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Machu Picchu 1-Day HIKE or 2-Day Inca Trail in 2017 / 2018

We do offer the standard Short 2-day Inca Trail of course, but here’s an option for those who for a variety of reasons (time constraints, little or no experience on trekking among others) will prefer to do only the first day of the Short 2-day Inca Trail, which has become known as the Machu Picchu 1-day hike in 2017 and for your next 2018 vacation.

The Short 2-day Inca Trail consists on a hike for the entirety of day 1, and day 2 is the guided tour to the Machu Picchu citadel; for the ones interested in this option called the Machu Picchu 1-day hike, we’re going to describe all the adventures and attractions you can get from the Short 2-day Inca Trail day 1 section only.

Day 1 only itinerary

Andean view from the Hiram Bingham luxury train tour

Get amazed by the Andean landscape before the hike

Pick up is very early in the morning at your hotel for a bus ride until the Ollantaytambo train station, traveling along beautiful sights on a very comfortable ride. In Ollantaytambo you will board a train until km 104 of the old Cusco city-Machu Picchu railroad. The hike begins right there on km 104.

From km 104 the hike goes until the archaeological Inca site of Chachabamba, passing through the wonderful Andean mountainside and along the Urubamba river, a priceless, majestic landscape. The Inca site of Chachabamba displays the amazing Inca building style, and is a quite interesting place to visit, with a complete explanation by our professional guide.

From Chachabamba the trail turns uphill, and after 2 hours approximately, you will reach the impressive Inca site of Winaywayna, a very skilled construction adapted on a slope, with many of the the typical Inca terraces on the mountainside which were used for cultivation and also administrative buildings where Inca workers could control production of crops. This site is located at an adventurous 2.650 meters above sea level.

Inti Punku in the Inca Trail

Inti Punku, the sacred Sun Gate to Machu Picchu

After leaving Winaywayna, we’re back on the trail again, along unforgettable landscapes and the beautiful Urubamba river flowing at the bottom of the valley. This section of the trail actually begins to enter the Peruvian western jungle, and you will arrive at the famous Inti Punku (Sun Gate), which is the entrance to the city of Machu Picchu; from there you can have a striking panoramic view of the citadel from a distance, and afterwards a downhill hike begins until the surroundings of the Machu Picchu site, for a closer look. And then, after you have thoroughly enjoyed the view from this nearby spot, you will take the bus from the citadel to the nearby village of Aguas Calientes.

For this option called the Machu Picchu 1-day hike, after visiting the surroundings of the citadel you can either go back to Cusco city on the same day by train, or stay in Aguas Calientes to spend the night at a nice hotel and returning to Cusco city on the next morning.

Advantages of the Machu Picchu 1-day hike

Chachabamba in the 1-day Inca Trail

First Chachabamba and then Machu Picchu in the 1-day Inca Trail

The 1-day hike is a very enjoyable and light one, indeed it can be done by people aged from 8 to 65 years. There’s no need to set camping nights and make the extra effort of a Short 2-day Inca Trail, and the final destination is in Aguas Calientes with the possibility of staying at a very comfortable hotel for some rest.

This option is also the best for people who want to have a good taste of the Classic 4-day Inca Trail or even the Short 2-day Inca Trail but don’t have much time available for traveling or are not well-prepared for longer hikes.

You will have plenty of time to take pictures of the Machu Picchu citadel first from the Sun Gate and then closer outside the site; besides, since the arrival is in the afternoon, you will find less people and thus it will be a calmer and less crowded place.

This Machu Picchu 1-day hike also offers the great advantage of its everyday availability, since it is not as demanded as the Classic 4-day Inca Trail. We offer it on a very accessible daily basis.

Although the 1-day hike does not include the guided tour of the citadel itself, all along your way around Machu Picchu our guide will provide plenty of information about the sacred city highlights!

And just in case, you can still add to your Cusco vacation our other great tours, like the Sacred Valley, the Cusco city tour, the Vinicunca (Rainbow Mountain), Maras’ salt mines, the Moray Inca agricultural laboratory and the Humantay lagoon.


So, if you don’t have much time available for your vacation and are a little bit intimidated by long hikes and altitude mountain camping, but still want to experience a touristic adventure, the Machu Picchu 1-day hike surely is your best choice! It is all the adventure of the Short 2-day Inca Trail day 1! Contact us here at TOUR IN PERU and book your wonderful visit to Cusco!