2-Day Short Inca Trail Trek
The Short Inka Trail is designed for travelers who want to experience the magic of the Inca Trail, without committing the time needed for one of the longer multi-day hikes. This 2-day/1-night trek is great for families with children as it is only one day (about 6 hours) of hiking, and includes comfortable overnight hotel accommodations.
Along the route you will witness all the beauty of our flora and fauna as well as visit some of our most cherished inca ruins, including Wiñaywayna inca site. And most importantly, the hike ends walking through the Sun Gate with the most spectacular first view of Machu Picchu from above. You will head back inside the ruins on your second day to explore the mystery and history of these ruins as you walk around with your Alpaca Expeditions guide.
Want to sleep under the stars at a private campsite on this 2-day adventure? Check out our 2-Day Inca Trail Trek with Camping.
Why Book Inca Trail Trek with us
2-Day Short Inca Trail Trek with Hotel
2-Day Inca Trail Trip Details
This short two-day Alpaca Expeditions Inca Trail Tour with a hotel allows you to visit the most magnificent ruins while heading to Machu Picchu, Winawayna. Help yourself to lunch before visiting and then pass through the Sun Gate for your first view of the Lost City of the Incas. You’ll continue down to Aguas Calientes village and have an unforgettable dinner. This will be at a popular restaurant in town before heading to your hotel room. For those who want a small taste of hiking the Andes, this 1-day hike and the next day spent at Machu Picchu can’t be beaten.
The short Inca Trail or 2 day Inca Trail is a great option if you are not too experienced in hiking or if you have limited time. As its name commands the Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is a 1 day hike covering the last portion of the Inca Trail that ends at Machu Picchu. Instead of starting on Km 82 as the classic version we will start on Km 104 after a train ride.
This short Inca trail has one day of hiking that allows you the once in a lifetime experience of entering Machu Picchu directly from the trail. Then you’ll get a guided walking tour of Machu Picchu the second day, which makes it a really great way to see the area and still a fun challenge for those new to hiking. During this Machu Picchu 2 day hike you’ll also get to visit the archeological parks of Chachabamba, Wiñay Wayna and Intipunku or Sun Gate.
Remember: This short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu package has the same regulations as the classic Inca Trail. That means a permit is needed and there’s always the chance these will be sold out. So, like all of Alpaca Expeditions’ tour package you need to be book in advance to ensure you get the tour and timing you want.
Note: It’s best to book your hotel in the central part of town, due to the early pick-up. We’re unable to go to most Airbnb locations as they’re not easy to find. Before you book, please let us know where you’re staying so that we can confirm if our Alpaca Expeditions vans can access that location.
Day 1: Inca Trail – Sun Gate – Machu Picchu (Walking Distance: 15 km / 8 miles)
Day 2: Machu Picchu! (You will be back in Cusco around 8:30PM)
Add Rainbow Mountain Hike: $150 US
Experience a full day hike to the striped Rainbow mountain at a very special rate. This can be done before or after your Inca Trail Tour. You will just need to arrange with your Alpaca Expeditions sales team member. This is an incredible experience so be sure to look into it!
Day 1: Hiking to Machu Picchu
Your short Alpaca Expeditions Inca Trail tour to Machu Picchu starts with you being picked up from your hotel at 4 a.m. Next, we’ll go to the train station and leave on the 6:10 a.m. train from Ollantaytambo. The trail follows the Urubamba River until we reach Km 104, where we’ll begin our trek. Along the way you’ll see spectacular views of farmlands, snow-capped mountains and the mighty Urubamba River. The Urubamba River is one of the sources of the massive Amazon River so it’s very impressive to see. At 104 km (2,000 m), we’ll begin our breathtaking trek. Once you’re off the train and ready to go, we’ll provide you with snacks and take a group photo. Then we’ll set off to visit our first Inca site. We’ll give you a short orientation about this historical Inca site as well as a walking tour. Then we’ll begin hiking as we head for the Classic Inca Trail. We’ll have tremendous views of Machu Picchu, the Urubamba River and other surrounding Inca Sites.
