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One day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

One day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Tourists from all over the world are attracted by the great adventure of the Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, adventurous travelers who come to explore the fantastic nature, the beauty of the landscape and the archaeological sites that surround the Inca Trail, known as the most famous trekking in South America. This one day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is ideal for those who come full of energy to take a hike to Machu Picchu.

For those who want to get to Machu Picchu on foot, avoiding crowds on trains and buses, this is the perfect choice. You will get off the train half an hour before arriving at Aguas Calientes (the station for Machu Picchu) and from here you will walk to the famous archaeological site. Most of the walk is up and with a good amount of precipices. On the way you will visit Wiñay Wayna, an exceptional Inca site which can only be reached on foot. Upon reaching Machu Picchu, you will explore the ruins and then you will be transferred to your hotel for the night. The total distance you will cover during your trek today is approximately 12 kilometers (7.5 miles), which is equivalent to approximately 5 hours of walking

Quick Itinerary: 

05:00 Cusco, driver to Ollantaytambo train station 

07:20 Train from Ollantaytambo to Km 104 (head trail) 

08:30 Starting the Inca Trail 

09:00 Chachabamba guide tour 

12:30 Wiñaywanyna guide tour 

13:00 Continue your hike to Machu Picchu 

15:00 Machu Picchu guide tour 

17:00 Bus down to Aguas Calientes 

17:40 Aguas Calientes 

18:30 Train return to Ollantaytambo 

20:00 Bus from Ollantaytambo to Cusco 

22:00 Cusco 


Highlights of the 1 day Inca Trail hike: 

  • Trekking the one day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu enjoying explanations of a professional Tour Guide, 
  • Guided tour of Chachabamba ruins 
  • Visit of Wiñay Wayna, 
  • Walk through the Sun Gate, 
  • Guided tour of Machu Picchu

Important Info about your trek:

Departure Point: Cusco - We pick you up from your hotel. 

Departure Time: 05:00 

Briefing Point: Our guide will visit your hotel 2 or 1 day before the trek 

Briefing Time: Between 17:00 - 18:00 

Return Point: Cusco - Our driver will drop-off in your hotel or Airbnb department

Service Level: Comfortable tourist-class, extra and private 

Transportation: Physical Rating: 3 - Demanding - Moderate 

Age requirement: 12+ / All travellers under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult. 

Tour Operator: Inca Trail Machu

Crew: A professional Tour Guide on the one day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.

Meals: 1x lunch, 1x dinner. 

Transportation: Transportation by private van, 2x train.

1 Day Inca Trail hike

We will pick you up from your hotel in Cusco to transfer you to the train station in Ollantaytambo for approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes, during the tour you will be able to observe the Sacred Valley of the Incas, farmland and majestic snowcapped mountains. We arrive to Ollantaymtambo at 6:10 AM to board the train that will take you to the km. 104, the trip is about 1 hour. Our one day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu starts at the Km 104 (2,200 m / 7,217 ft), we will pass by the bridge that is on the Urubamba or Willkamayuc River which translated from Quechua means Sacred River, which was very important for them. When you arrive at the control point you have to show the identification documents, either Passport and ISIC (International Student Card) if applicable. A 15 minute walk is the archeological center of Chachabamba and Choquesuysuy that are hidden in the semi-tropical forest, after your visit we will begin the walk through tiers upwards until we reach the next place on the way we will observe the Sacred Valley, waterfalls and different types of orchids of the semi-tropical forest, after 3 hours of walking we will arrive at Wiñaywayna (2,650 m / 8,694 ft) it shows a perfect example of what agriculture was in the time of the Incas, since along its skirts lie a large number of circular terraces, where the Incas cultivated different agricultural products. The name Wiñaywayna comes from a beautiful orchid that abounds in the area and that has as meaning in Spanish "Eternally young" and has more than 20 buildings, one of them the Temple of the Rainbow also called Temple of Fertility, the visit will be 1 hour on average, then you will enjoy the box lunch to replenish energy and continue until you reach the Wiñaywayna control.  

In this second part of the 1 day Inca Trail hike, we will walk for 2 hours through an Andean plan, stone stairs and tambos ("resting places") until we reach the Inti Punku - Sun Gate (2,720 m / 8,923 ft) that during the Incas functioned as control of entry to the Citadel of Machu Picchu. From here you have an impressive panoramic view of Machu Picchu and the entire surrounding valley, then descend for approximately 30 minutes to reach the wonder of Machu Picchu world (2,490 m / 8,169 ft).  

Once here we will have a guided tour of 2 hours and 30 minutes to know the most important places of Machu Picchu, you can visit the most impressive places like the Royal Mausoleum, the temple of the 3 windows, the main temple, the famous Intihuatana where the wise Incas tied to the sun in the winter solstice in June, stairways, squares, fountains, etc. After the guided tour we will take the bus from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes town, we will make a trip of approximately 25 minutes, once we arrive to the town we will have time to have dinner or to make a small walk around this town and to visit its artisan market. 

At night 6:30 PM we will board the return train to Ollantaytambo, a journey of 1 hour and 45 minutes, from here we will take the car back to Cusco, the hour of arrival time in Cusco will be 10:00 PM, then leave them in their respective hotels.



    • Pre-trek briefing with your tour Guide
    • Private transportion from Cusco to the railway station at Ollantaytambo
    • One day Inca Trail Permit and entrance fee to Machu Picchu; 
    • Meals: 1x Boxlunch (please advice us in advance if you are a vegetarian; this option is for NO extra additional cost) 
    • Experienced bilingual Tour Guide 
    • A shuttle bus between Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes
    • A train round trip (Expedition Service) between Ollantaytambo and Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu) 
    • Tourist bus from Ollantaytambo to Cusco.


Not Included

  • Breakfast on the first day and Dinner in Aguas Calientes Town 
  • Travel insurance 
  • Tips to local staff (please note: it is a custom to give tips in Peru, however, it is not obligatory) 

Meal budget: Please allow USD 10-15 for meals not included.

One day Inca Trail permit

The Inca Trail is closed in February; during this month the rains are stronger and can make it very difficult to walk the trails of the Inca Trail. As the Inca Trail is empty all February, the guards take advantage of the maintenance of the road and the Inca structures, to make it ready for March. So remember the one day Inca Trail permit are available for any time of the year, except February.

Best time for one day Inca Trail hike

The entire southern region of Peru is marked by two different climatic seasons. The rainy season runs from November to March and the dry season occurs between the months of April and October. Most people who travel the Inca Trail tend to choose the dry season to travel the 1 day Inca Trail hike, however coming to Machu Picchu in the rainy season also has its own. In addition, as we already told you, the only month in which you can not travel the Inca Trail is in February; so if you travel  in rainy weather, you will have to come prepared.

Packing List

  • Original passport 
  • Student card if applicable. 
  • Mountain boots and sandals (very important). 
  • Trekking poles (can be rented at the agency). 
  • Camera and spare batteries. 
  • Sunscreen / hat and sunglasses. 
  • Personal medical kit.
  • Insect repellent. 
  • Rain clothes: a good raincoat and rain pants and a plastic rain poncho. 
  • Toilet paper. 
  • Extra money for drinks and tips, souvenirs, etc (soles or dollars). 
  • Water Bottle (1 liter recommended).
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responsible people foundationThe Responsible People Foundation is registered under Peru not-for- Profit Organization Act. With an annual contribution from Inca Trail Machu to support our operating costs as well as a significant portion of project development costs. If you would like to help us. You can bring clothes for the cold or school supplies and you can win a Rainbow Mountain free or other tour in Cusco. Do not worry if your gift is not new. Only help us to help the children and families.

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