Short inca trail hike to Machu Picchu

Short inca trail; the Incas, a culture that was established in Cusco around the beginning of the 13th century, did not have horses, or cars to cover all the huge territory that covered 3 countries in South America. Along this land they created a network system of roads, that used to connect at the most towns, holly mountain, lakes, shrines, villages, farming spots, this roads are known as Qhapac Ñan (Qhapac = Rich, Milenary, Related to Inca; Ñan = Trail.

This is the shortest trail, and the best machu picchu hiking tour in a day, that begins at Chachabamba, or the km 104.

12 kilometers distance which is done in about 6 hours.

The trail is, recommended for people who wants to reach machu picchu by foot, but does not have enough time to do the traditional 4 days inca trail. In this short hiking, we do not use tents, you will spend the only night in a comfort of your hotel, in aguas calientes town.

What to expect On the Inca Trail?

The short inca trail, runs by the middle of the cloud forest, and gives you the opportunity to enjoy a green lush forest, where there are so many varieties of plants, 5 types of plants in an square meter, about 1500 varieties of orchids, varieties of ferns, ornamental trees, medicinal plants like the muña, rosemary, fruits, and a wide symbiosis which make the train special.

There are as well a large variety of fauna; a rich area for biologists who are taking advantage of the location which easy to get there.

There has being reported some kind of monkeys, over 420 species of birds, tree frogs, lizards, rodents, coatis, torrent ducks, hummingbirds, Andean guan, pumas, spectacled bears, toucans, thrush birds, tanagers, and many others, which is also a nice opportunity for bird watchers.

Archaeological sites; along the short path, there are several archaeological sites, the 1st to see and visit is named Chachabamba, a religious site that has water fountains, and dwellings, near by the Urubamba river at 2100 m, the other archaeological site which is at the river is named Choquesuysuy, and this is rarely visited because is located at another point through which the trails does not pass.

The most interesting inca site is named Wiñay huayna 2650 m; 8,694.22 ft “forever young”, an inca sites that has being discovered around 1950, by a Peruvian explorer, then small sites along the trail named tambos of resting places, then from the sun gate, is a nice view point, from where you can be able to see the lost city, and finally 2 more small wonderful inca sites along the rail.

How to Get There?

The only way to get in to this park, is with a certified tour guide who gets yearly permit to lead on this trail, then you need to confirm with us, that there is availability.

Once we get your permits, our company will book the train tickets, in order to be at the check point before 09:00, (the earlier, the better), then be ready for this short but incredible trail, an begin the hike at the km 104, and start the hike leaded by one of our expert machu picchu hiking guides.

From Machu Picchu, there is needed shuttle bus to aguas calientes town, then on the following day, return to the inca city for your guided tour, then in the afternoon return to ollantaytambo by train, form where our driver will take you back to your hotel in the city.

The short inca trail and Machu Picchu in 1 day?

Yes! for people with tight schedule, it is possible to walk this traill, and machu picchu the same day,  catch up the plane, the same day, and flight back to Lima, do you want to know how? white us and we can provide more information.

Not ready for a walk? then take our regular machu picchu tour by train, in a roundtrip journey, or with an over night in aguas calientes town, and make it easy.

short inca trail
machu picchu sacred trail
Vista Dome Train
wiñayhuayna inca site
short inca trail machu picchu sacred trail Vista Dome Train wiñayhuayna inca site

Tour Map

salkantay trek


Depart at 05:00 hrs, we advise to sped the previous night at ollantaytambo town, so with no rush  you can take train and do the hike in the early times and avid the high temperatures in the valley. Enter the park before 9 am, end the walk by 15:00 hrs, and reach the town by 16:.00 take shower, dinner at 18:30 hrs. and early sleep.

On the next day, take bus to mapi at 06:00 hrs, enter to the park by 07:00 hrs, get 2 hours guided tour, then return to town, at 15:00 hrs take train to Ollanta, and arrive to Cusco by 18:30 hrs.


  • Private Transport to Ollantaytambo.
  • Vista-dome or similar trail from Ollantaytambo to km 104.
  • Inca Trail fee.
  • 1 box lunch.
  • Bus to Aguas calientes town
  • Round trip Shuttle bus  Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu.
  • Machu Picchu Fee
  • 1rst AID Kit.
  • English speaking professional tour guide.
  • Train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo.
  • Private transportation from Ollantaytambo back to the city.


  • 2nd day meals “Breakfast and Lunch”.
  • Hotel accommodations in Aguas calientes town.
  • Tipping for the crew (Customary).


Additional travel information

PLACE TO VISIT Chachabamba, Wiñayhuayna, Machu Picchu.
TOUR DURATION 2 days 1 night
TYPE OF TOUR Short hiking, 1 day.
TRANSPORTATION FOR THE TRIP  Minivan / Shuttle Bus /Train


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