After hiking for three hours we’ll reach the most beautiful Incan site on the Inca Trail Wiñay Wayna (Forever Young) at 2,600 m/8,500 ft. Few people get the opportunity to see these elaborate water fountains, temples and agricultural terraces. These provide a perfect opportunity to learn about the history of the Incas. The backdrop of this site is a dramatic cliff drop with beautiful mountains surrounding the area.
A few minutes of walking from there and you’ll arrive at the Alpaca Expeditions campsite used by hikers who have chosen to do the Classic Inca Trail. Here you’ll be able to enjoy the hot homemade lunch that’s been freshly cooked by Alpaca Expeditions’ chefs. You’ll also get a chance to refill your water and get a little rest after you’ve eaten.
From Wiñay Wayna, we’ll walk to the Sun Gate. This is where we’ll see the picturesque landscape of the famous Machu Picchu. After taking in the once-in-a-lifetime views, we’ll begin our descent to Machu Picchu.
One of the many advantages of this trek is that by the time you reach Machu Picchu the day travelers will have left. This leaves you the whole area to explore with no interruptions. After taking photos and exploring the area, we’ll take the bus down to Aguas Calientes and head to your hotel. After that we’ll head to the restaurant for dinner (included). After dinner we recommend going to bed early to make the most of the next day.
* This hiking route is identical to the 2 Day Inca Trail with Camping
Accommodations: La Cabaña (or similar)
Meals Included: Lunch and dinner
Day 2: Visit the “Lost City of the Incas”
We’ll wake up early so that we can catch one of the first busses so that we can catch the striking sunrise at Machu Picchu. You’ll have a two hour guided walking tour by your private English speaking Alpaca Expeditions guide. After that you’ll have time to explore Machu Picchu by yourself. Those who have tickets to Huayna Picchu will have time to climb the mountain, which takes approximately an hour and a half round-trip. After exploring you can either take a bus or walk down to Aguas Calientes for a free afternoon. You’ll need to remember to catch your train, which will depart that afternoon to Ollantaytambo. Once you arrive at the station in Ollantaytambo we will be there to meet you and drive you back to Cusco.
Meals Included: Breakfast Only
- Professional Guides: Every single on of Alpaca Expeditions’ guides attended Cusco National University and studied tourism as well as English. They’re all local residents who are from villages in the area. This means they’re dedicated to their families and heritage.
- Permits: As soon as we receive your details and a deposit, we’ll purchase your permits (pending availability, check our Inca Trail Availability link). These permits are for a specific date and in your name. They can NOT be changed once confirmed. Only your passport number is allowed to be updated. The permit includes an entrance to Machu Picchu.
- Hotel: This trek includes one night in a three-star hotel in Aguas Calientes, the town below Machu Picchu. The hotel you book will be listed on your invoice, and upgrades are always possible.
- Transportation: Alpaca Expeditions will be providing all transportation for this trek. You’ll be picked up directly from your hotel around 4 am, (unless you’re staying in Ollantaytambo) and brought to KM 104 to begin your trek. The train back from Aguas Calientes will be on the Expedition Class Train and will be included in your trip. You also have the option to upgrade to the Vistadome train for $75 per person. Once you arrive at the train station, our Alpaca Expeditions van will take you back to your hotel in Cusco. Also included is your round trip bus ticket from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu.
- Food: Alpaca Expeditions will make sure you enjoy some spectacular food on the way to Machu Picchu. At the Wiñay Wayna ruins you’ll enjoy a peaceful lunch. While dinner will be in the best restaurant in the town of Aguas Calientes. The next morning you’ll enjoy breakfast at your hotel. Lunch is not provided on the last day of your Alpaca Expeditions trek.
