The Short Inca trail to Machu Picchu!

Live an unforgettable experience

Joining the trail at KM104, our route takes us into the heart of the majestic Andes. Climbing to take in breathtaking vistas, pausing to admire and learn about ancient Inca ruins and walking amongst the fascinating flora and fauna, this Short Inca Trail culminates with our arrival at the Sun Gate of Machu Picchu. Perhaps a little breathless as much from the view as from the hike, your first glimpse of this ‘new wonder of the world’ promises to be an unforgettable experience.

We rest and relax overnight with your comfortable hotel room booked in advance, you will have time to explore the town, Dining together at one of the best restaurants in the town, we will sample some of the finest Peruvian food while sharing stories of our hike and the excitement of the day to come.

On our second day we rise early take a full tour of Machu Picchu. Our guides are especially selected for their knowledge of Incan culture and history, and so you can be assured of a fascinating and informative tour. With all transfers and tickets booked in advance, we believe this tour offers the perfect combination of an authentic Peruvian hiking adventure and tour of Machu Picchu.

  • Type of tour: Hike, histporical
  • Total distance covered: 12 km / 7.4 miles
  • Total walking time: 6 to 7 hours
  • Lowest Elevation: 2150m (7,053 ft)
  • Highest Elevation: 2670m (8,759 ft)
  • Difficulty: Moderate

So why not join us at Peru By Locals for this unforgettable adventure!

Pre-trip meeting

At a pre-arranged time, your guide will provide a full pre-trek briefing at your Cusco hotel the day before the start of the trek. A Peru by Locals representative will also be available at the briefing to collect any outstanding cash balance for the tour.

Day 1. Train ride to 104

To ensure that we have plenty of daylight hours for the hike ahead, and that we arrive at Machu Picchu in good time, we will collect you from your Cusco hotel early in the morning (the exact time will be confirmed at your briefing). Taking the 1.5 hours drive to the train station in Ollantaytambo, we join the train service that takes us to KM104 and the start of our trek. The train journey of around 1.5 hours provides a unique perspective of the surrounding area. Carving along the valley floor, there are photo opportunities galore as we pass by majestic snowcapped peaks, eerie cloud forests and traditional Andean villages.

Arriving at KM104 our path immediately takes us onto the short Inca trail, leading us away from the bustle of the train station and into the most beautiful mountain countryside, and the fresh Andean air.

The first half of our hike is a moderate 3 hour climb to the Incan ruins of Wiñaywayna. Your guide will set the pace of the hike to suit the whole group, taking breaks to rest whenever needed. Perhaps the most beautiful and well preserved ruins on this section of the trail, your guide will provide a comprehensive commentary about the site, as you rest and take in the views. We will have prepared a boxed lunch for you, which we will enjoy at the wáter fall before continuing on the ruins. The afternoon begins with a short one hour hike that brings us, breathless with anticipation, to Inti Pinku, or the “Sun Gate”. Nothing really prepares us for our first views of Machu Picchu, the lost city of the Incas! Without question one of the most famous ancient sites in the world, these are images that are instantly unforgettable and we will have plenty of time to take them all in. Our hike of Short Inca trail then concludes with a 40 minute downhill trail to the entrance gates of Machu Picchu, and more photo opportunities. Here our hike ends and we catch a bus together to Aguas Calientes. We will have dinner together at one of the best restaurants in town before you retire to your hotel for a well earned nights sleep.

Quick Facts

  • Distance Covered: 12 km / 7.4 miles
  • Walking Time: 6 to 7 hours
  • Lowest Elevation: 2150m (7,053 ft)
  • Highest Elevation: 2670m (8,759 ft)
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Good For: anyone with a moderate level of fitness

Day 2: Machu Picchu tour and back to Cusco

Day 2 starts earlier. Your hotel will provide a buffet breakfast at 5am, so that we can take one of the first buses up to Machu Picchu. The 30 minute drive winds steadily upwards to the citadel, We enter the site together and your guide will provide a fascinating tour for around 2-3 hours. The tour is guaranteed to bring the spirit and history of Machu Picchu to life, and your guide will pick a route that avoids the biggest tourist groups, and ensuring that all of the best photo opportunities are covered.

