This is the short version of the Classic 4-Day Inca Trail, an excellent option for those who have limited time but don't want to miss the unforgettable experience of arriving at Machu Picchu in the traditional manner, by foot. During this tour you'll even get to see some sights that the 4-Day Trekkers don't!
We'll pick you up at your hotel or hostel at around 6:20am and depart for the Poroy Train Station, located 20 minutes outside of the city of Cusco. From here we'll take a train to Km 104, where we'll begin our trek. After crossing to the south side of Urubamba River we'll see the Chachabamba Archeological Group. Uncovered in 1940, thought to have been a guard house protecting the entrance to Machu Picchu by acting as a checkpoint along the ancient Royal Road. Those who opt for the 4-Day Inca Trail will not pass these ruins.
From Chachabamba we'll begin to ascend the mountain en route to Wiñaywayna (Quechua for Forevor Young), four hours by foot from our original starting point. Along the way we'll enter the forest and cross a creek before entering the open grassland for a couple of hours. Delving back into the forest, we'll pass a waterfall (another feature the 4-Day Trekkers will miss) before arriving at terraces, houses, and baths of the Inca ruins of Wiñaywayna Archeological Site. After the guided visit, we'll continue for about two hours more, winding around the mountainside and entering the rain forest to the 50 stone steps that will lead us up to Intipunku, the Sun Gate. This segment of the trail is the same as the 4-Day Inca Trail. From here we'll have an impressive view of what the next day holds: the Machu Picchu Archeological Site will come into view for the first time! From here we'll descend to the small town of Machu Picchu Pueblo (colloquially known as Aguas Calientes), where we'll accommodate ourselves in our hostel.
We'll have an early breakfast before heading off to catch the first bus Machu Picchu Archeological Complex. The bus takes about 25 minutes, after which we'll walk to the Intipunku Sun Gate to see the sun rise over Machu Picchu as we enter the site, descending from the Sun Gate. The guided portion of our visit will take about 2 hours, during which we'll explore the stunning ruins while the guide explains the history, purpose, and significance of the ruins. The tour ends at the famous intihuatana solar clock outside of the Sun Temple. You'll then have free time to explore the ruins independently and take all of the photos you desire.
We'll descend by bus back to the town of Aguas Calientes so that you'll have time for lunch. (This meal is not included in the tour.)
4:00 - 6:00pm
We'll depart from Aguas Calientes by train to the Ollantaytambo or Poroy train station, where our transport will be waiting to take us back to the city of Cusco.
8:20 - 9:00pm
Arrival in Cusco, where you'll be dropped back off at your hotel or hostel.