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Rainbow Mountain to Short Inca Trail

Rainbow Mountain to Short Inca Trail

The best combo tour to Cusco is the Rainbow Mountain to Short Inca Trail. This is a three-day trip, the first is the Rainbow Mountain hike (Vinicunca), and finally hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.

The adventure trip continues towards Rainbow Mountain to enjoy the magnificent work of nature to color the mountains with different minerals existing in the area and also the highest snow-topped Mountain in Cusco named Ausangate (6,370mt, 20,898ft). The next day, you will start the short Inca Trail. Transfer to the train station and catch the train to the head trail. This hike starts out from the Inca site of Chachabamba located on the left shore of the Urubamba river and slopes up to the Inca site of Wiñaywayna overlooking the Urubamba valley. The trail continues zig-zagging the mountainside to the sun gate which overlooks Machu Picchu. The following day guided tour to the enigmatic Inca citadel was declared a Peruvian History Sanctuary and Unesco world heritage. The enigmatic facts and little proven evidence make this site a must to visit and explore as you picture the site back in the 15th century. Reaching the site by foot following the Inca Trail adds a special perspective to this mystical experience. This program was designed for people with limited time but enjoy as much the natural land spaces Inca culture and visiting the Inca sites, and hiking an original Inca Trail. After reaching Machu Picchu through the Inca path.

Tour Overview

Sustainable Tourism: Inca Trail Machu is very keen and happy to promote and practice sustainable tourism by being eco-friendly and supporting local communities

Physical Activity: 3-Moderate to Difficult - Some points are high

Service Level: All Inclusive & Quality service

Age Requirement: 4+. Please note: All participants under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

Inca Trail OperatorInca Trail Machu since 2007

Permits: Included the Inca Trail permits, Machu Picchu, and Rainbow mountain tickets. If you want to climb Huayna Picchu, please request in advance (Not included).

Inca Trail Machu Staff: Professional tour guide during the hike, and an Inca Trail Machu representative who visits you at your hotel to brief you about the trail.

Accommodation: Hotel in Machu Picchu (1 night).

Meals: 2x Breakfast, 1x Lunch, 1x box lunch, and snack bag in the Inca Trail.

Transportation: Transportation by private vehicle, 1x train and 1x tourist transportation for Rainbow Mountain.


Rainbow Mountain to Inca Trail Itinerary


Day 01: Rainbow Mountain Tour

4:30 Pick up from your hotel and start the drive to Quesiuno town
07:00 Breakfast, after, driving to the headrail. Once arrived, you will start out the hike to the mountain
10:00 Enjoy the Rainbow Mountain
11:00 Return to Quesiuno town
12:00 Lunch
13:00 Return to Cusco
14:30 Arrival in Cusco


Day 02: Short Inca Trail

04:30 Transfer from the hotel to Ollantaytambo train station

07:20 Train to the head trail of the Inca Trail - Km 104

08:20 Hiking to Wiñayhuayna

13:00 Box Lunch

14:00 Hiking from Wiñaywayna to Machu Picchu

16:00 Arrival to sungate and view of the Machu Picchu site

16:10 Walking down to Aguas Calientes town

19:00 Dinner and overnight in a Hotel


Day 03: Guided Tour of Machu Picchu

04:00 Wake up and climb to Machu Picchu.
06:00 Guided tour of Machu Picchu
09:00 Free time to explore Machu Picchu or climb up to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain (optional)
18:35 Return to Ollantaytambo by train
20:30 Arrival in Ollantaytambo and transfer by bus to Cusco
22:00 Dropped-off in your hotel


Highlights of the Short Inca Trail to Rainbow Mountain

  • 2 day Inca Trail (cloud forest towards the lost city of the Incas,
  • Enjoy the scenery besides flora and fauna on the trek
  • 2 days of conducted tour by a professional English speaking tour guide,
  • Visit the Wiñay Wayna Inca site,
  • Guided tour of Chachabamba Inca site
  • Walk towards Inti Punku (Sun Gate),
  • Exploring of the enigmatic site of Machu Picchu
  • Hiking the Rainbow Mountain and admiring the colored tops


Day 1: Rainbow Mountain Tour
Inca Trail Machu

You will be picked up in your hotel, and driven to Cusipata, located southeast of Cusco Peru. After breakfast, you will rejoin the bus journey to the headrail. You will start out the hike at the foot of snow-topped Mt Ausangate, the highest mountain in the Cusco region. As you gradually ascend, you will see two different breeds of south American camelids, Alpacas and Llamas roaming and grazing freely on the high plains and steep slopes. Upon arrival at the top of the Vinicunca rainbow mountain, you will rest as you admire the minerals’ colors on top of the mountains and the breathtaking view of the Ausangate snow-topped mountain and the faraway high mountains. Afterward, you will backtrack to the bus and drive back to Cusipata for lunch. On the way back to Cusco, you will see three bridges built at three different times, Inca, colonial, and republican. Finally, you will be back in Cusco late afternoon.

