All you need to know about the BEST 2 day Inca trail to Machu Picchu


The desire to experience the Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu comes from the stunning Inca ruins, spectacular side by side mountains, lush vegetation and remarkable ecological varieties.

The Inca Trail hikes up and enters into Machu Picchu through the Sun Gate (Inti Punku e quechua) with the most famous, unforgettable views, through cloud forest and finally into subtropical vegetation. Ending at the magnificent wonder of the world: Machu Picchu.

Trekkers on the Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu have the privilege of visiting the Ancient Machu Picchu City two times, on the 1st day afternoon when they arrive to Machu Picchu and the second day early moning when they take a tour with their guide.

The second day, you will be transported by shuttle bus from Machu Picchu Pueblo, just in time for sunrise over the mountains and Machu Picchu (2,400m/7907ft), you then begin your exploration of the natural world and ancient culture in the City of Machu Picchu. Catch yourself as you travel back in time to this magical, sacred, and mysterious place, known as Machu-Picchu, “The Old Sacred Mountain.” Take your time exploring magestic Machu Picchu, the Incan ruins rich in history of its past and the thriving culture of the people who lived there once upon a time.

Highlight of the 2 days Inca Trail

  • You visit Wiñaywayna which is an amazing and unique Inca city
  • You are hiking the last 1/3 of the famous Classic Inca Trail that everyone worldwide desires to hike.
  • You are hiking the actual trail that the Ancient Incas hiked more than 600 year ago.
  • You get to hike through the Sun Gate (Inti Punku) all the way to famous Machu Picchu Citadel.
  • The views from the Sun Gate to Machu Picchu Citadel are spectacular.
  • You get to visit Machu Picchu Citadel twice, the 1st and 2nd day of the trek.

Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu map

Times are approximately and depends on your fitness. Permits need to be booked way in advance!

Itineraries 1 day & 2 days Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Inca trail to Machu Picchu1 day – itinerary

ollantaytambo sacred valley cusco - Orange Nation Peru

Day 1: Cusco – Ollantaytambo – km104 – Wiñaywayna – Sun Gate – Machu Picchu – Aguas Calientes – Cusco

Your guide will pick you up at your hotel at 4 am in Cusco for the journey with our private transport to the train station of Ollantaytambo or 5:30am in Ollantaytambo if you wish to start from there. After an hour 10 minute on the Expedition train trip, we arrive at 104 kilometer (2,100m/6,927ft) of the Cusco-Machu Picchu road where we begin your trek and pass by the first check point. Afterwards, we begin a moderate climb for three hours to the magnificent archaeological site of Wiñayhuana (2,650m/8747ft). Once we arrive you may enjoy the spectacular views of the Urubamba canyon, stunning Inca sites and the connection with the traditional four day Inca Trail.After we have had time to enjoy this beautiful sight, we continue our hike towards the Sun Gate (2,730mts/9,007ft). From there you will have the first spectacular view of Machu Picchu in all its brilliance and majestic monumentality. After enjoying the view, we walk downhill for about one hour to the citadel of Machu Picchu. Once there we will visit one of the most important mystic centers of the world: Machu Picchu. A 2 hour guided tour takes you into the fascinating history of these mysterious ruins.After that you will have plenty of time for further exploration of Machu Picchu and taking photos before we head down to Aguas Calientes for dinner. In the evening (6:20pm) you will take the return Expedition train to Ollantaytambo and catch our private van to Cusco and your hotel. You will arrive around 10:30 pm.

  • Meals: Box Lunch
  • Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult

Huayna Picchu mt & Machu Pichcu mt are not available because the time, in case you want to hike Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu mt, the we do recommend you the 2 days Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.

Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 2 days – itinerary

Day 1: cusco – 104 kms – Wiñayhuayna – Sun Gate – Machu Picchu

With a compacted 2 days of excitement ahead, we will pick you up from your hotel at 4:00am and drive you to the train station.

After an hour and ten minute scenic Expedition train ride to 104 kms point (elevation 2,100m/6,927ft) we arrive at the place where we begin our trek. At this point we begin a moderate climb for three hours to the chiseled remnants and remote archaeological site of Wiñayhuana, (2,650m/8747 ft). Enjoy the spectacular plunging views of the Urubamba Canyon, and the ethnic wonders of the ancientInca sites, as you embrace them with an open mind and heart your connection with the ancient Inca Trail will begin.

