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Short Inca Trail Lodge-based


  • A portion of the famous Inca Trail
  • Hike to Machu Picchu through Sungate
  • Other amazing Inca ruins
  • Breathtaking mountain views
  • Cozy, comfortable lodges
  • Wonderful Peruvian cuisine


Join us for a lodge-based tour of Cusco, a section of the Inca Trail, other amazing hikes and historic sites, and Machu Picchu! With stunning Andean scenery, an amazing diversity of flora and fauna, the comfort of mountain lodges, several days of hiking and exploring the ancient Inca Empire, an opportunity to visit the Inca Trail's most breathtaking site (Wiñaywayna), and a full day to explore Machu Picchu, this action-packed tour offers a tremendous amount of experience in just 6 days and 5 nights.

We start our lodge-based trip with tours of the historic, Andean town of Cusco and surrounding historic sites. Then, on Day 3, we embark on a spectacular, off-the-beaten-path trek to a high mountain quarry used by the Inca. On Day 4 we tackle the "Short Inca Trail," a journey that takes us past stunning hillside ruins and amazing views to the spectacular Sun Gate, which protects and overlooks Machu Picchu. On Day 5 we enjoy a full tour of Machu Picchu by our local, expert guide.
Join us for the adventure of a lifetime - give us a call at 1-888-966-TREK (8735) to learn more or book your spot today!
Click here to have a detailed PDF information packet emailed to you, or request a reservation today. You can also call us at 888-966-TREK.


Photos of this Trip

Trip Itinerary

Day 1

On this hiking tour to Machu Picchu, a Wildland representative will pick you up from the International airport in Cusco, Peru. We will drive to our hotel for the night (http://tierravivahoteles.com) have showers and then meet for an orientation meeting to get acquainted with our itinerary. After our meeting we will go to our favorite local Peruvian restaurant for dinner in Cusco, the historic capital of the Inca Empire. Be sure to drink copious amounts of water en route today, as flying and traveling will certainly dehydrate you.

Day 2

Today is an acclimatization day and opportunity to explore the amazing history of Cusco. We start the day with our first Peruvian breakfast in Cusco. After breakfast, we will meet for a tour of the ancient ruin of Saksaywaman, the historic citadel of Cusco on the northern edge the city. Parts of Saksaywaman were first constructed around 1100 AD but were occupied since 900. The complex was expanded around 1200, when the Inca built dry rock walls constructed of massive stones. The builders painstakingly cut the boulders to piece them together without the use of mortar, and the ruins miraculously still stand to this day.

After Saksaywaman, we will have lunch before visiting an amazing, ancient cathedral in Cusco and the Qoricancha (Sun Temple). After these tours, we have some free time to relax before dinner. At dinner your guides will provide the plan for the following day and answer any last minute questions.

Day 3

Hiking Mileage: 9.9 miles
Lowest Elevation: 9,160 feet
Highest Elevation: 10,440 feet
Trekking Duration: 5-6 hours

This morning after breakfast, we depart for the main city in the Sacred Valley, Ollantaytambo. Today’s hike is to an ancient Inca rock quarry and is absolutely amazing (this quarry is somewhat of a secret from the main tourist trail in the Sacred Valley). Many of our groups see few to no other tourists on this hike. The hike takes approximately 3 hours up to the ruin and then roughly 2 hours down. Our hike features amazing views of Ollantaytambo and the surrounding valleys, as well as the incredible history of the ruins and quarries. During the hike, we have lunch and learn about the history and significance of the ancient town of Ollaytaytambo. After the hike, we will head to our hotel for the night, have showers and go out for another fantastic Peruvian dinner.

Day 4

Hiking Mileage: 6 miles
Lowest Elevation: 7,259 feet
Highest Elevation: 9,050 feet
Trekking Duration: 6-7 hours

This morning after breakfast, we drive from the hotel to Ollaytaytambo and take a train to the ‘short’ Inca Trail trailhead. The train journey takes us by views of snowcapped mountains, through cloud forests and by authentic Quechua villages. The train takes about 1.5 hours to reach Chachabamba, the beginning of our hike. From Chachabamba, we begin following the original path of the Incas, a beautiful hike with amazing views, wonderful flora and fauna, and of course tremendous history. One of the many highlights will be reaching the Wiñaywayna Incan ruins (8,692 ft), a collection of stone houses built into a steep hillside with agricultural terraces above and below the houses. At the ruins we will have lunch and your guides will provide a tour of this fascinating, ancient Inca settlement.

