2 day Inca Trail Information

More Information

The Short Inca Trail 2D/1N is a shorter trek for people with limited time or people looking for a less strenuous trek than the 4 day Inca trail. The trek is only a 1 day trek which takes you from Km 104 (104km along the railroad from Cusco) passing through the beautiful Machu Picchu national park arriving to the lost city of Machu Picchu in the afternoon. We pass through the city taking in the atmosphere and we will have time for a few photos before taking the bus down to town where we check-in to our hostel. The next day we head back up to explore Machu Picchu in more detail with a guided tour. The 1 day Inca trail is rated as an easy trek although people not in good shape might struggle on certain parts of the trail.

When to book
The Inca trail has limited daily permits, which sell out months in advance. We recommend booking at least 6 months in advance. Please see here for available permits. Click on the Queries tab and then select Camino Inka from the drop-down menu. Each year the permits seem to sell out even earlier.

How to book
We can only purchase your Inca trail permits once you have completed our online reservation form and we have received your deposits. Once we receive your reservation we will confirm whether your chosen date is available or not. We will then send a Pay-Pal payment link for 50% deposit, which can be paid online with all major credit cards. Once we have received your payment we will send you a confirmation by email. (We also accept payment to Rabobank Netherlands (for Dutch and Belgian customers only)).

Change of dates
It may happen that we haven't yet purchased your Inca trail permits but once we have purchased your Inca trail permits then date changes are not possible. Please see Inca trail Terms & Conditions.

Full payments
We require 50% deposit paid through Pay-Pal. Transfers from our Pay-Pal account cost money and therefore we prefer you to pay the balance in cash when you arrive. If you wish to pay the full balance by Pay-Pal then we charge 8% fees on the final 50% balance. (We also accept payment to Rabobank Netherlands (for Dutch and Belgian customers only)

Children and Students
There are certain discounts for children (up to 16 years of age) and students with ISIC student cards (there is no age limit on ISIC cards - http://www.isic.org/). Please send a digital photo or scan of your children's passports or student ISIC cards to [email protected] at the time of making a reservation. (ISIC cards scans must show both sides of the card, the name and the photo). Please also make sure that you receive an email from Chaka tours confirming that we have received the scans.

If you do not yet have a passport number (and you are waiting for your first passport) then we will have to use a false number. Once you have the passport number we will have to change it at a cost of US$25.
You can use your old passport number to make a reservation but you will have to bring the old passport with you for entry into the Inca trail and Sanctuary or you can pay the US$25 to change it.

Pre-Trek briefing and final payment
You will have a Pre-Trek briefing at our office at 5.30pm the day before the departure of your trek. If your trek departure falls on a Sunday or Monday then please note:

          Departure day        Pre-trek briefing day
          Sunday                      Saturday before at 10.30am
          Monday                     Saturday before at 10.30am

During the briefing you will meet your guide and the rest of your group. The guide will give you information about the trek and answer any questions you have. You will also be provided with any included or rented equipment. You will also be able to pay the final balance of the trek. Important: The balance due is to be paid in cash USD $ on your arrival to our Cusco office. We don't accept any other methods of payment at our office. Please make sure none of the dollar bills are damaged or marked in any way or they will not be accepted in Peru. If you insist on paying the balance with Pay-Pal there is an 8% charge.

When to go

The best months to do the Inca trail are from May to September when there is very little rain and days are sunny. The Inca trail is closed for maintenance in February.

The high altitude
People can suffer from the high altitude when arriving to Cusco and you will need to take things easily when you arrive. Due to the lack of oxygen your heart may beat faster and you could feel out of breath. We recommend eating small quantities rather than large meals and drinking little or no alcohol and plenty of water while in Cusco (at least before the trek).

Altitude sickness
Some trekkers may get altitude sickness although on the Short Inca Trail it won't be as important as the longer 4 day Inca trail.

Travel insurance
People can become sick from altitude sickness or other problems form stomach bugs to water on the lungs and sometimes even surgery is required. For this reason we strongly recommend Travel Insurance. In order to make a claim for insurance you will need a local doctors' certificate for any illnesses and Chaska tours will also provide a letter of cancelation for any losses or cancelations.

Additional costs
Tips for guides
Single person supplements
Vistadome return upgrade (US$35)
Hot shower at last campsite on day 3 (S/.5.00)
Hot Springs (Thermal baths in Machu Picchu town) (S/.10.00)

Souvenirs (Cheaper in the Sacred Valley or Cusco)

Lunch in Machu Picchu town - US$15.00 - 50.00

Please note: It is better to take Peruvian currency on the trek - It is expensive to withdraw or change money in Machu Picchu town.

Porters, Guides & Cooks
There are no porters or cooks on the Short Inca Trail

 - Only fully qualified guides who have studied a special 4 year course are permitted by the Ministry of Tourism to offer tours on the Inca trail or Machu Picchu. Chaska only provides the finest guides, which have a high level of English and knowledge about the history and culture of the Inca empire. Each guide has their own speciality which range from medicinal plants, flora & fauna to archeology making each tour unique. 
How much to tip - You will need to decide as a group how much to give the guide depending on their performance and skills. We recommend the guide walks away with around 80 Soles maximum*. If you are not happy with the service then this is where they will see how well they have done and if they need to improve.