If you have chosen to make the climb to Huayana Picchu mountain, you can start as soon as the tour concludes. With Machu Picchu and the Andes providing the backdrop, the views from the mountain are truly spectacular. After touring the in Machu Picchu we taking bus back to Aguas Calientes to collect your luggage from your hotel. Taking the train back to Ollantaytambo at around 3pm, for a 1.5 hour train ride, you will be met by one of our representatives who will transport you back to your hotel in Cusco. it is the perfect opportunity to relax and reflect on the experiences of the last 2 days.

  • Area: Machu Picchu
  • Trip type: Lodge based
  • Lengh: One day hiking and one day touring Machu Picchu

Trip include:

  • Mini-van transfer to and from your Cusco hotel.
  • Expedition train service from Cusco to Km 104 (start of the hike)
  • Expedition train service from Aguas Calientes to Poroy or to Cusco (this train service can be upgraded to the Vista Dome service at an additional cost of US$ 25 per person)
  • One boxed lunch (Day 1)
  • Entrance tickets for the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu.
  • All bus tickets to and from Machu Picchu.
  • One night at a 3 star hotel in Aguas Calientes, including breakfast.
  • Certified tour guide, knowledgeable in Inca history & tradition, fauna / flora, Trained in WILDERNESS MEDICINE by NOLS (National oudoor leadership school)
  • Dinner at Indio feliz restaurant.
  • Firts aid carried by your guide.

Trip exclude:

  • Lunch on Day 2
  • Tips or gratitudes for your guide and driver (tip recomended 5% of the total trip cost (guidelines will be provided throuhg email)
  • Permits to climb Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountains (these can be arranged at an additional cost of US$ 75 per person)

Packing list

  • Original passport– please remember to bring your current passport (photocopies not accepted). If you have acquired a new one after you made your booking with us, you need send us the copies of both before the trip.
  • Hiking shoes – these should be comfortable/broken in.
  • Warm jacket or fleece – early mornings and evenings can be cold, so it is good to have layers of clothing
  • Waterproof Jacket or wáter proof poncho.
  • T-shirts / Lightweight shirts – suggested one for the hike and one for the Machu Picchu day.
  • Socks– suggest one per day
  • Sun hat / Baseball cap– we often get long, hot, sunny days hiking
  • Lightweight long pants– we recommend hiking pants that you can zip off at the legs and that dry quickly when wet
  • Sunscreen– SPF 35+ recommended
  • Sunglasses
  • Camera or phone may be enough
  • Bug repellent– there are mosquitos all year round so make sure you pack your bug spray.
  • Extra cash - for your lunch on the second day, gratitudes.
  • Day bag - recomended 30lt where you put put extra cloths, wáter and other ítems during the hike

NOTE: If you have a big suitcase you can live it in Cusco hotel (all hotels have storage for free)

Accessories list

  • Water bottle - Machu Picchu national park does not allow to bring plastic bottles, please make sure you have a Nalgene bottle or camel bag, before we leave the hotel in Cusco make sure you have filled up water bottle for the hike.
  • Phone and charger
  • Toiletries - during the hike there are bathrooms but they don’t provide toilet paper, make sure you some with you.
  • Prescription medicines, please inform your trip leader of any medications you are taking
  • Food restrictions - If you have any allergies or preferences of food let us know in advance


The peruvian sole is the corrency of Peru, and usually fluctuates in the 3.2 to 3.4 Nuveo sol to 1 US Dollar


Spanish is the national language of Peru, also a 205 of Peruvians speack Quechua (Inca language) Our guides are fluent in spanish and English


Seasons in Peru:

  • Summer: 22nd December to 21st March
  • Autumn: 22nd March to 21st June
  • Winter: 22nd June to 22nd September
  • Spring: 23nd September to 21st December

The weather in the Andean Mountains of Peru is always unpredictable because of the geographical conditions. In general, the mountain area has a cold and dry climate, and in the north the rains are more frequent.

