DAY 1: CUSCO – KM 104 – WIÑAY HUAYNA – SUN GATE – MACHU PICCHU
With a compacted 2 days of excitement ahead, we will pick you up from your hotel at 4:00am and drive you towards the Ollantaytambo train station. After an hour and ten minutes scenic train ride (Expedition Service) to KM 104 (elevation 2,100m/6,927ft) we arrive at the beginning of our trek. At this point, we begin a moderate climb for three hours towards the chiseled remnants and remote archaeological site of Wiñay huayna, (2,650m/8,747 ft). Enjoy the spectacular plunging views of the Urubamba Canyon and the ethnic wonders of the ancient Inca sites, as you embrace them with an open mind and heart as your connection with the ancient Inca Trail begins. After being at one with this beautiful sight, we will continue onward towards the Sun Gate. (2,730mts/9,007ft) Following the ancient remote footpath, we will get our first spectacular view of Machu Picchu Citadel in all its brilliance and majesty. As we move closer towards the citadel of Machu Picchu, you will feel a mystical presence. Then, we will take our bus towards Aguas Calientes, where you will spend the night in our hotel.
- Meals: Box Lunch & Dinner
- Accommodation: Wiracocha Inn Hotel or Andean Terra Hotel
- Difficulty: Moderate
DAY 2: AGUAS CALIENTES – MACHU PICCHU – CUSCO
Today, you will get to explore Machu Picchu citadel and experience its magical presence by taking the first bus at 5:30AM to this archeological site. Upon arrival, you will get to see the sunrise over the entire complex. Take your time, making sure you explore every nook and cranny of this New Wonder of the World and UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site. It will be an unforgettable experience!
Your guide will direct you through the energetic ruins and its diverse main streets. Then on your own, wander around the town square of the world’s spiritual center of esoteric wisdom as well as climb the intricately carved stone stairways. Enjoy the pure delight of the moment.
Here are a few of alternative activities that you might wish to indulge in on your own:
- Climb up Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain and appreciate the beauty and magnificence of Machu Picchu (must be booked in advance and subject to availability.)
- You will be given some time to walk to the Sun Gate (free of charge)
- Other activities in Aguas Calientes include a visit to the local museum or to the hot springs (entrance fees required and time permitting.)
You will descend towards Aguas Calientes, when you are ready to eat lunch and board the Expedition train at 4:22pm for your return trip to Cusco. The train will stop at the Ollantaytambo Train Station and you will be driven back to your hotel in Cusco, in our private van arriving at around 8pm.
- Meal: Breakfast
- Difficulty: Easy
WHAT IS INCLUDED
- Hotel pick up
- Private transportation from your hotel to the train station
- 3 Bus tickets from Aguas Calientes -Machu Picchu – 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: $70 USD per person
- First breakfast (Usually served in Hotel), Last lunch at Machu Picchu
- OPTIONAL UPGRADES: Hotel
- VISTADOME Train to Cusco instead of Expedition Train, Please add $57 USD per person (For the return only to Poroy at 4:43 pm)
- 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 is available on almost any day that suits your schedule – we only need a minimum of two people in order to book.
- $457 USD per person with a 2 star hotel (single traveler supplement $30 USD extra)
- $497 USD per person with a 3 star hotel (single traveller supplement $40 USD La Cabaña/$75 USD Casa Andina 3*)
- Huayna Picchu Mountain Hike: $75 USD per person
- Machu Picchu Mountain Hike: $70 USD per person
- Vistadome Train: $57 USD per person – (For the return to Poroy at 4:43 pm
- 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 Machu Picchu is almost always available year round except 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 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 8 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 your best choice if you truly want to enjoy your trek in Peru, especially within the Cusco region. We are specialists in creating unique trekking routes, with customized treks to Machu Picchu, which other tour operators do not offer. We have numerous Inca Trail trek options of 1 to 7 days and other Alternative treks to Machu Picchu! What that means for our clients is lots of unique options to choose from, more enjoyable and exciting treks, personalized service, and small groups averaging 4 to 6 trekkers and with a maximum of 8 trekkers.
