Trek the last day of the Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. If you're short on time or permits are sold out for the full Inca Trail, this is a great option for those wishing to experience a taste of this famous route. You'll enter the ruins through the Sun Gate as the sun sets over Machu Picchu, then have a full tour of the ruins the following day.


  • Enjoy great views of Machu Picchu at both sunrise and sunset
  • Trek the last day of the Classic Inca Trail
  • Enter Machu Picchu through the original Sun Gate used by Inca nobles
  • Catch your first glimpse of Machu Picchu at sunset
  • Have a full day to explore the Machu Picchu ruins the next day


This two-day tour has one solid day of hiking and one day of exploring the ruins of Machu Picchu. For the first day, you'll will take a train from Ollantaytambo to Km 104 and hike until sunset, through the sun gate, where you'll reach the town of Aguas Calientes and rest up for the morning. On the second day, you'll awake early to explore the wonder of Machu Picchu. There will be plenty of time to enjoy the evening after your return, returning by train to Ollantaytambo or Cusco.

Brief itinerary

Day Highlights Duration Overnight
Day 1 Short Inca Trail Trek 7 hours Aguas Calientes
Day 2 Machu Picchu Guided Tour 4 hours (Ollantaytambo or Cusco)

Detailed itinerary

Day 1: Inca Trail to Machu Picchu (KM 104)

Inca Trail
Arriving at the Sun Gate, just before looking down on the ruins of Machu Picchu
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Fast facts
Maximum altitude 2732 m / 8964 ft
Minimum altitude 2088 m / 6850 ft
Distance travelled 11 km / 7 m (to Inti Punku)
Hiking time 7 hours

Departing from Cusco or Ollantaytambo early in the morning, your journey starts with a train ride to Km 104, the starting point for the last day of the Inca Trail. During the train ride, the valley turns into a canyon and the scenery begins to alter as you enter into the cloud forests.

The Inca Trail begins with a challenging uphill trek to Chachabamba (2270 m / 7448 ft), where your guide will talk about the previous use of this ancient archeological site. It's a short but intense start to your day!

Then, you'll head to the magnificent archaeological complex of Wiñay Wayna (2650 m / 8694 ft), the most important archeological site besides Machu Picchu. From here, there are many steep steps to climb to reach the Archaeological Site. With a fabulous sense of peace far from the crowds, this will be the perfect spot to enjoy our delicious boxed lunch, with superb views of the massive green mountains and native orchids. 

The trail then becomes gentler as you continue on to Inti Punku (Peru's famous "Sun Gate"), the original entrance used by the Inca to access Machu Picchu. It is from here that you'll have your first glimpse of Machu Picchu as the sun falls.

You won't be exploring the ruins today given it will be getting dark, so it's time to rest up for an early day of exploring the ruins tomorrow. After passing through the Sun Gate, you'll cross the site to take the bus down to Aguas Calientes, where you'll check into our hotel to rest and relax in anticipation of a full day visit tomorrow.

Day 2: Machu Picchu Guided Tour

Explore the ruins at Machu picchu
Explore the ruins at Machu picchu

Around 5:30-6:00 am, just before sunrise, you'll catch the first bus (a 25-minutes ride) up to Machu Picchu (2400 m) for sunrise and to enjoy the ruins at a quieter time of day before the crowds arrive. Your guide will lead you in our exploration and discovery of the many corners within the enigmatic citadel. Guided tours last, on average, around 2 hours.

After the tour, you'll still have some time to visit other parts of the ruins that you didn't get to see with your guide. For example, heading west from the centre of Machu Picchu, the Inca bridge is a 30-minute (2 km) walk along a narrow path. If you feel like an uphill challenge, you have the option to climb the infamous mountain of Huayna Picchu. To climb this mountain, you'll need to buy a separate permit in advance.

At the end of your visit to Machu Picchu, we'll take the bus down to Aguas Calientes for lunch and then board the train to Ollantaytambo or Cusco, depending on where you'll be spending the night. On arriving at the final train station, we'll have a private transport waiting to bring you to your hotel. (Please note: if you're taking the train to Cusco, it's still an 1.5-hour drive from the train station to the city of Cusco.)


Map of Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu - 2 Days
Map of Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu - 2 Days