Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
DAY 1: CUSCO – KM 104 – WIÑAY WAYNA – SUN GATE – MACHU PICCHU
With a compacted 2 days of excitement ahead, we pick you up from your hotel in Cusco at 4:00am or your hotel in Ollantaytambo at 5:30am, and drive you to the Ollantaytambo train station. You will have an hour and 20-minute ride by Expedition train to KM 104 (2,100m/6,927ft), where you will begin your trek and show your passport at the first checkpoint. Afterwards, we initiate a moderate climb for three hours to the ancient terraces and remote archaeological site of Wiñay Wayna (2,650m/8747ft). Admire the fountains that have been flowing for hundreds of years and gaze down the spectacular, sheer mountainside, plunging down to the Urubamba River. After enjoying the architectural wonder of this ancient Inca site, we merge onto the Classic Inca Trail. We have lunch at the Wiñay Wayna campground, then continue onward towards the Sun Gate (2,730m/9,007ft). Following the historic footpath, you walk on the stones laid down by the Inca, worn smooth by centuries of feet passing over them. At the Sun Gate (Inti Punku) finally get our first spectacular view of Machu Picchu in all its brilliance and majestic monumentality. As we move closer to the Citadel of Machu Picchu, you will enjoy views of the enigmatic ruins the whole length of the trail. Then we take our bus to Aguas Calientes, where we spend the night in our hotel.
- Meals: Box Lunch, Dinner in a restaurant in Aguas Calientes
- Distance: 12 kms/7.5 miles
- Time: 6hrs approximately
- 3* Accommodations: Inti Punku Machu Picchu
- 4* Accommodation: El Mapi or Tierra Viva Machu Picchu (superior room)
- Difficulty: moderate
You will leave an overnight bag at the Ollantaytambo train station to be sent by train directly to Aguas Calientes.
DAY 2: AGUAS CALIENTES – MACHU PICCHU – CUSCO
This is the day you’ve been waiting for! We take the early bus to Machu Picchu archeological site, making sure we tour every nook and cranny of this New 7 Wonder of the World and UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site. The Citadel of the Incas, Machu Picchu, what an unforgettable experience! On your 2.5 hours private tour, your guide will expertly direct you through the enigmatic ruins and its most important sites. You will see the Temple of the Sun, Temple of the Condor, Temple of Three Windows, Sun Dial, Quarry, the House of the Inka, the urban areas, agricultural terraces and many different types of architecture.
You may wish to indulge in a few of the following activities on your own (not included in the price):
- Climb Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain– appreciate the beauty and magnificence of Machu Picchu from above. These extra hikes sell out and must be requested at time of booking.
- You will be given some time to walk to the Sun Gate, also called Inti Punku. (No additional fee)
- Other optional activities in Aguas Calientes include a visit to the new local museum or to the hot springs. (entrance fee)
When you are ready, you will descend to Aguas Calientes, have a leisurely lunch on your own, and later on board the train at 14:55 for the return trip with the Expedition train to the Ollantaytambo train station where you will catch our private van back to Cusco and your hotel. You can expect to arrive at your hotel by 19:00.
***Information about trains, which are the ONLY way back to Ollentaytambo:
- 1.- Our package includes the 14:55 Expedition train for the way from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo, then we drive you back to Cusco in our van, arriving by 19h.
- a.- Another Expedition train is scheduled at 16:22, which can be organized as well, as long you request this in advance (at least 15 days before) at no extra cost. We drive you from Ollentaytambo back to Cusco in our van, arriving by 20h.
- 2.- You can upgrade to the Vistadome Train number 204 which departs at 13:37, which will cost $30 USD per person. You can also upgrade to the Vistadome Train number 32 at 16:43, the cost is $57 USD. These trains run from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo, then we drive you back to Cusco in our van, arriving by 17:30h for the earlier train or 20:30 for the second train. (Request in advance.)
- a.- You can upgrade to the 16:43 Vistadome from Aguas Calientes to Poroy/Cusco for $70 USD, then we drive you back to Cusco in our van, arriving by 20:30 (Request in advance.)
