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Start of the Inca Trail 2 days

If you prefer to hike to Machu Picchu, one of the main shorter options is the 2-day Inca Trail. This walk is divided into two days. On the first day, there is an arduous walk of 12 kilometers until you get to have one of the best views of Machu Picchu from the main entrance of Inti Punku. The experience is great, you visit 3 archaeological sites that few manage to know and also follow the paths that guided the ancient settlers. The Inca Trail connected all the Inca citadels throughout the Tawantinsuyo territory.

How is the Inca Trail route 2 days?

The 2-day Inca Trail is an alternative for those who could not book the 4-day Inca Trail or for those who want to experience a short hiking route. Getting to Machu Picchu is possible by this route in just 2 days, although on the first day, you can already see the entire archaeological site of Machu Picchu. In addition, the entire route leads us through one of the true paths since Inti Punku was understood as a control point for those who wished to arrive or leave Machu Picchu. In addition, exclusively, it allows one of the best views of the wonder of the world. But how is the route? This route will start leaving Cusco early in the morning to reach the train station in Ollantaytambo,either to follow the bimodal service or board the train at that station in the direction of Machu Picchu Pueblo or Aguas Calientes, let’s see.

The train trip must be done at dawn, to start the walk early. The walk will begin at kilometer 114 of the Ollantaytambo – Aguas Calientes route. After this, the walk begins after passing the control zone. From that moment the distance to walk is 12 kilometers. The first archaeological site that is visited is Chachabamba, it is only about 15 minutes from the starting area of the walk. This place has important temples, although the enclosure is small.

This preamble is essential to understand the rest of the route since it explains how the Tawantinsuyo was dominated and how all the Inca cities were unified along the Inca Trail. This route is followed by the aforementioned roads until entering the Cusco jungle and after a walk of approximately 3 hours, you reach Wiñayhuayna, another Inca citadel, large and with a large number of platforms. From this place, you walk downhill again and then ascend to Inti Punku. A place that allows you to appreciate Machu Picchu especially.

ascending to Wiñayhuayna
Ascending to Wiñayhuayna

This is how you live the experience of this adventure

Once the hiking group has prepared their belongings, water, and other things that will accompany them during the walk, the route begins. The walk usually starts at 9:00 in the morning, on most tours. As usual and always recommended, the guide will start the activities by giving some recommendations and care that all the team that will carry out the walk must have and the care that must be taken for the conservation of the path. Before that, we will have already gotten up early to start the trip from Cusco to Ollantaytambo and board the train to kilometer 114. Much of the walk is done under the sun, only in some sections can it be followed, sections that due to the presence of the abundant vegetation, generate some shade during the path. One factor that will help on the walk is that you can find some resting points, with the necessary shade, to hydrate or to be able to taste some snacks that we have.

This tour includes a box lunch service. This means that we will be able to taste some dishes, mostly cold, along the walk or near the Wiñayhuayna camp, a place where lunch is recommended. After this, a somewhat more demanding walk follows, especially during the last sections of the path. Since the first section is descending, which facilitates the walk and therefore a great distance is advanced. However, the presence of the inclined stairs, in the final section, makes the leg muscles begin to demand more.

However, after this experience that is a challenge to our legs, we get the reward. The arrival at Intipunku is solemn, leaving behind all the landscape that accompanied us for almost 8 hours of walking. We practically bordered the limit of the hill and since then only the wonder of Machu Picchu can be appreciated. The first day of this gratifying walk culminates when the sunset is appreciated from the upper platforms or Casa del Guardian throughout Machu Picchu. That afternoon, the group descends in buses to Aguas Calientes, where you will have dinner, and then spend the night in the hotel you have selected. The next day, after having breakfast at the hotel, the ascent by bus or on foot to Machu Picchu begins.

Inca Trail 2 days. The easiest route to Machu Picchu?

Now that we know the experience of the walk, we can take stock of this walk. To be clear, the walking experience is only during the first day, when you walk for approximately 8 hours. This will depend a lot on the physical capacity and experience you have in terms of hiking trails, since, if you are an expert, you will be able to do the route with fewer breaks and also do it in less time. Although it is not advisable to run and see who or who does it in less time. For this, other types of tours were created.

From the humble opinion of someone who barely walks from home to work, the walk was quite tiring at times. Especially in the ascents of the stairs which you practically climb. Only at these moments can one hesitate to continue the walk, but with adequate rest it is possible to continue the walk. So, is it the easiest route to Machu Picchu? Yes, since the walk is only 8 hours long and lasts one day. If you have adequate breaks and good advice from the guides, it is easy to achieve. In addition, during the afternoon or night in Aguas Calientes or Machu Picchu Pueblo, you can visit the thermal baths where you can relax your muscles. This, added to a good diet at the end of the walk and sleeping early or the necessary hours, will be enough to start the visit or tour to Machu Picchu the next day.

Recommendations for Inca Trail 2 days

To have a pleasant experience, it is recommended to sleep well the night before. Try to carry little luggage in your backpack and wear hiking shoes. For no reason can you forget a cap or hat, sunscreen, and mosquito repellent. The walk can be complicated if you do not have experience in long walks. As we already mentioned, it is best to start the walk early, otherwise, we will receive the full impact of the sun. The sun’s rays can be a problem, especially for those who suffer from sun-sensitive skin.

Hydration and correct nutrition will be factors that will facilitate the walk. In case you feel some touches or discomfort that are not necessarily muscular, such as headaches, excessive agitation, or dizziness, you must communicate your discomfort to the guide so that he can guide you. It will also be essential that your team knows your condition so that they can help you if something happens. These discomforts may be linked to altitude sickness.

If you do not have any experience in hiking trails, one last recommendation is that you do physical activity weeks before the tour starts. This also if you usually lead a sedentary life. The walk can be more demanding as you have little physical activity, so although it seems absurd, start doing more walks in your city and if you can go jogging a couple of times a week they will be of great help so that you do not suffer or suffer during the climbs. Remember that the reward will not only be Machu Picchu, but all the landscapes that we will visit along the walk and the discovery of the ancient Inca trails. If you are fascinated by history, have contact with nature, and have little time, this tour will be the right one for you. It is also an excellent alternative to make the trip with the family, achieving an experience that can unite them more.


By Inca Trail Machu Picchu - Last updated, 04-07-2023

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