We gladly answer all your questions:
The distance to walk between kilometer 104 of the railway (starting point of the walk) to Machu Picchu is 11 km / 6.14 miles.
The Short Inca Trail trail to Machu Picchu is a unique hiking trail, and that trail does use by all authorized travel companies that can operate the Inca trail network. Some travel companies do not include the bus ticket from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes, and perhaps, for this reason, the difference in miles or kilometers.
3.- Your trip does not include breakfast on Day 1. With such an early start,
Hotels usually include a buffet breakfast, so visitors can coordinate with their hotel a day or days before to prepare a Box-Breakfast to take away. Or you can also buy breakfast inside the Ollantaytambo train station or, lastly, one day before purchasing some snacks in the center of Cusco, and there are several mini-markets or local stores.
4.- We are planning on staying in Ollantaytambo before the hike.
Our services of the Short Inca Trail 2 days to Machu Picchu are private at affordable prices. Therefore, our trekking guide will gladly come to your hotel in Ollantaytambo so that you can walk together to the Ollantaytambo train station since the population of Ollantaytambo is small and thus board the train service.
The first initial and final payment directed to Kondor Path Tours for 2 Days of the Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is digital through PayPal.
5.- We plan to go to Cusco at the end of Day 2. Can we be picked up and dropped off in 2 different towns (Ollantaytambo pick-up and Cusco drop-off)?
Our return to Cusco is direct via train with the travel route from AGUAS CALIENTES to the POROY train station. From POROY, we travel by private vehicle to the city of Cusco (a 20-minute trip) for price reasons since the train ticket from AGUAS CALIENTES to POROY or OLLANTAYTAMBO is the exact cost.
But, we will gladly organize the return by train from AGUAS CALIENTES to the OLLANTAYTAMBO train station. We pick up your main bags in Ollantaytambo and start the land trip to Cusco from Ollantaytambo via Pachar and Izcuchaca.
NOTE: Bringing the vehicle from Cusco to Ollantaytambo has a slight increase in value of the price.
The travel time from Ollantaytambo to Cusco is 1 hour and 40 minutes via Pachar, Pomatales Valley.
6.- If yes to the above question, is there time to pick up our luggage in Ollantaytambo? (I’m assuming the hotel we stayed in will hold it for us)
A double yes
(I read your policy but am a bit confused. We have never canceled a trip, but it’s good to know!)
We invite you to read our terms and conditions of the Inca Trail (Short or Classic): https://www.kondorpathtours.com/terms-conditions/.
The entrance tickets to the Inca Trail combined with Machu Picchu
The buses to go and return to Machu Picchu
We will improve the terms and conditions. We invite you to read it; thank you very much.
9.- I see that November is in the wet season and read comments from people recommending mid-morning visits to Machu Picchu because of earlier poor visibility issues.
For the walkers of the Short Inca Trail, it is the group’s decision at what time to visit Machu Picchu, coordinated with the tour guide. There is no specific time to enter Machu Picchu, BUT once you enter Machu Picchu, you cannot re-enter Machu Picchu.
Between August and December, there are clouds due to the warm and phreatic winds of the rugged Andes.
It could rain anytime because Machu Picchu is inside the cloud forest. The weather improves between 08 to 11 in the morning.
10.- My husband and I hike a lot but have different speeds.
He is fast, and I hike pretty slow but can go many more miles. We usually walk at average speeds and use handheld radios to keep communicating and decide where he will wait for me.
The network of Inca Trails, such as the Short Inca Trail, prohibits walking on your own since there are rules to follow under the responsibility of the operating travel agency and the tour guide in charge of leading the organized groups.
On the Short Inca Trail, there are three checkpoints; the first does locate at kilometer 104 of the railway, and the second is through Wiñaywayna and Machu Picchu, where the group of visitors must walk in an organized group. There are exceptions, but the tour guide will make decisions by informing the park rangers and signing a responsibility document.
From 01 to 08 foreign visitors, there is 01 tour guide. From 09 to 16 foreign visitors, 02 tour guides lead groups of walkers along the Short Inca Trail. If part of the group walks slowly or quickly, the 02 tour guides divide the group and then meet at specific places. Kondor Path Tours organizes the Short Inca Trail trekking circuit only as a private service at affordable prices if there are 03 people in your group! The 03 people will have to stay together.
11.- I see frequent statements that after the Machu Picchu tour, we will have time to explore independently. Standard tickets to the site are only for 2 hours and don’t allow people to backtrack.
About ten years ago, you could no longer re-enter Machu Picchu or have free time to explore Machu Picchu on your own after the guided tour. The walkers of the Short Inca Trail have a specific circuit to carry out their guided tour, not being able to enter the following sites:
Visitors who need to re-enter Machu Picchu to explore independently must purchase a new ticket. This new ticket will allow you to visit Machu Picchu following one of the two primary circuits to complete the 02-hour walk inside Machu Picchu, not staying longer so as not to start traffic on the circuit to be toured because the visits are a constant movement.
According to the master plan of Machu Picchu, the regulations became strict about preserving the archaeological site of Machu Picchu by controlling the flow of visitors.
Therefore there are specific circuits for those who arrive directly by train or the Inca Trail. Only the walkers of the Short Inca Trail can choose what time to start the guided tour of Machu Picchu, while the alternate hiking routes, or those who arrive by train, etc.
They have to buy entrance tickets to Machu Picchu at a specific time according to the availability of tickets, every hour, 600 people enter Machu Picchu.
12.- Many websites mention visiting the Inca Bridge.
It remains closed until further notice.
Drones are prohibited, as are selfie sticks.