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Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu Trek Itinerary

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Classic 4 day Trek

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Salkantay 7 day Trek

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Typical 2-day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu trek Itinerary:

   

Day 01: The train usually departs Cusco at 06:15 for the three and a half hour scenic train journey to the start of the trek at kilometer 104 (104 kilometers along the railway from Cusco to Aguas Calientes).
The trail heads down to the river where you'll find a checkpoint; a gate that guards the bridge over the River Vilcanota. On the other side of the river the trail heads off to the right towards the ruins of Chachabamba. These ruins, discovered in 1940, are located on the old Inca road that ran along the southern bank of the Urubamba river. The style of buildings and stonework suggest that this was an important religious site, as well as having the secondary function as a gate house guarding this entrance to Machu Picchu.
From Chachabamba the Inca Trail goes south and climbs the hillside, entering some woods and crossing a small stream. The path then turns west and continues uphill leaving the woods for open grassland.
 

About 2 hrs 30 minutes after leaving Chachabamba, the path descends into a forest and much needed shade. A few minutes later you'll reach a beautiful waterfall. Soon after leaving the forest  you will arrive at the foot of the superb ruins of Wiñay Wayna. It's a 15-20 minute walk to get to the Trekker's Hostal / Restaurant, climbing up the stairway to the urban area of the terraces, following the stairs off to the right. You'll then pass a series of Inca baths and follow the trail right to the Hostal. You can buy drinks at the restaurant and use the public toilets.
The trail from the hostal to Machu Picchu takes about 2 hours. The trail contours the mountainside and drops into cloud forest before coming to an almost vertical flight of 50 steps leading up to the final pass at Intipunku (Sun Gate). Suddenly the whole of Machu Picchu is spread out before you in all its glory - an unforgettable sight. The trail descends to Machu Picchu. Walking slowly and enjoying the beautiful scenery you should arrive at Machu Picchu by about 4:00pm. Usually you'll have a short time to take photos, but you will have to wait until the following day for a more extensive visit and guided tour.

You'll take the bus down to Aguas Calientes (20 minute ride) where you'll be spending the night in a hotel. You'll have the chance to visit the thermal springs which are open until 9:00pm (optional entrance fee US$3)

 

Day 2: You'll return to Machu Picchu, taking the early morning bus up to the ruins which should arrive just before 7:00am, in time to enjoy the sun rising over the mountains. The guide will start a tour of the most important sectors of the ruins which takes about 2 hours. After the tour you will have free time to climb the mountain of Wiñay Wayna overlooking the ruins of Machu Picchu (allow about 2 hours to climb and descend). You can have lunch just outside the ruins or take a bus to the town of Aguas Calientes where there are plenty of restaurants to suit all budgets. The train departs Aguas Calientes late in the afternoon.

 

(The trek itinerary above  has been adapted from an itinerary provided courtesy of Andean Life Tour Operator and is subject to international copyright. Reproduction of any text is strictly prohibited without prior consent)

 

>> continue to 2 day Inca Trail map or view some photos of the 2 day Inca Trail

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Home *About Us * Peru Highlights * Volunteer Work & Community Projects * Travel Info * Photo Gallery * Ecotourism Guide * Travel Stories * Language Schools * Books * Handicrafts * Links * Search * Contact Us

Tour Operators in Peru * Overseas Tour Operators * Mountain Biking * Rafting * Climbing * Birdwatching

TREKKING IN PERU: Classic Inca Trail / Short Inca Trail / Salkantay / Ausangate / Lares / Choquequirao / Vilcabamba / Huaraz 

DESTINATION GUIDE: Lima / Cusco / Machu Picchu / Sacred Valley  / Arequipa / Puno / Huaraz / Nazca / Iquitos / Manu / Tambopata

RECOMMENDED HOTELS: Lima / Cusco / Machu Picchu / Sacred Valley / Arequipa / Puno / Huaraz / Nazca / Iquitos / Jungle Lodges

  

 

Andean Travel Web Guide to Peru. Office Address: La Casa Cultural, Avenida Pardo 540, Cusco, Peru (just 2 minutes walk from the Koricancha Inca Temple of the Sun). If you are coming to Cusco please bring a couple of second hand clothes, toys, school equipment and drop them off in our office. We will help distribute the items to people who really need them in small village schools and communities in the Andes. For more details visit our web page www.andeantravelweb.com/peru/projects  A map of our office can be found by clicking here.  Copyright Andean Travel Web Guide to Peru 2000-2008. All material used within this web site is original work and is subject to international copyright law. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited without prior permission from the editor. This web page was last updated in April 2008. Website designed by AndeanVisionWebDesignStudio