Kondor Path Tours

Everything you need to know about Hiking The Short Inca Trail

The Short Inca Trail travels 12 kilometers in 2 days until Machu Picchu arrives. The tour already includes what is necessary to support the weight of the days of walking. However, the tourist must bring extra luggage that facilitates the importance of the route, such as personal items, batteries, rehydrating water, a sleeping bag, a camera, and more.

Trail Details: The Short Inca Trail is a 10km (6.2 miles) trek that starts at km 104 on the railway line from Cusco to Machu Picchu. The trail passes through beautiful Andean landscapes, lush forests, and ancient Inca ruins before finally reaching the iconic Sun Gate overlooking Machu Picchu.

Short Inca Trail Permits: Like the longer Inca Trail, the Short Inca Trail requires a permit to hike. These permits are limited and must be obtained in advance through a licensed tour operator.

Short Inca Trail Difficulty: While the Short Inca Trail is shorter than the classic four-day trek, it still involves steep climbs and high altitudes, so it’s essential to be in good physical condition. The hike takes around 6 hours and affects a maximum height of 2,720m (8,920ft).

Short Inca Trail Guided Tours: It’s recommended to take a guided tour of the Short Inca Trail to learn about the history and culture of the area. Many tour operators offer guided tours, including transportation, permits, and meals.

What to Bring to Short Inca Trail: Hikers should bring comfortable hiking shoes, a backpack with snacks and water, sunscreen, insect repellent, and rain gear.

Machu Picchu: After reaching the Sun Gate, hikers will descend to Machu Picchu, where they can explore the ruins and learn about the history of the Inca Empire. It’s recommended to spend at least a few hours exploring Machu Picchu before returning to Cusco.

What does the Short Inca Trail include?

The Inca Trail is a hiking route protected by the Peruvian State, so we can only do it  with a tour that includes the following:

  • Transportation: Most tour operators include rides from your hotel in Cusco to the train station at Ollantaytambo and from the train station at Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu.
  • Train Ride: The Short Inca Trail starts at km 104 on the railway line from Cusco to Machu Picchu. The train ride from Ollantaytambo to km 104 offers stunning views of the Andean mountains and the Urubamba River.
  • Entrance Fee: The Short Inca Trail requires a permit to hike, which includes the entrance fee to Machu Picchu.
  • Machu Picchu Guided Tour: Most tour operators offer a guided tour of the Short Inca Trail, which includes a knowledgeable guide who will provide information about the history and culture of the area.
  • Meals and Snacks: Tour operators provide meals and snacks during the trek, including a box lunch and water.
  • Machu Picchu Entrance Tickets: After completing the trek, hikers will enter Machu Picchu and have the opportunity to explore the ruins and learn about the Inca Empire.

It’s essential to check with your tour operator to see what’s included in the Short Inca Trail package and what additional expenses you may need to cover, such as personal items like hiking gear and souvenirs.

What does it not include?

  • The Inca Trail, like any other hiking tour in Cusco, does not include the following:
  • Sleeping bags.
  • Walking sticks.
  • Snacks.
  • Rehydrating.
  • Personal articles.

How many kilos of luggage to take for the Short Inca Trail?

The maximum weight limit for luggage on the Short Inca Trail is 7kg (15 lbs) per person, including your sleeping bag and personal items. This weight limit is strictly enforced to help protect the environment and ensure the safety of hikers. Packing light is recommended, and only bringing essential items for the trek, such as changing clothes, toiletries, and personal medication.

You can store excess luggage in your Cusco hotel or Machu Picchu Pueblo storage facility. It’s essential to check with your tour operator to see if they have any specific requirements for luggage on the Short Inca Trail.

Considering the route’s difficulty, the mountainous roads it travels, and the same duration, we recommend luggage that does not exceed 5 kilos in weight.

Carrying more than 5 kilos can perform the most challenging walk sections. Likewise, it can cause back pain.

What must contain this luggage in a backpack suitable for walking (waterproof, spacious, and fits nicely on the back)?

When packing for the Short Inca Trail, bringing a spacious waterproof backpack that fits comfortably on your back is essential. Here are some critical items to consider packing in your bag:

  • Water: Bring at least 2 liters per person to stay hydrated during the trek.
  • Snacks: Pack energy bars, nuts, or dried fruit to keep your energy up during the hike.
  • Layers: The weather can be unpredictable, so it’s important to pack layers, including a waterproof jacket, fleece, and a hat.
  • Sun protection: Bring sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat to protect yourself from the sun.
  • Comfortable footwear: Wear comfortable, sturdy hiking shoes that are broken in.
  • Camera: Bring a camera to capture the stunning scenery along the trail.
  • Personal items: Pack toiletries, medication, and any other items.

Remember to pack light and only bring essential items, as the weight limit for luggage is strictly enforced. It’s also a good idea to check with your tour operator for any specific packing requirements for the Short Inca Trail.

How to organize the travel backpack for the Short Inca Trail?

The backpack should hold at least 15-20 liters of water and spare clothes. It recommends having a raincoat cover the pack or using a bag inside. Check that the mountain equipment meets the following characteristics:

Just comfortable to wear.

  • A chest and waist strap; will allow you to distribute the weight.
  • Have side pockets for small items.
  • Have ties and straps to store clothes or other items.
  • You can hire an extra porter with extra luggage. This item implies an additional cost over the tour price and varies depending on your hire tourism agency.

Inquire Now

[contact-form-7 id="11458" title="Contact us"]
Contact form footer
Contact form footer

Join the Group

Contact form footer

Inquiry Now

Contact form Tour