The 2 day Inca trail is now available as an express service. Cusco sees thousands of visitors every day, some looking for adventure, others for mystical guidance; some just want the best hotel and rest above the cloud city. The most popular attraction tends to be the Inca Trail, known around the world as the main route the Incas took to reach the fabled city of Machu Picchu. This city of full of incredible stepped architecture all along the mountain and the trail itself heads up right into its center. Now, while many would like to take the Inca Trail, the government has limited the amount of people that can take it every day to just a few hundred spots, meaning that you’ve had to book your trip 5 or 6 months in advance just to have a shot. This has now changed as the government has now opened a special 2 day Inca trail, somewhat shorter than the normal 4 day trail but still allows you to see the incredible beauty of the surrounding valleys and structures.
This is the short version of the famous and stunning Inca Trail and starts at Ollantaytambo Train station. We will take the train along the Urubamba River until arriving to the 104 km mark, the starting point for our 2 day trek. Once we are off the train you will cross a footbridge and reach the ancient Inca Site of Chachabamba. After a brief visit to this lovely ruin with its water channels and fountains, we start the four-hour ascent that will take us past spectacular overlooks above the great valley, then below a lovely waterfall near the delightful site of Wiñay Wayna (Forever Young). We then ascend through the largest and most exquisite of the Inca Trail sites, passing its chain of ritual baths and elegantly curved terracing; eventually joining the main Inca trail.
We follow it across a steep mountainside and up narrow stairways through a humid cloud-forest of giant ferns and broad-leaf vegetation. Suddenly we cross the stone threshold of Intipunku (Sun Gate) and encounter an unforgettable sweep of natural beauty and human artistry –a backdrop of twisting gorges and forested peaks framing the magical city of Machu Picchu.
We then walk the last half-hour or so down the royal flagstone walkway, past outlying shrines and buildings and through the heart of Machu Picchu, taking a bus to the small town of Aguas Calientes. That’s the last stop on the trip and quite a sight to see. This shorter trail is perfect for those that want to take in the beautiful landscapes but with less of a struggle, so families can take this shorter trek with kids and not have to worry about roughing it too much. If you want to know anything else about Cusco and Machu Picchu Travel, check out the rest of our blog posts at Peru Travel Blog and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram for our special packages.