The Best 1-Day Inca Trail Hike to Machu Picchu.

With the 1 Day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu you hike the Short Inca Trail and visit Machu Picchu Citadel all in one day. The Inca Trail is an exceptional deep dive into ancient Peruvian culture. With Inca ruins, beautiful mountains and extraordinaty flora and fauna to be found on every corner, you’ll be enthralled by each step on your way to Machu Picchu.


***It is very important for potential trekkers of the 1 Day Inca Trail to understand that you are doing the same trail as the 2 Day Inca Trail, just faster. Trekkers need to be in moderate to excellent physical condition to be able to do this trek and arrive at Machu Picchu Citadel in time. If you think the trek may be too strenuous, you should book the 2 day Inca Trail. The two day trek arrives at Machu Picchu in one day at a slower pace, arriving later in the day and taking the tour on day 2.

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From $397.00 per person

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one day inca trail


Hike the 1 day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, Arriving Through the Sun Gate

  • Your guide will pick you up from your Cusco hotel at 4 am. Pickups from Ollantaytambo begin at 5:30 am.
  • Enjoy the drive through the Sacred Valley, and be sure to make the most of the views as they pass you by. We will arrive in Ollantaytambo at 5:30 am, ready for the 6:10 am train.
  • The train to Machu Picchu is one of the most beautiful and iconic train journeys on the globe, so make sure to make the most of the views during the hour long ride as they rush past your window.
  • We pull into the KM104 station at 7:20 am, and after crossing the Urubamba river, we’re ready to begin the trek to Machu Picchu.
  • The trek passes through several Inca Ruins on your way to Machu Picchu, including the famous Wiñay Wayna agricultural site.
  • You will arrive in Machu Picchu by 2 pm, when your tour of the Incan citadel begins (Circuit 3). Your guide will share all kinds of interesting facts about the history of the city.
  • Around 5 pm we will head down to the town of Aguas Calientes. Our train back to Ollantaytambo is at 6:20 pm.
  • On arrival to Ollantaytambo there will be a car waiting to take you back to your hotel in Cusco, arriving at around 10 pm.


It is not possible to climb Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain due to time restraints. 

It is possible to start the 1 day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in Ollantaytambo or Cusco.  

If you choose you can stay the night in Aguas Calientes and we will book your return train for the next day in the afternoon. (You will need to book your own hotel.) 


Day 1: Cusco – Ollantaytambo – Km104 – Wiñaywayna – Sun Gate – Machu Picchu – Aguas Calientes – Cusco

Our private van will pick you up from your hotel in Cusco at 4 am, making it to Ollantaytambo with plenty of time to spare for the 6:10 am train. (Pickups are also available from Ollantaytambo. Please let us know at the time of booking).

We will be on the train for an hour and ten minutes before arriving to the KM104 stop- the starting point of our trek. This is where we will find the first checkpoint and the official beginning of the trek. Take a moment here to repack your bags, reapply sunscreen and insect repellent, and adjust your hiking poles. Here we go!

The first ruins we pass are Chachabamba, just a few steps from the first checkpoint. Your guide will give you a quick explanation about what you are looking at before the real hiking begins.

Most of the morning is a relatively easy uphill climb with plenty of stops for pictures, water, snacks, whatever you need. After about three hours we will arrive to a waterfall. This waterfall signifies the end of the easy section. From here it’s a steep climb before arriving to Wiñay Wayna, the Incan Archeological site perched on the edge of a mountain.

There are spectacular views in almost every direction in Wiñay Wayna, so sit back and enjoy your guides explanation of this incredible place. We stop for lunch just outside the ruins where the weather is warm and humid. This is where the 2-day trail connects to the 4-day trail.

It’s one more hour of uphill from Wiñay Wayna to the Sungate, but it’s a beautiful route, with lots of incredible photo oportunities. Once you arrive to the Sun Gate, you will be blessed with your first glance at the reason for your trip: Machu Picchu. Grab as many photos as you can, and we begin the descent down to the citadel.

It’s another hour to Machu Picchu from the Sun Gate, but the hour is all downhill, so you will be using a different set of muscles. Once we arrive in Machu Picchu you can enjoy a two hour guided tour of the citadel on circuit 3 after arriving at the viewing platform next to the guards house.

At 5 pm we head back down to Aguas Calientes so you have enough time to grab a quick bite in the town before your 6:20 pm train back to Ollantaytambo. Upon your arrival to Ollantaytambo, there will be a train waiting to take you back to Cusco with an arrival time to your hotel of approx. 10:30 pm.

  • Meals Included: Box Lunch
  • Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult.

