less after your trip.

Of course, a night before departing for the tour, you will have a meeting with your trekking guide, who will provide you with all the details concerning this trek, and he'll tell you what the pick-up time will be according to your hotel location.

Yes. You can stay overnight in Aguas Calientes, and we will book your returning train ticket for the next day after the visit to Machu Picchu. We usually offer the late train ticket, which departs at 14:30 hours from Aguas Calientes, and you will arrive in Cusco around 6:30 p.m. We can also purchase the early train ticket leaving at 8:55 a.m., but you need to confirm with us when you are booking the tour. If you need us to secure your hotel or another visit to Machu Picchu, this will be an additional cost. If you do choose to spend one more night in Aguas Calientes, make sure you tell the Vidal Expeditions office at least one month in advance so your train ticket is purchased for the right day.

The short 2-day Inca trail has moderate difficulty due to the fact that it goes up and down with many stairs, some of which are foot tall. We recommend preparing for 6 to 7 hours of hiking on the first day, though it is still less strenuous than its 4-day equivalent. On the second day you'll visit Machu Picchu with little hike to visit the different temples.

Well, you will hike 12 kilometers (7,4 miles) in around 6-7 hours from 104 km to Machu Picchu, where the highest point will be 2,700 meters (8,858 ft) at the Sun Gate. If you have good physical conditions, you can do it in less time.

Your need to take at least two days in Cusco to acclimate to the altitude, no matter how fit you are, is necessary. It is important to be prepared with all the essential trekking gear and have the proper training for it.

For the first day hike, you definitely will need a minimum of two litters of water. After checking the first control, you won't have any option to buy more water. The next shop will be in Machu Picchu after we have done the entire hike, so we recommend preparing very well for this tour and bringing enough water for this 12 km of hike.

Definitely, it is always recommended to wear light hiking boots if possible. Ones with ankle support are extra helpful, especially for the inexperienced hiker. Because you will be climbing and going down so many steps created by the Incas, some of them become slippery as time goes on. Now that they are uneven and at varying heights, the extra support helps prevent twisting your ankles.

Walking sticks are always helpful to trekkers, but particularly on this trek. There are so many stairs that you will walk down, all made by the Incas 600 years ago. They vary in height and are not all straight. Using walking sticks can help take the pressure off your knees while doing this portion of the trail. Plus, they will help you get up the mountain as well. For those who are bringing their own, make sure you have rubber tips, or the rangers will not allow you to use them. Rubber tips can be purchased in Cusco if you forget before you leave, as well as at the beginning of the trail.

If you have extra luggage that you do not need to bring to the Inca Trail, more hotels in Cusco offer fee-based storage where you can leave your luggage even if you change hotels after the trek. We also have storage available in the Vidal Expeditions office. Get more information from our office team.

The weather in Cusco and parts of the Andes is unpredictable, even if the weather forecast says it’s sunny. We can’t trust it. It is an impossible question for us to answer. Historically, April through September is the dry season; November through February is the rainy season; and March and October are bridge months—a mixture of both. But the clouds have not followed these rules in the last few years. Prepare for sun and rain, no matter when you come. As far as temperatures go, that is consistent throughout the year. Mornings and evenings are always cold. Make sure to bring a fleece jacket for the mornings and a down jacket for the evenings. Once the sun is up, you should be comfortable hiking and touring Machu Picchu in short sleeves. Long pants (for yoga or hiking) are encouraged to protect against the mosquitoes, which can be a nuisance in Aguas Calientes.


From: USD 550.00 per person

Additional Items
* Upgrade your hotel to 4 stars $100USD
* Upgrade the returning train to Vistadome service (With larger windows and more comfortable seats) $60US per person

  Enquire Now

Thank you for your interest in having an adventure travel experience in Peru curated by Vidal Expeditions. Please take a moment to complete our short form, so one our friendly Adventure Consultants could provide you all the information for your trip of a lifetime in Peru.

Our Pledge |  Your privacy is respected and protected. Vidal Expeditions will never share, sell, or make public any of your personal contact information to third parties.

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Short Inca Trail 2 Days / 1 Night
14 years and above
Below 14 years
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Prolongacion Av. Grau L-8, Santiago - Cusco

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2 Days 1 Night
Short Inca Trail

Price from $ 550 USD Per Person

Group Size Up to 8 People

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Short Inca Trail 2 Days / 1 Night Map


At Vidal Expeditions we offer the best service for all our customers and here is what makes us different than others.

  • Small groups: Along our excursion group size is a capped at 8 people. This guarantees that you will enjoy every step of our excursion

  • Hotel: During our excursion to Machu Picchu, we offer a 3 stars hotel stay for the last night. This ensures you are well rested and ready to explore Machu Picchu.

  • Bus to Machu Picchu: To enjoy Machu Picchu, we provide a round trip ticket on the bus from Aguas Calientes to the main entrance of the archaeological site.

  • Local Tour guides: Our team consists of 100% local tour guides, who have expert knowledge in our ancient culture.

  • Best Camping Equipment: We have the state-of-the-art camping equipment for our excursion. The equipment is thoroughly cleaned and sanitized before and after every excursion.

  • Best Trekking team: At Vidal Expeditions we focus to create the best experience during our excursions. Our team that consists of tour guides, cooks, porters, horse drivers are handpicked. We train our team to offer you the best service. We take care of our team by providing them with good equipment and paying them fairly.

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