The 2-day Inca Trail is the short version of the famous 4 day Inca Trail, and is perfect for those who are short on time or for those who enjoy adventure travel. The Trail starts Km 104 where we will begin our hike to the archaeological complex of Wiñahuayna. We will then continue to the sun gate or “Inti Punku” where we can observe an impressive sunset before descending to the town of Aguas Calientes, where we will spend the evening. The following day, we will visit the “lost city of the Incas”, the famous Machu Picchu.
Your pick-up time from your hotel will be at approximately 5am, when we will take you to the train station in Ollantaytambo. We will board the train that will take us to kilometre104 where we will begin our hike along the Inca Trail, where we can appreciate spectacular countryside and hike through sub topical forests. We will visit the archaeological site of Chachabamba and after approximately 3 hours of hiking, we will arrive at the Wiñayhuayna archaeological site. The impressive Wiñayhuayna was an agricultural complex with a number of terraces, a religious sector and an urban sector. We will then continue hiking to the sun gate or “Inti Punku”. During the hike, you will be able to witness incredible orquids, bromelias and ferns along the trail.; We will have an hour walk as we descend into the ruins of the Inca Citadel, Machu Picchu where we will take the bus that will take us down to the town of Aguas Calientes.
After a hearty breakfast and the recommended coca tea, we suggest that you just take a light backpack (25L) to trek the first day. (Include money, light clothing, travel documents, camera, repellent, sunhat, sunscreen and personal hygiene products). Your trip will be more comfortable for doing so. The rest of your baggage can remain at your Cusco hotel as you will be returning there tomorrow.
Overnight: Hotel in Aguas Calientes
Early in the morning at the agreed time, your guide will collect you from your hotel to head to the bus station for the 30 minute journey up to Machu Picchu. We will zigzag up 400m of road to arrive at the “Historical Sanctuary of Machu Picchu” also known as “The lost city of The Incas”. On arrival at the citadel with your guide, we will queue at the entrance to Machu Picchu and we will begin our tour of this mind-blowing, archaeological site. For two and a half hours, we will visit the principal sites inside the site such as the Plaza Mayor, The temple of the Sun, The Sacred Sun dial (Intiwatana) the royal quarters, The Temple of the Three Windows, The Temple of the Condor, as well as other important sites inside the citadel of Machu Picchu. After the guided tour, you will be allowed time to take photos, before we return to the town of Aguas Calientes. You will be able to have lunch in one of the many restaurants (lunch is not included), after which we will board the train on our return journey to Ollantaytambo (Depending on the departure time of the train) and we will return along the same road as we arrived. In Ollantaytambo, our staff will be waiting with a sign, with your name on it, to take you on the final leg of the journey back to Cusco.
From the 1st of January 2019, the rules changed with regards to the Machu Picchu. The visit to the archaeological site will all be in one direction, which means that once you have passed by a certain site, you are not allowed to return. There is no re-entrance to the site, if we leave the site for any reason, we are not allowed to re-enter. The only exception to this new rule is, if you have an entrance ticket to either Machu Picchu Mountain or Huayna Picchu mountain. Also, if you wish to climb one of these mountains, the guided tour of the main citadel will be reduced to coincide with the mountain entrance time. In the case of Machu Picchu Mountain, your guided tour will be for one hour to allow time for you to climb the mountain; In the case of Huayna Pichu, the tour of the main citadel will be for 2 hours.
Before you go up to Machu Picchu, we recommend that you leave your light backpack at the hotel in Aguas Calientes and only take water, (please remember that Machu Picchu is a plastic free zone so plastic water bottles will be confiscated on entry). Passport, cash, entrance ticket, sunhat sunscreen and insect repellent. When you head back down to Aguas calientes, you can collect your overnight bag from the hotel. If time allows, we recommend a visit to the Chávez Ballón Museum, the museum of Machu Picchu. There is a free entrance after midday and you simply need to show your passport. We should also take into account that there is usually a queue for the shuttle bus, to and from Machu Picchu. There is also usually a queue for the train back to Ollantaytambo also, so we will need to allow plenty of time in each case. Your guide will be there to orientate you in the best possible manner.