Our One Day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is the best way to get to Machu Picchu for those without the time to hike the full Inca trail. The Inca Trail appeal is the stunning cultural show of Inca ruins, exotic mountain views, primitive lush vegetation, and extraordinary ecological varieties. The trail goes through the National Park and enters through the Sun Gate with unforgettable views of Machu Picchu.
Important info: For the 1 Day Inca Trail, you need to understand that you are doing the same trail as the 2 Day Inca Trail. The only difference is if booking the 1-day version, you tour Machu Picchu that same day and return to Cusco that night.
If booking the 2-day hike, you do the Machu Picchu tour and return train journey on the second day.
Trekkers need to be in moderate to excellent physical condition to do this trek and arrive at Machu Picchu in time. If you think the hike may be too strenuous, you may book the 2 day Inca Trail that arrives at Machu Picchu in one day but at a slower pace later.
Pick up from hotel, train to KM104- the start of the 1 Day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.
We will start the trip by picking you up from your hotel very early (4 am) and takes you to the Ollantaytambo Train Station. We take the train for about 1 hour 45 minutes to the beginning of this Inca Trail Trek, at Km 104 of Chachabamba.
Passing through the Inca Trail checkpoint, we immediately see our first archaeological center, the magnificent ruins at Chachabamba. These ruins were one of the last shelters used by the Inca pilgrims before they reached Machu Picchu. The site features several fascinating buildings, and our expert guide will be delighted to share the history with you.
Our trek begins with a steady ascent for around 3 hours, climbing the original Inca stone steps. The ecosystems in this area are unique, and your guide will help you identify the different types of flora and fauna along the trail. After passing the most spectacular waterfall, we arrive at the ruins of Wiñay Wayna.
Most hikers don’t stop here to be amazed by its exquisite architecture. You’ll discover a ritual water source, temples dedicated to nature’s forces, and beautiful agricultural platforms. Wiñay Wayna is the perfect place to learn a little more about the impressive history of the Incas.
Again, take time to relax, be silent, and connect with Mother Earth through birdsong or the wind’s refreshing touches. A little further, you’ll see the camps where the people who do the classic Inca Trail spend the night. We will have time to eat our delicious box lunch provided for our company, fill your stomach, and recharge your energies.
Hike from Wiñay Wayna to Machu Picchu
We’ll continue our tour and walk to Inti Punku, better known as the Sun Gate. From where you will see, for the first time, the impressive architecture of Machu Picchu.
Intipunku provides our first views of the magnificent Machu Picchu. It is difficult to put into words the impact of seeing this ancient, sacred, and world-famous site for the first time. After taking some time to enjoy the views and take those all-important photos, we make a final short walk down to Machu Picchu. Here we will have a 1-hour guided tour through this incredible ancient city and visit temples, terraces, palaces, priest’s houses, the sundial, the industrial sector, and the farming fields. After taking some time to enjoy the views and take those all-important photos, we make a final short walk down to the main entrance to Machu Picchu from where we take the bus down to Aguas Calientes to catch the train at 6:10 pm hrs. (subject to availability) to Ollantaytambo. A private bus will pick you up and drop you off at your hotel in Cusco.
The Ministry of Culture of Peru is the entity in charge of regulating the use of the Inca Trail and issuing entry permits. To access the Inca Trail it’s essential that you have a permit from the Ministry of Culture that matches the information in your passport exactly: name, passport number, nationality, and age. Only officially licensed tourism agencies can secure these permits, which are not transferable under any circumstances. If you want to change the date of your excursion you have to make sure that there are spaces available on the new date and buy a new permit. They are rules of the Government of Peru that we all must follow. If there are no permits available for the date you want, there are other incredible options to walk to Machu Picchu. We’ll be happy to find the perfect excursion for you.
All information meetings are held in your hotel at 6:00 p.m., one night before the tour begins. If you cannot attend, you must coordinate another time at the Peru Hike offices. These meetings last approximately 30 to 45 minutes and there you will be given a small duffel bag, in which you’ll put all the belongings you intend to bring on the trek that won’t be in your day pack.
The trek has to be paid for in full by at least 7.30 pm two days before departure. For example, if your tour departs on a Wednesday, then you must come to our office before 7.30 pm on Monday.
