1 Day Inca Trail To Machu Picchu

Cusco - Ollantaytambo - Km 104 - Chachabamba - Wiñay Wayna - Sun Gate - Machu Picchu

Overview

The 1 Day Inca Trail trek or Day Hike to Machu Picchu from KM 104 is the best way to reach the ancient sacred city of Machu Picchu and is perfect for those who have a very short time or those looking to experience a taste of trekking in the Peruvian Andes without camping overnight or embarking on a multi-day trek, and also a great travel option for those who love the idea of walking like the Incas, admiring the magnificent scenery and discovering the mystery of the Incas while highlights the best part of the famous Inca Trail before arriving on foot to one of the New 7 Wonders of the World via the iconic Sun Gate.

***It is very important for potential trekkers for the One Day Inca Trail to understand that you are doing the same trail as the 2 Day Inca Trail, just more quickly.  Trekkers need to be in moderate to excellent physical condition to be able to do this trek and arrive at Machu Picchu Citadel in time.  If you think the trek may be too strenuous, you may book the 2 day Inca Trail which arrives at Machu Picchu in one day but at a slower pace later in the day.

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Tour Price 1 Day

1 day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu Hike 1 Day Inca Trail To Machu Picchu
Price From
$ 397 per Person
Group SizeUp to 8
Activity LevelModerate

Trip Itinerary

DAY 1: 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

Tour Inclusions

What’s Included For the 1 Day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu?

  • Briefing the night before the trek at your hotel to answer any questions
  • Pick up at your hotel in Cusco on the morning of the 1-day Inca Trail trek
  • English speaking professional guide experienced in trekking
  • Private transport to the train station in Ollantaytambo
  • Expedition Touristic Train from Ollantaytambo to 104 kilometer “Chachabamba”
  • 01 Box lunch
  • Admission Ticket to the Inca trail and Machu Picchu Archeological site
  • Private guided tour of Machu Picchu ruins
  • Bus ticket from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes
  • Train Back Expedition from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo train station
  • Private Transfer from Train station to Cusco
  • First-aid kit including an emergency oxygen tank

What Is Not Included For the 1 Day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu?

  • Flights
  • Hotel before/after the trek
  • First breakfast & Dinner at Aguas Calientes
  • Energy snacks will be very useful as chocolate bars, dried fruits
  • Tipping for the guide (the tipping is optional but of great appreciation for them)
  • It is not possible to do the Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain climb due to time restraints

ADDED VALUES  for FREE:

  • TRANSFER IN: from the airport to hotel included (Airport to hotel in Cusco only)
Starting at
$ 397 USD
Per person (Group service)

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Trip Info

What to Pack

Prices Tour

How to Book

Additional Information

PACKING CHECKLIST FOR THE 1 DAY INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU

The 1 Inca Trail Machu Picchu DOES NOT INCLUDE the extra porter, so, you will need to carry all your things, please try to pack as lightly as possible which is the key to enjoying this amazing trek

  • Original passport (it has to be the same one you have used for booking your trek)
  • Good daypack (the smaller, the better)
  • Water: 2L in reusable bottles (please do not bring disposable bottles)
  • Comfortable hiking boots with ankle support
  • Toilet paper
  • Jacket
  • Dress in layers
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Wet wipes
  • Personal medications
  • Sun hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Wool hat (only in the cold season)
  • Rain gear if the rainy season
  • Snacks (chocolate bars, cereal bars, or any dry fruits)
  • Rain plastic poncho
  • Camera
  • Extra money for souvenirs, drinks & tips

BEST PRICE FOR THIS UNIQUE TREK!

The 1 day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is available on any date that suits you! We just require a minimum of 2 participants!  

GROUP PRICES:

  • $397 USD per person

PRIVATE SERVICE PRICES:

  • $457 USD per person – 2 to 3 persons
  • $437 USD per person – 4 or more persons

PRIVATE PRICE 1 person only:

  • $577 USD per person – 1 person only private trek

We require a minimum of 2 hikers in order to start the trek.

If you are a solo traveler- please inquire about the dates you are looking to trek so you can join an existing group.

DISCOUNTS

  • 18 to 25 years old: $30 USD. Information required on student card: name of university, student name, photo of the student, expiration date etc. A copy of the card is required at booking for government approval for discount.
  • Under 18 years old: $30 USD. Please send us a copy of your passport at the time of booking.
  • Under 11 years old: $40 USD.  Please send us a copy of your passport at the time of booking.

EXTRAS

  • Upgrade to Vistadome: $67 USD per person (Return only)
  • Stay the night in Aguas Calientes  2*3*or 4* hotel.  (We will arrange your return train back to Cusco for the next day, however, you need to book your own hotel)

**** The Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 2 days & 1 night is almost always available year round except when it is closed in February for maintenance — This trek takes you into Machu Picchu by walking through the SUN GATE like in ancient times, you will explore some amazing Inca ruins along the way like Wiñay Wayna Inca City.

CHECK YOUR SHORT INCA TRAIL TREK AVAILABILITY BY CLICKING ON THE MONTH OF YOUR CHOICE!

