2-Day Short Inca Trail Trek with Hotel

2 Days

The Short Inka Trail is designed for travelers who want to experience the magic of the Inca Trail, without committing the time needed for one of the longer multi-day hikes. This 2-day/1-night trek is great for families with children as it is only one day (about 6 hours) of hiking, and includes comfortable overnight hotel accommodations.

Along the route you will witness all the beauty of our flora and fauna as well as visit some of our most cherished inca ruins, including Wiñaywayna inca site. And most importantly, the hike ends walking through the Sun Gate with the most spectacular first view of Machu Picchu from above. You will head back inside the ruins on your second day to explore the mystery and history of these ruins as you walk around with your Alpaca Expeditions guide.

Tour Type: Hiking, adventure, history, culture

Good For: Moderate physical fitness

Difficulty: Moderate

Considerations: Permit Required 

Itinerary

Your short Tour operator Inca Trail tour to Machu Picchu starts with you being picked up from your hotel from 4 to 4:30 AM. Next, we’ll go to the train station and leave on the 6:40 a.m. train from Ollantaytambo. The trail follows the Urubamba River until we reach Km 104, where we’ll begin our trek. Along the way you’ll see spectacular views of farmlands, snow-capped mountains and the mighty Urubamba River. The Urubamba River is one of the sources of the massive Amazon River so it’s very impressive to see. At 104 km (2,000 m), we’ll begin our breathtaking trek. Once you’re off the train and ready to go, we’ll provide you with snacks and take a group photo. Then we’ll set off to visit our first Inca site. We’ll give you a short orientation about this historical Inca site as well as a walking tour. Then we’ll begin hiking as we head for the Classic Inca Trail. We’ll have tremendous views of Machu Picchu, the Urubamba River and other surrounding Inca Sites.

After hiking for three hours we’ll reach the most beautiful Incan site on the Inca Trail Wiñay Wayna (Forever Young) at 2,600 m/8,500 ft. Few people get the opportunity to see these elaborate water fountains, temples and agricultural terraces. These provide a perfect opportunity to learn about the history of the Incas. The backdrop of this site is a dramatic cliff drop with beautiful mountains surrounding the area.

A few minutes of walking from there and you’ll arrive at the tour operator campsite used by hikers who have chosen to do the Classic Inca Trail. Here you’ll be able to enjoy the hot homemade lunch that’s been freshly cooked by tour operator’s chefs. You’ll also get a chance to refill your water and get a little rest after you’ve eaten.

From Wiñay Wayna, we’ll walk to the Sun Gate. This is where we’ll see the picturesque landscape of the famous Machu Picchu. After taking in the once-in-a-lifetime views, we’ll begin our descent to Machu Picchu.

One of the many advantages of this trek is that by the time you reach Machu Picchu the day travelers will have left. This leaves you the whole area to explore with no interruptions. After taking photos and exploring the area, we’ll take the bus down to Aguas Calientes and head to your hotel. After that we’ll head to the restaurant for dinner (included). After dinner we recommend going to bed early to make the most of the next day.

* This hiking route is identical to the 2 Day Inca Trail with Camping
Accommodations: La Cabaña (or similar)
Meals Included: Lunch and dinner

We’ll wake up early so that we can catch one of the first busses so that we can catch the striking sunrise at Machu Picchu. You’ll have a two hour guided walking tour by your private English speaking tour operator guide. After that you’ll have time to explore Machu Picchu by yourself. Those who have tickets to Huayna Picchu will have time to climb the mountain, which takes approximately an hour and a half round-trip. After exploring you can either take a bus or walk down to Aguas Calientes for a free afternoon. You’ll need to remember to catch your train, which will depart that afternoon to Ollantaytambo. Once you arrive at the station in Ollantaytambo we will be there to meet you and drive you back to Cusco.