After your being at one with this beautiful sight, we will continue onward towards the Sun Gate. (2,730mts/9,007ft) Following the ancient remote footpath we get our first spectacular view of Machu Picchu Citadel in all its brilliance and majesty. As we move closer to the citadel of Machu Picchu you will feel her mystical presence. Then we will take our bus to Aguas Calientes, where we will spend the night in our hotel.

  • Meals: Box Lunch & Dinner.
  • Accommodation: Wiracocha Inn Hotel or Andean Terra Hotel
  • Difficulty: Moderate.
Day 2: Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu - Cusco - Orange Nation Peru

Day 2: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco

Today you will get to enjoy exploring Machu Picchu and experience her magical presence by taking the first bus at 5:30AM to the Machu Picchu archeological site. If you hurry you will get to see the sunrise over Machu Picchu. Take your time, making sure you tour every nook and cranny of this New 7 Wonder of the World and UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site. It is an unforgettable experience.Your guide will expertly direct you through the energetic ruins and its diverse main streets. Then on your own, wander around the town squares of the world’s spiritual center of esoteric wisdom as well as climb the intricately carved stairways made of stone. Or stay still and drink in the pure majesty of her presence, and enjoy the pure delight of the moment.

Here are a few of alternative activities that you might wish to indulge in on your own:

Climb up Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain and appreciate the beauty and magnificence of Machu Picchu (not included in your tour price and must be booked in advance.)You will be given some time to walk to the Sun Gate or Inti Punku (free of charge)Other optional activities in Aguas Calientes include a visit to the new local museum or to the hot springs (entrance fees required)
You will descend to Aguas Calientes when you are ready to eat lunch and later on board the Expedition train at 4:22pm for the return trip to Cusco stopping at the Ollantaytambo Train Station and you will be driven back to your hotel in Cusco from Ollantaytambo in our private van arriving at around 8pm.

  • Meal: Breakfast
  • Difficulty: Easy.

Huayna Picchu mountain ($75) and Machu Picchu mountain ($75) are available on this option BUT its has to be booked in advance and depends on availability.

Packing Checklist for the Inca Trail

  • Original Passport (it has to be the same you have used for booking your trek)
  • Good daypack (the smaller, the better)
  • Water bottle: 2 liters
  • Comfortable hiking boots with ankle support
  • Toilet Paper
  • Jacket
  • Dress in layers
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Wet wipes
  • Personal medications
  • Sun Hat, Wool Hat (only in the cold season) and Sunscreen
  • Rain gear (if rainy season)
  • Snacks like chocolate bars, cereal bars or any dry fruits
  • Rain plastic poncho (provided by Orange Nation)
  • Camera
  • Extra Money for Souvenir

The Weather

The weather in the Cusco region is different from some other parts of the World. So,we have 2 main season.

Dry Season

May through November is dry season. That does not mean that it never rains in the dry season but it is mostly dry with an occasional light shower.

Rainy Season

The rainy season begins usually in December and last until April. In the rainy season, we have heavy tropical showers frequently.

The Cusco region has a tropical high mountainous type of weather. That means our weather can change quickly from sunshine to a rain shower within a few minutes. A few clouds form (usually in the afternoons), it rains for a few minutes and then out comes the sun again. We do not usually have rain all day long, only occasionally in the rainy season. The weather reports are very misleading. It can show that it is raining every day; but all that means is that somewhere in our mountainous region there will be a shower. It can be rainy in one area of Cusco and completely dry in another area.

On the Inca Trail the weather depends on whether it is the rainy season or the dry season. The 1 and 2 day Inca Trail is at lower altitude than Cusco, 1,000 meters or about 3,000 feet lower. Thus it tends to be a bit warmer during the day and at night.

However, it is more tropical and more humid than Cusco. There is always a chance of a rain showers but in the rainy season these showers will last longer and be much more intense tropical rain showers. The Inca Trail is made of stones laid in the ground so it can be more slippery to walk on in the rainy season.

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