- Water: We’ll give you a bottle of water for your morning hike and another bottle during lunch. We encourage you to bring extra on your own, as being well hydrated is the key to feeling great in the mountains.
- First Aid: Every Alpaca Expeditions guide has received training in first aid from a physician. We conduct mandatory training sessions every February for all Alpaca Expeditions’ employees. Your Alpaca Expeditions guide will always have a first-aid kit with oxygen for basic medical problems. If something does happen, which is rare, we’ll get you off the trail as quickly and comfortably as possible. We will stay with you the entire time until you are either back at your hotel or being seen by a medical professional.
- Satellite Phones: Alpaca Expeditions’ top priority is and always will be the safety. While all our Alpaca Expeditions guides are prepared and trained for these situations. We go the extra mile and ensure that you’re always only a phone call away from any doctor, hospital, or to check on things back home. All Alpaca Expeditions guides are required to carry radios but they are limited in how far they can reach. That’s why Alpaca Expeditions added Satellite Phones to every trek. Every guide will have a fully charged phone that can be used to reach anyone from anywhere. They can be used by our clients for non-emergencies as well for an additional fee.
- Rentals: Because there is no camping on this trek the only possible needs would be an extra porter or walking sticks. The items are listed below:
- Walking Sticks (Pair): $10
- Porters: Because this is just a one day hike without camping, there will not be porters. Your day pack should include anything you need for the evening and the next day at Machu Picchu. It’s your responsibility to carry it yourself. If you prefer to have a porter, we can arrange it for a fee based on how much your bag weighs. You must arrange this at the time of your booking since the porter will also need a permit.
- Huayna Picchu: Huayna Picchu is the mountain that stands next to Machu Picchu. It’s a 45-minute hike to the top of Huayna Picchu. The views of Machu Picchu from the top are incredible. However, if you’re afraid of heights you need to be warned that coming back down the path is quite steep. If you decide to take this hike then you would it after your tour of Machu Picchu. The cost is $75 per person and arrangements need to be made at least one month in advance due to popularity.
We would love to take everyone on the Inca Trail and guide you to Machu Picchu. We can leave any day of the week as long as permits remain with the government. Please remember, permits are only needed for your START DATE.
- $550 per person
Private Tours are based on Group Size:
2 Trekkers: $1000 per person
3 Trekkers: $900 per person
4 Trekkers: $750 per person
5 Trekkers: $700 per person
6 Trekkers: $600 per person
7 Trekkers: $575 per person
8 or more Trekkers: $550 per person
Alpaca Expeditions include a three (3) star hotel using La Cabana, Inti Punku, or Waman (based on availability at booking). Rooms are based on double or triple occupancy and there’s a single room surcharge of $50 US per person if you book alone. Rooms all include private bathrooms with hot showers and WIFI. We can also upgrade your hotel if you prefer something a little fancier. Please remember the service you receive in Aguas Calientes will not be quite as good as Cusco. Below is a list of possible upgrade options but we work with most hotels in Aguas Calientes.
My own room: +$50 US pp
El Mapi: +$70 US pp shared (+$140 for a single)
Sumaq : +$215 US pp shared (+$375 for a single)
Booked on your own: -$40 US per person
- + $50 US per person
For those wanting a single room or traveling solo there’s a $50 room charge to cover the entire room cost. We don’t bunk solo trekkers together. This covers the included hotel La Cabana, and it will be more expensive for the upgraded hotels.
– $25 off per person
Student discounts apply to anyone who has a valid UNIVERSITY STUDENT CARD at the time of the trek or who is 17-years-old or younger. For those using a University Student Card our under 17-years-old, we need to see a copy of their card or passport at the time of booking to receive the discount.
Please send all to email@example.com.
More Information about STUDENT CARD
As seen in our Additional Items under Trip Overview there are several optional upgrades. Below is a quick list of prices but be sure to check our Overview section for more details.
