Do you want to experience the majestic beauty of one of the new Seven Wonders of the World, without the epic hike?
The One Day Inca Trail is a great option for those wanting to set their sights on Machu Picchu and experience a taste of trekking in Peru, without doing one of the multi-day Classic Inca, Quarry or Choquequirao trails. This four-hour trek starts from the train station known as Km 104 and after a steep ascent, it follows the last portion of the Classic Inca Trail up to the Sun Gate to the ancient civilisation of Machu Picchu.
At a glance
Trips that include the One Day Inca Trail
The One Day Inca Trail is included in the following trips; however we are happy to discuss ways to include it in other Peru itineraries for you. Contact us to discuss your options.
Highlights of the One Day Inca Trail
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We are able to add the One Day Inca Trail to a number of our existing Peru itineraries. Please contact us to discuss the different options available to you.
While you don’t need the same permit you need for the Inca trail, places are limited so you must pre-book this option at least 30 days prior to departure. We will arrange all the necessary paperwork on your behalf.
On trips where the One Day Inca Trail is included, the day begins bright and early with a 6:30am train ride to the starting point. With a local guide leading the way, the trail will lead uphill and downhill, passing a few archaeological sites. See Winayhuayna (2680 metres), also known as 'Forever Young'. This impressive complex is considered by many to be most impressive site on the whole Inca Trail, and is made up of a terraced agricultural centre, religious sector and urban sector. From here, it's about a one-hour trek to Inti Punku (the Sun Gate), where (weather permitting), you'll enjoy unforgettable views over the ‘Lost City of the Incas’ as you enter Machu Picchu. Depending on how long the trek takes, you'll have a guided tour of the area for 1.5 to 2 hours, with time to take photos, before taking a short bus ride down to Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu town).
The high season for trekking in Peru runs over the drier months from April to October. The most popular time to hike to Machu Picchu is in June and July – which is therefore the most crowded time.
The wet season runs from November to March – this is when the temperature rises, and the region receives heavy rainfall. The Inca Trail closes every year in February (the wettest month of the year) for maintenance.
The altitude at Machu Picchu is 2430 metres (7970 feet) above sea level.
The One Day Inca Trail is 15 kilometres (just over 9 miles) in total. The first 10 kilometres are uphill and can be pretty steep, but if you have a moderate level of fitness you should be fine. The trek takes about 4 hours at leisurely pace.
While there is no official minimum age for hiking the trail, we do recommend children be at least 10 years old. While the trail can be completed by a person with moderate fitness, it is worth considering whether your child would be able to meet the physical requirements of the trek.
Most people can start to feel the effects of altitude at over 2000 metres (6561 feet) regardless of age, gender or fitness level. While our leaders have basic first aid training and are aware of the closest medical facilities, it is very important that you make yourself aware of the cause and effects of travelling at altitude, monitor your health and seek assistance accordingly. It’s important to take it easy, drink plenty of water and speak to your leader at once if you feel unwell. We recommend seeing your doctor if you have any health concerns before undertaking the trip. Particularly if you have a pre-existing medical condition or are taking any medication.
For the One Day Inca Trail, we suggest you tip the local guide between PEN 10 and PEN 20.
Basic toilet blocks are situated along the Inca Trail. We recommend you bring some toilet paper and a bottle of hand sanitiser.
You shouldn’t need too much to complete the One Day Inca Trail, but we do recommend bringing a small day pack containing essentials like water, sunscreen and snacks, as there are few opportunities to purchase food at Machu Picchu. If you wish to bring walking poles you may, but they are not essential.
After spending the day exploring Machu Picchu, you will take a train and bus through the Sacred Valley and back to Cusco. You also have the option to walk back to Cusco if you want, which takes between 45 minutes and one hour.
Yes, but of course it will depend on your specific condition, fitness and what support will be available to you. Contact us to discuss your circumstances and we can assess you from there.
Yes, it is always possible to skip trekking components on our trips, with no extra charge. Simply speak to us at the time of booking and we can discuss alternative options for you, such as a train to Machu Picchu.
Intrepid Travel is absolutely committed to ensuring the environmental sustainability of the amazing destinations we visit and we take our social responsibilities very seriously. In Peru, we have committed to paying our porters and guides a fair wage and supplying them with the necessary equipment and resources to undertake their work safely. We also support several community initiatives aimed at promoting the long-term sustainability of the region's environment and preserving the traditional cultures of its communities.