Meals Included: Breakfast Only

The Trip Cost Includes

  • Professional Guides: Every single on of tour operator’ guides attended Cusco National University and studied tourism as well as English. They’re all local residents who are from villages in the area. This means they’re dedicated to their families and heritage.
  • Permits: As soon as we receive your details and a deposit, we’ll purchase your permits (pending availability, check our Inca Trail Availability link). These permits are for a specific date and in your name. They can NOT be changed once confirmed. Only your passport number is allowed to be updated. The permit includes an entrance to Machu Picchu.
  • Hotel: This trek includes one night in a three-star hotel in Aguas Calientes, the town below Machu Picchu. The hotel you book will be listed on your invoice, and upgrades are always possible.
  • Transportation: The tour operator will be providing all transportation for this trek. You’ll be picked up directly from your hotel around 4 am, (unless you’re staying in Ollantaytambo) and brought to KM 104 to begin your trek. The train back from Aguas Calientes will be on the Expedition Class Train and will be included in your trip. You also have the option to upgrade to the Vistadome train for $75 per person. Once you arrive at the train station, our The tour operator van will take you back to your hotel in Cusco. Also included is your round trip bus ticket from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu.
  • Food: The tour operator will make sure you enjoy some spectacular food on the way to Machu Picchu. At the Wiñay Wayna ruins you’ll enjoy a peaceful lunch. While dinner will be in the best restaurant in the town of Aguas Calientes. The next morning you’ll enjoy breakfast at your hotel. Lunch is not provided on the last day of your Alpaca Expeditions trek.
  • Water: We’ll give you a bottle of water for your morning hike and another bottle during lunch. We encourage you to bring extra on your own, as being well hydrated is the key to feeling great in the mountains.
  • First Aid: The tour operator guide has received training in first aid from a physician. We conduct mandatory training sessions every February for all The tour operator’ employees. Your tour operator guide will always have a first-aid kit with oxygen for basic medical problems. If something does happen, which is rare, we’ll get you off the trail as quickly and comfortably as possible. We will stay with you the entire time until you are either back at your hotel or being seen by a medical professional.
  • Satellite Phones: The tour operator’ top priority is and always will be the safety. While all our tour operator guides are prepared and trained for these situations. We go the extra mile and ensure that you’re always only a phone call away from any doctor, hospital, or to check on things back home. the tour operator guides are required to carry radios but they are limited in how far they can reach.

The Trip Cost Excludes

  • Rentals: Because there is no camping on this trek the only possible needs would be an extra porter or walking sticks. The items are listed below:
  • Walking Sticks (Pair): $10
  • Porters: Because this is just a one day hike without camping, there will not be porters. Your day pack should include anything you need for the evening and the next day at Machu Picchu. It’s your responsibility to carry it yourself. If you prefer to have a porter, we can arrange it for a fee based on how much your bag weighs. You must arrange this at the time of your booking since the porter will also need a permit.
  • Huayna Picchu: Huayna Picchu is the mountain that stands next to Machu Picchu. It’s a 45-minute hike to the top of Huayna Picchu. The views of Machu Picchu from the top are incredible. However, if you’re afraid of heights you need to be warned that coming back down the path is quite steep. If you decide to take this hike then you would it after your tour of Machu Picchu. The cost is $75 per person and arrangements need to be made at least one month in advance due to popularity.

Frequently asked Questions

GETTING TO CUSCO

The airport in Cusco currently is only for domestic flights, so all international travelers by plane must disembark in Lima and go through Customs. Even if your flight to Cusco is the same day by the same airline carrier, you must grab your bags in Lima and then check them back in.

The best way to get to Cusco is by air, and there are several options in airlines. LAN tends to be the most expensive but has the most options and flights. Expect delays or flight cancellations. Due to the high altitude of Cusco, it tends to be difficult to land, and any acclimate weather will stop air traffic. Bus travel is always available, and while the trip can be long, especially from Lima, the buses in Peru are very well maintained and comfortable. This option is strongly encouraged if coming from a city closer to Cusco, like Puno. Lima buses will take about 20 hours to arrive.

LUGGAGE STORAGE

Any extra luggage you have with you can be left safely in Cusco at either your hotel or with us at the The tour operator while you trek. We will store your luggage on the morning of your trek and return it once you are back in Cusco. Make sure your bags have tags on them, so they are easy to locate.

ALTITUDE

As soon as people book their trip to Peru, specifically Cusco, they start wondering about altitude sickness. The air at high altitudes contains less oxygen than at sea level and forces your body to work harder to get the oxygen it needs. Over several days at high altitude, your body adjusts to the lower amount of oxygen in the air. For this reason, we always recommend spending at least two days in Cusco before beginning any trek in the Andes. Cusco is a marvelous city with lots to do, so if you have more time to acclimate, you won´t be bored.

