- km 104
- Inti Punku
- Machu Picchu
- Aguas Calientes
One Day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
Our One Day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is the best way to get to Machu Picchu for those without the time to hike the full Inca trail. The Inca Trail appeal is the stunning cultural show of Inca ruins, exotic mountain views, primitive lush vegetation, and extraordinary ecological varieties. The trail goes through the National Park and enters through the Sun Gate with unforgettable views of Machu Picchu.
Before You Go
If you love the idea of hiking directly into Machu Picchu via the Inti Punku or Sungate but want a shorter hike and you don't have enough time, then the 1-day Inca Trail Trek is the one for you!
This Trek has a variety of flora and fauna and is rich in history. The 1-day hike is 13km/8m, goes up to 2,720 m/8,920 ft, and is classified as an easy-moderate trek with minimal altitude gain.
Itinerary at a Glance
Trek Ancient Trails and Go Back in Time at Historical Sites
Km 104 Chachabamba Inti Punku Machu Picchu
Why Take the Inca Trail?
- This route is designed for travelers who don't have much time, but who want to enjoy the best and famous Inca Trail
- Trek the best section of the Inca Trail
- Hike through the Sun Gate for your first view of Machu Picchu
- Travel through the mystery of cloud forests, feel the power of majestic snow-capped mountains, and discover ancient archaeological sites.
- Visit Chachamba and Wiñay Wayna Inca sites
- Hike the historic Inca Trail in only six hours
Important info: For the 1 Day Inca Trail, you need to understand that you are doing the same trail as the 2 Day Inca Trail. The only difference is if booking the 1-day version, you tour Machu Picchu that same day and return to Cusco that night.
If booking the 2-day hike, you do the Machu Picchu tour and return train journey on the second day.
Trekkers need to be in moderate to excellent physical condition to do this trek and arrive at Machu Picchu in time. If you think the hike may be too strenuous, you may book the 2 day Inca Trail that arrives at Machu Picchu in one day but at a slower pace later.
Trek Ancient Trails and Go Back in Time at Historical Sites
Cusco Km 104 Chachabamba Inti Punku Machu Picchu
Pick up from hotel, train to KM104- the start of the 1 Day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.
We will start the trip by picking you up from your hotel very early (4 am) and takes you to the Ollantaytambo Train Station. We take the train for about 1 hour 45 minutes to the beginning of this Inca Trail Trek, at Km 104 of Chachabamba.
Passing through the Inca Trail checkpoint, we immediately see our first archaeological center, the magnificent ruins at Chachabamba. These ruins were one of the last shelters used by the Inca pilgrims before they reached Machu Picchu. The site features several fascinating buildings, and our expert guide will be delighted to share the history with you.
Our trek begins with a steady ascent for around 3 hours, climbing the original Inca stone steps. The ecosystems in this area are unique, and your guide will help you identify the different types of flora and fauna along the trail. After passing the most spectacular waterfall, we arrive at the ruins of Wiñay Wayna.
Most hikers don't stop here to be amazed by its exquisite architecture. You'll discover a ritual water source, temples dedicated to nature's forces, and beautiful agricultural platforms. Wiñay Wayna is the perfect place to learn a little more about the impressive history of the Incas.
Again, take time to relax, be silent, and connect with Mother Earth through birdsong or the wind's refreshing touches. A little further, you'll see the camps where the people who do the classic Inca Trail spend the night. We will have time to eat our delicious box lunch provided for our company, fill your stomach, and recharge your energies.
Hike from Wiñay Wayna to Machu Picchu
We'll continue our tour and walk to Inti Punku, better known as the Sun Gate. From where you will see, for the first time, the impressive architecture of Machu Picchu.
Intipunku provides our first views of the magnificent Machu Picchu. It is difficult to put into words the impact of seeing this ancient, sacred, and world-famous site for the first time. After taking some time to enjoy the views and take those all-important photos, we make a final short walk down to Machu Picchu. Here we will have a 1-hour guided tour through this incredible ancient city and visit temples, terraces, palaces, priest’s houses, the sundial, the industrial sector, and the farming fields. After taking some time to enjoy the views and take those all-important photos, we make a final short walk down to the main entrance to Machu Picchu from where we take the bus down to Aguas Calientes to catch the train at 6:10 pm hrs. (subject to availability) to Ollantaytambo. A private bus will pick you up and drop you off at your hotel in Cusco.
