Short Inca Trail Difficulty
Short Inca Difficulty, the BEST recommendations to the Inca Trail 2 Days to Machu Picchu, recommended Inca Trail in Ony 2 Days
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What is the Short Inca Trail
The Short Inca Trail is a 2-day version that traverses the last few kilometers of the classic Inca Trail (4 days).
It starts at kilometer 104 of the train line that connects Ollantaytambo with the town of Aguas Calientes (approximately 1 hour by train). Then begins the trek uphill for 13 kilometers until reaching Machu Picchu through the Puerta del Sol (Intipunku), just as the Incas did hundreds of years ago.
Because the Inca Trail runs along trails built by the Incas ( qhapac ñan ) no one can travel this route without a permit granted by the Ministry of Culture of Peru. Only tourism agencies manage this permit and offer it to visitors as part of an all-inclusive tour.
When should you buy the Short Inca Trail?
The Short Inca Trail tour can be purchased a few days or weeks in advance.
The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is a hiking route of moderate difficulty. There are very demanding mountainous sections but there are also very simple descending sections surrounded by incredible nature. Most visitors like this type of walk. However, people who do not have a good physical condition can also do the route.
Why is Short Inca Trail Difficulty?
The Inca Trail has moderate difficulty.
Comparing it with other trekking routes in Cusco, it could be said that it is not as demanding as the 5- day Salkantay trek , but it is not as simple as the 4-day Lares trek either.
The Inca Trail covers 39 kilometers through high mountain roads as well as descending paths surrounded by abundant vegetation. These roads were built by the Incas hundreds of years ago in order to connect Cusco with Machu Picchu.
What are the most difficult sections of the Short Inca Trail?
On the first day of the Inca Trail, 13 kilometers are covered. The second, 11 kilometers. The third, 16 kilometers. Finally, on the last day you only walk 3 kilometers until you reach Machu Picchu.
The first and second days are the most difficult because they cross demanding Andean landscapes. On the first day, it is estimated that during the 13-kilometer walk, 300 meters are ascended with slopes of 10, 20 and 30 degrees to the Huayllabamba camp.
The second day is an intense short hike up to the highest point of the Inca Trail, the ‘Paso del abra Warmiwañusca’ (dead woman’s pass), which is located at 4,200 meters above sea level. That day the night is spent in the Pacaymayu camp.
Distances and altitudes traveled on the Short Inca Trail
Day 1: 14km.
Altitude: starting point 2840 m / Huayllabamba camp 3000 m
Day 2 : 7km
Altitude: Huayllabamba 3000 m / the highest point of the Inca Trail 4215 m / Pacaymayo camp 3600 m
Day 3 : 16km
Altitude: Pacaymayu camp 3,600 m / Runkurakay pass 3,950 m / Wiñaywayna camp 2,666 m
Day 4 : 6km
Altitude: Wiñaywayna camp 2666 m / Puerta del Sol (Inti Punku 2720) / Machu Picchu 2440 / Aguas Calientes 2050 m
Short Inca Trail Itinerary
The short Inca trail is easy. It only travels approximately 11 kilometers. The first part is uphill so it is the most difficult. Once at the archaeological site of Wiñay Huayna, the path becomes easier. The entrance to Machu Picchu, like the Classic Inca Trail, is through the Puerta del Sol.
Day 1: Cusco – Km. 104 – Aguas Calientes (11 kilometers)
The Short Inca Trail begins at kilometer 104 of the Ollantaytambo – Machu Picchu railway (2 hours 45 minutes from the city of Cusco by car). From there you ascend through tropical landscapes (11 kilometers) until you reach the archaeological site of Wiñay Huayna from where you continue until you reach Machu Picchu.
Day 2: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu
Tourists will not visit Machu Picchu until day 2 when they depart by bus from their hotel in Aguas Calientes to the entrance gate to Machu Picchu. Finally, you will get to know the Inca City together with your tour guide. The return is by train and bus to the city of Cusco.
Questions and answers about the Short Inca Trail
Does the Inca Trail close at any time of the year?
Yes, every February it is closed due to the constant rains and maintenance work on the route.
When is a good time to do the Short Inca Trail?
The months with less rain in Cusco (May, June, July, August, September and even October) are the best for this hiking route.
Short Inca Trail with children?
Yes, children (preferably over 8 years old) who like outdoor adventures can choose to do the 2-day Inca Trail.
Short Inca Trail with older adults?
Yes, as long as people are in good physical condition. It is also recommended that they have the approval of your doctor.
Is the bus ticket included on the first day?
The bus ticket on the first day (section from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes) is optional. What is included is the round trip bus trip on day 2 (Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Aguas Calientes).
How is the ‘box lunch’ on the Short Inca Trail?
The ‘box lunch’ features nutritious ingredients grown in Cusco. Also, if the visitor requires it, they can request a vegetarian or vegan option.
Is the porter service included?
No. The service of porters (luggage porters) is not necessary because the walk only takes 4 or 5 hours. In case the visitor requires one, they can request it for an additional cost.
Is the short Inca Trail dangerous?
No, the hike runs along wide paths without any danger. Of course, the route is ascending which requires a physical effort, at least the first kilometers.
How much does the Short Inca Trail tour cost?
Check the prices and more information of the Short Inca Trail tour 2 days.
What Alternatives to the Short Inca Trail Exist?
Cusco offers more hiking routes such as: the 5-day Salkantay trek , the 4-day Lares trek , the 3-day Huchuy Qosqo trek , the 4-day Choquequirao trek , the 4-day Inca Jungle and others.
The most difficult aspect of the Inca Trail is the height for many walkers, if you have never walked at that height before you will feel the lack of oxygen , that is why we recommend you to do basic exercises so that you can do the Inca Trail without any problem.
What to bring for the Short Inca Trail?
The Inca Trail includes basic items such as: personal tent, kitchen tent, insulating mattress, food (breakfast, lunch and dinner), among others.
To enjoy this adventure in the best way, it is also recommended to bring the following:
- Sleeping bag.
- Walking stick.
- Trekking backpack .
- Rain poncho.
- Water bottle.
- Water purifier.
- Toilet paper.
- Cleaning items.