Check out our map:

Inca Trail 1 day



  • Transfer from the airport to your hotel.
  • Pick up at your hotel by your guide.
  • Private transport from your hotel to the train station.
  • Tourist bus ticket from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes.
  • English speaking trekking guide.
  • Expedition Tourist Train from Ollanataytambo to KM104 and from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo
  • Private van transfer to your hotel.
  • Admission Ticket to the Inca trail and Machu Picchu Archaeological site.
  • Private guided tour of Machu Picchu
  • 1 Box lunch
  • First-aid kit including emergency oxygen tank carried by guide.


  • It is not possible to do the Huaynapicchu or Machu Picchu Mountain climb due to time restraints.
  • Snacks are not included, however they are useful. Try to pack chocolate bars or dried fruits.
  • Dinner in Aguas Calientes.
  • Tips for the staff (Our staff receive a fair and decent payment immediately at the end their trip; tips are optional but greatly appreciated by them).
  • Upgrade to Vistadome Train – (If you wish to upgrade, it is US$67 per person from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo on the 6:20 PM train).


  • TRANSFER: from the airport to hotel included (Airport to Hotel in Cusco only).

Price & Availability


The 1 day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is available on any date that suits you as long as there are permits available.  We require a minimum of 2 people to confirm the trek.  


  • US$407 per person – 2 to 3 persons
  • US$397 per person – 4 or more persons


  • US$457 per person – 2 to 3 persons
  • US$437 per person – 4 or more persons

We require a minimum of 2 hikers to confirm. This does NOT apply to the Private Service!

PRIVATE PRICE 1 person only:

  • US$547 per person – 1 persons only private trek


  • 18 to 25 years old STUDENTS: US$30 Information required on student card: name of university, student name, photo of student, expiration date etc. A copy of the card at booking is required and government approval for discount is required.
  • Under 18 years old: US$30 Please send us a copy of your passport at the time of booking.
  • Under 11 years old: US$40  Please send us a copy of your passport at the time of booking.


  • Upgrade to Vistadome: $67 per person from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo at 6:20 PM.
  • Return Train Tickets for the next day on Expedition Train – (We can book your return train back to Ollantaytambo Train station for the next afternoon. Morning train tickets can be booked, however there is a added price increase for these tickets for the tickets and the van back to Cucsco from Ollantaytambo).

The Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is available year round except February. This trek arrives at Machu Picchu through the SUN GATE, just as the Incas did in times gone by. You will explore some amazing Inca ruins along the way.


Important Info


Please read the following information carefully; it will answer your questions about our services and the 1 day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu


You will be welcomed at Cusco airport and taken to your hotel. Please ensure that you inform us of your full flight details at least 14 days prior to your trek. Look out for our representative holding an orange board with either your name or your trip written on it at the arrival terminal. You can be picked up on the date that suits you!


Your briefing will take place the night before your departure at 6pm in our office. You can find our office located at Calle Garcilaso #210 (second floor), in La Casa del Abuelo shopping center.


Of course! During the 1 day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu your main luggage can be stored in our office or at your hotel, both are free. Please do not pack anything in your luggage that you will need for your hike.


FIRST, to book your 1 day Inca Trail Machu Picchu Trek, we need you to fill out our booking form by clicking on BOOK NOW on our home page or click here for the link to BOOK NOW.

Please be ready with the following information (FROM EACH PARTICIPANT in your group).  We cannot purchase an Inca Trail permit without the following information:

  • Full name, exactly as on your passport
  • Gender as it appears in your passport
  • Passport number
  • D.O.B. (dd/mm/yyyy)
  • Nationality

SECONDLY, we require a deposit of US$211 (US$200 +US$11) which includes a 5.5% service charge by PayPal and Visa per person in order to purchase a permit for the 1 day Inca Trail Machu Picchu.  You can make you deposit by clicking on the VISA or PAYPAL symbols on the top of our home page, or you can click on the VISA or PAYPAL symbols on our booking page.


It would be greatly appreciated if you pay in cash at our office (US dollars or Peruvian soles) here in Cusco. We have many cash machines in the historical center to withdraw money.  You can also pay by VISA or PAYPAL online but you will have to pay a 5.5% service charge, charged by VISA and PAYPAL. To pay your balance through PAYPAL, you need to log into your PAYPAL account using our email address of

Packing List


The Short Inca Trail Machu Picchu DOES NOT INCLUDE the extra porter, so, you will need to carry all your things, please try to pack as light as possible which is the key to enjoying this amazing trek.

  • Original Passport (it has to be the same you have used for booking your trek)
  • Good daypack (25 to 30 liters)
  • Water 1 to 2 liters of water
  • Comfortable hiking boots with ankle support
  • Toilet Paper
  • Jacket if cold season
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Wet wipes
  • Sun Hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Wool Hat if cold season for evenings or early morning
  • Rain jacket  – rainy season
  • Snacks like chocolate bars, cereal bars or any dry fruit
  • Camera
  • Extra Money for Souvenirs, Drinks & Tips

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