After lunch and a short rest, we will continue trekking for roughly 1.5 hours until we reach the Inti Punku or Sun Gate of Machu Picchu, which is also our high point at 9,050 feet in elevation. The Sun Gate is a stone structure that served as the southern security checkpoint for the Incas coming from Cusco, and it is the first point where we can see all of Machu Picchu. From the Sun Gate, we will rest and take in the amazing views of Machu Picchu before hiking down for roughly 1 hour to the bus station. We then take the bus to Aguas Calientes where we will check into our hotel. Tonight over a wonderful Peruvian dinner we will eagerly discuss the day's amazing experiences and the anticipation we all feel for exploring Machu Picchu in the morning.

Day 5

Hiking Mileage: varies
Lowest Elevation: 6,726 feet
Highest Elevation: 7,874 feet
Trekking Duration: 3-4 hours

This morning we have options: We can either take the bus to Machu Picchu for our tour at sunrise or we can sleep in a bit and go around 8 or 9 in the morning. Either way, upon arrival at the ancient ruin, we will enjoy a 3-4 hour tour conducted by one of our local, expert guides. Everything at Machu Picchu was created with intention and there is a lot to see and learn about. After the tour, we head back down to Aguas Calientes and have lunch before taking the train back to Ollantaytambo. Upon arrival in Ollantaytambo, we will board our bus to the town of Urubamba, where we will have dinner. After dinner we will drive back to Cusco and check into our hotels for the last night in Cusco.

Day 6

This morning we will have our last Peruvian breakfast in Cusco and say our good-byes before heading to the airport. From here it's of course your option to continue exploring Peru on your own or have a flight booked to return home. For our Machu Picchu Treks you can depart Cusco any time on this final day. Service ends after transportation to the airport.

Add-on Rooms: If you'd like to extend your stay, we are happy to book extra room nights before and/or after your trip at our preferred hotel for an additional 30% service fee.

Please Note: We always do everything in our power to follow the set itinerary, however occasionally trips are subject to itinerary changes based on a variety of circumstances, including but not limited to: extreme weather, political or bureacratic obstacles, earthquakes, fires, flooding and more.

Trip Details

What's Included

  • A detailed trip packet that takes the guesswork out of your travel, training, packing, and preparing for the trip
  • Access to our Adventure Consultant team 7 days a week
  • A professional Wildland guide, trained in 1st Aid, risk management and assessment and responsibility to provide overall standard of excellence in service quality.
  • Local Peruvian guide(s), expert in cultural and natural history, the local area, fauna and flora, etc.
  • Transportation for the duration of the tour starting on Day 1 and ending on the day you depart
  • Luxury Vistadome train tickets from Aguas Calientes to Cusco
  • Lodging for the duration of the tour
  • Meals for the duration of the tour
  • Use of a day pack and trekking poles
  • Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and satellite phone
  • You will receive a Lifetime Hiking Membership entitling you, your spouse and kids to a lifetime discount of 10% off any Wildland Trekking hiking trip after your first one!

What's Not Included

  • Transportation to Cusco, Peru
  • Trip insurance that includes medical coverage and at least $200,000 in evacuation and repatriation coverage (strongly encouraged)
  • Bar bills, drink bills, extra snacks, telephone bills , wifi bills and other personal expenses (shopping/ laundry)
  • All expenses due to unavoidable events e.g. flight cancellation, personal illness, strikes, etc. (we recommend trip insurance coverage for these variables)
  • Clothes, raingear, and footwear
  • Sunscreen, toiletries and personal items
  • Water bottles and a headlamp or flashlight
  • Gratuity for guide(s) and crew (industry recommendation is 10-15% of trip cost; please tip your lead guide and they will distribute responsibly to the crew. USD is recommended.)
See the Packing Lists page for more information.

Meals: What To Expect

This Peru hiking tour features a combination of in-town meals and meals prepared by your guide. We'll have dinners at carefully selected, wonderful restaurants. Guides will prepare picnic lunches on the trail.

