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Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 2 Days – 2 Days Inca Trail Hike

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Tour Details

Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 2 Days is a popular alternative to the 4 Day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. With no high-altitude hiking or camping, the 2 Day Inca Trail hike is a popular experience among family travelers.

The Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is on the bucket list of most travelers in Peru. In order to preserve the authenticity of the trail, local authorities have implemented permits that allow only 500 people from thousands of operating companies to enter the trail each day.

This number includes porters, chefs and guides so seldom do 200 hikes get the opportunity of experiencing the trail each day.

Inca Trail permits are released six months before and are sold out in a few hours if not days. Often last-minute travelers look for alternatives like the renowned Salkantay Trek. However, if you are interested to get an insight into Incan history, we highly recommend the 2 Day Inca Trail hike as an alternative.

The 2 Day Inca Trail hike covers a total distance of 12 Kilometres (7 Miles) which can be easily covered in 5-6 hours with a gradual hike. The trail is dotted with three prominent Inca sites, Chachabamba, Wiñay Wayna, and Sungate (Intipunku).

Accompanied by our English-speaking local travel expert, you will be getting an immersive tour of all three archaeological sites before visiting Machu Picchu the following day. You will visit the most important places of this Inca city, including the Temple of the Three Windows, the Main Temple and the Intihuatana.

Please note that Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is relatively a high-altitude experience. We highly recommend that you spend at least 3-4 days in Cusco before hiking the trail to avoid altitude sickness.


  • Trip briefing.
  • Bilingual guide (English-Spanish).
  • Private transportation to the start point..
  • Train tickets.
  • Inca trail Permit.
  • Entrance ticket for visiting Machu Picchu.
  • All meals on the itinerary (B= Breakfast L= Lunch, D= Dinner). Vegetarian, vegan and gluten free meals on request at no extra cost.
  • Bus ticket.
  • First-aid kit and oxygen.
  • Samex tours Peru uses walkie talkies.
  • All trash produced during the trek returns to Cusco.


  • Domestic flights. (we can book for you)
  • Cusco and Sacred Valley tours (we can book for you).
  • Breakfast on first day.
  • Personal items like individual gear, sleeping bag, medicines, laundry, telephone calls, etc.
  • Travel Insurance.
  • Entrance fee: Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain $70. per person.


  • Original passport and (University, College valid student card if applicable).
  • A comfortable 45 Lt trek backpack if you want to carry all your belongings.
  • Trekking poles with rubber tips. (metal tips are not allowed on the trail).
  • Toiletries, toilet paper, small towel.
  • 2 litre water bottle, (disposable plastic bottles are forbidden).
  • Extra money for drinks en route, Machu Picchu and Aguas Calientes.
  • Emergency money at least 300 soles. Total per person ($150 -$180) Approximately.


Your epic Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu experience begins with an early morning transfer (04:30 AM) from your hotel in Cusco. We will be driving you through the Sacred Valley of the Incas to Ollantaytambo Train Station.

You will be boarding the Aguas Calientes bound tourist train here and will be getting down at Chachabamba (Km 104). This is the trailhead of the Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. The trailhead is named after its distance from Cusco while traveling to Machu Picchu.

After clearing the security control where your original passport will be verified against the Inca Trail 2 Day Trek permit, we will begin with a gradual hike admiring the distinct flora and fauna of the cloud forest.


Our first stop will be in Chachabamba. It is a notable Inca site at 2150m/7053ft. The Incas worshiped their supreme nature entities, the peak (Apus) and the Sun (Inti) here. Locals continue to practice the tradition.

We will be giving you a guided tour of the complex which will be a perfect introduction to the Inca civilization.

Wiñay Wayna:

After soaking in the views and history, we will begin with a gradual uphill hike for about an hour to the most prominent site along the Inca Trail, Wiñay Wayna. At 2650m/8694ft, Wiñay Wayna archaeological site is believed to be the most beautiful Inca site.

In Quechua, the name signifies “forever young”. The Incas used this place primarily for farming as the demand in Machu Picchu started to grow and they did not have enough space in Machu Picchu to grow all crops.

After the guided tour of the complex, we will be stopping at the campsite here to unbox our lunch. The campsite here is well equipped so you can use the toilets and refill your water bottles before we continue the Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. 

Sun Gate:

We will be hiking through a dense highland tropical jungle further up to the emblematic Inca ruins, Inti Punku, or the Sungate. You will get your first views of Machu Picchu citadel as a reward for conquering the Short Inca trail on a full-day hike. 

You will have plenty of time to contemplate the view as our local expert will be explaining the prominence of the Sungate and Machu Picchu. Please note that only those hiking the Classic Inca Trail or 2 Day Inca Trail get to relish the view from Sungate.

Aguas Calientes:

Once you have had your fill of the captivating views, we will gradually descend for 45 minutes down the hill to the exit of Machu Picchu citadel. Here we will be boarding the 25 minutes bus down to Aguas Calientes town.

We will be accommodating you in an ensuite hotel room for the night.

Aguas Calientes gets its name after the renowned hot springs. You can spend the evening taking a dip in the thermal waters here.

  • Meals: Lunch and Dinner
  • Maximum Altitude: 2680m/8792ft
  • Minimum Altitude: 2100m/6888ft
  • Distance Travelled: 7 Km approx.
  • Approximate Walking Time: 6 – 7 Hours


Early in the morning, we will be embarking on a 25 minutes bus ride, up the hill to the entrance of Machu Picchu. Our tour guide will assist you in clearing the security control where your original passport will be verified by authorities against the entrance ticket.

Once inside, you will be evoked by the staggering views of the golden rays of the rising sun shimmering on the mortar of Inca walls as the blanket of clouds would unfurl the Inca citadel to its visitors. 

Our two hours immersive tours would begin with a brief introduction and we will be visiting the prominent parts of the citadel. We will begin with a visit to the main square, farming terraces, remains of royal quarters, and ceremonial sites.


After the tour, you will have some time to explore Machu Picchu on your own. If you have booked to hike to Huayna Picchu Mountain or Machu Picchu mountain. If you wish to hike please let us know at the time of booking the tour.

Just like Inca Trail, you will also need permits to hike to these peaks which are sold out months in advance.

After your tour to Machu Picchu, you will be taking the bus back down to Aguas Calientes. You will have some free time for lunch (not included in the tour package). 

You can also take a walk through the town and stop by some of the shops selling souvenirs. 

Late that evening, you will be boarding the train back to Ollantaytambo. Our representative will be meeting you on arrival and will be transferring you back to your hotel in Cusco city. We will be arriving in Cusco by 09:30 PM.

  • Meals: Breakfast and Lunch
  • Maximum Altitude: 2400m/7872ft
  • Minimum Altitude: 2100m/6888ft
  • Distance Travelled: 9 km approx
  • Approximate Walking Time: 3 – 4 Hours
1 Review
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Solo Traveller

I recently had the pleasure of experiencing the Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, and it exceeded all my expectations. The journey began bright and early in Cusco, and every moment was filled with awe-inspiring sights and fascinating history. The guided tour of Chachabamba and Wiñay Wayna was informative and engaging, providing insights into the ancient Inca civilization that I’ll never forget.

Reaching the Sun Gate and catching that first glimpse of Machu Picchu was a moment I’ll treasure forever. The tour guides were incredibly knowledgeable, adding depth to the experience with their insights and stories. The second day offered even more opportunities for exploration, and the option to hike to Huayna Picchu was a highlight.

July 15, 2023