The Short Inca trail to Machu Picchu 2 Days is the most iconic 2 Days Hike to Machu Picchu. Despite the shorter trek time, you will nonetheless experience all of the main highlights of the real Inca Trail. Highlights of this 2 Day Short Inca Trail Hike include walking through the lush forest of the Amazon, hiking in the Peruvian Andes and enjoying beautiful views of snow-capped peaks and natural streams. You will see Machu Picchu from the Sun Gate, the same entrance used by the Incas on their spiritual pilgrimages to the sacred site of Machu Picchu – Peru. You will enjoy a guided tour and explore the ruins of this wonderous archaeological site as well as an optional hike up to the peak of Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain.
We will pick you up from your Cusco hotel early in the morning (about 5:00am) and then drive to the train station in Ollantaytambo and take the train to Kilometer (Km) 104, which takes about three hours. Km 104 is an unscheduled train stop so you will probably feel a twinge of satisfaction that the train is stopping especially for you – and by knowing you are about to see things that no one else will get to! At Km 104 we will get off the train and pass the Inca Trail checkpoint where we will see our first archaeological center called Chachabamba (2,170 m / 7,170 ft). These ruins were one of the last shelters that the Incas used before they reached Machu Picchu. This site was also used as a religious and administrative center, and features several buildings.
Then, we will gradually ascend for about 2-3 hours climbing Inca stone steps while our guide points out different flora and fauna along the trail. We will then pass a tall waterfall before arriving at the archaeological site called Wiñay Wayna at (2,650 m / 8,700 ft), which is named after an orchid and means Forever Young in Quechua. We will climb to the top of the ruins and enjoy lunch with an incredible view of the Urubamba River and the Sacred Valley. This large site sits on a mountainside and features experimental terraces that the Incas used to grow different crops. We will visit an important temple with 7 windows that was dedicated to the rainbow as well as observe the amazing engineering of water channels that still function today.
Once we finish our tour here, we will continue our hike for about 1 ½ hours on a part of the Inca Trail which is relatively flat, with small ascents and descents along the way. At about 5:00 pm we will reach the Sun Gate (2,720 m / 8,920 ft), which is called Intipunku in Quechua. This is where we will have our first view of Machu Picchu and from there we will head down to the ruins. From Machu Picchu, we take the bus to Aguas Calientes and have a short walk to our camp at Puente Ruinas. Our porter will have the tents completely set up for us.
We will have happy hour with tea when we arrive at the camp. Then our chef will prepare us an incredible, hearty dinner. After dinner we can relax at camp and get a good sleep so we will be up early for the sunrise.
Meals: Box Lunch / Dinner
Accommodations: Camping at Puente Ruinas
Maximum altitude: 2,720 m / 8,920 ft
Minimum Altitude: 2,040 m / 6,691 ft
Distance to walk: 13 km / 8 miles ( 5 - 6 hrs )