Huayna Picchu: Huayna Picchu is the mountain that stands next to Machu Picchu. It’s a 45-minute hike to the top of Huayna Picchu. The views of Machu Picchu from the top are incredible. However, if you’re afraid of heights you need to be warned that coming back down the path is quite steep. If you decide to take this hike then you would it after your tour of Machu Picchu. While this hike is on your own your guide will direct you to where it starts. Arrangements need to be made at least one month in advance due to popularity.
The ticket is $75 per person.
Machu Picchu Mountain
Machu Picchu mountain is the mountain that stands above the Machu Picchu ruins. It offers even more stunning views than Huayna Picchu but takes an hour and a half to reach the top. You can book this with an additional entrance ticket that we can secure for you.
This ticket is $75 per person.
All our tours include the Expedition (Tourist) Train. This train is usually booked at 4:22 p.m. departing from Aguas Calientes. There is also the Vistadome train, which is an upgraded train that offers slightly larger seats, windows and some entertainment. Usually the Vistadome train is booked for 4:43 p.m. and travels to Poroy, a train station closer to Cusco. While this is an upgraded fee, we will still include your transportation back to your hotel.
This train is $75 per person.
Extra Day at Machu Picchu
You’ll have a full day at Machu Picchu arriving at the citadel around 6 AM and leaving no later than 2 PM to catch your 4:22 train. If you would like to tour Machu Picchu again on your own the next day that can be arranged for you.
The entrance ticket into Machu Picchu is $55 per person.
The roundtrip bus ticket between Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu is $25 per person
Getting to Cusco
The airport in Cusco is currently only for domestic flights. All international travelers by plane must disembark in Lima and go through Customs. Even if your flight to Cusco is the same day by the same airline carrier. You still must grab your bags in Lima and then check them back in.
The best way to get to Cusco is by flying and there are several airlines to choose from. LAN tends to be the most expensive but has the most options and flights. Expect delays or flight cancellations. Due to the high altitude of Cusco it tends to be difficult to land. Bus travel is always available, while the trip can be long the buses in Peru are very well maintained and comfortable. This option is strongly encouraged if coming from a city closer to Cusco. Lima buses will take about 20 hours to arrive.
Any extra luggage can be left in Cusco at your hotel or with us at the Alpaca Expeditions while you trek. We’ll store your luggage on the morning of your trek and return it once you’re back in Cusco. Make sure your bags have tags on them to keep from any confusion.
As soon as people book their trips to Peru, they start wondering about altitude sickness. The air at high altitudes contains less oxygen and can make it more difficult to breath. Over several days your body adjusts to the lower amount of oxygen in the air and you begin to feel normal. Because of this we always recommend spending at least two days in Cusco before beginning any trek. Giving your body time to adjust ensures you truly enjoy your trek. Cusco is a marvelous city with lots to do. So, if possible, plan in a few slow site seeing days into your schedule before your trek starts.
Altitude sickness causes you to feel like you have the flu or a bit of a hangover. You may have a headache, tiredness, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, trouble sleeping, or trouble breathing during exercise. If any of these effects become severe please contact our Alpaca Expeditions office and we’ll help you get to a doctor.
We always recommend easing into activity slowly allowing your body to adjust. Drink plenty of fluids such as water or coca tea. Coca tea has been used since ancient times to help prevent altitude sickness. Leaves from the Coca Plant contain alkaloids that help bring oxygen into your blood, which helps with altitude sickness. Avoid drinking a lot of alcohol and coffee because they dehydrate you. Avoid smoking because it makes it more difficult for your body to get oxygen. Avoid sleeping pills as they may cause shallow breathing at night, making it more difficult for your body to get oxygen.
Remember the trek to Machu Picchu is meant to be an amazing adventure. The views on the trail are best enjoyed at a regular walking pace. This is not a race. Plus, if you push yourself too hard then even those in the best shape will suffer from altitude sickness. Expect to hike at an even steady pace.