WHAT IS INCLUDED?
- Hotel pick up
- Private transportation from your hotel to the train station
- Permits for the Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and entrance to Machu Picchu.
- 3 Bus tickets: from Machu Pichu down to Aguas Calientes, the next morning from Aguas Calientes up to Machu Picchu, and the afternoon return down to Aguas Calientes
- English speaking guide experienced in trekking
- Private guided tour in Machu Picchu
- Expedition Train from Ollantaytambo to KM104 – Ollantaytambo with private bus connection to Cusco
- Admission tickets to the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu Archaeological site.
- One night accommodation in Aguas Calientes (hot shower, bathroom, private room and breakfast included)
- First-aid kit including emergency oxygen tank
WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED?
- Wayna Picchu Mountain: $75 USD per person
- Machu Picchu Mountain: $75 USD per person
- First breakfast (Usually served at your hotel) and last lunch at Aguas Calientes
- OPTIONAL UPGRADES: Hotel
- VISTADOME Trains: Train 204 at 13:37 $30 USD per person; Train 32 at 16:43 $57 USD per person
- Tips for your staff (Sam Travel Peru staff receives a fair and decent payment immediately after they end their trip, tips are optional but greatly appreciated)
Price & Availability
The Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is available on almost any day that suits your schedule – we only need a minimum of two people in order to book.
3* Hotel (Included)
|3* Hotel (Others)||4* Hotel|
|Price Per Person||$442 USD||$467 USD||By request||US$557|
- 3*** Hotel: Inti Punku Machu Picchu, Waman Machu Picchu, Retama Inn 3*** (Included)
- 4****: El Mapi (1st option)or Tierra Viva Hotel (As 2nd option) – They depend on availability!
***** Single supplement US$40 for 3*** Hotel, US$110 for 4**** hotel like el Mapi or $75 USD for 4**** hotel like Tierra Viva superior room
- Huayna Picchu Mountain Hike: $75 USD per person
- Machu Picchu Mountain Hike: $75 USD per person
- Vistadome Train: $57 USD per person – (RETURN ONLY)
- Single supplement $30 USD per night (for solo travellers with single room)
- Free duffel bag (5 kilos): to your hotel in Aguas Calientes for those staying extra days
- 18 to 25 years old:$30 USD Information required on student card: name of university, student name, photo of student, expiration date etc. A copy of the card at booking is required & government approval for discount.
- Under 18 years old:$30 USD Please send us a copy of your passport at the time of booking.
- Under 11 years old:$40USD Please send us a copy of your passport at the time of booking.
*** The short Inca trail to Machu Picchu is almost always available year round, except when it is closed in February for maintenance — This trek takes you into Machu Picchu by walking through the SUN GATE like in the ancient times, you will explore some amazing Inca ruins along the way like Wiñay wayna.
CHECK YOUR SHORT INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU TREK AVAILABILITY BY CLICKING ON MONTH OF YOUR CHOICE!
FREE ADDED VALUES
- TRANSFER FROM AIRPORT: to your hotel in Cusco included (Airport to hotel in Cusco only).
- SMALL GROUPS: average 4 to 6 with a maximum of 10 hikers
- AFTERNOON TRAIN: We give you enough time to explore Machu Picchu and have a relaxing lunch at Aguas Calientes. Your train back to Ollantaytambo is at 4:22pm, and when you arrive in Ollantaytambo you catch your private van to Cusco, arriving in Cusco by 8:30 PM.
- HOTEL AT AGUAS CALIENTES: includes private bathroom, hot shower, buffet breakfast, and wifi etc.
WHY CHOOSE SAM TRAVEL?
SAM Travel Peru is a family owned travel agency and a local tour operator based in Cusco with personal experience over many years of trekking. SAM Travel Peru is a 1oo% Cusquenian Company without any shareholders.
Our dream as a locally based company is to create small personalized tours & treks strictly and only operated by local professional staff catering in PERSONALIZED and HIGH QUALITY SERVICE.
