Short on time but still want to experience the world-famous Inca Trail to Machu Picchu? Then we have the perfect Short Inca Trail tours for you! Our Short Inca Trail tour 2D trek is custom-designed to give you a taste of the Classic Inca Trail from Wiñay Wayna to Inti Punku, the famous Sun Gate. Day 2 of this itinerary gives you a chance to fully explore the impressive Machu Picchu citadel.
Did you know? Only a special few actually get to hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu every year. Peru’s permit system means that just 500 people are allowed on the trail every day – approximately 200 visitors and 300 trekking staff. Permits are sold on a first-come, first-served basis, and are in very high demand: they can sell out as much as 6 months in advance. Once spaces have been booked, NO OPERATOR CAN OFFER YOU A SPACE. All spaces are personal and non-transferable, and there is no waiting list, so if someone cancels, their spot cannot be taken by someone new. Also note that the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is closed in February for maintenance.
We treat our staff right: The Inca Trail is notorious for the mistreatment of porters and other trail staff who are asked to carry more than government regulation allow. At Apus Peru, we do things differently, going above and beyond these minimums. Read more about how we take care of all our staff, including porters and horsemen.
Incredible Inca ruins, spectacular vistas and a wealth of flora and fauna, not to mention, the unparalleled Machu Picchu! There is a lot of uphill walking on this trek, over the stone steps first laid by the ancient Inca.
From here, we will hike upwards for about 8km (approximately 4 hours). The trail is well established, but there are many stairs and the hike is mostly upwards! While this is one of the easiest treks around the Cusco region, you still need to have a reasonable level of fitness to complete it. After our upwards climb, we arrive at the Inca site Wiñay Wayna (‘Forever Young’) (2680m / 8792 ft) This is an impressive complex made up of an agricultural center with numerous terraces, a religious sector and an urban sector. Many consider this the most impressive site on the whole Inca Trail!
After lunch, we continue for about another hour until we arrive at Inti Punku, the Sun Gate (2730m / 8792 ft), where you will have your first dramatic view of Machu Picchu (2400m / 7873 ft). After getting those classic photos, we will walk down the last part of the trail towards the ancient city itself. Before entering Machu Picchu, we will take a side path off the trail to go down to Aguas Calientes, as we will visit Machu Picchu on Day 2. From here, we take the bus down to Aguas Calientes. After checking into our accommodations for the night, we’ll enjoy a celebratory dinner and then it’s off to bed, in preparation for the next day’s early start.
Total Walking Distance – 13 km (8.08 mi)
Total Walking Time – 6-7 h
Minimum Altitude – / Maximum Altitude –
You may want to climb Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain to cap off your Machu Picchu experience, but remember that permits are limited and must be reserved at the time of booking! There is an additional cost to hike either Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain which are not included in the price of this trek. For more info, check out our Visiting Machu Picchu page.
After our site visit, we take the bus back down to Aguas Calientes. From here, we’ll take a train to Ollantaytambo where you’ll be picked up in our private vehicle to return to Cusco.
Want more time at Machu Picchu? Consider adding an Extra Day!