Short Inca Trail To Machu Picchu (2-Days)


Fantastic shorter and less challenging version of the classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.

Highlights in 60 seconds


Day 1: Cusco to KM 104. Hike to Aguas Calientes

We'll collect you at your hotel in Cusco and travel by private bus to the town of Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley. We'll then take an hour long train journey to our starting point, Kilometer 104 (KM 104). Our hike begins on the banks of the Urubamba River and slowly ascends to meet up with the original Inca Trail at the site of Wiñay Wayna. Along the way, we will pass through a dense cloud forest with its wide variety of plants, flowers, and birds. If we're lucky, we might see some of the local mammals such as Viscachas (rabbit-like Chinchillas) or the rare Spectacled Bear. After a full day of hiking, we will arrive in the late afternoon at the Sun Gate (Inti Punku). From here, you'll get your first views of Machu Picchu. The lighting at this hour of the day often makes for amazing pictures. We'll continue along the beautiful paved stone path to the famous “look-out point” above the central part of the Citadel. After taking pictures, we'll descend to the town of Aguas Calientes in the valley below for hotel check-in and dinner. Lodging is at the 3-star Golden Sunrise Machu Picchu Hotel or similar.

Day 2: Tour of Machu Picchu. Return to Cusco

We'll rise very early to catch one of the first buses up to Machu Picchu. You'll then be taken on a 2-hour guided tour of the site. You'll will learn about the history of Machu Picchu and the people who once lived there. In the afternoon, we'll catch a train from Aguas Calientes back to Ollantaytambo, and then transfer by private bus back to your hotel in Cusco. Note: a popular activity to do at Machu Picchu is climb either Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain. If you would like to do this, please let us know in the Skyhook guide's chat after making your booking.


What's Included

  • Professional English speaking tour guide.
  • Assistant tour guide for groups of 9+.
  • Hotel pick-up from around the historic center of Cusco.
  • Train to Km 104.
  • Accommodation: 3-Star Hotel
  • Inca Trail permit and Machu Picchu ticket.
  • Bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu (round trip).
  • Return transportation by train to Ollantaytambo.
  • Return transportation by bus to Cusco.
  • Food: 1 x breakfast, 1 x packed lunch, 1 x dinner.
  • Oxygen bottle.
  • First-aid kit.
Not Included
  • Water.
  • Breakfast on day 1, lunch and dinner on Day 2.
  • Single supplement: US$60 for single person booking.
  • Tips and gratuities.
  • Entrance to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain.
  • Travel insurance.
Have a question?

If you have any questions about this trip or want to speak with an expert, get in touch.

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Rated 5.0

2 verified reviews


(Jul 2023)

Incredible experience!! Herlin (our guide) was fun and informative. The whole trip (transportation, food, accommodation) was very well organized. All the messaging with the company during the upcoming trip was fast and responsive.


(Mar 2022)

Gerin our guide was awesome! My fiancée, my 17yo son and I had an amazing experience. Gerin was great at pointing out everything from unique orchids to a grass that has been woven to make bridges! The views were spectacular! Be sure that you come prepared as some parts of the trail are challenging but Gerin was patient and supportive throughout the hike.



Before you go

The best time for experiencing good weather on the trail is between the months of April – October when there is minimal rainfall and clear skies. The driest months are June – August, which is winter in the Andes. Nights and early mornings are chilly during this time. November can still be good to hike but, as the season progresses, there is a good chance of getting wet. Rainy season peaks over the Peruvian summer (December- March). The trail is closed over February for maintenance.

See above for trip inclusions and exclusions.

For this short trek, it is advisable to pack as lightly as possible. In addition to the trekking clothing (including warm and waterproof layers), bring only the essentials for a full-day trek. Water, sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, waterproof house, water bottle, snacks, etc.

Your body needs time to acclimatise to high-altitude conditions with lower oxygen levels. We recommend arriving in Cusco at least 2 days prior to your trek (3 days for guests over 60). There is no way of knowing how your body will react to the change in altitude. The more days you can take to acclimatise, the better.

Short Inca Trail permits are limited. For this reason, we urge you to book as far in advance as possible. Note that the Inca Trail is a logistically-unique tour and once your permit is purchased, your booking becomes non-refundable

As an Inca Trail operating travel agency, the government will only allow us to change passport numbers if we have a copy of both the new passport and the old one. If you no longer have your old passport, any government-issued ID will be accepted, as long as the name is the same. Also, make sure that your passport does not expire six months or less from your travel date.