Our high quality service is about cheap prices and small groups. We offer fair prices while providing the best possible service and personalized attention in small groups. All you have to do is to immerse yourself in the stunning landscapes around you and simply feel the magic of Mother Nature (Pachamama) and the Andes. We carry your gear, prepare your meals, set up your tents, avoid crowded campsites, and take care of all your requirements and details so you can relax and enjoy your trek or tour.
All of our treks are operated by SAM Travel Peru: a company owned and operated by Saul Alvarez Montalvo, a native of Cusco and an experienced guide. He is passionate about providing people the best quality service possible. What that means for you is that all our treks and tours are strictly operated by SAM TRAVEL PERU. SAM Travel Peru will never pass you onto another company; we will work with you until we get it right! All the departures are 100% guaranteed – If you are booked and have made your deposit, You are going!
SAM Travel Peru knows how important it is to trust in a reliable honest operator to create your adventure of a lifetime. Check out our reviews and certificates of excellence on, TRIPADVISOR for yourself! 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, Alli and Ellie hike to Machu Picchu
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 TOP TOUR GUIDES
We are very proud of our guides! Highly professional, speaking fluent English and very knowledgeable. Passionate for the Inca heritage/ history, dedicated to personal development and learning to ensure that you receive accurate and recognized theories about Inca and Andean cultures. Fun loving, great sportsmen and well educated some hold degrees in: Archaeology, Botany, History or Anthropology. Others are great entertainers and the best “Salsa Dancers” this side of Machu Picchu.
OUR SOCIAL PROJECTS
SAM Travel Peru has always believed that we should give back to the communities, we pass through on treks. Therefore, as part of our commitment in responsible tourism, we socially support and employ from these communities.
SAM Travel Peru is proud to be able to support these people by not only hiring them for work but to go back to our grassroots and share with their families. It makes us happy to have a 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 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, 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.
HOW TO BOOK THE SHORT INCA TRAIL TREK?
Please be ready with the following information (FROM EACH PARTICIPANT in your group). We cannot purchase Short Inca Trail 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 $200.00 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: email@example.com.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
MAY I CHANGE THE DATE AFTER THE PERMITS HAVE BEEN BOUGHT?
Unfortunately the answer is No. Once the Inca Trail 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, the deposit is not refundable at all!
DO I NEED MY ORIGINAL PASSPORT ON THE SHORT INCA TRAIL 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 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 ON THE SHORT INCA TRAIL TREK?
First, the weather is very unpredictable and it’s difficult to foresee. You will have many different varieties of weather as you pass through the numerous microclimates and will depend on your location. We highly recommend to bring some warm clothes and good rain gear in your day backpack.
WHAT ABOUT ALTITUDE SICKNESS?
In general, if you exercise regulary and spend a couple of days in Cusco or in the Sacred Valley, you will acclimate fine.
The recommended remedies for altitude sickness are: WATER, COCA TEA and OXYGEN, IF NEEDED. Our guides are trained to treat you for Altitude Sickness. We offer the Cusco City or Sacred Valley Tours that you can book while you are acclimating to the altitude. Check out our Day Tours on our Home Page.
HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE THERE PER GROUP?
The maximum group size is of 8 persons. Usually, 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 TREK LOOK LIKE IN PEAK SEASON?
It could get a bit crowded but with regulations in place by the Peruvian government to limit the amount of persons per day, there is enough space for everyone. To improve your experience on the Short Inca Trail, we have small groups with expert guides.
ARE WE DROPPED OFF AT OUR HOTEL AFTER THE SHORT INCA TRAIL TREK?
Absolutely! Included within our package, is hotel drop off after your trek. If you have booked your hotel in the Sacred Valley, like Ollantaytambo or Urubamba, we will drop you off there too! Please send us your hotel information to better coordinate your drop off!
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 locally sustainable & responsible tourism operator! We incorporate universal principles of tourism: protect the environment and benefit the local communities respecting their culture and religion. With this in mind, we have trained all our staff to know, understand and respect local places and its people.
PACKING LIST FOR THE SHORT INCA TRAIL TREK
The Short Inca Trail TREK 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 30 L)
- 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 paste
- 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