If you speak to your healthcare provider, they may prescribe medication such as Acetazolamide and Dexamethasone to help prevent altitude sickness. Start the medicine two days before you get to high altitude and continue to take it while you’re at high altitude. Please remember that this is your holiday and you don’t want to stress out about getting sick. Do everything slowly, drink lots of water, and enjoy the coca tea. If anything does happen and you get sick just let your Alpaca Expeditions guide know right away. Alpaca Expeditions guides are specifically trained to help you get through it.
No matter what month you’re schedulthe trek make sure that you have rain gear. This should include a waterproof jacket, pants, poncho, and waterproof gloves.
Typically, the dry season in Cusco is from April through October. This doesn’t stop rain from falling in June or the sun from coming out in December.
Treks in the Andes involve various microclimates and you’ll need to be prepared for each one. Layers are always key since they’re easy to adjust to different temperature changes. Be prepared with a warm packable down jacket since the evenings will be cold.
Every Alpaca Expeditions guide has received first aid training from a physician. We also conduct mandatory training every February that every Alpaca Expeditions guide is required to attend. Each of your guides will have a first aid kit for basic medical problems on the trail.
In case something happens and you feel you can no longer continue they also know the safest and quickest way off the trail. You’ll always have someone with you. A member of the team will escort you every step of the way. When you’re feeling up to it, we can even make sure you have the chance to visit Machu Picchu. You’ll be able to re-connect with your group, traveling by train comfortably.
To protect your travel investment, we highly recommend the purchase of travel insurance. Getting travel insurance before you leave home is strongly encouraged and easy. We work with a great agency in the United States that has made it easy and affordable.
If interested in booking through our trusted partner Ahart, Frinzi & Smith CLICK HERE.
Alpaca Expeditions uses biodegradable soap and transports all our garbage back to Cusco. Our porters are trained to look after the trail and pick up any waste. We also use environmentally-friendly portable chemical toilets that allow us to carry waste out. Alpaca Expeditions believes in leaving no footprint behind.
Alpaca Expeditions is proud of the work we do for our community, as this is the main focus of our company. We’ve worked with villages directly to help supply them with the needs their families were missing. We have supported local schools by giving them computers and books. Alpaca Expeditions also sponsors a teacher at the village where most of our porters come from.
We buy all our food from local farmers and markets and serve the freshest ingredients. We provide English classes for all our team: guides, porters, chefs, and drivers. We’re building our porters a safe and comfortable house to stay at before and after our treks.
And twice every year we bring our porters and their families to Machu Picchu. The men and women who work tirelessly have never visited the Lost Citadel of the Incas. So that makes this trip our favorite to-do. It is an honor to show them this place.
We’re always looking to do more and for partners. Please let us know about your ideas and we’ll work to help.
This trek does NOT include porters. You will be carrying all your own things yourself while hiking. Because of this, it is imperative to pack as light as possible. A light backpack is key to feeling great.
- Valid, STUDENT CARD (if you booked as a student)
- Immigration Card (given on the plane as you enter Peru)
- Good daypack (the smaller, the better)
- Water storage: Water reservoir like Camelbaks or bottles are good for this trek.
- Water for the beginning of your hike. We will resupply you at lunch.
- Comfortable hiking boots (lightweight with good soles)
- 1 Wicking/Hiking Shirt & hiking pants
- Nice shirt and pants for Machu Picchu day – remember you will always treasure these photos, wear something you love
- 2 sets of undergarments including one pair of hiking socks
- Waterproof jacket/rain poncho
- Sun hat
- Bathing suits for the hot springs (Optional on your own in Aguas Calientes)
- Sun protection cream
- Insect Repellent
- Personal medication
- Personal first aid kit
- IPhone/IPod for music
- Flashlight with spare batteries
- Extra money for souvenirs, drinks & tips
2-Day Short Inca Trail Trek with Hotel
Please fill in our BOOKING FORM carefully with your correct personal details.
