Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu – 2 Day Inca Trail Hike

Discover the wonders of the ancient Inca civilization with Kaypi Peru Tours. Join us on our 2 Day Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu from Cusco. This expedition is designed for adventurers who seek to connect with history, nature, and the mystique of the Inca Trail. However, they have limited time at their disposal. 

As we venture on this remarkable hike to Machu Picchu, we will navigate through the heart of the Sacred Valley. We will be unveiling the secrets of archaeological sites. At the same time, we will embrace the panoramic views. These views have captivated travelers for centuries.

Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Our journey begins with a scenic drive from Cusco to the trailhead. Here the adventure to Machu Picchu takes on a tangible form. The trail beckons with a blend of natural beauty and historical richness. It will be leading us through a landscape dotted with ruins that whisper tales of a bygone era. 

Covering a distance that marries accessibility with the awe of exploration, this day hike stands out. It is an ideal compromise. On one side, there’s the full commitment of the Classic Inca Trail. On the other, there’s the desire to experience the trail’s essence.

With every step on the hike to Machu Picchu, we will immerse ourselves in two distinct experiences. First, we will delve into the biodiversity of the Andean environment. Second, we will appreciate the architectural genius of Inca stonework. 

The route to Wiñay Wayna, a lesser-known but equally stunning archaeological site, serves as a prelude to the marvel that is Machu Picchu. As the day wanes, the first glimpse of Machu Picchu from the Sun Gate offers an unforgettable view. It will be marking the highlight of the day’s hike.

To ensure a seamless experience, Kaypi Peru Tours manages all the essential details. Everything, including Inca Trail permits and guided tours. It allows our guests to focus purely on the experience. 

After a fulfilling day on the trail, we will spend the night in a comfortable hotel in Aguas Calientes. This will provide a well-deserved rest and an opportunity to reflect on the day’s adventures.

Second day of the 2 Day Inca Trail Hike

The second day unveils the majesty of Machu Picchu in full daylight. It will be offering time to explore its corners under the guidance of our expert tour operators. Visiting Machu Picchu early in the morning allows for the serene enjoyment of the site before the arrival of daily crowds. 

After thoroughly exploring the citadel, we will return to Aguas Calientes and subsequently to Cusco, concluding our memorable trek to Machu Picchu.

Kaypi Peru Tours highly recommends this 2 Day Inca Trail hike. It is for those looking to experience the beauty and history of Machu Picchu. This recommendation comes without requiring the longer commitment of the classic trail. 

From the personalized guidance of our knowledgeable guides, every aspect of the journey is crafted for your enjoyment. To the comfort of hotels in Aguas Calientes and Cusco, each detail is designed for your convenience. 

Prepare to embark on an adventure. You will treasure this adventure forever. The breathtaking views of Machu Picchu will be the pinnacle of your visit.

Day 1: Bus, Train, Hike up to Machu Picchu and hotel night in Aguas Calientes.
Day 2: Tour in Machupicchu and train back to Cusco

Short Inca trail to Machu Picchu Itinerary

Day 1: Cusco – Km.104 – Chachabamba – Wiñay Wayna – Machu Picchu.

We will begin our 2 Day Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu with an early departure from Cusco. Heading towards the Sacred Valley, our journey to Ollantaytambo promises scenic views and a glimpse into local Andean life. From Ollantaytambo, we make our way to Km 104, the starting point of our hike on the famed Inca Trail.


As we set foot on the trail at Chachabamba, a sense of anticipation fills the air. Chachabamba, a significant archaeological site along the Short Inca Trail, marks the beginning of our journey towards Machu Picchu. 

Situated at an altitude of 2,040 meters (about 6,692 feet), this ancient complex is thought to have served as a religious and administrative center. Featuring intricately carved rock structures, including altars and water channels, Chachabamba offers a unique glimpse into Incan architectural ingenuity and their reverence for nature. 

As we explore this site, we’ll gain insights into the spiritual and daily lives of the Inca people, setting the tone for the historical and cultural discoveries that await us on our hike.

Wiñay Wayna:

Our path leads us through lush cloud forests and past cascading waterfalls, a testament to the biodiversity of the region. We will ascend towards the archaeological wonder of Wiñay Wayna. It is an ancient site known for its intricate terraces and spiritual significance.

Wiñay Wayna, translating to “Forever Young,” is a highlight of the Short Inca Trail. It showcases the architectural prowess and agricultural ingenuity of the Inca civilization. Perched on a steep hillside, this complex features a series of terraces cascading down the mountain. It is accompanied by a network of temples, ritual baths, and water channels. 

Located at an altitude of approximately 2,650 meters (about 8,692 feet), Wiñay Wayna serves as a testament to the Inca’s mastery over their environment. It harnesses the landscape to sustain both their spiritual and practical needs. 