We take pride in having a reputation as being a RESPONSIBLE & SUSTAINABLE tour operator. Our staff are our extended family. We ensure they are supported financially by offering them a fair salary. We are so proud of our team! Without them, we wouldn’t be able to offer the best service and lifetime experiences to our clients.
SAM Travel Peru knows how important it is to trust in a reliable honest operator to create your adventure of a lifetime while in Peru. Check out our reviews and certificates of excellence on, TRIPADVISOR for yourself! Also we are highly recommended on Conde Nast Travelers, Lonely Planet and by many blogs like: Salkantay/Inka Trail ! July 14th to 20th 2016 Trek de Lares 4 hours, “It’s the journey, not the destination…”, Lares Pass – Day 3, Trekking in the Sacred Valley.
In an effort to provide a more personalized service towards our passengers, we at SAM Travel Peru have a policy that our groups will never exceed 8 people. This fact alone sets us apart from other companies that operate departures with bigger groups.
OUR TOUR GUIDES
We are so proud of our guides! They are highly professional and speak fluent English. They are very knowledgeable and passionate for Incan heritage and history. Our guides are dedicated to continuous personal and professional development. They do research to ensure that you receive accurate and recognized theories in Incan and Andean culture. Our crew is fun loving, great sportsmen and well-educated. They all hold degrees in one of the following: Archaeology, Tourism, Botany, History or Anthropology.
OUR SOCIAL PROJECTS
At SAM Travel Peru, we have always believed that we should give back to the local isolated communities. Therefore, as part of our commitment to responsible tourism, we always do many social projects and hire locally.
SAM Travel Peru is so proud to be able to support our local people, not only by employing them but also by going back to our grassroots as they share with their families. It makes us happy to have this holistic approach with our highland employees and their families!
Please read carefully the following information as it will help answer all of your questions about our services and the Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu trek below:
ARRIVAL TO CUSCO
You will be welcomed at the Cusco airport by one of our representatives and taken to your hotel. Please ensure that you inform us of your flight details at least 14 days prior to your trek. Look out for our representative holding an orange board SAM Travel Peru at the arrival terminal. You must exit the terminal, in order, to find our representative (they cannot enter inside).
Your briefing will take place the night before your trek. It will be held at our office at 6 or 6:30pm, depending on your confirmation email details. We are located at Calle Santa Teresa Nº383 ; 303 (second floor), we are next to SUBWAY restaurant.
CAN I STORE MY LUGGAGE AT YOUR OFFICE?
Of course! During the Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, your main luggage can be store at our office or at your hotel, both are free. Please pack things you will only need during your Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.
HOW TO BOOK THE SHORT INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU TREK?
Please be ready with the following information (FROM EACH PARTICIPANT in your group). We cannot purchase Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu permits without the following information:
- Personal information (your full name, exactly as on your passport):
- Passport number
- D.OB. (dd / mm / yyyy)
***We required copies of everyones’ passport as they are required when purchasing permits.
SECOND, we require a deposit of $211.00 USD per person, in order, to purchase a permit for the Short Inca Trail. You can make your deposit by clicking on the VISA or PAYPAL symbols on the top of our home page or click on the VISA or PAYPAL symbols on our booking page.
WHAT ABOUT THE BALANCE?
It would be greatly appreciated if you can pay in cash at our office (we accept US dollars or Peruvian soles). We have many ATMs within the historical center. You can also pay by VISA or PAYPAL online but you will have to pay a 5.5% service charge, charged by VISA and PAYPAL. To pay your balance through PAYPAL, you need to log into your PAYPAL account using our email address of: firstname.lastname@example.org.
HOW DO I QUALIFY FOR THE STUDENT DISCOUNT?
- According to Peruvian Law, you must be under 18 years of age at the time of your trek, tour, or visit to Machu Picchu (students 18 & above need student cards). For example: if you book a trek at the age of 17 but you turn 18 before you do your trek, you do not qualify for a student discount.
- All students from 11 to 17 years, the discount is $30 USD.
- For children from the age of 2 to 11, the discount is $40 USD.
- For children from the age of 0 to 2, they are free.
