Day 01: Cusco – Ollantaytambo – Km 104 – Wiñay Wayna – Sun Gate – Machu Picchu – Cusco
ITINERARY FOR THE ONE DAY INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU
ready for this 1 day Inca Trail experience by picking you up from your hotel in Cusco at 4:00 am and we will transfer you in our private transportation to Ollantaytambo train station (If you prefer to start in Ollantaytambo, we will pick you up at your hotel at 5:30 am). for that we would have to arrange 1 day or 2 days in advance
Before boarding the Expedition Class train at 6:10 am in Ollantaytambo, remember to bring something to eat on the train as your breakfast is not included and we will also provide you with your box lunch, which you will carry in your backpack. Then, you and your tour guide will take the train for 1 hour and 30 minutes to the beginning of the Inca Trail, called km 104 (2,000 m / 6560 ft above sea level).
After passing the Inca Trail checkpoint, your guide will take you to visit the first archaeological center, called Chachabamba. This site was one of the last refuges used by the Inca pilgrims before reaching Machu Picchu. The Inca site of Chachabamba has several fascinating buildings, and your guide will be happy to share the history with you.
Then, your hike along the Inca Trail begins with a steady ascent for about 3 hours, climbing up the original Inca stone staircase, with several viewpoints where you will stop to have a wide view of the Urubamba River. If you are lovers of flora and fauna this stretch will be very special as there is a great variety of orchids and also very oriunos hummingbirds of this place will be totally enchanted. After passing a spectacular waterfall, you will arrive at the archaeological site of Wiñay Wayna, located at (2,650 m / 8,694 ft above sea level). Most hikers stop here to marvel at its exquisite architecture.
At the amazing archaeological site of Wiñay Wayna, you will see many water fountains for rituals, sacred places dedicated to natural deities such as the Temple of the Rainbow, and beautiful agricultural terraces overlooking the Urubamba River. Wiñay Wayna (which in Quechua means “always young”) is the perfect place to learn a little more about the impressive history of the Incas, take time to relax, be in silence and connect with Mother Earth through birdsong or the refreshing touch of the wind.
After exploring the archaeological site of Wiñay Wayna, you will walk for 5 minutes to the lunch spot and have time to eat your delicious box lunch provided by our company, admiring the surrounding tropical flowers, then relax and recharge energies. You will also see the campsites where people doing the classic Inca Trail spend the night before reaching Machu Picchu. You will also have access to the toilets but they are very rustic.
After lunch, you will have a mostly flat hike to Inti Punku, (gate of the sun), from where you will have your first view of the impressive architecture of this majestic Inca City. Although the one-hour hike is a gentle up and down, it ends with a set of steep stairs carved directly into the bedrock by the Incas. Once you reach the stairs you will know you are almost at Inti Punku.
The Sun Gate, also called Inti Punku in Quechua, is located at (2,720 meters/2,924 feet above sea level) is one of the most incredible and mystical sights because when you get to this place you feel an indescribable peace, it is difficult to express in words the impact of seeing this ancient, sacred and world famous site.
After being in this mystical place, you will walk down the Inca Trail for approximately 1 hour until you reach Machu Picchu, once there enjoy the time and take pictures for your memories, then you will have a guided tour for approximately 2 hours where you will visit the most incredible and important places of this magical place.
Once we finish this magical experience in one of the New 7 Wonders of the World, we will walk down to the main entrance of Machu Picchu from where we will take the bus to Aguas Calientes, also called Machu Picchu Pueblo. In the afternoon, we will take the Expedition train back at 6:20 pm to the train station in Ollantaytambo and private transportation back to Cusco and drop you off at your hotel around 10:00 pm. If you upgrade to the Vistadome, you will leave Aguas Calientes at 6:10 pm. End of the Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in 1 Day.
DETAILS FOR THE ONE DAY HIKE MACHU PICCHU
- Meals: Box lunch
- Hiking distance: 12 km / 7.46 miles
- Walking time: 6–7 hours
- Lowest elevation: 2,040 m / 6,693 ft.
- Highest elevation: 2,720m / 8,924 ft.
- Physical rating: Moderate