Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

  • Destination: Peru
  • Price from: $655
  • Duration: 2 days
  • Departs on: Any day
  • Class: Tourist - First-class (depending on chosen hotel and/or train)
  • Level: Moderate
  • Group or Private tour

If you’ve always dreamed of hiking the most famous trek in South America, but you’ve got limited time, this short version allows you a small taste of the Inca Trail in Peru and time to explore the famous Inca ruins of Machu Picchu.


At TerraDiversa we firmly believe that it is impossible to fully understand Machu Picchu without the Inca Trail. During the Inca era, the act of hiking the trail itself en route to the ruins can be likened to a sacred pilgrimage and is very much part of the experience.

This shorter version of the Inca Trail in Peru is ideal for travelers with limited time and/or fitness levels to ensure they get a taste of the trail. Unlike the classic trail, you do not need to be acclimatized as the trail is at a lower altitude.

TerraDiversa provides this tour in collaboration with a professional Peruvian provider as by law only Peruvian trekking companies are granted the license to operate the Inca Trail. For the group tour there is a minimum of 2 passengers and a maximum of 16. Remember that the Inca Trail is closed for maintenance in February. We recommend you book this tour three months in advance as there are limited spaces available to hike the trail.

This tour includes

· A bilingual (English/Spanish) guide
· All necessary land transportation:
– Train ticket from Cusco to Km 104
– Bus ticket Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Aguas Calientes (on second day)
– Train ticket from Aguas Calientes to Cusco (either Vistadome or Expedition class depending on rate selected)
– Transfers to/from train station and hotel in Cusco
· All meals mentioned in the itinerary
· Private tours include a buffet lunch at Belmond Sanctuary Lodge
· The option “group tour including hotel” includes accommodation at stylish El Mapi by Inkaterra Hotel in double room
· All entrance fees
· Trek permit
· First-aid kit
· Emergency oxygen bottle

This tour does not include

· Private tours do not include accommodation in Aguas Calientes
· Travel insurance
· Tips and gratuities
· Personal Expenses
· Any other service not mentioned herein

Made-to-Measure Travel

This itinerary is designed to give you an idea of the available options for travel in Peru. But keep in mind:

  • We can tailor this trip to suit your needs, tastes, time frame and budget
  • Every aspect of the itinerary can be modified, from the accommodation to the activities

Sample itinerary for group tour (including hotel)

Day 1 - Cusco - km 104 - Machu Picchu - Aguas Calientes
Depart from Cusco by early train for scenic train journey to start of trek at kilometer 104. Beautiful trek through scenery dominated by snow-capped peaks and visit to Huiñay Huayna (Wiñay Wayna) an Inca archaeological site with views of River Urubamba to join the final stages of the classic four-day hike. It takes about 2.5 hours from here to Machu Picchu on a trail that contours the mountainside and drops into cloud forest before reaching an almost vertical flight of 50 steps leading to Intipunku (the Sun Gate) where there are incredible views of Machu Picchu. You’ll arrive at the ruins around 4pm in time for a short visit before heading by bus down to Aguas Calientes for a relaxing rest at the stylish El MaPi by Inkaterra Hotel. Total walking time 5-6 hours (9.3km approx.). Meals included: -/L/-
Day 2 - Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu - Cusco
Travel from Aguas Calientes by bus to Machu Picchu to arrive at the ruins early in the morning and enjoy the sun rise. Guided tour of the most important sections of the ruins followed by some free time to explore the ruins independently or even to visit the Huayna Picchu (Wayna Pikchu) mountain (you’ll need about 2 hours). You can either eat lunch outside the ruins or in Aguas Calientes before returning to Cusco by train in the late afternoon and being transferred to your hotel. Meals included: B/-/-


This tour includes a train journey from Aguas Calientes to Cusco on the second day. For this journey you can choose between two options. The Vistadome offers seated reservations, slightly larger seats and glass windows on the roof, while expedition class is the standard class which is also comfortable and offers seated reservations also.

Tour type # people High season
High season
Low season
Low season
Group 2-16 $675 $655 $675 $655
Group incl. hotel 2-16 $755 $735 $755 $735
Private 1 $1125 $1120 $1110 $1090
Private 2 $855 $840 $840 $815
Private 3 $765 $750 $745 $720
Private 4 $745 $730 $725 $699

*V: Vistadome train ticket
**E: Expedition class train ticket
High season: May – September

Packing tips

We recommend you leave all your valuables in Cusco and take only the following items on this tour to ensure you have a fully enjoyable experience.
· Day pack
· Passport
· Cash for tips
· Rain jacket
· Hiking boots
· Sun hat/cap
· Sun glasses
· Sunscreen
· Insect repellent
· Water
· Binoculars (optional)
· Torch
· Trekking pole for steep descents (the use of metal tipped trekking poles is forbidden because they are damaging the trail. Instead buy a carved wooden walking stuck in Cusco)