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Luxury Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Luxury Inca Trail 2 Days and 1 Night

Luxury Inca Trail to Machu PicchuEmbark on a Luxury Inca Trail exquisite journey with our premium Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu trek, curated for discerning adventurers.

This luxury Inca Trail compact itinerary, laden with the grandeur of Classic Inca Trail highlights, is perfect for those with refined tastes and limited time, offering a luxurious exploration without rush.

Your majestic luxury Inca Trail journey unfolds aboard the plush Vistadome train, taking you amidst scenic vistas en route to the trailhead. As you tread the ancient path, explore the lesser-trodden ruins of Chachabamba and a majestic waterfall before you gaze upon the timeless wonder of Machu Picchu, an experience enriched by the exclusivity of our arrangements.

Post-exploration, a lavish buffet lunch awaits at the esteemed Sanctuary Lodge Belmond Hotel, providing a gourmet feast with a view that’s equally delightful. As dusk descends, board the elegant Hiram Bingham train, reclining amidst opulence as you reminisce the day’s enchantment, the serene landscape whisking past.

Your overnight retreat in Machu Picchu is no less luxurious, with a fine dining experience to satiate your gourmet desires, encapsulating the essence of luxury that defines this exclusive adventure. Your comfort is our priority, making every aspect of this journey a delightful indulgence.

Action Peru Treks is rated highly on TripAdvisor, our reputation echoes through hundreds of elated trekkers. The praise from our travelers propels us to continually refine our offerings, ensuring an exceptional journey for every adventurer.

Pre-Trek Welcome

Your luxury Inca Trail journey begins with an intimate briefing at your opulent hotel in Cusco. This personalized session, scheduled a day prior to embarkation, illuminates the bespoke itinerary awaiting you.

Ensure your sojourn to Cusco aligns with this essential prelude, paving the way for an adventure steeped in grandeur.

DAY 1: A Posh Prelude to Machu Picchu

As dawn breaks, we’ll escort you from the plush realms of your hotel in Cusco, setting course towards the quaint Ollantaytambo station. Here, the luxurious Vistadome train awaits to whisk you through the picturesque Andean scenery to KM 104, the trailhead of your bespoke adventure.

As we cross the threshold of the Inca Trail checkpoint, the ancient whispers of Chachabamba ruins greet us. This revered site, a last solace for Inca pilgrims en route to Machu Picchu, unveils its religious and administrative essence through intriguing edifices, with our seasoned guide unveiling tales of bygone eras.

The ascent commences on timeless Inca stone steps, a 3-hour journey amidst a unique ecosystem, where a botanical and faunal narrative unfolds.

Upon transcending a cascading waterfall, we reach Wiñay Wayna. Echoing “Forever Young” through its orchid namesake, this ruin overlooks the expansive Sacred Valley. As we repose for a gourmet lunch, the panoramic beauty envelops us in a serene embrace.

Wiñay Wayna, intricately built into a mountainside, showcases the Incas’ agricultural brilliance through its experimental terraces. As we wander, a temple with seven windows dedicated to the rainbow reveals itself, along with the ingenious water channels still in operation.

Resuming our journey, a gentle 1-2 hour hike unveils the Sun Gate, “Intipunku” in Quechua, by late afternoon. The first sight of Machu Picchu’s grandeur is enthralling, a captivating scene you’d want to immortalize through lenses.

Post this awe-inspiring encounter, a leisurely stroll leads to the main entrance, followed by a bus descent to Aguas Calientes or short walk to the Belmond Sanctuary Lodge. Upon arrival, the lively ambiance greets you, as we escort you to your luxury hotel. The quaint town, with its soothing hot springs, offers a serene escapade before a delectable dinner awaits.

