Inca Trail to Machu Picchu (2 days/1nights)
An Easy But Amazing Trek!
A shorter version of the Inca Trail leaves from Km 104 (104 kilometers along the railway from Cusco to Aguas Calientes), at 2100m, and involves a four hour walk uphill to the Wiñay-Wayna ruins (2700 m) and then a couple of hours further to Machu Picchu.
This hike is accessible for all ages and doesn't require you to be in top physical shape. Since your one day hike takes you to the town of Aguas Calientes where you will stay at a tourist hostel, you will not have to camp or carry backpacks; only your personal day-pack with essentials.
This program is recommended to those with less time at their disposition, those less able/fit, and those with less experience in trekking and those not accustomed to high altitude. This 2-Day trek covers a 16-km Inca Trail picking up the 4-day trail at the impressive archaeological site of Wiñay-Wayna – only Inca Trail hikers get to enjoy these ruins!!! The name Wiñay-Wayna means “Forever Young “in Quechua – native Inca language, and the place is named after a pink and purple orchid of that name that grows in the area. Farming terraces (or andenes) surrounding the whole side of a mountain decorate this ancient Inca castle with temples, residences and water channels. The stonework is prime quality and features fine masonry with a magnificent sequence of fifteen ritual fountain baths. It was a religious centre, probably associated with the ritualistic worshiping of water. Chachabamba, Choquesuysuy and Inti-pata are other very interesting Inca Complexes hiding in the middle of the beauty of the mountains and the lower part of the Sub-tropical valley.
Trekkers must continue the hike all the way to Machu Picchu where you will observe the famous view from the Sun gate “Inti Punku” and then spend the night in a comfortable hostel in Aguas Calientes. Groups will then return to Machu Picchu for a guided tour on the second day. Very early in the morning you will have a private guided tour of Machupicchu – avoiding the large crowds that arrive with the first trains from Cusco, and then you have free time to explore and take pictures on your own. (Guided group average 5 -8 people Max).
Inca Trail DAY 01.- We pick you up from your hotel at 5.40am and take you to Cusco train station. We travel by train on a very picturesque route for 2 and a half hours until we reach kilometer 104 - the start of the trail for us. From here, we have a walk of approximately 4 hours up to the Inca site of Wiñay Wayna ('Forever Young') (2680m/8792ft). You will have joined the path in time to see the most impressive site on the whole Inca Trail!! (after Machupicchu).
We will then continue on to 'Inti Punku' (The Sun gate) from where you will have your first dramatic and unforgettable panoramic view of Machu Picchu. We will walk down the last part of the Inca Trail towards the ancient city itself. Without yet entering Machu Picchu, we will take a side path off the trail to go down to the town of Aguas Calientes, leaving the visit to Machu Picchu for the next day. We will have a delicious dinner and rest at a comfortable tourist hostel.
Inca Trail DAY 02.- We have breakfast and then take the first bus (6am) up to Machu Picchu. A walking tour (approximately 2 hours) is given by your professional English speaking guide and after this you can explore the mysterious city by yourselves. If you have energy you can also climb Huayna Picchu (the famous peak in the background of most images of Machu Picchu) - 2720m/8890ft. (It takes about 45 minutes to reach the top.)
You will meet your guide in Aguas Calientes (it can be reached by bus or on foot) for lunch and to be given your train tickets back to Cusco. The train usually leaves between 5.30pm and 9:30pm depending on Peru Rail allocations.
If desired, an extra night in Aguas Calientes can be arranged. This option is very popular as it allows more time to explore Machu Picchu and you can also go to the thermal springs in the town - a real treat after finishing the trail!!!
N.b. It is no longer possible to stay a night on the Inca Trail for the 2 day, 1 night trek. All people on this tour spend the night in Aguas Calientes, the town nearest Machu Picchu.
IMPORTANT – government regulations will not allow reservations to be made unless accompanied by full passport details of the client and full payment of the entrance fee to the Sanctuary. This is to assist in the 500 people a day rule.
Therefore to guarantee your place on the inca trail you must provide a scanned copy of your passport and a non refundable deposit of 40% the trek price. Your reservation will only be confirmed when we have your entrance ticket in our hands. In case of passport number change this information must be relayed to us or you will lose your booking. Original passport must be carried on trail.
All times noted are approximate.
Due to regulations brought in 2002, the Inca Trail (5, 4 or 2 days) is limited to 500 people per day (including Guides, porters and cooks). It is therefore necessary to book way in advance to guarantee a place on the date you want to leave. For Inca Trail treks in the high season (June, July, August and September) it is advisable to book at least 4 months ahead.