It would be much appreciated if you pay the trek balance in cash US dollars or local currency. You can withdraw some money from several ATMs along Avenida Sol (either in US dollars or local Peruvian Soles). You can pay by credit card or PAYPAL online, but you will have to pay an 8% service charge, charged by VISA and PAYPAL. We do not accept bank checks or payment of the balance by traveler’s checks.
Of course! During the travel, your main luggage can be stored at our office(you can organize briefing day or by email) or at your hotel, both free of charge.
Any equipment that you are not going to need on the trek can be stored safely in your hotel. Nearly every hotel will provide this service. Don’t leave items of value with your bags, put them in the hotel safe and obtain an itemized receipt (In the unlikely case of theft many insurance companies require that you have a copy of the receipt itemizing all the items). Best put items such as credit cards inside a sealed, signed envelope for extra peace of mind.
Peru Hike can pick you up from your hotel, as long as it’s in the Historic Center of Cusco. The pickup time will be coordinated with your guide in the briefing. The pickup time may vary between 30 and 45 minutes due to traffic. Cusco is a very old city, therefore, it has many narrow cobbled streets. Some hotels and Airbnbs may be located on streets without access to cars or on long, steep slopes, making it difficult to transport luggage. We strongly recommend that you book accommodation with good access.
Returning from Machu Picchu requires quite a bit of logistics, but don’t worry. Everything is included in your tour!
Group tours are made up of different types of people. Physical conditions and ages can vary. By agreeing to be part of a group tour, you also accept that some people may be faster or slower than you. Therefore, each person can go at their own pace on the route. It may be the case that a group wishes to modify the tour; however, it will be the guide who decides, after consulting with all the participants, if said modifications can be made.
Strikes and demonstrations are usually frequent in Peru and this may interrupt some of our tours. Roads can be blocked and train tracks can be taken over. However, we will try to keep your excursion as planned, even if it means leaving the night before the scheduled date. Under these circumstances, tours may also be cancelled. In case of changes or cancellations, all situations will be coordinated with you by our operations department. Your safety is our highest priority and our decisions will be made to protect it.
You’re responsible for your objects during the tour. Please pay attention to where you leave your things and remember to take everything once you leave our trucks, tents, or restaurants.
Here are some other options that will suit your needs
We walked the short inca trail starting at KM104. It takes a day and you arrive at the Sun gate late afternoon. That is ideal as your first view of Machu Picchu is when it is not so crowded. Except for a couple of places (including one very steep flight of steps which people climbed on all fours, it was not a walk that we (two pensioners) found particularly challenging.
Be prepared for an early start but it’s the best way to visit Mapu Picchu
I made my 1-day Inca trail with great success with the Peru Hike agency, a very good local agency.
The road is a bit hard but thanks to our guide we overcome this obstacle, anyone who is encouraged and takes this tour I recommend the 1 day
We walked the 1 day version of the trail, which was wonderful and pleny for us with the time we had in Peru.
The early morning train-ride set the atmosphere, and as soon as we started the walk, and climbed up through the cloud forest we were amazed by the beauty of the Sacred Valley.
The walk climbs steadilty for the first 6kn or so, and needs to be taken steadily, once you get to the site at Wiyna Wayna you’ve broken the back of the climbing and you can enjoy the views.
The last bit of the trail has some steep rough tracks and you have to watch your footing, but the climb to the Sun Gate and the first view of Machu Picchu, looking down from the gate is one of the most magical things I have ever seen.
Had a great day hike into Machu Picchu. The weather was rainy which actually made it a much better day for the hike. The views were a little obscured somewhat but the clouds move around pretty fast so there is always a good vantage point.
The best part of the walk was when you get to the Sun Gate and see the view of the ruins in the distance. Along the way the Lamas get up close and personal with you.
Be sure to take enough water with you and lunch or snacks, you will need them as you stop and enjoy the views!!
May 4 • Couples
May 4th, 2021, an unforgettable day when I got my feet on long dreamed Inca Trail. Our tour guide Andrew and his team provided our group of 4 a wonderful support, we are still grateful these days. We chose 1D trip since our group needed to consider conservatively because of our ages and strength. It’s a challenging day, also the day that my dream came true, with no doubt it’s the highlight of my adulthood life.