Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

IMPORTANT: Inca Trail permits are required for this hike. Permits sell out 6 months prior to departure. Please don't delay to insure your space!

The one-day hike from Chachabamba to Machu Picchu, also known as the Short Inca Trail, is an excellent alternative to the full Inca Trail tour. We recommend this route for those who lack the time to complete the longer trek or who prefer not to camp. You enjoy a beautiful day of moderate mid-elevation hiking, traversing cloud forests with spectacular views of the Vilcanota River Valley en route to Machu Picchu. Following a night in a hotel of your choice (at additional cost), you spend your second day touring the main Machu Picchu site before returning to Cuzco.

On this 6-mile/9.6-km Machu Picchu trek, you climb a total of 2,600 ft/800 m from the starting point at the Vilcanota River footbridge (km 104 on the Cuzco/Machu Picchu railroad). With stops for lunch and photography, most hikers complete the walk in 6-7 hours. Chachabamba, an intimate cluster of masonry buildings facing a ceremonial plaza, is an exquisite introduction to the Inca integration of landscape, architecture and religion. You climb gradually up from the river, traversing a grassy hillside with the river curling below. After entering a delightful cloud forest glade, you reach a spectacular waterfall. Many hikers enjoy a refreshing all-natural shower here.

Soon after, you come upon the massive lower terrace walls of the Winya Wayna ruins. You climb a long stone staircase flanked by ritual baths, leading to upper Winya Wayna. From Winya Wayna, you merge with the regular Inca Trail for 1.5 hours of mainly level walking to Inti Punku, the Gate of the Sun (8,859 ft/2,700 m). At this point, the highest elevation on the route, you enjoy your first inspirational view of Machu Picchu. 

2017 Rates, per person:

Number of Hikers 1 2 3 4-5 6-9
With 2 days guiding $956 $626 $526 $466 $441
With 1 day guiding $719 $508 $439 $414 $390
Transfer Cuzco/Ollantaytambo or v/v $106 $53 $36 $34 $28

Inca Trail Permit Fee $107

We separate the permit fee from the trek cost since the rate fluctuates. You prepay the $107 fee to us and we purchase the permit for you. It is good for one (1) day site entrance to Machu Picchu ruins in addition to access to the route from km. 104 to Machu Picchu. Children under the age of 8 years are not required to purchase a trail ticket. We collect this as part of the prepaid services. The park fee is subject to change.

Included in the trip cost: train return tickets (using the preferred configuration of Inca Rail return service (tourist-class) between Ollantaytambo and Machu Picchu; private guiding for either one or two days according to the program you select, box lunch on the hiking day, 3 Machu Picchu shuttle bus tickets. We provide porters for on-trail assistance as follows: 5-8 passengers: 1 porter; 9-11 passengers: 2 porters; 12+ passengers: 3 porters.

Not included: hotel in Aguas Calientes or elsewhere (see hotel rates below,) meals other than box lunch, train transportation from Cuzco to Ollantaytambo and Ollantaytambo to Cuzco (we can arrange train tranport for you at additional cost, see rate above); tips to guide and staff. 

The Machu Picchu Historic Sanctuary trail ticket is billed separately from the trail services, at current rates (*see above.) You must limit your carry-on luggage to a small overnight bag in addition to your daypack. We arrange portage ($38 for up to 25 kg.) from the Km 104 trailhead to your hotel in Aguas Calientes.

 

2017: Rates at popular Machu Picchu hotels, per person (includes 10% service tax and indicated meals) **Note: these rates are subject to change, please check with us for current rates.**

 

2017 Single Twin Triple Suite Note
Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge (w/ 3 meals) $1,161 $665 N/A N/A Superior Room
Variation is to be expected date per date. $1,356 $780 Req Req Deluxe with mountain view
  $1,660 $880     Deluxe w/ mountain view & terrace
Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel (with breakfast & dinner) $539 $327 $275   Junior Suite
  $486 $300 $257   Superior Deluxe
  $433 $274 $240   Superior Room
Tierra Viva Hotel (w/breakfast & dinner) $350 $175 $156 $340 Superior
  $300 $150     Standard
El MaPi Hotel (w/breakfast) $220 $110 $92   Superior
  $275 $138 $110   Suite
Hatun Inti Classic (w/breakfast) $160 $80 $70    
Hotel Andina (w/breakfast) $110 $60 $48    
Hostal Presidente (w/breakfast) $75 $40 $37    
La Pequeña Casita (w/breakfast) $75 $40 $37    

We have no set departures for the Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu Trek. All arrangements are prepared on request on a custom basis. Park authorities issue hiking permits and require that a licensed guide accompany hikers on this route. In compliance with park regulations, our guide carries a full first aid kit and an oxygen bottle.

The train departs from Ollantaytambo station between 6:40AM and 7:45AM. It continues to km. 104 (adjacent to the Chachabamba ruins) where by special arrangement it stops to let hikers off. The optional transfer from your hotel in Cuzco to Ollanta station (90 minutes) is a surcharge at rates indicated below, and requires an extra-early start. Hence, the program works best when you sleep in Ollantaytambo (the Sacred Valley) the previous night.

Your carry-on luggage is limited to a small overnight bag in addition to your daypack. The guide arranges for the hotel staff to meet the train and transfer your luggage to your hotel.

Service Inclusions: train return tickets (using the preferred configuration between Ollantaytambo and Machu Picchu), private guiding, one box lunch, 3 shuttle bus tickets.