The Alpaca Difference
Alpaca Expeditions is a 100% peruvian, indigenous owned company. Started by Raul Ccolque, a former porter and tour guide, Alpaca Expeditions separates ourselves by our dedication to both our customer and our team. We work very hard to make sure that all our clients needs are taken care of throughout the tour with us. At the same time, we never forget about our brothers and sisters working tirelessly for us to make all of this possible. Responsible and sustainable tourism that gives as much to our community as to our clients.
Meet the AE Trekking Team!
Everyone on the Alpaca Team is from Cusco region, living the traditions and history they share with you while on one of our tours. Our guides are all graduates of university studying tourism, history and english. Our chefs are trained every February by a professional cooking team learning new meals, adding varieties of entrees for all types of eating. And all our porters are from HUARQUI, HUACAHUASI, PATACANCHA, QUISWARANI, CANCHACANCHA, QUEYUPAY, UMACHURCO and CCACCACCOLLO villages, very often working this job on top of maining their farms back at home. Most of our team has been with us for years, as we have the most loyal, hard working, happy employees in Cusco. We know how lucky we are to have the best team trekking and you will immediately fall in love with all the men and women who call Alpaca Expeditions their home.
AE súper porters
Our Porters represent the Peruvian people, both men, and women who are at the heart of our...
Alpaca Expeditions aims to promote gender equality and empower women, hiring first Peru Wo...
Travelling and trekking along the mountains is one of the best activities in the World. Co...
Trekking along the mountain on your way to conquer Machu Picchu is a once in a lifetime ex...
What do we do for our porters?
Alpaca Expeditions would not be where we are today without these hardworking men and women. We could not imagine a harder job and our team does it smiling. We do our best to thank them for their hard work and loyalty by doing as much as we can to make their lives and their families lives better. All our porters receive all their equipment for free from warm winter hats to proper hiking boots. They sleep in proper tents and are given warm sleeping bags for night. They enjoy the same food we serve our clients and all leftovers are donated to their families. We visit their villages with doctors and dentists, donate school supplies and sports equipment. And our favorite time of the year is when we bring a group of porters and their families to Machu Picchu to visit the ruins for the first time.
AE súper porters
Our Porters represent the Peruvian people, both men, and women who are at the heart of our company. It is not possible to ...
Alpaca Expeditions aims to promote gender equality and empower women, hiring first Peru Women as Porters opening the door ...
Free Medical Assistance to Porters
In 2019, we hired our first Alpaca Expeditions Medical Doctor to help tend to our guides, drivers, chefs…
Our Porter’s bus
We treat our porters with the same dignity and respect as we do our clients. Just as our clients enjoy our…
Our Porter’s House
As we mentioned above, our Porters like many Peruvian people come from distant villages to work our treks…
Tents and Sleeping bags
Again, this is something unique that Alpaca Expeditions provides, and sad others are not doing. We supply…
Proper Equipment for our Porters
Every porter of ours receives proper equipment. That includes moisture-wicking long/short sleeve shirts…
Nutritious Meals for our Porters
A general comment from trekkers on an Alpaca Expeditions tour is that we serve too much food. Well…
Videos of our Porters
Alpaca Expeditions is always ready to make your trip safe and as easy as possible for you. Because these trips are a bit more complicated than your typical tour, we have put together some notes on logistics, storage, and even recommendations on where to stay in Cusco. And of course our team is ready to answer any other question, as we promise to be your partner from the moment you first contact us to our last goodbye in Cusco.
Alpaca Expeditions Recognitions
ISO (International Organization for Standardization)
In the pursuit to stand out from the rest, Alpaca Expeditions has obtained four ISOs plus our carbon footprint certificate to date. These achievements result from our efforts to implement the internationally-recognized integrated management system. They also represent our commitment to all of our clients and staff of operating sustainability and responsibility in every way possible.