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Short Inca Trail 2 Days – 2 Day Inca Trail

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Short Inca Trail 2 Days Details
2 Day Inca Trail

Welcome, adventurous souls, to the Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, a condensed yet spellbinding encounter with the ancient Andean world! This Inca Trail 2 Days hike spans two incredible days. It offers a unique opportunity to experience the magic of the grand Inca civilization, all wrapped up in a memorable journey.

Here, in the heart of Peru, your adventure begins in the charming city of Cusco. It’s a good idea to show up a day early. That way, you can kick back, get used to the high altitude, and check out the historic town. We suggest booking a comfortable hotel in Cusco to prepare for the upcoming trek.

First Day of Short Inca Trail 2 Days:

On the first day of the Short Inca Trail 2 Days tour, we’ll pick you up early. We will be driving you to the train station in Ollantaytambo. With train tickets in hand, we’ll board the tourist train. 

The one hour and 45 minutes train ride offers panoramic views of the captivating landscape. The train will drop us off at Km 104, our starting point.

From Km 104, equivalent to 64.6 miles, we’ll begin our trek through the cloud forest. The trail brimms with lush greenery and hidden Incan sites. From the Sun Gate, we’ll catch our first breathtaking glimpse of the mystical Machu Picchu Mountain. Then, as the day progresses, we will see it bathed in the golden glow of the setting sun.

Wiñay Wayna, a beautifully preserved Incan site, is one of the highlights of the Short Inca Trail. Here, we’ll take a break and enjoy the intricate stone buildings, terraces, and stairways that blend seamlessly into the mountainside.

As we continue our journey, the path leads us to the Sun Gate, the original entrance to Machu Picchu. Arriving here is a thrilling moment. From the Sun Gate, we’ll catch our first breathtaking glimpse of the mystical Machu Picchu Mountain. You will see it bathed in the golden glow of the setting sun.

Second Day of Short Inca Trail 2 Days:

On the second day of the trail, you’ll have the chance to fully explore Machu Picchu. You will be walking among its ancient ruins. You’ll discover its historical significance and experience the serene ambiance of this lost city.

Why hike the Short Inca Trail with us?

As the tour operator, we are responsible for managing the details of the trip. This includes taking care of all the nitty-gritty aspects including the Inca Trail permits. For your peace of mind, it’s essential to carry travel insurance that covers high-altitude trekking.

The Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu offers an enriching blend of adventure, culture, and history. This 2 Day Inca Trail journey promises more than just a physical hike. It also offers a voyage back in time, letting you walk the path of the ancient Incas.

So, are you ready to embark on this once-in-a-lifetime journey? Let’s step into the past, one foot at a time, on the mesmerizing Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.

Departure & Return Location

Cusco Hotel Transfer

Departure Time

0500 AM

Price Includes

  • Professional English Speaking Tour Guide
  • Assistant Tour Guide for groups of 9+
  • Pick-up from your hotel
  • Private van from your hotel to Ollantaytambo
  • Private van from Ollantaytambo to Cusco
  • Entrance fee to Machu Picchu
  • Entrance Fee for Short Inca Trail
  • Bus tickets round trip for both days
  • Train tickets for both days ( expedition)
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner. If you have a dietary request such as vegetarian food please let us know.
  • Oxygen bottle
  • First aid kit
  • Hotel ** in aguas calientes town
  • Guided tour the following day

Price Excludes

  • Entrance to Huayna Picchu mountain or Machu Picchu mountain
  • Travel Insurance – you are strongly recommended to take out travel insurance for the duration of your trek.
  • Tips

Recommended To Carry

  • Original Passport
  • ISIC card (if you are a student and want to qualify for the discount)
  • Walking boots
  • Waterproof jacket / rain poncho
  • Warm jacket
  • Hat and gloves
  • T-shirts
  • Comfortable Trousers
  • Sun hat
  • Sun cream (factor 35 or higher)
  • Insect repellant
  • Toiletries and hand sanitizer
  • Torch with spare batteries
Short Inca Trail 2 Days Itinerary

Day 1Km 104 - Winay Wayna - Machu Picchu - Aguas Calientes Town

The first day of your Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu journey begins bright and early in Cusco. We’ll leave the city around 4 a.m., heading towards Ollantaytambo, a journey of about 1.5 hours.

Once we reach Ollantaytambo, we’ll board the train at approximately 6 a.m. The train journey is a scenic ride through the Sacred Valley of the Incas. It will take us to Km 104, the starting point of our trek.

At Km 104, around 8 a.m., we’ll get off the train and go through the control point. After completing the necessary formalities, we’ll set off on our journey. 

The first part of our trek is a 4 km (2.5 miles) uphill path. This will lead us to the archaeological site of Chachabamba. We will reach there by 10 a.m.


Chachabamba is a fascinating archaeological site located along the Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. It is situated at an altitude of about 2,150 meters (or approximately 7,054 feet). It serves as the first major stop on the trail from Km 104.