Exclusions: hotels, other meals, tips. Children under the age of 8 years are not required to purchase a trail ticket.

 

IMPORTANT NOTES ON HIKING FROM CHACHABAMBA TO MACHU PICCHU under the current UGM regulations.

Current as of July, 2014 The UGM (Unidad de Gestion de Machupicchu, the regulatory body responsible for management of the Machu Picchu National Sanctuary), limits the number of passengers on the routes within the Sanctuary. Included in these routes is the one-day hike Chachabamba to Machu Picchu. The regulations are administered locally by the DDC-C (Direccion Desconcentrada de Cultura - Cusco).

The DDC-C assigns the same status for hiking the Chachabamba to Machu Picchu route as they do to requests to trek the 4-day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. The DDC-C limits the number of permits for the Chachabamba route based on the traffic for that day already issued for other routes within the Sanctuary.

New applications are currently being accepted on a first come/first served basis for hiking anywhere within the Sanctuary in 2015, including the Chachabamba route. We must submit a permit application listing the passenger name(s) as they appear on the passport; nationality and passport number; date of birth and gender. We also pay the trail fee at the time the permit is issued. Once issued, the only changes allowed on the trek permit are to remove names from the permit, with 100% loss of your tour deposit.

Insofar as our passengers have to make flight reservations and all other travel plans far in advance of the date deemed convenient by the UGM, we process these Chachabamba requests as soon as we have required passenger data and the trail fee prepaid. The park fee for the normal Chachabamba route (as of January 2014) is S/. 146, approximately $60. We collect this as part of the prepaid services, adding $10 service and handling. The park fee is subject to change.

These bookings must operate within DDC-C regulations. Terms and conditions for entry to Machu Picchu and its peripheral sites are subject to change without prior notice

What information do you need from us in order to obtain the permits?

We must submit a permit application along with a $350 deposit. We must have all the passenger name(s) as they appear on the passport; nationality and passport number; date of birth and gender. We also pay the trail fee at the time the permit is issued.  Thereafter, the only changes allowed on the trek permit are to remove names from the permit, with 100% loss of your tour deposit.

Is the $350 deposit refundable?

No, it is non-refundable. Our staff in Cuzco have to purchase your permits as soon as we send them your information.

Insofar as our passengers have to make flight reservations and all other travel plans far in advance of the date deemed convenient by the UGM, we process these Chachabamba requests as soon as we have required passenger data and the trail fee prepaid.

These bookings must operate within INC regulations.  Terms and conditions for entry to Machu Picchu and its peripheral sites are subject to change without prior notice.

Are permits required for this one-day Machu Picchu trek?

Current as of July, 2014 The UGM (Unidad de Gestion de Machupicchu, the regulatory body responsible for management of the Machu Picchu National Sanctuary), limits the number of passengers on the routes within the Sanctuary. Included in these routes is the one-day hike Chachabamba to Machu Picchu. The regulations are administered locally by the DDC-C (Direccion Desconcentrada de Cultura - Cusco).

The DDC-C assigns the same status for hiking the Chachabamba to Machu Picchu route as they do to requests to trek the 4-day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. The DDC-C limits the number of permits for the Chachabamba route based on the traffic for that day already issued for other routes within the Sanctuary.

New applications are currently being accepted on a first come/first served basis for hiking anywhere within the Sanctuary in 2017, including the Chachabamba route. We must submit a permit application listing the passenger name(s) as they appear on the passport; nationality and passport number; date of birth and gender. We also pay the trail fee at the time the permit is issued. Once issued, the only changes allowed on the trek permit are to remove names from the permit, with 100% loss of your tour deposit.

Insofar as our passengers have to make flight reservations and all other travel plans far in advance of the date deemed convenient by the UGM, we process these Chachabamba requests as soon as we have required passenger data and the trail fee prepaid. The park fee for the normal Chachabamba route is $77. We collect this as part of the prepaid services. The park fee is subject to change.

These bookings must operate within DDC-C regulations. Terms and conditions for entry to Machu Picchu and its peripheral sites are subject to change without prior notice

What information do you need from us in order to obtain the permits?

We must submit a permit application along with a $350 deposit. We must have all the passenger name(s) as they appear on the passport; nationality and passport number; date of birth and gender. We also pay the trail fee at the time the permit is issued.  Thereafter, the only changes allowed on the trek permit are to remove names from the permit, with 100% loss of your tour deposit.

Is the $350 deposit refundable?

No, it is non-refundable. Our staff in Cuzco have to purchase your permits as soon as we send them your information.

Insofar as our passengers have to make flight reservations and all other travel plans far in advance of the date deemed convenient by the UGM, we process these Chachabamba requests as soon as we have required passenger data and the trail fee prepaid.

These bookings must operate within INC regulations.  Terms and conditions for entry to Machu Picchu and its peripheral sites are subject to change without prior notice.

If I cannot travel on the original date of my trek permit, can I transfer to another date?

No, unfortunately the INC rules are very strict. All permits are non-refundable, non-transferable. There are no cancellations, wait-lists, etc.

Quick Facts

  • One-day or two-day private guided departures
  • Trek permits are required -- book early!
  • Explore the astonishing Winya Wayna ruins, and intimate Chachabamba
  • Arrive into Machu Picchu via the famed Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
  • In/out Cuzco

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