One of the best known hiking trails in the world, the Inca Trail near Cusco in the Peruvian Andes is an ancient path, used by Incan pilgrims as the route to the spiritual citadel of Machu Picchu. Now is possible to experience the excitement of hiking the trail, camping for one night and visiting Machu Picchu on a less demanding, but equally spectacular 2 day tour.
Starting with a unique and unforgettable train journey, our trek begins at KM104, the official start of the ‘Short Inca Trail’. Our route takes us into the heart of the majestic Andes and we climb to take in breathtaking vistas of the snow-capped mountains and the ancient ruins that still stand as a testament to the incredible engineering feats of the Incas.
Our hike culminates with our arrival at the Sun Gate of Machu Picchu. Arguably one of the most famous views on the planet, seeing this new wonder of the world for the first time is an experience that we guarantee will stay with you forever!
Spending the night camping under the most amazing starlit skies, you will feel truly immersed in the spirit of this sacred area. We have worked hard to ensure that your camping experience is as comfortable as it can be, so from the comfort of the quality camping equipment we use to the sumptuous food that our camp chef prepares, you can be assured of a fantastic night in the mountains.
On our second day of the Short Inca Trail we rise early to take a full tour of Machu Picchu. Our guides are especially selected for their knowledge of Incan culture and history, and will provide a fascinating and informative tour that really brings things to life. There is an option to climb Huayana Picchu mountain (at additional cost).
With all transfers and tickets booked in advance, we believe this tour offers the perfect combination of an authentic Peruvian hiking adventure and a tour of Machu Picchu. So why not join us at Peru By Locals for this unforgettable adventure!
Short Inca Trail with Camping
Day 1: KM104 – Wiñaywayna – Inti Punku – Puente ruinas
Day 2: Machu Picchu
- Type of tour: Hike
- 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
- Good for: anyone with a moderate level of fitness, dont like camping but still want try
We think it’s important that all of our guests have the opportunity to ask questions about the trek (the itinerary, the level of difficulty, what to bring etc) before we start Short Inca Trail with camping . 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 balance for the tour, in cash.
Day 1: In the footsteps of the Incas
Our adventure starts with a journey by mini-van and then by train. Collecting you early in the morning from your Cusco hotel, we drive for around 1.5 hours to the Sacred Valley town of Ollantaytambo. From here we join the Expedition train service that takes us the remainder of our journey to KM104, and the start of our trek. The train journey provides a unique perspective of the surrounding area. Have your camera at the ready as we pass by majestic snowcapped peaks, eerie cloud forests and traditional Andean villages.
Beginning our trek, we immediately find ourselves on the ancient Inca Trail, winding quickly away from the hustle and bustle of KM104 into beautiful mountain scenery, and fresh Andean air! Making a moderate 3 hour climb we arrive at the Incan ruins of Wiñaywayna (2,650m). 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, take in the views, and enjoy the boxed lunch that we will have prepared for you.
Our afternoon begins with a short 1 hour hike to Inti Punku or the “Sun Gate”, the excitement building as our eyes feast for the first time on the glorious spectacle 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 unforgettable and we will have plenty of time to take them all in.
Then, hiking downhill for 40 minutes to the entrance to Machu Picchu, we will have yet more opportunities to view this incredible citadel. This is where our time on the Inca Trail ends and we catch a bus for the short ride to the Puente ruins and our campsite for the night. Everything will have been prepared ahead of our arrival, and so all you need to do is to change into some warmer clothing, relax and enjoy the sumptuous dinner that our chef will have prepared; our reward for the efforts of the day.
- 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
Day 2 starts before dawn! After being gently woken by our crew, you will find that our kitchen team got up even earlier to prepare a delicious breakfast for us. After breakfast we then take an easy 30 minute walk to Aguas Calientes, our departure point for Machu Picchu. Walking the trail with just the pre-dawn to light our way is a unique and tranquil experience!
Taking one of the first buses to Machu Picchu this 30 minute drive take us steadily upwards to the citadel, and we arrive to see the sun rising magestically over the Andes.
