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The Short Inca Trail is a great way to hike to Machu Picchu in a short amount of time. Get a taste of the Classic Inca Trail, visit Wiñay Wayna and walk through Inti Punku, the Sun Gate, into Machu Picchu. Day 2 of this itinerary gives you a chance to fully explore the impressive Machu Picchu citadel.

The Inca Trail trek passes 2 archaeological sites along the way, has a variety of flora and fauna, and is rich in history. The 2 day trek is 13 km (8 m), goes up to 2,700 m (8,858 ft), and is classified as an easy-moderate trek with minimal altitude gain. If you love the idea of hiking directly into Machu Picchu via the Sungate, but want a shorter hike, then the 2D/1N Inca Trail Trek is the one for you!

This trail requires a permit and a limited number of people are allowed to trek per day. These spots fill quickly so booking well in advance (at least 3 months recommended) is essential. Minimum passengers necessary for trek departure: 2 people (1 person or private/custom treks possible with extra fee). Maximum trekkers per group: 10 people (special, private party groups can exceed maximum).

Classic Inca Trail 01.jpg
Adventure Rating

Easy-moderate, minimal gain

Solitude Rating

Touristy, popular, crowded

Best Time to Visit

Year round
Best from March to November
Closed February

Cost Per Person (USD)

6-10 trekkers: $645
3-5 trekkers: $685
2 trekkers: $765

Is This Trek Customizable?

Private, custom, add-ons all available.


Famous trail

Inca steps and ruins

Short/easier trek

Ends in Machu Picchu


Snow-capped peaks
Stone steps
Rocky terrain


2 day acclimatization and multi-day trekking experience recommended


2 Days 1 Night


13 km (8 miles)


2227 m (7,306 ft) to 2700 m (8,858 ft)


Daily departures with 2 or more people



The Short Inca Trail trek is not as high altitude as others in the region, therefore the weather is warmer overall. The night in Aguas Calientes is around 55F/13C, and you stay in a hotel. During the day it can get quite warm if the sun is out; anywhere from 60-80F/15-26C. Keep in mind if the weather is rainy or cloudy it will be colder. As with any high-altitude trek you’ll want to bring plenty of layers to adjust to the fluctuating temperatures and appropriate sun/rain protection. And yes, snow is possible (though unlikely) on the Inca Trail.


  • Pre-Trek briefing the night before the trek to go over the itinerary, meet your guide(s) and answer any question

  • Collection from your Cusco hotel in the morning of the first day

  • English speaking professional tour guide

  • Private transport to Ollantaytambo

  • Tourist Train tickets round trip: Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes and back

  • Entrance fee to Machu Picchu Archaeological Complex (Day 1: final time slot, Day 2: first time slot 6-10am)

  • Inca Trail Permit

  • Round-trip bus tickets from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu and back

  • Guided tour of Machu Picchu

  • Hotel (double room) in Aguas Calientes and dinner in a local restaurant

  • Meals (Day 1: light box breakfast, box lunch, dinner, and snacks, Day 2: breakfast and snacks)

  • First-aid kit including oxygen tank

  • Private transport from Ollantaytambo to your hotel in Cusco

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