The site, whose name translates to “place of celebration,” is perched on the banks of the Urubamba River. It seems like the Inca probably used it as a place for ceremonies and farming. The complex includes several structures, including terraces for farming, a main square, and a sacred rock.

One of the notable features of Chachabamba is a beautifully carved water fountain. It is believed to have been used for ritual ablutions. The site’s layout suggests that it could have also served as a kind of gateway or checkpoint. This shows just how important it was for those traveling to Machu Picchu.

Although smaller compared to other Inca sites, Chachabamba offers a unique glimpse into the Inca civilization’s spiritual and agricultural practices. Its relative seclusion lends it an air of tranquility, making it a lovely spot to rest and reflect during the trek.

We’ll spend some time at Chachabamba, exploring the site and its surroundings. By 11 a.m., we’ll start the steepest part of the hike to Wiñay Wayna. This part of the trek is 6 km (3.7 miles) long and will take us about 3 hours.

Around 2 p.m., we’ll reach Wiñay Wayna, where we’ll have a well-earned rest and lunch. Post-lunch, we’ll explore the Wiñay Wayna ruins, appreciating the engineering marvel of the Incas.

Wiñay Wayna:

Wiñay Wayna translates to “Forever Young” in the Quechua language. It is a significant and impressive archaeological site along the Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. Positioned at an altitude of approximately 2,720 meters (or about 8,924 feet), it’s one of the trail’s highest points.

The site is known for its remarkable Inca ruins. These include a bunch of steep farming steps, holy baths, and houses where people lived. You can delve into the nooks and crannies of the ruins, taking additional photos as you explore. On the other hand, you might choose to simply sit, absorbing the profound sense of history and wonder.

Locals believe that the Wiñay Wayna complex served both farming and religious purposes. All those fancy water channels and ritual baths make it look like it was a pretty important place for ceremonies.

One of the most striking features of Wiñay Wayna is its location. It’s tucked into the mountainside among the cloud forest, providing breathtaking views of the Urubamba River valley. This setting, combined with the site’s remarkable architecture, makes it a highlight of the Short Inca Trail.


By 4 p.m., we’ll continue our journey towards the Sun Gate, an approximately 2-hour trek. The walk to the Sun Gate is moderately challenging but incredibly rewarding. As we reach the Sun Gate, we’ll catch our first glimpse of Machu Picchu. It will be bathed in the warm glow of the setting sun.

Around 6:30 p.m., we’ll take a bus to Aguas Calientes, the town at the base of Machu Picchu. Here, we’ll have dinner and settle into our accommodation, ready to rest after a rewarding day.

First-day statistics:

  • Distance covered: 12 km or approximately 7.5 miles
  • Highest altitude: 2,720 m or about 8,924 feet (Wiñay Wayna)
  • Lowest altitude: 2,040 m or about 6,692 feet (Km 104)
  • Level of difficulty: Moderate to challenging, due to the steep ascent to Wiñay Wayna and the distance covered.

Day 2Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco

Waking up early in the morning, we will begin the second day of your Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu adventure. 

By 5:30 a.m., we’ll board the first bus to Machu Picchu. The bus ride is about 30 minutes long. It’s a steep and winding journey that takes us up to the entrance of the ancient city.

We’ll arrive at Machu Picchu around 6 a.m., just as the sun begins to rise. This time allows us to witness the spectacular sight of the city awakening with the first rays of sunlight.

After entering the site, we’ll embark on a guided tour of the ancient city. Over the next two hours, we’ll explore the main sector. It includes the Temple of the Sun, the Royal Tomb, and the Intihuatana stone.

Post-tour, around 8:30 a.m., you’ll have free time to wander and explore Machu Picchu on your own. You can delve into the nooks and crannies of the ruins, taking additional photos as you explore. Alternatively, you might choose to simply sit and absorb the profound sense of history and wonder.

At around 11 a.m., we’ll start our descent back to Aguas Calientes. We’ll take the bus down the mountain, arriving back in town around 11:30 a.m.

After grabbing lunch in Aguas Calientes, we’ll board the train back to Ollantaytambo around 2:30 p.m. The train journey will take approximately 1.5 hours.

Finally, from Ollantaytambo, we’ll take a bus back to Cusco. We will be arriving in the city around 6 p.m., marking the end of our 2 Day Inca Trail journey.

Second-day statistics:

  • Distance covered: Approximately 2 km or 1.2 miles (walking within Machu Picchu)
  • Highest altitude: 2,430 m or 7,972 feet (Machu Picchu)
  • Lowest altitude: 2,040 m or 6,692 feet (Aguas Calientes)
  • Level of difficulty: Easy to moderate, with most of the day spent exploring rather than hiking.
1 Review
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Family Traveller

The trail guide’s extensive knowledge of the ancient Inca civilization and the trail itself added a whole new level of excitement to the experience. We trekked through breathtaking landscapes and ancient ruins, immersing ourselves in the rich history and natural beauty of the trail.

April 1, 2023