Joining a short queue, we enter the site together and your guide will then provide a fascinating tour of the site. Taking between 2 and 3 hours, the tour is designed to bring the spirit and history of Machu Picchu to life. Whilst there will be many other tourists visiting at the same time, our guides are skilled in orientating the tour to avoid the biggest crowds and to ensure you get access to all of the best photo opportunities. This is, after all, a once in a lifetime opportunity!
There are 2 options once the tour is over. If you chose to climb Huayana Picchu mountain, then you can begin your hike immediately after the tour. The ascent takes around an hour, but the views across the Andes with Machu Picchu below are outstanding and well worth the effort. Alternatively, you may choose to simply spend more time immersing yourself in the spirit of Machu Picchu; wandering and wondering at this marvel of ancient engineering and spiritual importance.
Having spent about 3 hours of touring in Machu Picchu, eather you climb Huayna Picchu mountain if you booked in advance or we take the bus back down to Aguas Calientes. After collecting your luggage from your hotel, we take the train back to Cusco at around 3pm. After the effort and excitement of the last 2 days, this is the perfect opportunity to relax and reflect on the experience. Finally, on arrival to train station, you will be met by one of our representatives who will transport you back to your hotel by mini-van.
Inclusions & exclusions
Services included on the Short Inca Trail Machu Picchu:
- 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 Cusco (this train service can be upgraded to the Vista Dome service at an additional cost of US$ 25 per person).
- Entrance tickets for the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu
- All bus tickets to and from Machu Picchu
- Professional tour guide, knowledgeable in Inca history, tradition, fauna/flora and first aids in the wilderness
- First Aid Kit and Oxygen tank carried by your guide
- 1 night camping
- Boxed lunch on Day 1
- Dinner on Day 1 with our chef
- Breakfast on Day 2 with our chef
- All camping equipment (sleeping tent, dining tent, kitchen tent, bathroom tent, sleeping mats, stools, table etc.)
- Sleeping bag (all of our sleeping bags are professionally cleaned before each hike)
Services not included on the Short Inca Trail Machu Picchu:
- Lunch on Day 2
- Tips for your guide and driver (tipping is optional, and guidelines can be provided)
- Tickets to climb Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountains (these can be arranged at an additional cost of US$ 70 per person)
Short Inca Trail with camping – Additional options
- HUAYNA PICCHU (US$ 70) – Huayna (or Wayna) Picchu mountain has a 400 permit per day limit which is divided into two groups; the first group from 7-8 am and the second from 10-11 am. If you would like to climb the mountain we recommend that you notify us at least 2 or 3 months in advance (especially between April and August) so that we can confirm availability and arrange the permit.
- USD $560 (Group Service)
- USD $650 (Private Service)
- Students:$30 (please provide a copy of your university student card when booking the hike)
- Children up to 15 years of age will be considered as students (please provide a copy of the child’s passport when booking the hike)
In order for us to reserve your spot on this trek, you are required to send us the following information: full names, passport number, age, gender, nationality and make the relevant deposit as indicated below:
Once you have sent us the information of each person, make your deposit of US$ 200 per person using PAYPAL below. Once we have both, we will confirm your tour. Thank you so much for choosing PERU by LOCALS.
If you have any questions, send us an e-mail to: email@example.com
What to bring
WHAT TO BRING ON THE SHORT INCA TRAIL MACHU PICCHU?
- 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 must bring both the one you used for booking your trip and the new one. This is necessary because the information you provided us at the time of your booking must match with your tickets for the Inca trail.
- Hiking shoes – these should be comfortable/broken in and preferably with ankle support.
- Warm jacket or fleece – early mornings and evenings can be cold, so it is good to have layers of clothing
- Waterproof Jacket
- T-shirts / Lightweight shirts– suggest one per day for hiking, plus one or two spares for the evenings
- Socks– suggest one per day for hiking, plus one or two spare pairs for the evenings
- 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
- Camera – with spare batteries*
- Head Torch / Flashlight*
- Bug repellent– there are mosquitos all year round so make sure you pack your bug spray.
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