September to May is the rainy season, so be prepared and expect anything from sunshine, to light showers, even and thunderstorms. You always have to carry rain jacket and poncho with you, but please don’t forget the sun block! Temperatures can change from 7° C / 45° F to 27° C / 80° F in the same day, so be sure to carry different layers of clothing.

In winter, from March to August, temperature drop below 0 degrees at nights, but the day temperatures can rise to a very warm, up to 27° C / 80° F. In the high mountains areas, the night temperatures can drop to below freezing point. The Machu Picchu area has a humid climate and tends to be warmer, since it is located at a lower altitude and near to the Amazon jungle. The average temperatures at Machu Picchu are between 23°C to 25°C (73°F and 77°F), with the minimum temperature around 18°C (64°F).

Why Peru by Locals

  • Peru by Locals offers tailor-made treks and tours and we cater to your individual interests when we plan your tour
  • We are committed to providing world-class tours based on exceptional customer service.
  • We are a locally owned and highly experienced travel company based in Cusco, Peru.
  • Our staff consists of members which have decades of first-hand experience in the Peruvian tourism sector.
  • All the management and staff at Peru by Locals speak English, Spanish and Quechua (the language of the Incas).
  • Our guides and staff members are professionally trained and educated in the history of the Incas, Peruvian history, culture and traditions, first aid in the wilderness, guiding treks and tours, the fauna and flora of the region, and tourism management.
  • We are committed to protect and cherish our environment.
  • We are committed to create jobs and empower local people. We believe in fair labour practices and honoring and treating all our employees with dignity.
  • We have programs to help with the development of the porters’ families and communities, such as planting trees and buying school books and school equipment for poor local communities.
  • We have also started an Education Fund to support the education of the children of porters. A percentage of income from every tour and trek is allocated to this fund.

With year round departures and diverse unique itineraries from 1 to 12 days in length, we offer wide range of tours and treks, and all the tours will be customized according to your needs. We guarantee you the experience of a lifetime!

Peru small group especialists

Our tours are designed for those who love adventure, want to explore new places, experience the local culture, love food, like history or photography, for all the ages whether you are travelling alone or with friends.

Small groups are the best and average tour or trek group is around 3-12 people. Why is this great? Well, have you ever waited in line while 40 other people get a coffee in the morning? Believe it or not, it is not fun. Taking small groups allows us flexibility to take you on adventure to places that nobody else goes.

Our guides

Peru by Locals travel guides are locals, knowledgeable about the Peruvian culture and fun loving folks with a passion to show you the real Peru. We select only the most enthusiastic, professional and committed guides for tours and treks, as we believe that the most important ingredient for a successful tour is a great guide.

Do you have any doubt?

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We are committed to provide world-class tours focused on exceptional customer service. We do this in a socially conscious way that promotes sustainable tourism. Peru by Locals is commited to protect and cherish our commitment and is to protect and cherish our environment, and to help creat jobs and empower local people. We believe in fair labour practices, honoring, and treating all our employees with the respect they deserve for the remarkable work they do.

We offer exciting, interesting and tailor-made tours.

Incredible moments in Cusco!

Great wonder of the world!

Dedicated to our Clients

100% Quality of Service

Top Quality of Service

Peru By Locals prides ourselves on having the best guides: both smart and fun and all University grads in Tourism. Our porters work endlessly to take care of your every need. Our office staff answers all questions.

Our Social Projects

Peru by Locals Travel is based in Cusco, which was established by an ex porter and a current tour guide (me) along the Inca trail to Machu Picchu, Jose L. Condor, born in Huayllaccocha, a village between Cusco and Machu Picchu.

Our Porters

Our porters are from the valleys and mountains near the city of Cusco, simple peasants who work in the mountains in times that do not work in their fields, who continue to speak the Quechua language, language of our ancestors the Incas.

Our TripAdvisor

If you are looking for an adventure that involves colourful landscapes, very little known places, experince the real culture of natives, historical tours. We know Peru from corner to corner, Peru by Locals is what you are looking for.

Thank you!

Peru by Locals, are committed to provide you an exceptional experience and thank you for the opportunity to serve you and we look forward to seeing you soon!