  • Meals: Box Lunch / Dinner
  • Accommodations: Hotel
  • Maximum altitude: 2,720 m/8,920 ft
  • Minimum Altitude: 2,040 m/6,691 ft
  • Distance to walk: 13 km/8 miles
  • Approximate walking time: 5-6 hours

DAY 2: Serene Dawns to Majestic Dusks

As dawn paints the sky, enjoy a gourmet breakfast at your hotel in Aguas Calientes before embarking on an early morning bus journey to Machu Picchu. Ascend along the snaking roads as the first rays unveil the Andean grandeur.

Your personal guide, well-versed in Machu Picchu’s legacy, will vividly narrate the city’s ancient tales during a 2-hour tour. Capture the wild llamas gracing the terraces and the city’s architectural marvels with your lens.

Should you choose, ascend Huayna Picchu mountain (additional cost), or relish more moments in Machu Picchu before descending to Aguas Calientes. As evening descends, the Hiram Bingham train ensures a luxurious return to your hotel in Cusco, concluding your day on a note of opulence.

  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Minimum altitude: 2,040 m/6,691 ft
  • Maximum altitude: 2,440 m/8,052 ft

WHAT’S INCLUDED LUXURY INCA TRAIL 

  • Professional English speaking guide. Additional guide for groups over 8 people.
  • Pre-trek briefing (a Short Inca Trail map is also provided during the briefing time)
  • Transportation from your hotel to Ollantaytambo
  • Vistadome train from Ollantaytambo to KM 104
  • Bus ticket from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes on day 1. Round trip bus ticket from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu on day 2
  • Hiram Bingham train from  Aguas Calientes to Poroy.
  • Transport by private vehicle from Poroy train station to your Cusco hotel.
  • Admission Ticket to the Inca trail and Machu Picchu Archaeological site.
  • One-night accommodation in a nice and comfortable hotel in Aguas Calientes (double occupancy)
  • 1 Box lunch, 1 dinner, 1 breakfast
  • Private guided walking tour of Machu Picchu

WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED:

  • Hiking poles (can be rented from us)
  • Breakfast on day 1 and lunch on day 2
  • Huayna Picchu Mountain permit (this ticket can be purchased for an extra USD $75 per person)
  • Tip for your guide
  • Travel Insurance (highly recommended)

WHAT YOU NEED TO BRING TO THE LUXURY INCA TRAIL 

  • Backpack (if not waterproof bring waterproof backpack cover or a poncho that will cover your backpack)
  • Original passport
  • Sturdy hiking boots
  • Sun protection: sunscreen (SPF 35+ recommended), sun hat, sunglasses
  • Insect repellent
  • Rain poncho or a good rain jacket
  • Toiletries / small towel
  • Bathing clothes for the hot springs (optional)

SHORT LUXURY INCA TRAIL PRICE & ADD-ONS

Group: USD $2080 per person with the Sanctuary Belmond Machu Picchu hotel and USD $1450 per person with the Sumaq Machu Picchu hotel or Inkaterra El Pueblo Machu Picchu hotel. 

Private: USD $2180 per person

GROUP VS. PRIVATE TREK:

  • Depending on the number of people in your booking, additional people may join the trek to make a full group.
  • If you choose “private”, no additional people will be joining your group, no matter the size.
  • Minimum booking size is two people; one person may book a group trek if Action Peru Treks is able to join that person with additional groups.
DISCOUNTS:
  • Under 18 years Discount: USD $20
  • Under 7 years Discount: USD $35
RENTALS:
  • Hiking poles – USD $10 (pair)

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT OUR SHORT LUXURY INCA TRAIL TOUR

What is the Luxury Inca Trail to Machu Picchu?

This Inca Trail is ideal for travelers who have limited time or want something less strenuous. This hike starts at KM 104 of the Machu Picchu train line on a trail that leads to two archaeological sites—Chachabamba and Wiñay Wayna. This hike also gives you the opportunity to enter the lost city via the famous Sun Gate, the dramatic entrance that provides Inca Trail trekkers with their first glimpse of the site.

Spend the night in Aguas Calientes and then wake up on Day 2 for a Machu Picchu tour.