With altitude sickness, you may first feel like you have the flu or a hangover. You may have a headache, tiredness, loss of appetite, nausea or vomiting, dizziness, trouble sleeping, trouble breathing during exercise. If any of these effects become severe, please contact our office, and we will help you get to a doctor.
Most of the time, these symptoms will be mild. We always recommend easing into activity slowly, allowing your body to adjust. Drink plenty of fluids such as water or coca tea. Coca tea has been used since ancient times to help prevent altitude sickness. Leaves from the Coca Plant contain alkaloids that help bring oxygen into your blood, helping your body avoid the effects of altitude sickness. Avoid drinking a lot of alcohol and coffee, since they will cause you to urinate more often and become dehydrated. Avoid smoking. Smoking makes it more difficult for your body to get oxygen. Avoid sleeping pills. They may cause shallow breathing at night, making it more difficult for your body to absorb oxygen while you sleep.

Remember, the trek to Machu Picchu is not a race. Even those in the best shape will suffer from altitude sickness if they race to the top of the mountain too quickly. Go slow, and it will give your body time to adjust to the elevation. Your healthcare provider may prescribe medication such as Acetazolamide and Dexamethasone to help prevent altitude sickness. Start the medicine two days before you get to high altitude, and continue to take it while you are at high altitude. You must remember that this is your holiday and you do not want to stress out about the possibility of getting sick from the mountains. Do everything slowly and drink lots of water, and enjoy the coca tea. If anything does happen and you, unfortunately, get sick, let your guide know right away. Alpaca Expedition guides are trained to help you get through it.

WEATHER

Of course, the weather is unpredictable. Typically the dry season in Cusco is from April through October, but this does not stop rain from falling in June or the sun from coming out in December, so just be prepared. No matter what month you are doing the trek, make sure that you have rain gear that includes a waterproof jacket, pants, poncho, and waterproof gloves. Many people forget about gloves, but being cold and wet makes hiking very unpleasant.

Also, be ready for four seasons. Treks in the Andes involve various microclimates, and you will need to be prepared for each one. Layers are always key since they are easy to adjust to different temperature changes. Be prepared with a warm packable down jacket since the evening will be cold.

FIRST AID

The tour operator guide has received training in first aid from a physician. We conduct mandatory training every February, and every single Alpaca guide attends. When guiding you, they will have with them a first aid kit for basic medical situations (traveler’s diarrhea, cuts, scrapes, etc.) and oxygen. They will take good care of you.

In case something unexpected happens, and you feel you can no longer complete the trek, they will figure out the safest and quickest way off the trail and to a clinic. You will never be left alone; you will have a member of the team escort you every step of the way until safely with a doctor. When you are feeling up to it, we will make sure that you still have the chance to visit Machu Picchu and re-connect with your group. This way, you can finish your trip, traveling by train comfortably.

TRAVEL INSURANCE

To protect your travel investment, we highly recommend the purchase of travel insurance. Getting travel insurance before you leave home is strongly encouraged and very easy. We work with a great agency in the United States, that has helped to make it easy and affordable. What an excellent way to protect yourself while you are visiting Peru.

ENVIROMENTAL IMPACT

The tour operator uses biodegradable soap and transports all our garbage back to Cusco. Our porters are trained to look after the trail and pick up any waste from other groups as well. We also use environmentally-friendly portable chemical toilets that allow us to carry waste out. We believe in leaving no footprint behind.

COMMUNITY

The tour operator is proud of the work we do for our community, as this is the main focus of our company. We have worked with villages directly to help supply them with the needs their families were missing. We have supported local schools by giving them computers and books. Alpaca Expeditions also sponsors a teacher at the village where most of our porters come from and ensures their children have the best opportunity for education.

We buy all our food from local farmers and markets and serve the freshest ingredients. We provide English classes for all our team: guides, porters, chefs, and drivers. We are also building a house for our porters. By giving them a safe and comfortable place to stay before and after our treks, they no longer need to sleep on the floor at a friend’s house.

And twice every year we bring our porters and their families to Machu Picchu. The men and women who work tirelessly have never visited the Lost Citadel of the Incas. So that makes this trip our favorite to-do. It is an honor to show them this place.

We are always looking to do more and for partners. Please let us know about your ideas, and we will work to help.

PERSONAL PORTER INCLUDED

All of our camping treks include porters, who are responsible for carrying and setting up all equipment. They will additionally carry the duffel bag you receive at your briefing the night before your trek. Each duffel bag can not exceed 7kg/14lbs and must include your sleeping bag and air mat.The tour operator gives each porter a proper uniform, salary, and insurance. They are the backbone of our company.

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