We can often accommodate vegan, vegetarian, kosher and non-gluten diets and make adjustments for food allergies. These and other special dietary requests may require an additional fee, and in some countries may be more difficult to accommodate than others. Please inquire with us for more information about the specific trip you're interested in.

Gear We Provide

We provide all group gear which includes the following:
  • Backpacks
  • Trekking poles
  • Company-issued first-aid kit
  • Satellite phone

What Gear To Bring

We ask that you supply a couple of gear items on your hiking tour. These items are two 1-liter water bottles per person and basic items like sunscreen, bug repellent (where and when applicable), lip balm, and toiletries are also important. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.

What Clothes to Bring

Please refer to the trip packet for a recommended clothing list (we email you a detailed trip packet when you inquire and when you register). All trips require a sturdy pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots (reliable brands include Montrail, Lowa, Merrell, Vasque, and Salomon), rain gear, and non-cotton and cotton clothing layers. A minimum of three pairs of wool or synthetic hiking socks are also required. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.

Trip Logistics

How do I Register?

Ready to hike? Simply click here and complete the form to get the ball rolling. Our adventure consultants will confirm availability, and if you're ready to register we'll email you a link to a registration profile. You'll have 72 hours to complete your profile (and that of any dependents) and pay the deposit ($500).

Feel free to call us for more info - we're here 7 days a week!

Where Do We Meet?

We will meet you at the airport on Day 1 and transport you to the first night's hotel (included), where we'll conduct an orientation meeting at 5:00 PM the first evening (your flight should arrive before 3PM). Your guide will be in contact approximately 4 weeks before your trip to coordinate your rendezvous and answer any last-minute questions you have.

All international trips officially begin with either pick-up at the airport or with rendezvous at the first night's hotel. They end on the final day after breakfast with either drop-off at the airport or with guest departure from the guide(s) and the rest of the group.

Safety Considerations

Your safety is our top priority. Our Global Destination trips are led by professional hiking guides along with additional support staff. All of our guides are wilderness-certified first responders or EMT's, each with years of guiding and wilderness experience. Finally, we've developed comprehensive risk management protocols that our guides adhere to in case of an emergency, and all tours carry a satellite phone. If you have any further questions about safety, please contact us at 1-888-966-TREK (8735) for more information.

In the interest of your safety, it's important to refer to the Center for Disease Control website for up-to-date recommendations on immunizations before your trip.


Your tour will be led by trained, experienced professionals (click here to learn more) with solid guiding backgrounds, years of personal wilderness and hiking experience, medical certifications, and a passion for leading people into breathtaking landscapes. Check out our Meet Our Team page for staff bios.

Guide Working Parameters

Guides are required to take 8 hours off each 24-hour period to sleep, recuperate, take personal/down time...etc. In addition, as part of the 8 hours off they must sleep/rest or be in their tents/rooms uninterrupted for a minimum of 5 hours each night. We ask guests to respect these requirements and to not interrupt guides' off time and sleep time unless there is a true emergency.

Group Size and Age Restrictions

The standard group size on this hiking tour is 12 guests and 2 guides, with a minimum of 2 guests and 1 guide. If you have more questions about group size, please give us a call at 1-888-966-TREK (8735) and we'll answer all your questions.

Age restrictions are as follows:
  • 12 and older to join scheduled tours (mixed groups)
  • 5 and older to join private tours, with final approval and specific logistical requirements (such as porter or stock assist) determined on a case by case basis

Weather in Peru

Peru is home to part of the Amazon Rainforest as well as the towering Andes Mountains. Machu Picchu is at an elevation of 7,710 feet (2,350 meters), but most of our treks in the region reach elevations well above 10,000 feet, some reaching nearly 17,000 feet. Because of the wild elevation changes and alpine hiking, the temperatures and weather can also vary wildly. At elevations above 10,000 feet you can expect cold temperatures.

The average temperatures and precipitation in the Machu Picchu region are:

Month Hi Low Precip
March 70° F 45° F 11 days
April 72° F 40° F 8 days
May 70° F 36° F 3 days
June 70° F 34° F 2 days
July 70° F 30° F 2 days
August 70° F 34° F 2 days
September 72° F 40° F 7 days
October 72° F 43° F 8 days