Inca Ruins

Short Inca Trail Lodge Based

Cusco, Peru
5.0 (5 reviews)

Trip Highlights

  • Hiking Sections of the Inca Trail
  • Cozy, Modern Lodges
  • Machu Picchu from Sun Gate
  • Breathtaking Mountain Views
  • Fantastic Peruvian Cuisine
  • Ancient Inca Rock Quarry

Description

Join us for a lodge-based tour highlighting Cusco, a section of the famous Inca Trail, amazing hikes and historic sites, and the world renowned 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 Peru trekking 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.

6 Days
$3150 Per Person
$250 Single Supplement

$250 Single Supplement

Return Guests get a 10% discount on all Trips!
Trip Type: Inn-Based Tour
Difficulty Level:
Solitude Level:
Group Size: 2-12 Guests
Trip Length: 6 Days
Distance: 20+MI / 32+KM

DIFFICULTY LEVEL 2

Our difficulty ratings are based on a scale of 1-5, tours with a rating of 1 being least difficult, tours with a rating of 5 being most difficult

Backpack Weight:
10-15 pounds
Daily Hiking Distances:
4-7 miles
Most Elevation Loss:
1800 feet
Most Elevation Gain:
1800 feet
Quality of Trails:
The trails on this trip are quiet and rugged in places, but well-trodden
Additional:
This trip requires significant elevation gains and losses on rocky trails, and tops out at nearly 10,000 feet. The higher elevations make the trekking more difficult but this trip is considered easy-moderate.

Participants should:

  1. be active and healthy
  2. exercise several times per week
  3. be comfortable hiking 6-8 miles per day in hilly or mountainous terrain taking occasional breaks

SOLITUDE LEVEL 2

1 least solitude, 5 most solitude

We rate this Peru hike a solitude 2. You can expect to have as much as an hour of solitude at a time while hiking.

BOOKING FLIGHTS

For our Peru treks you will need to arrive in Cusco, Peru on the day the trip begins earlier than 3 P.M. Your guide will rendezvous with you at the airport and transport you to our hotel. An orientation meeting, dinner and accommodations are included on Day 1. Your return flight should be scheduled for the final day of the tour leaving at any time.

Flights to and from Cusco are the guest’s responsibility. Multiple airlines operate flights into Cusco, and nearly all connect through Lima. You can reach Lima from many U.S. and European international airports. Some of the primary U.S. departure cities include Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Atlanta, Washington D.C., Minneapolis, Chicago, New Orleans, Salt Lake City, Phoenix, and Los Angeles. The duration of nonstop flights to Lima is 5-9 hours. The duration of flights from Lima to Cusco is 80 minutes.

Group of hikers in Peru

Make the most of your time in Peru with an add-on day hike around Cusco! Explore a stunning alpine lake with amazing turquoise water (Lake Humantay); or one of the most unique and breathtaking mountains in the world with rainbow-colored soils that make for spectacular photography (Rainbow Mountain).

Private Trips

Traveling in perfect company is a wonderful thing! With our private trip offerings you can book a trip exclusively for your group. Whether it’s with family, friends or colleagues, private trips are a fun and enriching way to explore the outdoors.

Private trip pricing is based on a sliding scale, depending on the number of people in your party. Rates are per person and do not include sales tax and national park fees (where applicable) or guide gratuity. Give us a call at 800-715-HIKE to get the ball rolling!

Private Rates FOr This Trip

  • 2 People: Rate x 2
  • 3 People: Rate x 1.5
  • 4-5 People: Rate x 1.3
  • 6-7 People: Rate x 1.2
  • 8-10 People: Rate x 1.1
  • 11-12 People: Rate x 1

*all rates are per person and single supplements apply

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TRIP ITINERARY

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 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.  Being well hydrated will also help your body adapt and acclimatize to the higher elevations of Cusco.

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 showing the true quality of Inca engineering and building techniques.

After Saksaywaman, we will have lunch before visiting an amazing, colonial 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: 6.5 miles
  • Lowest Elevation: 9,160 feet
  • Highest Elevation: 11,200 feet
  • Trekking Duration: 5-6 hours

This morning after breakfast, we’ll 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 very few or no other tourists on this trail. 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’ll 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: 7 miles
  • Lowest Elevation: 6,692 feet
  • Highest Elevation: 9,050 feet
  • Trekking Duration: 6-7 hours

This morning after breakfast, we’ll drive from our hotel to Ollaytaytambo and take a train to the starting place for the ‘Short’ Inca Trail. The train journey takes us by views of snow-capped 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′), 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 short bus ride to Aguas Calientes (6,692′) 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 fully exploring Machu Picchu in the morning.