Day 02: Short Inca Trail Hike
Inca Trail Machu

You will be picked up at your hotel, and transferred to the train station. The train ride will take you through breathtaking ecosystems to Km104. From the head trail, you will head off to the Chachabamba Inca site, an Inca site located on the shores of the Urubamba river, believed to be one of the main entranceways to Machu Picchu. After exploring the site, the trail gradually rises to Wiñaywayna inca site (2,650mt - 8,690ft) offering great views of the Urubamba river and surrounding scenery. Upon arrival at the site, you will take the time to explore the most well-preserved inca site on the Inca Trail, and this is actually why its name means forever young. The site comprised three different areas, the Urban area, located in the lower part with more than 20 buildings, the religious area located in the uppermost part, and the lower and upper agricultural terraces. After touring the site, you will enjoy lunch, and continue to Inti Punku (sun gate) to enjoy the Machu Picchu site. Afterward, you will head down to Machu Picchu itself for around thirty minutes and take close-up photos of Machu Picchu Inca town. Finally, you will bus down to Machu Picchu town to have dinner and stay overnight in a hotel.

Day 03: Machu Picchu Tour
Inca Trail Machu

After a consistent breakfast, you will be picked up in your hotel and then walk up or bus up to Machu Picchu. Upon arrival at the entrance gate of Machu Picchu, you will queue up to enter the site by showing the entrance ticket and passport. Once inside, you will start exploring the religious Inca sanctuary of Machu Picchu conducted by your guide. After the guided tour, you will continue wandering about the site by yourself and finally take the bus down to Machu Picchu town to rest while sitting at lunch. In the afternoon you will return by train to Ollantaytambo. There transfer to Cusco.

What is included?
Inca Trail Machu

  • Pre trek briefing (Our guide will be visiting your hotel 2 or 1 day before the trek for your briefing),
  • Accommodation: Hotel in Machu Picchu (1 night),
  • Professional English-speaking tour guide
  • Inca Trail permits and Machu Picchu ticket,
  • Rainbow mountain ticket,
  • Meals: 2x breakfast, 1x Rainbow Mountain lunch and 1x box lunch, 1x dinner, and snack bag on the Inca Trail. Please advise on vegetarian or regular meal options
  • Train ticket round trip to the head trail of Inca Trail & Machu Picchu to Ollantaytambo
  • A shuttle bus between Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes on the second day
  • Tourist transport to Rainbow Mountain (round trip)
  • Private tourist transportation from Ollantaytambo to Cusco
  • First aid kit and oxygen bottle

Not Included:
Inca Trail Machu

  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary,
  • Accommodation in Cusco.
  • Emergency riding horse in the Rainbow Mountain (U$ 30),
  • Huayna Picchu mountain ticket (U$ 85),
  • Bus tickets down from Machu Picchu site to Aguas Calientes town on the first and second day (U$ 12, single ticket),
  • Tips (customary for the trekking staff),
  • Travel Insurance,

Solo Traveler: Please note that if you have booked the "Solo Traveler" option for this tour, you receive your own single room in Machu Picchu

Suggested Items
Inca Trail Machu


  • Passport Valid,
  • STUDENT CARD (if you booked as a student)
  • Immigration Card (given on the plane as you enter Peru)
  • Good daypack (the smaller, the better)
  • Water storage: Water reservoir like Camelbaks are encouraged - but enough for at least 2-3 liters.
  • Comfortable hiking boots (lightweight with good soles)


  • Good daypack (the smaller, the better)
  • Water storage: Water reservoir like Camelbaks are encouraged - but enough for at least 2-3 liters.
  • Comfortable hiking boots (lightweight with good soles)


Daypacks can be any size for hiking, but we always recommend the smaller, the better. Inside Machu Picchu, no bag larger than 25L will be allowed in. If larger, you will need to store outside citadel gates. 

  • 1 wicking t-shirt,
  • 1 shirt for Machu Picchu 
  • 1 hiking pant, 1 short or pants for Machu Picchu
  • 2 sets of undergarments.
  • Hiking socks, regular socks
  • Sandals 
  • 1 Warm, down jacket: gets very cold at night 1
  • Rain jacket
  • 1 sun hat
  • Camera


  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent – recommended minimum is 20% DEET
  • Handsanitizer
  • Toothbrush and paste
  • Toiletpaper
  • Personal medication
  • First aid kit: band aids, moleskin, etc.

Is important to list extra Money for Souvenirs, Drinks & Tips in your Inca Trail packing list.


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