We also offer a short Inca Trail with Camping if you would like to spend the night in a tent rather than in a hotel.

Why hiking the Short Inca Trail is so popular?

The Trail is a microcosm; lush green cloud forest alive with birds, Andean peaks and steep mountain passes, a landscape dotted with centuries old Inca ruins, accessible only to those that follow this most famous pathway.

However, as truly beautiful as the hike may be, the real reason for its popularity lies at the very end of this four-day adventure; passing through the famous Sun Gate for that first magical sighting of Machu Picchu in the distance.

Only Inca Trail hikers can access the gate early in the morning, and it is this crescendo, at one of the new seven wonders of the world which makes this hike a feature on so many ‘South America bucket lists’.

The Inca Trail is the best way to arrive at one of the world’s most iconic attractions.

What does this 2-day Inca Trail involve?

The 2-day Inca Trail involves a guided trek starting from KM 104, leading to significant archaeological sites like Chachabamba and Wiñay Wayna, culminating at Machu Picchu via the Sun Gate.

The first day includes hiking and exploring, while the second day is dedicated to a guided tour of Machu Picchu. Travelers are transported via Vistadome and Hiram Bingham trains, with overnight stay in Aguas Calientes and gourmet meals included.

The tour also offers an optional climb to Huayna Picchu mountain. The journey is embellished with luxury amenities, personalized guide services, and premium transportation, ensuring a comfortable and enriching experience.

What else should I know about the Sanctuary Lodge Belmond Hotel?

The Sanctuary Lodge Belmond Hotel is a luxurious haven located near the entrance to Machu Picchu, offering a range of rooms and suites with amenities like marble bathrooms and furnished terraces.

The hotel provides a serene atmosphere amidst natural beauty, making it a prime choice for those visiting the Inca citadel. It offers exclusive savings for extended stays, inclusive of daily meals.

What do I need to know about the Vistadome train and the Hiram Bingham train?

The Vistadome train offers a comfortable and scenic journey to Machu Picchu, providing passengers with panoramic windows and an observatory-style carriage that allows a nearly 360-degree vista of the beautiful surroundings​.

The train is equipped with air-conditioning and heating, leather seats, and the option to have a gourmet meal onboard. Additionally, the Vistadome train is known for a unique experience where local dancers perform traditional Andean dances during the journey​​.

The travel time on the Vistadome from Ollantaytambo to Machu Picchu is about 1 hour and 30 minutes​.

Meanwhile, the Hiram Bingham train, operated by Belmond, provides a luxurious and enchanting journey through the Peruvian highlands to Machu Picchu.

The train’s design is reminiscent of 1920’s parlour cars with gleaming wood-panelled interiors, brass finishes, and a distinctly Peruvian aesthetic with vibrant colors and nature-inspired motifs​.

As passengers travel through the breathtaking Sacred Valley, they can savor gourmet cuisine, enjoy lively dances performed to live music in the Bar Car, and marvel at the scenic views between Cusco and Machu Picchu​.

Where are the best places to take pictures on this trek?

The best places to take pictures on this trek include:

  • Chachabamba Ruins
  • Wiñay Wayna
  • Sun Gate (Intipunku)
  • Machu Picchu, including the classic view from the Guardhouse, the Inca Bridge, and the Temple of the Sun
  • Huayna Picchu

These spots offer a mix of historical, architectural, and natural scenery, perfect for photography.

What are the most popular souvenirs in this trek, and where should I get them)?

The most popular souvenirs from this trek include alpaca wool products, handmade pottery, and Inca-inspired jewelry. Aguas Calientes, the town at the base of Machu Picchu, has a bustling market where you can find a wide range of souvenirs.

Additionally, the city of Cusco, which is usually the starting or ending point of treks to Machu Picchu, has numerous markets and shops selling local handicrafts. It’s advisable to compare prices in different shops to ensure you’re getting a good deal.

What are some suggested activities to do in Aguas Calientes in the afternoon or evening?