- Meals: Box Lunch / Early Dinner
- Highest Elevation: 2720 m / 8920 ft
- Walking Distance: 8 miles
- Difficulty: Moderate
The Ministry of Culture of Peru is the entity in charge of regulating the use of the Inca Trail and issuing entry permits. To access the Inca Trail it’s essential that you have a permit from the Ministry of Culture that matches the information in your passport exactly: name, passport number, nationality, and age. Only officially licensed tourism agencies can secure these permits, which are not transferable under any circumstances. If you want to change the date of your excursion you have to make sure that there are spaces available on the new date and buy a new permit. They are rules of the Government of Peru that we all must follow. If there are no permits available for the date you want, there are other incredible options to walk to Machu Picchu. We’ll be happy to find the perfect excursion for you.
What Is Included?
High Quality Service & Safety
You will meet your guide and group in our office for an orientation before your trek. At this time, we will provide you with the duffle bags which will be carried by our porters. The meeting will be at 6:00 PM the evening before the trip begins.
All our guides are graduates of the professional career of Tourism of the National University San Antonio Abad of Cusco. Also, they speak English. As good cusqueños, they feel a great commitment to transmit the knowledge they have inherited from their grandparents. They are very friendly and professional. They’ll make sure you are safe and happy.
All Salkantay Trekking guides have received specialized training in first aid. We hold mandatory training sessions with our guides every February. Your guide will always carry a first aid kit to face basic emergency situations (altitude sickness, traveller’s diarrhoea, cuts, scrapes, etc.) as well as oxygen. If necessary, we’ll evacuate you from the path as quickly as possible and ensure that you arrive at a clinic for treatment.
Customer Service 24/7
We have telephone service available 24 hours/day for ease of communication and preparation with the agency leading up to your trek.
1 Box Lunch, 1 Dinner
Snacks on the first day:
Local fruits, biscuits, chocolate, caramels, etc.
One cloth snack bag per person
To avoid the usage of plastic bags that contaminate our environment, we will give you a cloth bag for your snacks.
You will be picked up from your hotel in the morning and will travel by private transportation to KM 104, the starting point of the trek.
Private transport from Ollantaytambo train station to your hotel in Cusco
From Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo.
From Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes.
Permits & Entrance Tickets
Permits for Inca Trail
As soon as we receive your complete information and the deposit that secures your reservation, we’ll buy all the necessary permits (subject to availability). These permits are issued for a specific date and will be in your name. They cannot be changed under any circumstances. Change of passport number is only allowed for renewal reasons. In that case you must bring both your old and new passport.
Entrance ticket to Machu Picchu Archeological Site.
What Is Not Included?
Tips for our staff
Tips are usual on any excursion to Machu Picchu. Although we pay good salaries to our entire team, something extra is always welcome, especially considering the hard work they do.
Additional costs or delays out of control of the management
Landscape, bad weather condition, itinerary modification due to a safety concern, illness, change of government policy, political instability/strike, etc.
We want to make your trip to Peru as memorable and as easy as possible. In this section, you will find speedy answers to all those questions you had about trekking Salkantay in one place. Please read the following information carefully – it will help you with any questions about our services.
Has another question that we haven’t answered here? Drop us a line, and we will get back to you asap!
Briefing or informative meeting
All information meetings are held in your hotel at 6:00 p.m., one night before the tour begins. If you cannot attend, you must coordinate another time at the Salkantay Trekking offices. These meetings last approximately 30 to 45 minutes and there you will be given a small duffel bag, in which you’ll put all the belongings you intend to bring on the trek that won’t be in your day pack.
Payment of Trek Balance (in Cusco)
The trek has to be paid for in full by at least 7.30 pm two days before departure. For example, if your tour departs on a Wednesday, then you must come to our office before 7.30 pm on Monday.
It would be much appreciated if you pay the trek balance in cash US dollars or local currency. You can withdraw some money from several ATMs along Avenida Sol (either in US dollars or local Peruvian Soles). You can pay by credit card or PAYPAL online, but you will have to pay an 8% service charge, charged by VISA and PAYPAL. We do not accept bank checks or payment of the balance by traveler’s checks.
