4 Day Short Inca Trail
The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is one of the most famous trekking routes in the world and, even if you are short on time, you can still get a taste of what people rave about! The Short Inca Trail is an interesting 2-day program that joins the classical 4-day route at the impressive archaeological site of Wiñaywayna, continuing through the famous Inti Punku or Sun Gate. Day two includes a full day visit of the world-famous Inca citadel of Machu Picchu. It is highly recommended for those short of time and who don’t want to camp but still have a “taste” of the Inca Trail!
The first day is for your tour of Cuzco, the capital of the Inca Empire. You’ll visit Sacsayhuaman, an immense Incan complex with impressive stonework, and Koricancha, one of the most important Inca temples (the walls were once actually coated in gold!). You will also stop at the Cathedral where you will learn about the intricacies of the Cuzco School of Art and view fascinating historical artifacts.
We leave Cuzco and head to the Chinchero Plateau to explore Chinchero, an important town in Inca times. The most striking remnant of this period is the massive stone wall in the main plaza which has ten trapezoidal niches. There are beautiful views overlooking the Sacred Valley of the Incas, with the Cordillera Urubamba and the snow-capped peak of Salkantay dominating the western horizon. Chinchero is believed to be the mythical birthplace of the rainbow. Visit the salt mines of Maras, a salt-producing center that dates back all the way to pre-Inca times, with over 3000 salt pools all carved into the mountain side. Discover Moray’s mysterious concentric circular terraces which, according to some scholars, was an agricultural research center. Then savor dishes made with locally grown produce. After a leisurely lunch, we head to the Ollantaytambo archaeological site before checking into our hotel to relax and enjoy the beauty of this famous valley.
Meals: B, L, D
We pick you up early in the morning from your hotel and drive you to the train station to board the train that will take us to Km. 104 (the starting point of the hike). After crossing the suspension bridge over the Urubamba River, we visit the archaeological site of Chachabamba (2,150m / 7,052ft). From here, we will hike upwards for about 8 km (approximately 4 hours) to arrive at the magnificent archaeological site of Wiñayhuayna (2,700m / 8,858ft), an impressive complex made up of an agricultural center with numerous terraces, a religious sector, and an urban sector. On the way we will appreciate the vegetation of the forest. After having a box lunch, we will continue for about one hour farther to ‘lnti Punku’ (The Sun Gate) at (2,730m / 8,956ft), from where we will have our first dramatic and impressive view of Machu Picchu (2,430m / 7,972ft). As we are going down, we will take a side path off the trail to take a bus that transports us to Aguas Calientes where you will check into your accommodation.
Accommodation: Aguas Calientes.
Meals: B, L, D
Today we will take the bus back to Machu Picchu. This is one for your bucket list. Uncover the mystical secrets of Machu Picchu during a guided private tour of this Incan citadel. You will have the opportunity to visit the most important parts of the ruins to wonder how they were constructed. After the tour you’ll have free time to further explore the ruins or just sit back and appreciate the majesty of Machu Picchu. You can also hike to the top of Huayna Picchu for a bird’s eye view of the ruins and valley beneath you. The steep path takes about an hour and a half to ascend. (Please note that only 400 hikers are allowed to climb Huayna Picchu each day and that tickets will need to be purchased in advance along with your Machu Picchu entrance.)
After a day you’ll remember for the rest of your life, you’ll depart from Aguas Calientes by train for Ollantaytambo. Upon arrival at the train station you will be met and transferred to your Cuzco hotel.
- 3 nights at our preferred properties, hand-selected for comfort, convenience and quality.
- Privately guided tours with your own personal guide and driver.
- All private airport transfers with English speaking assistance.
- Train to trail start and return train to the Sacred Valley, with transfer to Cusco.
- Inca Trail permit.
- Bus to Aguas Calientes (Trek Day 1) All required entrance fees.
- All breakfasts.
- 3 Dinners.
- 3 lunches.
- 24 hour support.
- All taxes.
- International and domestic flights and taxes.
- Travel Insurance (compulsory)