Any baggage that you do not need for the trek may be stored in your hotel in Cusco (most hotels offer this service free of charge). If your hotel does not provide this service, we will store your belongings safely in our office at no extra cost.

Absolutely! Solo travellers are most welcome. There does, however, need to be at least two people booked on a date to confirm departure. If you are travelling solo, please drop us a message beforehand to confirm existing groups.

If you are a solo traveller, you will need to pay the extra cost of the single supplement US$60. This means private accommodation during the tour. The payment needs to be made in cash USD once you arrive in Cusco.

On your trip

This is a two-day tour but only one day of trekking. On the first day, you will walk about 12km/7.5 miles to the Sun Gate at Machu Picchu. Day two is an easy walking tour with optional treks up the neighboring mountains. Because of the short distance, this is a fairly mild hike for which you only need a basic fitness level.

We take a maximum of 8 people per group.

We will pick you up from your hotel to begin your trek and drop you back there after when we return to Cusco the next day.

Of course, without any additional costs! When you make your reservation, please inform us of any dietary requirements, including allergies. We provide vegetarian options and can cater to lactose-intolerant or gluten-intolerant diets. Most of our main meals are buffet-style, so you can pick and choose. If you have preferences( for example, strongly dislike onions, tomatoes, or mushrooms) we will ask our chef to leave out or separate these items. Please note, we cannot accept individuals with life-threatening allergic reactions.

Here are the distances and elevations for this 2 day Inca trail trip: Day 1: Walking Distance – 10km / 6.21 miles Starting Elevation – 3350 meters ASL / 10990 feet ASL Highest Elevation – 2730 meters ASL / 8956 feet ASL Difficulty: Moderate Day 2: Starting Elevation – 2050 meters ASL / 6561 feet ASL Highest Elevation – 2400 meters ASL / 7873 feet ASL Difficulty: Easy

Other FAQs

Please consult with your physician or local travel clinic regarding your visit to South America. If you are visiting the Amazon, a yellow fever vaccination is recommended. Illnesses are more common in the Amazon than in the Andes mountains, where this trek takes place. Entrance requirements for Peru in regard to COVID-19 vaccinations and tests change regularly. You should check up-to-date restrictions before traveling.

Hiking up the neighbouring Huayna Picchu mountain is an extremely popular add-on to this tour. This mountain has an additional cost of $85 USD per person and needs to be booked in advance. If you would like to add this to your Machu Picchu visit, please let us know once you have confirmed your booking (use the button on your tour dashboard; MESSAGE THE GUIDE). This extra activity is subject to availability. You will need to pay this balance at our offices once you arrive in Cusco. Note: Due to schedule time restrictions, climbing the alternative, Machu Picchu Mountain, is not usually possible as part of this itinerary.

After you have made your booking and provided your details, we will get on the system to buy your permit. Note that permit availability can change in minutes. Because of this, we can only confirm your trip once we have secured the permit. Once this happens, we will send a confirmation message (at this point your booking becomes non-refundable). If we are unable to get a permit for your date, we will recommend an alternative date or refund your booking in full.

The maximum altitude that we reach on this trek is 2730 m.a.s.l/8956 ft.

Yes! If you would like to add extra days to your stay in Cusco and visit Rainbow Mountain, please 'Message Your Guide' from your Skyhook Dashboard after making the booking. Any activities that are not included in the itinerary of this trip (including Rainbow Mountain) will need to be arranged directly with the local operator and paid for in the country.

We happily receive clients with food allergies (nuts, wheat, dairy, etc.) Please inform us in detail of your condition upon making your reservation. If in doubt, ask us. We kindly ask that you declare the severity of your reaction and any medication that you take in case of an emergency. If your allergy is severe, you need to be accompanied by someone who will take responsibility for your situation and carries the necessary medication. WE CAN NOT ACCEPT CLIENTS WITH LIFE-THREATENING ALLERGIES

Your head guide is Lisseth

All trips on Skyhook are run by small, hand-picked local guiding companies. For this trip your guides run Inkayni Peru Tours, based in Cusco.

By booking through Skyhook you'll be joining a small-group trip. This can make it nice and sociable (you'll be added to a group chat after booking), and guarantees great value for money!