Storing your luggage at our Office.
Of course! During the travel, your main luggage can be stored at our office(you can organize briefing day or by email) or at your hotel, both free of charge.
Any equipment that you are not going to need on the trek can be stored safely in your hotel. Nearly every hotel will provide this service. Don’t leave items of value with your bags, put them in the hotel safe and obtain an itemized receipt (In the unlikely case of theft many insurance companies require that you have a copy of the receipt itemizing all the items). Best put items such as credit cards inside a sealed, signed envelope for extra peace of mind.
Salkantay Trekking can pick you up from your hotel, as long as it’s in the Historic Center of Cusco. The pickup time will be coordinated with your guide in the briefing. The pickup time may vary between 30 and 45 minutes due to traffic. Cusco is a very old city, therefore, it has many narrow cobbled streets. Some hotels and Airbnbs may be located on streets without access to cars or on long, steep slopes, making it difficult to transport luggage. We strongly recommend that you book accommodation with good access.
Return to Cusco:
Returning from Machu Picchu requires quite a bit of logistics, but don't worry. Everything is included in your tour!
- In Machu Picchu you’ll board a bus that will take you for 25 minutes to the small city of Aguas Calientes. The buses are boarded according to your arrival.
- In Aguas Calientes you’ll board a train to Ollantaytambo or Cusco. Your guide will give you the train tickets where the boarding time will be shown. Make sure you’re on the platform 30 minutes early. The train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo takes 2 hours.
- Once you arrive at the station, our representative, identified with the Salkantay Trekking clothing, will be waiting to transfer you to Plaza San Francisco, in Cusco. The trip from Ollantaytambo to Plaza San Francisco takes 2 hours.
- In San Francisco, depending on your hotel's location, we will take you to a smaller car from our company (Hyundai H1) to transfer you faster to your hotel in Cusco.
Group tours are made up of different types of people. Physical conditions and ages can vary. By agreeing to be part of a group tour, you also accept that some people may be faster or slower than you. Therefore, each person can go at their own pace on the route. It may be the case that a group wishes to modify the tour; however, it will be the guide who decides, after consulting with all the participants, if said modifications can be made.
Strikes and demonstrations:
Strikes and demonstrations are usually frequent in Peru and this may interrupt some of our tours. Roads can be blocked and train tracks can be taken over. However, we will try to keep your excursion as planned, even if it means leaving the night before the scheduled date. Under these circumstances, tours may also be cancelled. In case of changes or cancellations, all situations will be coordinated with you by our operations department. Your safety is our highest priority and our decisions will be made to protect it.
You’re responsible for your objects during the tour. Please pay attention to where you leave your things and remember to take everything once you leave our trucks, tents, or restaurants.
The Inca Trail can leave any day of the week, from March through January. We do not run this trek in February because rainy season & maintenance.
2020 Land Cost
- This small-group journey is guaranteed to operate with just two guests.
Online Payment Inca Trail Challenge 1 Day
Private Tour - 2020 Land Cost
Private tours are available and priced by party size.
- 2 Trekkers: US$1250 per person
- 3 Trekkers: US$1100 per person
- 4 Trekkers: US$950 per person
- 5 Trekkers: US$800 per person
- 6 Trekkers: US$650 per person
- 7 Trekkers: US$500 per person
- 8 or more Trekkers: $350 per person
If you would like to customize this itinerary and create a Tailor Made Journey just for you and your companions, click here to inquire, or speak to your travel professional.
Extensions & Offers
There are several extensions you can include to your Adventure:
- Rainbow Mountain: $100 $80
- Sacred Valley: $100 $80
- City Tour: $20
Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information
$25 off person
Student discounts apply to anyone who has a valid UNIVERSITY STUDENT CARD at the time of the trek or who is 17-years-old or younger. For those using an university student card to receive the discount, we need to see a copy of the card at booking. For those booking children 17-years-old or younger, we need a copy of their passport at booking time. Please send all to email@example.com.
Thank you for your interest in having an adventure travel experience in Peru curated by Salkantay Trekking. Please take a moment to complete our short form, so one our friendly Adventure Consultants could provide you all the information for your trip of a lifetime in Peru.