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Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

2D / 1N

This 2-day short trek is perfect for those who lack either the time or physical stamina for the classic 4-day Inca Trail. This 8 mile (13 km) day trek captures the essence of the Inca Trail. You will visit Chachabamba and Wiñay Wayna archaeological sites and then have your first breathtaking view of the famed citadel of Machu Picchu from the Inti Punku (Sun Gate), which was its ancient entrance. You will spend the night in Aguas Calientes before entering Machu Picchu for a guided tour.


Day 1: Cusco/Aguas Calientes (13 km / 8 mi)

Early in the morning, you will transfer from your hotel in Cusco or the Sacred Valley to the train station. You will board the train that takes you to Km 104 where the trail begins. During your trek, you will visit the Inca archaeological site of Chachabamba. You will admire the Incan integration of nature, architecture and religion in this cluster of masonry buildings with a ceremonial plaza.

You will take in the breathtaking view of the Urubamba River Valley as well as the variety of orchids and the variety of flora in the subtropical forest. You will arrive at the archaeological site of Wiñay Wayna where you will stop for lunch and rest before continuing to Inti Punku, the Sun Gate, which was the ancient entrance to the citadel of Machu Picchu.

From the vantage point of the Sun Gate, the citadel is impressive and impactful. You will pause here in order to absorb the experience and reflect on your accomplishment before descending by shuttle bus to your overnight accommodations in Aguas Calientes. In Aguas Calientes, you will have time to enjoy dinner in one of the many local restaurants offering typical Andean specialities. For those who remembered their bathing suits, relaxing in the namesake thermal baths is an option as well.

Meals: Lunch
Overnight: Aguas Calientes

Day 2: Machu Picchu / Cusco

Today you will have the entire day to explore Machu Picchu. After breakfast, your guide will accompany you on the short bus ride from Aguas Calientes to the citadel itself for a morning guided tour. This walking tour will include the terraced agricultural area and the legendary masonry structures of the living and working areas.

After your guided tour you will have time to explore and experience Machu Picchu on your own before descending again by bus to Aguas Calientes. After a time to rest and enjoy lunch, you will board the train that returns you to Cusco by way of the station in Ollantaytambo or Poroy. You will be transferred to your hotel in Cusco to rest and reflect on the experience of a lifetime.

Meals: Breakfast

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