If you like short hiking with breathtaking sights, the 2 days Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is exactly what you are looking for. Covering a not so challenging distance of just 10km/6.3 miles, this route is perfect for families and those on a tight schedule.
The trekking goes through a beautiful scenery that includes a wide variety of flora and fauna, which will take across the Inca Trail’s most beautiful site – Wiñay Wayna. After a four hours steep walk upwards, the well worth climb will lead you to the Sun gate – breathtaking view guaranteed.
The 2 days Inca Trail begins at an altitude level of 2100m / 6889ft. but it will reach 2730m / 8,792ft. if you are not used to the heights we strongly recommend you chewing coca leaves or coca candies. There are also some pills that can be purchased at any Peruvian pharmacy called sorojchi pills.
A fair warning is that both mornings of the short Inca Trail you will have to wake up really early, before the sunrise. We will take the early train, so we can appreciate the nature since the morning, and have more time to explore.
You will begin this trekking by taking the train to arrive at KM 104, from where the route will begin. What makes this path special is that it is not crowded, which offers tranquility, time and space to absorb its mysticism, environment and history.
The hike begins around the Vilcanota River. On the trail we will find the ruins of Chachabamba, a stone altar used to worship the sun and mountains. After a brief visit, we will continue southwards and gradually climb the mountain leading to a cloud forest.
Then we will turn to the west for three hours on a gently sloping stretch to reach Wiñay Wayna, an incredible forest that welcomes you with a beautiful waterfall.
Finally, you will reach the Sun Gate, from where all our efforts will be rewarded with unique views from the top of the mountain.
From this point, you will descend for 40 minutes (approximately) down stairs that end at the entrance to one of the 7 wonders of the modern world. The sacred citadel of Machu Picchu.
By the end of this day, you will head down to Aguas Calientes to sleep. Important to keep in mind that there’s not a camping option in this trekking. You can choose from a variety of hotels to rest.
Once again, you will have to get up early (around 5 a.m.), for a quick breakfast and then take a bus that will take you to restart the way back to the mountain.
You will have the time to wander around Machu Picchu, an enigmatic and mysterious city that is worth every single minute of this short but demanding 2 days Inca Trail hike.
In Machu Picchu you will be able to visit amazing places like the Royal Mausoleum, the Temple with the three windows, the Sacred Plaza, the famous and known Intihuatana, among special stairways, plazas and fountains. If you also decide to purchase an extra ticket, you get to visit the Huayna Picchu.
To sum up, if you love the challenges, trekking, nature and don’t have much time to spend, the short route of the Inca Trail of only 2 days is one of the options that best fits.
It is not necessary to be in good physical shape, although there is a steep slope and high stone steps to climb, it is a stretch suitable for almost all public. A very convenient option to access the Machu Picchu enclosure that really pays off.
Regarding on what to take, our main advice is to pack as lightly as possible. We recommend keeping the weight under 5 kg/10lb (included personal clothes). You will need to carry daypack. There is no need for a sleeping bag since you will be spending the night in a hotel of your choice.
What you need to bring for the 2 days inca trail?
In a previous post, we made a series of tips and recommendations to make an Inca Trail packing list. The following items we point out are the ones we consider essential:
- Passport (necessary to control entry to Machu Picchu)
- Long pants (no jeans) / Trekking boots resistant to water
- Thermal clothing that keeps you warm at night
- Plastic rain poncho
- Hat or shade
- Swimsuit for the thermal waters of Aguas Calientes (although it can be bought in nearby stores)
- Toilet paper
- Sun block / insect repellent
- Medications or products for personal use as liquid for contact lenses
- Water bottles to hydrate during the tour
- Small amounts of cash and simple in Dollars and Soles
- Trekking poles
- Photographic camera