Short Inca Trail is a popular alternative to the 4 Days Classic Inca Trail. The 2 Day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is relatively an easier option. It is often preferred by travellers with limited time in Cusco and wanting to get an insight into the archaeological sites of the Incas.
2 Day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu takes you through some notable Inca sites – Chachabamba, Wiñay Wayna, Inti Punku or the Sun gate before entering the renowned lost city of the Incas, Machu Picchu.
Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu starts at Km 104. The trail head is named after its distance from Cusco enroute to Machu Picchu. Apart from Inca ruins, the trail is also dotted with distinct flora and fauna which you will be getting an insight to on the guided tour.
You will be hiking a total distance of 12 Kilometers (7.4 Miles) exploring the prominent part of the Inca Trail.
With no rush, you will have plenty of time to soak in the views of the Peruvian highlands and immerse in the serenity. Our local expert will be talking to you the prominence of each archaeological sites during the Inca civilization.
Please note that although the trail is not as challenging as the Classic Inca Trail, you will still be hiking at a relatively high altitude. We highly recommend that you spend a few days in Cusco to acclimatize and avoid altitude sickness.
If you intend on hiking Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain, please let us know at the time of booking your trip. You will need separate permits which are often sold months in advance.
Cusco Hotel Transfer
Your epic Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu begins with an early morning transfer from your hotel in Cusco. We will be driving you through the Sacred Valley of the Incas to Ollantaytambo. You will be boarding the Aguas Calientes bound train and will be getting off at Km 104. It will be an hour and 45 minutes trip.
This is the starting point of the Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. Before beginning the trail, local authorities will be verifying your permit against your original passport. After a short introduction we will begin the hike by 10:00 AM.
Our first stop on the Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu will be in Chachabamba. After crossing the security control, we will be crossing the small bridge and gradually hike up the slope to Chachabamba.
At 2150 meters above sea level (7053ft.), Chachabamba houses a stone altar. The Inca priests or Shamans often visited this sacred site to offer their prayers to Apus (Mountain Peaks) and Inti (Sun).
Using the Sacred Andean Leaves (Coca Leaves) our local expert will demonstrate how these rituals were performed by the Inca priests.
After getting an insight into the Andean traditions and Inca mythology, we will be hiking for four hours gradually ascending to the most prominent site of the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, Wiñay Wayna.
It is at 2650 metres above sea level (8694 ft.). In Quechua, the name signifies forever young. Arguably, this is the most beautiful site along the Inca Trail. Our guide will give you an immersive tour of the Inca city and will introduce you to the Incas farming methods and more.
After the tour, we will settle in the campsite and unwrap our box lunch.
After lunch, we will be hiking through dense jungle to another remarkable site, Sun Gate or Inti Punku. Only those hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu get to enter the citadel through the Sun Gate.
You will get the first view of Machu Picchu citadel from the sun gate. We will have plenty of time to soak in the views and enjoy the sights.
Once you have had your fill of this, we will be hiking down the hill and exit the citadel. We will be taking the 25 minutes bus ride down the hill to Aguas Calientes town. Here we will be accommodating you in an ensuite hotel room for the night.
You can spend the evening visiting the market here or taking a dip in the hot springs after which the village is named.
We will be leaving the hotel early in the morning, after breakfast. The 25 minutes bus ride will get us to the main entrance of Machu Picchu citadel. After clearing the security control, we will be entering the citadel for an immersive tour of Machu Picchu.
Our tour begins with a brief introduction to Inca civilization and Machu Picchu citadel. We will be visiting the prominent parts of Machu Picchu citadel including the main plaza, remains of ceremonial sites, royal quarters, sun dial clock and more.
After the tour, you will have some free time to explore the citadel on your own. If you have booked to climb Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain, our tour guide will be directing you to respective entrance.
Once you have enjoyed the citadel, we will be taking the bus back to Aguas Calientes. You will have some free time here so you can stop for lunch at one of the local restaurants or visit the hot springs here.
Around 0445 in the evening, we will be boarding the train to Ollantaytambo. You will be reaching by 0630 PM. Our representative will meet you on arrival and will transfer you back to your hotel in Cusco. We will be reaching Cusco by 0830 PM.
The trek itself was only two days long, but the sights and experiences we encountered along the way were truly unforgettable. We started off in the Sacred Valley, and from the very beginning, the scenery was breathtaking. The mountains, the ruins, and the wildlife were all awe-inspiring.