IMPORTANT INFORMATION
Please read carefully the following information; it will help you answer all of your questions about our services and the 1 day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.

ARRIVAL TO CUSCO

You will be welcomed at Cusco airport and taken to your hotel. Please ensure that you inform us of your full flight details at least 14 days prior to arrival. Look out for our representative holding a green INCA TRAIL Travel board at the arrival terminal. Please note that you will have to exit the airport first, drivers are not allowed to enter the airport. This can be done on any date that works best for you!

THE BRIEFING

The briefing will take place the night before the trek at 6 pm in our office, which is located at Calle Garcilaso 210, office 213 (second floor) in the La CASA DEL ABUELO shopping center.

CAN I STORE MY LUGGAGE AT YOUR OFFICE?

Of course! During the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, your main luggage can be stored at our office or at your hotel, whichever is more convenient for you.  Only pack items you will need for your trek.

HOW TO BOOK

FIRST, to book your 1 day Inca Trail Machu Picchu trek, we need you to fill out our booking form by clicking on BOOK NOW on our home page or click here on the link BOOK NOW.

Please be ready with the following information (FROM EACH PARTICIPANT in your group).  We cannot purchase an Inca Trail permit without the following information:

  • Personal information (your full name, exactly as on your passport):
  • Gender
  • Passport number
  • D.OB. (dd /mm / yyyy)
  • Nationality

SECOND, we require a deposit of $211.00 USD per person in order to purchase a permit for the 1 day Inca Trail Machu Picchu.  You can make your deposit by clicking on the VISA or PAYPAL symbols on the top of our home page, or you can click on the VISA or PAYPAL symbols on our booking page.

ARE WE DROPPED AT OUR HOTEL AFTER THE 1 DAY INCA TRAIL?

Absolutely!! Hotel pick-ups and drop-offs are included with all of our packages! If you have booked your hotel in Sacred Valley, we will drop you off there and vice versa.

ALTITUDE SICKNESS

In general, if you exercise regularly and spend a couple of days in Cusco or the Sacred Valley, you will be able to acclimate normally. It usually takes about 24 hours to 2 days.

The recommended remedies for altitude sickness are WATER, COCA TEA and OXYGEN IF NEEDED; our guides are trained to treat you for Altitude Sickness. See our detailed information about Altitude Sickness under FAQS.

TIPPING

If you’re happy with the services provided, a tip – though not compulsory – is appreciated. While it may not be customary in your country, it’s of great significance for the people who will take care of you during the trek.  It inspires excellent service and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many INCA TRAIL Travel destinations. Of course, you are free to tip more or less as you feel appropriate, depending on your perception of the quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

ARE YOU SUSTAINABLE?

Yes, we are a local, sustainable & responsible tourism operator that incorporates universal principles of tourism: protect the environment and benefit the local communities by respecting their culture and religion. With this in mind, we have trained all our local staff to know and understand, respect the places and the local people.

People also ask

WHAT IS THE 1-DAY INCA TRAIL?

The 1 day Inca Trail, also called the Inca Trail Express, is a single day trek along the final stretch of the traditional Royal Inca Trail. It showcases beautiful mountain scenery, orchid flora, and bird wildlife before arriving at the Intipunku Sun Gate for an unforgettable first overlook of Machu Picchu. En route you see the Chachabamba ruins not seen on the classic Inca Trail route, and Wiñay Wayna, one of the larger ruin sites seen on both the full Inca Trail trek and the shorter, one-day Inca Trail.

HOW HARD IS THE INCA TRAIL EXPRESS?

The Inca Trail Express hike to Machu Picchu is a full day of hiking, covers approximately 8 km (5 miles), and generally takes 5-8 hours. The total elevation gain is 1,700 feet, from the start of the hike to its highest point. The terrain is what Knowmad guides like to call “Peruvian flat” – a combination of flat earth trails at a bit of an incline mixed with clusters of Incan stone steps every few minutes. For some it is a challenging hike, for others less so. This hike is great for moderately-active travelers who are well prepared for a full-day hike.

WHO IS THE 1-DAY INCA TRAIL GREAT FOR?

The short Inca Trail is a great Inca Trail hike option for travelers who have limited time, physically are not able to or do not want to do a strenuous multi-day trek, or for those who prefer to stay in hotels rather than camp.

WHAT TO PACK FOR THE INCA TRAIL DAY HIKE?

On this hike, you will only need to bring a daypack with enough room for what you want on the trail.
What to pack for the Inca Trail in your daypack:
– Full water bottle (at least 2 liters)
– Packed lunch, including additional fruit or nuts for snacks (included and provided for you by Knowmad)
– Camera or Phone with a camera (fully charged)
– Baseball hat
– Sunscreen
– Rain shell
– Empty space for shedding layers as needed

Can you hike Machu Picchu in 1 day?

Yes. The one-day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu follows the KM104 route along the Inca Trail, through the Inca Sun Gate and directly into Machu Picchu. This route is a one day trek, with an optional second day to return to Machu Picchu and take a closer look at the ruins after a refreshing nights sleep in the town below.

How long is the shortest hike to Machu Picchu?

The Shortest Inca Trail: From Km 104.

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