DAY 5

  • Hiking Mileage: varies
  • Lowest Elevation: 6,692 feet
  • Highest Elevation: 11,200 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 AM 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 Wildland certified guides. Everything at Machu Picchu was created with intention and there is a lot to see and learn about. After the tour, we’ll head back down to Aguas Calientes and have lunch before taking the Luxury Vistadome train ride back to Ollantaytambo. Upon arrival in Ollantaytambo, we’ll board our shuttle to the town of Urubamba, where we will have a final celebratory dinner. After dinner we will drive back to Cusco (11,200′) 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. If planning to stay longer in Peru, we have day hikes and tours available leaving from Cusco.  Thank You for choosing Wildland Trekking!

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 bureaucratic obstacles, earthquakes, fires, flooding and more.

Trip Dates & Booking

TRIP DATES & BOOKING

Click on a date to register. You can also click here to request new dates or book through customer service.

Available to Book

AVAILABLE TO BOOK

This trip is available and bookable online! Click on the date to register now or contact us online to book through our award-winning customer service team!

Going Fast

GOING FAST

This trip has 1 or 2 spots remaining and is bookable online! Click on the date to book now or contact us online to book through customer service.

Request a Reservation

REQUEST A RESERVATION

This trip is exclusively booked through customer service due to logistics with lodging, permits, staffing, availability, or something else. Please contact us online or call us at 800-715-HIKE (4453) to request a reservation.

Don't see your dates? Call us! We may be able to add new trip dates.

800-715-HIKE (4453)

Trip Details

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
  • Gratuity for in-country crew: Porters, Chefs, Waiters, and Drivers. *Please Note: Gratuities for Guide(s) are not included in trip rate.
  • 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 (Oboz hiking shoes and boots recommended)
  • Sunscreen, toiletries and personal items
  • Water bottles and a headlamp or flashlight (disposable plastic water bottles are prohibited; please have refillable water bottles or hydration bladders)
  • Gratuity for guide(s) (industry recommendation is 10-20% of total trip cost; USD is recommended.) *Please Note: Gratuities for Porters, Chefs, Waiters, and Drivers are included in the trip rate.

Click here to see a printable, downloadable trip information packet with more detailed guidance about what to pack.

PORTER TEAM

WHERE ARE OUR PORTERS FROM?

Wildland works with a team of 15-25 porters, mainly from two different villages: Willoq and Cuyo Grande, both located in the Sacred Valley of Peru. The ages of our porter team ranges from 20 to 55 years old. Our porter team is made up of farmers, meaning their main job is farming and the porter work is to supplement income. They grow crops such as potatoes, lima beans, peas, corn and also raise livestock such as cows, sheep, llamas, and alpacas.

WHY DO THEY CHOOSE TO BE PORTERS?

Being a farmer in the mountains is difficult work, especially in the Cusco region. Each of the members of our porter team own a small plot of land that they use for farming. This work is physical, hard and in the end is often not enough to support their families, especially if they want their children to go to school.

Porters try to work 2-3 treks per month. Each trip lasts for 4 days, so they are away from their families and farm duties between 8 and 12 days each month. They prefer to visit with their families, rest, and catch up on farm duties between treks, usually for 4-5 days. They choose when they want to be available for any given trek or set of dates.

WHAT DO WE PROVIDE PORTER STAFF?

We believe that the main ingredient for any successful trip is keeping not only our guests safe and happy, but also our staff. Without one it is impossible for us to have the other. With that said, we have created a set of standards to ensure the safety and happiness of our porter team.

  • All porters are provided health insurance. It is purchased through a private company to ensure they are covered for any health-related issues while working for us. During a trek our lead guides are in close contact with all our staff to ensure safety and wellness of the entire team. Any illness or injury to our staff is treated equal to and as importantly as any illness or injury to our guests. All lead guides are trained in wilderness first aid and can properly assist any staff or guest in emergencies or in the case of illness or injury. First aid kits are carried and readily available for staff, the same as they are for guests.
  • We provide staff all the gear needed to keep them warm and safe during treks. This includes sleeping bags, sleeping pads, shelter/tent, warm fleece jackets, hiking pants, hiking shoes, hats, backpacks and a brace used for extra back support.
  • We understand that the quality work and effort provided by our porters during treks deserves to be matched by the quality of food we provide to them during treks. Porters are provided 3 warm meals a day on treks and the food is planned for them specifically. They are not fed guest leftovers; their food is planned, purchased, and cooked by our chef during a trek. Meals are always planned with physical and nutritional needs in mind.
  • Tipping rates are included in our rates to guests and the amounts given to porters are set, fair, and predictable each trip. Of course, our guests can give more if they wish, but tips are already included in their rates and we ensure our team is tipped fairly, in addition to their normal salary.
  • Also, we follow strict weight limits to not overburden our Porters. The maximum weight they can carry is 20 kilos/44 lbs.

SCHOOL PROJECT

Five years ago, Jose Condor, our partner and Peru Program Manager, started a small project called “Improving Education in the Mountains.”