Exploring this site offers a profound connection to the past. It will reveal the harmony between Incan culture and the Andean nature. Additionally, it will be setting the stage for the awe-inspiring experience of Machu Picchu.

Intipunku (Sungate)

Continuing our ascent, we will reach the Sun Gate. Here, we will be rewarded with the first breathtaking view of Machu Picchu, nestled among the Andean peaks. This moment, capturing the essence of the Incan heritage and the beauty of the landscape, will be a highlight of our day.

The Sun Gate, or Intipunku, stands as an ancient gateway on the Short Inca Trail. It offers the first mesmerizing glimpse of Machu Picchu. 

Sun Gate is situated at an elevation of approximately 2,720 meters (about 8,923 feet). It was strategically positioned to control access to Machu Picchu. It also aligns perfectly with the sun during the summer solstice. 

As travelers reach the Sun Gate, they are rewarded with a panoramic view of the iconic citadel. It is framed by the majestic Andean mountains. This moment captures the essence of the Inca Trail experience. It provides a breathtaking introduction to the wonders of Machu Picchu and a profound sense of achievement for hikers as they complete the final stretch of their journey.

Aguas Calientes:

As the sun begins to set, we will make our descent to Aguas Calientes. This town serves as the gateway to Machu Picchu and will be our resting place for the night. Settling into a comfortable hotel, we will have the evening to relax and reflect on the day’s adventures. The anticipation for the next day’s exploration of Machu Picchu adds to the excitement of our journey.

Key statistics of the first day of our 2 Day Short Inca Trail Tour from Cusco include:

– Distance covered: Approximately 12 kilometers (about 7.5 miles).
– Highest altitude: 2,650 meters (8,692 feet) at the Sun Gate.
– Lowest altitude: 2,040 meters (6,692 feet) at Chachabamba.
– Level of difficulty: Moderate, with some challenging sections.

This carefully curated itinerary is designed to immerse us in the rich tapestry of Inca culture and the natural beauty of the Andean landscape. As we prepare for the night in a hotel, we look forward to the culmination of our journey: visiting Machu Picchu.

Day 2: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco

On the second day of our 2 Day Short Inca Trail Tour from Cusco, we rise early to greet the dawn. This day is dedicated to exploring the awe-inspiring site of Machu Picchu, the lost city of the Incas. 
We will start with a morning journey from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu, ensuring we arrive at the citadel as the gates open. This timing allows us to experience the quiet majesty of the site before the crowds arrive.

Machu Picchu Guided Tour:

Our exploration begins with a guided tour, where we will delve into the history, architecture, and mysteries of Machu Picchu. We will walk among the ancient stone structures, visiting key areas such as the Main Plaza, the Circular Tower, and the Sacred SunDial, known as the Intihuatana. Our knowledgeable guides will share insights into the Incan civilization and the significance of each site within this mountain-top sanctuary.
After the guided tour, there will be free time for further exploration. This is the perfect opportunity to climb Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain (subject to permit availability), offering panoramic views of the ruins and surrounding landscape.
In the afternoon, we will return to Aguas Calientes. From there, we take the train back to Ollantaytambo and then a bus to Cusco. Our journey concludes as we arrive in Cusco in the evening, filled with memories of the incredible sights and insights gained over these two days.

Key statistics for the second day of our tour include:

Distance covered: Varies depending on exploration within Machu Picchu.
Highest altitude: 2,430 meters (7,972 feet) at Machu Picchu.
Lowest altitude: 2,040 meters (6,692 feet) in Aguas Calientes.
Level of difficulty: Easy to moderate, with optional challenging hikes to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain.

This day offers a once-in-a-lifetime chance to connect with the majesty and mystery of one of the world’s most iconic archaeological sites, all while under the guidance and care of Kaypi Peru Tours.

Our short Inca Trail includes

Professional English Speaking Tour Guide
Assistant Tour Guide for groups of 9+
Pick-up from hotel
Train to Km104
Return transportation by train and bus to Cusco
1 Breakfast, 1 Boxed Lunch, 1 Dinner. If you have a dietary request such as vegetarian food please let us know.
One Hotel night
Oxygen bottle
First aid kit
Entrance to the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu
2 Bus journeys between Machu Picchu and Aguas Calientes

Not Included but you can get from us

Entrances to Huayna Picchu Mountain (need to book in advance)
Entrances to Machu Picchu Mountain (need to book in advance)
Walking sticks (can be rented from us)

What is not included:

Breakfast on Day 1 and lunch and dinner on Day 2
Water, (during the first 4 hours, after that, our team will provided you)
Travel Insurance – you are strongly recommended to take out travel insurance for the duration of your trip.

Group services special price

USD $ 570.00 Per Person – 2 people minimum

Price per person

2 Pax
$700 p/p

Price per person

3 Pax
$650 p/p

Price per person

4 Pax
$600 p/p

Price per person

5 Pax +
$570.00 p/p
Best Price:

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