Are you planning your vacation to Machu Picchu, and don´t know whether to choose the 2-Day Inca Trail or 4 days? You are trying to decide between taking the 2 days or 4 days Inca Trail and why is different.
The Inca Trail is a walking adventure that has as destination the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu. There are two routes: Classic Inca Trail of 4 days and the Inca Short Trail of 2 days. While the Classic is more popular and more promoted, the short route also offers an unforgettable experience with less effort.
Here we show you the differences between the Classic Inca Trail and the Inca Short Trail.
The Inca Trail Hike
The highlight of the Peru trip is the hike on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. Basically, it’s not forced to hike the Inca Trail, because there are a lot of alternative trails to Machu Picchu and tours by train or car. that it is the cheapest.
How would it feel to suddenly stand in front of the magical Inca city? Wake up early and Walk to the sun gate to see the sunrise. Those who fight hard to get to the magical Inca city are all happier to suddenly be standing in front of it. But until then it would be a long and rocky road.
Peru’s historic Inca Trail is one of the country’s most popular yet challenging hikes. Are you ready for the challenge? The starting point for all excursions to the Inca Trail and the Sacred Valley is Cusco. From there it goes to KM 82. It is worth spending 2-3 days in Cusco to acclimatize and explore the city’s rich history and Inca architecture. An experienced team of guides, cooks and porters ensures that you can fully concentrate on the path and the views that await you. The endpoint of the route is the famous Gate of the Sun, from where you can enjoy an absolutely breathtaking view of Machu Picchu.
Many are the routes that take you to Machu Picchu, but none is like the Inca Trail, the most famous pedestrian path in the Americas. After flying from the capital of Perú, Lima, you will arrive in Cusco to walk for four days along a path through forests and dense fog, millenary stone steps and discovering the ruins of ancient fortifications and Inca cities, and all the time enjoying majestic views.
Although indisputably a very fine hike, the Inca Trail Tours 2023 is just one of a multitude of paths across remote areas of the high Andes. What it does offer, though, and what makes it so popular, is a fabulous treasure at the end – Machu Picchu.
It is important to choose your season for hike the Inca Trail. Between March to January, on February is closed for the maintenance. If you travel in June, we recommend you to book the Inti Raymi 2023 Tour that takes place in June 24th, and also hike the Palcoyo Mountain Tour, which is an incredible Rainbow Mountain located in the Andes.
It is very important to book your short or long hike in advance, to secure your Machu Picchu Tickets Entrance.
What is the difference between the long with the short Inca Trail?
Inca Trail Hike
Duration: 4 Days/ 3 Nights
The 4 day Inca Trail involves stay in the campsite (3 nights), you will hike 4 day with the professional guide, cook and porters. The cook will prepare the food during the hike and the porters will carry your camping equipment, dining tent, toilet tent, sleeping bag, etc. During the hike, you will walk between 7 to 8 hrs every day and you will view beautiful mountains, lush cloud-forest, subtropical jungle and, of course, a stunning mix of Inca paving stones, ruins and tunnels. On the second day you walk up the high pass, the name is Warmiwañusca ( Dead Woman´s Pass)), the altitude is 4215m / 13,828 ft..
The Inca Trail hike is Difficult
Climb from 2300 m/17545 ft to 4215m/13828ft to the second highest point on the trail and then a steep descent to the archaeological site of Sayacmarca and then a further ascent to 3680m/12073ft.
How long is the 4 day inca trail?
The distance of the Inca Trail is 26 miles / 42 km.
- As far as preprations go, the most important thing is to acclimatise, preferably allowing at least two days in Cusco.
Is 4 day Inca Trail worth it?
Yes, the Classic Inca Trail is the most popular hike in Peru and in the world and this Inca Path is considered the most beautiful trail in Peru, It is part of the Qhapaq Ñam Inca route. After flying from the capital of Perú, Lima, you will arrive in Cusco, where this route starts. These are conecting with several other trail networks of lesser hierarchy, integrating towns, villages and rural areas into a single grid.
The Classic Inca Trail route includes the following attractions:
- Miskay camp
- Archaeological Group of Patabamba
- Ruins of Wayllabamba
- Warmihuañusca Mountain, the highest point of the route.
- Pacamayo, place of rest.
- Archaeological Site of Runncurakay
- Ruins of Sayaqmarca
- Phuyupatamarca Archaeological
- Camp and Archaeological Site of Wiñay Huayna
- Inti Punku or Sun Gate
Inca Trail route
Is it possible to hike the 4-day Inca Trail in less time? Yes, it is possible to hike in less time, the 3-day inca trail was created for the intrepid traveler, and this trail is starting from km82 and on the third day, you will arrive at Machu Picchu. The difference is the second day, you will walk for more than 10 hours, from Ayapata campsite to Phuyupatamarca campsite. See the map image above.
More information: 3 Day Inca Trail Intrepid
Is it possible to hike in 5 days the Inca Trail? No, it is not possible, all tour operator offers the 5-day Inca Trail with an extra night in Aguas Calientes village. you will walk for 4 days on the inca trail to machu picchu, once you arrived and visit machu picchu, you will take the bus down to the town and spend a night. the next day, you will visit again the machu Picchu and you can add Huayna picchu mountain or an alternative mountain.
More information: 5 Day Inca Trail
There are an Inca Trail 7 days: is it the same trail as the 4-day inca trail? Yes, it is the same trail, the difference is the point start. This trail starts from Soraypampa (Salkantay trek route), and from there, you will walk for 3 days to Huayllabamba, which is the Inca trail route. Your porters will enter from km 82 and they will walk to the meeting point. Once you meet with the staff, you will walk to Ayapata campsite (a 1-day walk). then you will walk for 3 days more to complete the to visit Machu Picchu.
More information: 7 Day Inca Trail
Inca Trail Machu Picchu
Duration: 2 Days/ 1 Night
The 2 day Inca Trail Tour involves stay in the camping (Puente Ruinas) or hotel (Aguas Calientes) one night. The 2 day Inca Trail hike is moderate. A gentle ascent to Inti Punku and then a descent down to Machu Picchu 2400m/7873ft , then Aguas Calientes town 2300 m /7545 ft. During the hike, you will need to carry your equipment, it is very important to take only the necessary for your hike. On the first day you will walk 8 hrs and the second day you will walk up 1 hr 30 min. You will hike through lush vegetation of a cloud forest while greeted by local exotic birds such as Andean guan, grey-breasted mountain tucan, etc. and Since you can see various wild orchids and bromelias along the path too. you will visit the Wiñaywayna (Forever Young) and Chachabamba ruins.
How long is the 2 day Inca Trail?
The distance of the 2 day Inca Trail is 7 miles / 12 km.
- You don’t need to acclimatize for this short hike, it is low altitude!
Is 2 day Inca Trail worth it?
Yes, its part of the classic trail and you will visit three Inca archeological sites and the last day, you will arrive to Machu Picchu. Its most beautiful landscapes, flora and fauna
The route of the Inca Short Trail includes the following attractions:
- Chachabamba Inka site
- Camp and Archaeological Site of Wiñay Huayna
- Inti Punku or Sun Gate
Inca Trail Alternative Routes
- Salkantay Trek
- Lares Trek to Machu Picchu 4 Days
- Choquequirao Trek 4 Days
- Inca Quarry Trail