Experience the best of Inca Trail to Machu Picchu on this short 2 day trail
Cusco Hotel Transfer
You will wake up early for your adventure of a lifetime! Your guide will come to your Cusco hotel to pick you up at 4am. Rest or even sleep a bit more in our comfortable, private transportation on the way to Ollantaytambo. When you arrive at the train station, your guide will give you your lunch to add to your daypack. Your train departs Ollantaytambo at 6:10 and you will have just over an hour on the train to enjoy the scenery and have breakfast ( included).
Your guide will get off the train with you at the famous Km104, where your hike begins! (2,000m/6,560 ft. above sea level) After crossing the Urubamba river on a picturesque foot bridge, you will show your passport at the checkpoint and visit your first Inca site nearby. The first hour and a half are a gentle up, with several shelters along the way to pause for a bit out of the sun, or rain, depending on the season. Along the way, you will stop at several outlooks where you have an expansive view of the Urubamba River. You will also pass through several microclimates, including cloud forest, so be ready for damp or even rain at any season of the year. The next hour and a half are a slightly steeper uphill with a beautiful waterfall as your reward at the end of the hike!
Cross the bridge below the waterfall, take some time for photos and then you will find yourself gazing up at the spectacular Wiñay Wayna! (2,600m/8,500ft above sea level) These amazing Inca ruins have a fascinating history and some parts are still hidden by the dense jungle. This close to Machu Picchu, you are hiking through lush sub-tropical jungle. Your guide will tell you all about the ruins, plus the incredible flora and fauna of this microclimate and answer any questions you have before the short 5 minute walk to your lunch spot.
Your lunch spot is a covered shelter at the Wiñay Wayna campground, which is the last campground for those hiking the four day Inca Trail. Nearby are outdoor sinks to wash your hands and also restrooms. Take your time enjoying your hearty, gourmet lunch and admiring the tropical flowers around the campground. Be sure to notify us of any food allergies or dietary restrictions when you book!
After lunch, you will have a mostly flat walk to the Sun Gate, from which you have your first view of Machu Picchu! Though the hour long walk is a gentle rolling up and down, it does end with a set of steep stairs carved directly into the bedrock by the Inca. Once you reach the stairs you will know that you’re almost at the Sun Gate! It is a breathtaking view of Machu Picchu, so take some time to savor the moment and take photos. The last 45 minutes down from the Sun Gate provide many opportunities to take more photos of Machu Picchu from this unique vantage point. There are also a couple more important Inca sites between the Sun Gate and Machu Picchu, so make sure to go slowly, enjoy your time walking in the footsteps of the Inca on the Inca Trail and ask your guide questions about these historical places on the last bit of your hike to Machu Picchu.
Once you reach Machu Picchu, you will have time to take more photos from the viewing platforms above the site. You will arrive in the afternoon, as the archeological area starts to empty of tourists, which gives you the opportunity to take beautiful photos in the afternoon light with fewer people in your shots. Take your time enjoying this magical experience before you take the bus down to Aguas Calientes to check into your hotel. Your will have a delicious dinner, then have time to walk around this picturesque little town, visit the hot springs or just go to your hotel to rest after such an exciting day.
The Full Machu Picchu Experience in an exclusive and private tour!
This is the day you’ve been waiting for! After breakfast at your hotel, you’ll take one of the first busses up to Machu Picchu so that you can be there to witness the sunrise. It is a truly extraordinary site and not something you’ll want to miss! Your guide will give you the full tour, which takes about two hours. You will see all of the most important parts of Machu Picchu, including the Temple of the Sun, Temple of the Condor, Temple of Three Windows, Sun Dial, Quarry and the House of the Inca. You will also learn about how Machu Picchu is divided into three sectors: agricultural, residential and religious.
After your tour, those who have booked in advance for the extra hikes up Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain will have time to enjoy those views on their own. When you have had your fill of the exceptional views of Machu Picchu, you will take the bus back down to Aguas Calientes for lunch (included). Depending on your train departure time, you may also have time for some shopping, sightseeing or a visit to the museum or hot springs. Your train will depart at 16:30 or 18:30.
The train will take you back to Ollantaytambo, following the spectacular Urubamba River. Close to Aguas Calientes, the canyon is narrow and the river has many beautiful sections of whitewater. You can also see Wiñay Wayna from the train, if you look up high on the steep canyon wall! Back at Ollantaytambo, your transfer man and driver will meet you at the exit from the train station to take you back to your hotel in Cusco in our private vehicle. You can expect to arrive at your hotel between 21:00 to 22.00