*This is only a guideline for tipping - Tipping is not obligatory as all members of the team receive a decent wage of which they are happy with - However,  tipping is always welcome.

Rules & Regulations

Entrance will be refused if you fail to show your passports and student ISIC cards at the entrance to the Inca trail
Entrance will be refused if your passport details are different to those on your Inca trail permit

Please don't leave any garbage en-route
Plastic water bottles are prohibited (Please use a non-throw-away water bottle)

Alcohol is prohibited i.e. Wine/Beer bottles or any throw-away glass-bottles or metal cans

Walking sticks must have rubber tips (metal type are prohibited because they damage the ancient stone paths)

The Ministry of tourism is strict and any of the above harmful items found when entering the park will be confiscated

Trekking gear for Rent

Trekking poles: Leki and Black Diamond - 1 for US $ 8.00 and 2 for US $ 14.00

Any other equipment can be rented or purchased in the city centre of Cusco

Frequently asked questions

If the Inca trail is sold out, can I wait to see if someone cancels in order to get an Inca trail permit?
No, once the permits have been sold they never become available again because someone has cancelled.

Where do we start the trek?
We pick you up from your hotel in Cusco or the Sacred valley. Your guide will co-ordinate the exact details during your Pre-Trek briefing at our office.

What time do we get back to Cusco after the trek on day 2?
It depends which train you return on. The earliest you can be back in Cusco is 19.30pm when taking the 15.20pm Vistadome train.

How many people will be in my group?
In an open shared service group there will be a minimum of 2 people and a maximum of 16. The groups are normally between 2 and 6 people.

Will the Inca trail be too difficult for me?
The Short Inca Trail is not a difficult trek. 

Do I need trekking poles?
Trekking poles make trekking long distances much easier on your legs by spreading the work throughout your body. This is why experienced trekkers use them. If you have never used poles before you may find them awkward to begin with but they will help you overall.

Do I need trekking boots?
It is not obligatory and you can walk the Inca trail using good quality running shoes if prefered. You will get tired during the trek which is why ankle support is recommended. During the rainy season water will enter running shoes and may be uncomfortable.

What happens if the trek is cancelled?
It is highly unlikely that the trek will be cancelled. Sometimes there are roadblocks from local protestors and we may need to travel to the start of the trek early. This is why you should give yourself a few days in Cusco before your trek departure. You should be covered by insurance for any unavoidable cancelations for circumstances out of our control. See our Terma & Conditions for our cancelation policy.

Can children do the trek?
Children will be fine walking the Inca trail.

What do I need to pack?
For the Short Inca trail you will need a medium sized backpack with your provisions for the day and enough for a night at the hostel in Machu Picchu town. See What to bring section below.

Peru Rail policies regarding luggage: 1 bag or backpack must not exceed 5kg/11pounds and/or 62 inches/157cm (length + height + width).

Where do we store our Luggage/Suitcases?
Most hotels in Cusco offer luggage storage and will store it until your return to Cusco. If you prefer we have a lock-up at our office in Cusco.
The Sacred Valley
If you stay at a hotel in The Sacred Valley the night before your departure then you will ba able to leave your uggage at the hotel. On your return train journney you will need to disembark at Ollantaytambo and return to your hotel for your luggage. If you wish to take the train all the way to Cuscothen you can ask your hotel/hostel to send the luggage to our office in Cusco or to a hotel/hostel in Cusco.

How much money should I take on the Inca trail?
We recommend taking S/.300 (Nuevo Soles). It is expensive to change or withdraw money at Machu Picchu town.

What is the difference between the Vistadome and Expedition train - Peru Rail?
There is very little difference between the train services. The Vistadome train has windows in the ceiling supposedly giving you fantastic views, but some people say the views are just as good on the Expedition train. A lot of people prefer the seating on the Expedition train and so the vote is out as to which is a better service. There is one main advantage: The train journey from Machu Picchu town to Poroy (near Cusco) takes just over 3 hours and the sun goes down at 6pm all year round. If you choose the Expedition return at 16.43pm then you will not have as much daylight as with the Vistadome train that departs at 15.20pm.

What to bring:

•    poly/fleece (wind stopper) jacket
•    poly/fleece light weight sweater
•    rain poncho (preferable) or rain jacket. (plastic ponchos can be bought in Cusco for 1 - 2  dollars)

•    wind/rain pants (Gore-tex or similar)
•    lightweight cotton pants (loose jeans/khakis)

Foot & hand wear
•    pair wool or synthetic socks
•    pair of (used) trekking boots
•    sunhat
•    pair sun glasses that provide good UV protection
•    trekking boots or good quality sneakers/trainers

•    medium packpack
•    walking sticks
•    1 water bottle (2lts)
•    sun block
•    1 lip balm (spf 16)
•    insect repellent
•    toiletry kit
•    toilet paper
•    camera and memory cards
•    spare battery and extra memory card for your camera
•    binoculars
•    bathing suit (for the hot springs in Aguas Calientes)

Peru Rail policies regarding luggage: 1 bag or backpack must not exceed 5kg/11pounds and/or 62 inches/157cm (length + height + width).