Aguas Calientes, often known as Machu Picchu Pueblo, is the gateway town to the iconic Machu Picchu ruins, nestled in a deep gorge surrounded by towering cloud forests.

It’s a vibrant hub offering a blend of touristic amenities, local markets, dining establishments, and the therapeutic Aguas Calientes hot springs, providing a mix of relaxation and cultural experiences for travelers before or after their visit to Machu Picchu.

In Aguas Calientes, you can indulge in hot springs, shopping, dining, museum visit, massage services, and more.

These activities provide relaxation, cultural immersion, and a deeper understanding of the region’s history and nature.

How far in advance should I reserve my permit for the Short Inca Trail Trek?

Everyone should book their Inca Trail permit as early as possible because the permits are in super high demand as they do offer access to one of the top hiking trails on the planet. It’s very common that permits for certain months of the year to sell out completely for the upcoming season in just a matter of days or hours.

On top of that, permits are non-refundable or transferable, so if any hikers who have purchased permits subsequently cancel them, they won’t become available again at a later date in the government system.

The Peruvian government releases all the permits in bulk throughout the month of October for the upcoming year. For example, for a hike in 2024, you can expect permits to be released in October 2023.

The best way to ensure you’re in the running for your chosen trek date is to have your Inca Trail pre-booked for the upcoming year before the permits are released in October 2023.

A general rule to follow is to book permits for the Inca Trail at least six to eight months in advance to ensure trail availability for treks on the Inca Trail route.

Does the Short Inca Trail trip include the Machu Picchu entrance ticket?

Yep, the cost of Machu Picchu entry is included in the trip price and it’s our responsibility to take care of all that and provide you with the ticket on the day you’re entering the site.

Is it possible to trek the Inca Trail without a tour company or guide?

Since June 2002, trekking independently on the Inca Trail has been prohibited. Access to the Inca Trail is strictly controlled by the Peruvian government and your trek must be organized through a tour operator.

Only specific licensed companies like Action Peru Treks are permitted to lead groups on the 5-day Inca Trail, 4-day Inca Trail and 2-day Inca Trail routes.

Companies must meet certain basic requirements proving that they have professional guides and good camping equipment, radio communications and emergency first aid including oxygen. Their license is renewed each year.

What do I need to carry on this Short Inca Trail trek?

Travelers should carry only a small daypack with the items that they will need while hiking such as water, snacks, camera and film.

Our team will ship 6 kg of each of your personal extra gear to your Aguas Calientes hotel during the trip for free.

We generally ask clients to bring only the necessary items that you will need for the 2-day trip and leave any unneeded luggage at the hotel in Cusco or at our office in Cusco.

How big are the groups on our luxury Inca Trail tours?

Our groups are usually small. Average is 3 to 5 people and maximum 16 people plus the trekking team.

Is there an age limit to hiking the Luxury Inca Trail?

Nope! we trust that you will gauge your own fitness levels when it comes to taking a trek of this nature. We have clients who are in their 80s that are fitter than many 30-year-olds.

Age is just a number if you are fit enough to do the trip, go for it! Children under 6 years old should not attempt to hike as they would likely find the trek too difficult.

What is the best time of year to hike the Inca Trail?

From April to October, it is usually warm and humid during the day (around 20-25ºC) and night time temperatures are around 15ºC.

The dry season lasts from May to September, when the weather is more changeable.

During the wet season, from October to April, it can rain heavily, although it can also rain year-round.

Is the Luxury Inca Trail  always open?

The Inca Trail is open 11 months of the year (March through January). It is closed every February for maintenance.

PRICE PER PERSON IN USD:
Group: $2080 with the Belmond Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge
Private: $2180
DURATION:
2 Days / 1 Nights

AVAILABLE ADD-ONS

  • Hiking poles for the trek – USD $10 (pair) per person
  • Huayna Picchu Permit – USD $75 per person
  • Private hotel room for single travelers – the cost of this would be based on the hotel.

OVERVIEW

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