This project was set up to support the schools and children in the villages around the region where our porters come from.  These small communities and villages have schools, but they are basic, and often do not have sufficient supplies.  Every year, we provide supplies for the schools to use for the school year.  We also supply some hygiene items and other gifts.  A portion of each reservation in Peru goes towards this project. The supplies are utilized by hundreds of children between the ages of 3 and 11.

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

When you register for this tour you’ll receive access to a printable, downloadable trip information packet with detailed guidance about what clothes to pack (click here to see it now.) All trips require a sturdy pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots, rain gear, and our recommended clothing system. 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

Trip Logistics

HOW DO I REGISTER?

Reserve your spot today! In the Trip Dates & Booking section of this page, the green and red dates are bookable online by simply clicking on the date, and blue dates must be booked through our customer service team for a variety of possible reasons. To email our customer service team, you can click here 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.

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 45 days before your trip to coordinate your rendezvous and answer any last-minute questions you have.

Click here to see a printable, downloadable trip information packet with more detailed guidance about flights, shuttles, recommended lodging and more.

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 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) 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.

GUIDES

This trip is led by expert, local Wildland guides. Our approach to international travel is to combine the best of two worlds: the dialed-in details, professionalism and consistency Wildland trips are known for; and the cultural immersion and intimate regional knowledge that only locals can provide. To excel with this approach, we vet and hire the best local guides, welcome them into the Wildland family and train them to meet our standard of excellence with every aspect of a trip. But along with managing logistics and safety, your guides will teach you about the area’s history and culture, and provide a level of familiarity and intimate detail only locals can.

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 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) 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

TRIP INSURANCE

For your protection, we strongly recommend the purchase of field evacuation, repatriation, and medical trip insurance. International travel is expensive, and the modest cost of trip insurance is a sound investment in an uncertain world.

If you wish to purchase trip insurance, we recommend IMG/iTravelinsured. They are one of the world’s leading providers of travel insurance.

For information on recommended IMG/iTravelinsured policies please click here.

For even greater information, or if you simply prefer communicating with a real, live person, feel free to contact our exclusive agent Michael Bennett. Michael will help you identify the best product for your needs, and there is no cost associated with his assistance. You may contact him at:

Email: WildLandTrekking@EasyToInsureME.com
US by Phone: 877-305-9083
Direct/International by Phone: 702-448-3664

If you already have insurance or wish to purchase from anyone other than IMG/iTravelinsured, we recommend careful consultation with the provider to ensure appropriate coverage. This is because many providers have a number of policy exclusions.

If you secure an insurance policy please bring a copy of it to provide to your guides at the orientation meeting.

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 7,972 feet (2,430 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 significant elevation changes and alpine hiking, the temperatures and weather can also vary widely. 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

Accommodations

Accommodations

TIERRA VIVA CENTRO

3 NIGHTS

This inviting Cusco lodge maintains the feeling of a historic residence built with stone, tiles, adobe and wood. It is the restored home of the Velasco Ordoñez family, historic residents of Cusco. The rooms offer modern comfort and are spacious, with large windows and wood floors.

TIERRA VIVA VALLE SAGRADO

1 NIGHT

This wonderful Tierra Viva hotel is in Urubamba, the heart of the Sacred Valley. We stay here on the night of Day 3 because it is the perfect location between Ollantaytambo and the beginning of our hike to the Sun Gate and Machu Picchu the next day. This hotel is modern with amazing views of the mountains.

TIERRA VIVA MACHU PICCHU

1 NIGHT

This hotel is in the quietest area of Aguas Calientes, facing the Urubamba River and surrounded by the Forest of Clouds. Modern and stylish, it features spacious and comfortable rooms, a lounge with a fireplace, and wonderful local art hung on the walls of the lobby and rooms.

* These exact accommodations are not guaranteed. In some instances alternative accommodations of similar quality and location may be used.

Trip Reviews

Trip Reviews

  • Average Customer Ratings:

  • 5.0 (5 reviews)
Albert A.
5.0

Oustanding!

2 years ago

This trip surpassed my expectations. Jose was outstanding!

Jennifer S.
5.0

Looking Forward to Another Trip!

2 years ago

Jose was very patient with us ladies as we were hiking. He did a great job of pacing and helping us take pictures and organizing everything (transportation, lodging, food, gear, etc.). I am looking forward to doing another Trek with Wildland Trekking!

Lavonne K.
5.0

Superb!

3 years ago

My husband and I just completed the Short Inca Trail Lodge Based trip. Jason, our Wildland Trekking guide, our peruvian guide, driver, porter, hotel and food were superb!. The trip was well organized and the short inca trail hike was a chance in a life time and well worth it. This was our second trip with Wildland Trekking and will definitively do another.

See All Guest Reviews!

Go to our reviews page

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