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Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is a fascinating short version of the legendary four days Inca Trail. It is ideal for those with less time in Peru but want to retrace the footsteps of Incas. On this trail to Machu Picchu, you will see the flora and fauna typical to the region. You will also be able to experience the variety of microclimates and see many Inca sites and cloud forests.
Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is also do-able for families travelling with young children. Unlike the four days Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, you won’t have to camp or hike long distances in a day. Also, the trail does not involve much high altitude hikes.
On the trail to Machu Picchu, you will be covering a total distance of twelve kilometres in approximately six hours. Before reaching Aguas Calientes town, you will be able to see the sunset from Intipunku. Intipunku or the Sun-Gate offers impressive view of Machu Picchu archaeological site.
You will be spending the night in a comfortable en-suite hotel room in Aguas Calientes. The next day you will be visiting Machu Picchu and will be returning to Cusco in the exclusive tourist train.
Check out our detailed post on Inca Trail Packing List.
Cusco Hotel Transfer
At 0400 in the morning, we will be picking you up from your hotel in Cusco. We will be then transferring you to San Pedro Train station (Next to San Pedro market) in Cusco. Here you will be boarding the train to the trail head. Journey from Cusco to the trail head would cover 104 kilometres/ 64.6 miles in 04 hours.
From here, after a quick briefing, we will start the trek to Wiñay Wayna archeological complex. The route goes along the Urubamba river. After touring Wiñay Wayna, we will be visiting the Sun Gate (Inti Punku). You will get the first glimpse of the citadel from here.
We will then be descending to the town of Aguas Calientes. At Aguas Calientes, you will be accommodated in an ensuite room.
We will take the first bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu. It normally takes 30-45 minutes. At the entrance of the citadel, our local guide will be meeting you and will assist you with entering the citadel. You will be having a complete two hours guided tour of Machu Picchu.
After the tour you will have some free time to explore Machu Picchu citadel on your own.
There is also an optional hike for the more energetic and adventurous people in the group, to the top of Huayna Picchu Mountain the pyramid shaped peak that overlooks Machu Picchu.
After our visit, we will take the bus back down to Aguas Calientes, where we can enjoy a relaxing bath at the local hot springs. In the afternoon we will take the train back to Ollantaytambo train station. Our representative will transfer you back to Cusco.
The Short Inca Trail is a two days trip. It covers a total distance of 10 miles (16 kilometres). This makes it perfect for families with children and for those with less time in Peru.
The Short Inca Trail is not challenging as Salkantay Trek or Classic Inca Trail. You would need to be moderately fit to hike this.
Yes! Short Inca Trail is totally worth it. It is the best alternative to the Classic Inca Trail of four days but less challenging.
Very reliable tour company. Carlos is a fantastic guide and is very helpful and friendly. Totally recommend them.