- All students must provide a copy of their passport at the time of their booking to get the student discount.
- Send us a copy at: email@example.com
MAY I CHANGE THE DATE AFTER THE PERMITS HAVE BEEN BOUGHT?
Unfortunately the answer is No. Once the Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu permits have been bought the Peruvian government does not allow any changes so we can’t change any dates after the permits have been bought. The Short Inca Trail permits are not transferable nor refundable. If you cancel your Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, the deposit is not refundable at all!
DO I NEED MY ORIGINAL PASSPORT ON THE SHORT INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU TREK?
Yes! You have to bring your original passport and it is very important that it is the same passport you sent us to book your Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu permit. Passports will be checked when you enter Machu Picchu, the Inca Trail and board the train. In case, you are renewing your passport, go ahead and send us a copy of your old passport to secure your permits and we can change it when you get your new passport. Please send a copy of your new passport as soon as possible.
WHAT IS THE WEATHER LIKE?
The weather is very unpredictable and it’s difficult to foresee. We recommend to always dress in layers as it is more easier to adjust to the different climates.
HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE THERE PER GROUP?
The maximum group size is of 10 persons. Our groups are between 2-6 persons. Sam Travel Peru is specialized in SMALL and PRIVATE groups and provide a personalized service.
WHAT DOES THE SHORT INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU TREK LOOK LIKE IN PEAK SEASON?
Our Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu trek is unique to us and an out of the way location even during peak season, we will only occasionally encounter another group.
ARE WE DROPPED OFF AT OUR HOTEL AFTER THE SHORT INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU TREK?
Absolutely!! Hotel pick ups and drop offs are included with all of our packages! If you have booked your hotel in the Sacred Valley, we will drop you off there and vice versa.
AT WHAT TIME IS THE TRAIN’S DEPARTURE?
It will depend on the train availability but the idea is to give you as much time as possible in Machu Picchu and enjoy the amazing views on the way back to Cusco while on the train. Therefore, you will take the train at 4:22pm. With this train schedule, you will have more than 9 hours to enjoy Machu Picchu!
HOW MUCH IS THE VISTADOME TRAIN UPGRADE?
The Vistadome train service has nicer seats, panoramic windows and ceiling. You will be offered snacks and a dance show will take place on board. The price for this upgrade is: $57 USD per person, which includes the transfer from Poroy train station to your hotel in Cusco. It is 2 hours by train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo and then, another 2 hours from Ollantaytambo to Cusco by bus. If you upgrade to the Vistadome train service, the trip from Aguas Calientes to Poroy takes about 3.5 hours. Then, 25 mins by taxi to your hotel. You will be back at at your hotel by 8pm.
If you’re happy with the services provided, a tip – though not compulsory – is appreciated. While it may not be customary, it is of great significance for the staff who will take care of you during the trek. It inspires excellent service and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many SAM Travel Peru destinations. Of course, you are free to tip as much as you would like, depending on your perception of the quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.
ARE YOU SUSTAINABLE?
Yes, we are a local, sustainable & responsible tourism operator that incorporates universal principles of tourism: protect the environment and benefit the local communities by respecting their culture and religion. With this in mind, we have trained all our local staff to know and understand, respect the places and the local people.
PACKING LIST FOR THE SHORT INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU TREK
The Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu DOES NOT INCLUDE an extra porter so you will need to carry all your things. Please try to pack as light as possible, which is key to enjoying this amazing trek.
- Original Passport ( the same you have used for booking your trek)
- Good daypack (25 to 30L)
- Water 1 to 2 liters of water
- Comfortable hiking boots with ankle support
- Toilet Paper
- 1 t-shirts
- 1 hiking or comfortable pants
- Hiking socks
- Polar or sweater for early mornings and evenings
- Face moisturizer
- Hand Sanitizer
- Wet wipes
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Personal medications
- Sun Hat
- Wool Hat evenings or early mornings
- Rain jacket – rainy season
- Snacks like chocolate bars, cereal bars or any dry fruit
- Rain plastic poncho (provided by SAM)
- Extra Money for Souvenirs, Drinks & Tips