Preparing with us your Inca Trail Experience
This trek is often known as "the two day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu", "the Sacred Inca Trail to Machu Picchu" or the "Camino Real de los Incas".
The trek starts at Km 104 (104 kilometers along the railway from Cusco) and involves a four hour walk uphill to Wiñay Wayna and a couple of hours further to Machu Picchu making it ideal for trekkers wanting to experience at least a part of the Inca Trail but haven't got the time (or energy) to complete the full 4 day trek.
As with the 4 day version of the Inca Trail, regulations introduced in 2002 have prevented individuals from doing the trek solo. The majority of the new regulation sapply for the 2 day trek.
In the past trekkers have always been able to spend the first night of the trek at the basic hostal located at Wiñay Wayna. However due to many complaints about the standard and cleanliness of this hostal the hostal was closed at the end of 2004. This means that trekkers must now continue their trek all the way to Machu Picchu and spend the night in a hotel in Aguas Calientes. Groups then return to Machu Picchu for a guided tour on the second day.
This itinerary is rated moderate and should only be undertaken by people who are fairly fit and take regular exercise. The trek starts at 2100m (KM104) and climbs to 2700m (Wiñay Wayna) before descending to 2400m (Machu Picchu). Since the trek is carried out at a much lower altitude than the Classic 4 day Inca Trail trek you do not need to worry about acclimatization as much, although many people still find themselves short of breath when arriving at Wiñay Wayna so this trek should certainly not be considered an easy option.
Apart from the waterfalls just before Wiñay Wayna there are no other places to refill your water bottle up (purify before drinking). Therefore it is recommended that you start the trek with at least 1.5 litres of water.
This route is open in February when the Classic 4 day Inca Trail is closed.
Trekking the Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is one of a lifetime experiences, hiking the passage that the Incas walked. People come from all over the world, not only to visit the spectacular Machu Picchu but to hike the renowned Inca Trail (Inka Trail), the most famous trek in South America. Enjoy the wondrous, changing landscapes and scenery like mountains, cloud forest rich in flora and fauna. Be in awe and thrilled every step of the way visiting archeological sites and much more on route to the acclaimed Sanctuary of Machu Picchu to finally bask in its beauty and magic.
We leave Cusco at 6:00AM in our company vehicle to the Ollantaytambo train station, where we'll board the Expedition Train for a 1.45 hr ride to km. 104 (hike start). Upon arrival, we will cross a bridge to the checkpoint to present our passports and have our information verified.
Then we will start an easy walk to the other side of the Vilcanota River, where the trail veers off to the right towards the ruins of Chachabamba located on the old Inca Road that ran along the southern bank of the Urubamba River. After our visit we'll continue the trail south and begin climbing the mountain before entering the cloud forest. Then the trail leaves the forest and goes West while continuing the uphill hike in open grasslands.
After hiking in the sun for about 3 hours, the trail descends into a shaded forest where we will enjoy a refreshing waterfall. Following our break, we continue to the lower part of the incredible ruins of Wiñaywayna. It is recommended that you start the trek with at least 2 liters of water. After lunch in Wiñaywayna, we continue through a beautiful cloud forest full of colorful bromelias, orchids and ferns.
You will walk the last part of the trail along superb, stone steps and tambos (resting places). Then climb 60 steps before arriving to the famous Inti Punku (Sun Gate). From this magnificent point, you will see the extraordinary magical Machu Picchu before you. Feel the energy and warmth of this surreal sanctuary while taking some unforgettable pictures. Then we'll take a 25 minute bus ride to Aguas Calientes to spend the night and reminisce over our exciting hike.
Meals: Lunch, Dinner.
Very early in the morning, after breakfast we take the the first bus at about 6:15 am arriving in Machu Picchu at around 7:00am to see the lovely sun rise over the mountains. Here we will re-live the history and the mysterious world of the Incas. At this time there isn't much of a crowd, so we can take advantage of the tranquility of this sacred site. We will explore this enigmatic city for approximately 2 hours, while listening to the guide recount the mysteries and archaeological history of this sanctuary. Then you will have 4 hours of leisure to possibly climb Huayna Picchu or continue your exploration of this massive site. Please consult with your guide for the time to be at the train station for your departure so you will have ample time to have lunch or soak in the thermal waters in Aguas Calientes.
Optional: If you would like to spend an extra day in Machu picchu, please let us know so we can change the date on your return train ticket to Cusco. Inka Trail Expeditions Perú can provide a guide and hotel for the extra day at an additional cost. Please be aware that you will have to pay for a second day entrance ticket to the Machupicchu Inca City.
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2 Days & 1 Night
Every day of the year (please check availability in our groups).
1950m - 3350m / 6398 ft - 9840ft
Cusco, Km 104 – Chachabamba - Wiñayhuayna, Inti Punku (Sun Gate), Machu Picchu, Aguas Calientes - Cusco.
- Daily departures are available along the year, the recommended period for this trek is April to October.
- All private service departure dates are adapted to your request any day you choose.
Small groups 10 – 16 people maximun.Average 12 people.
The world opens up a little more for a small group, We have the freedom to move around
due to the altitude of the highest point in Wiñay Wayna we recommend a period of at least 1 day for acclimatization in Cusco at 3350m/9840ft.
Vegetarian option at no extra cost. Check our regular menú
DAY 1: moderate
DAY 2: easy