A lesser known option when visiting Machu Picchu is the one-day hike along the final section of the traditional Inca Trail. The hike highlights spectacular mountain landscapes, the ruins of Chachabamba and Wiñay Wayna, as well as the flora and fauna of the Peruvian cloud forests. At the end of the hike you are rewarded with a memorable first look at Machu Picchu from the traditional entrance at the Inti Punku Sun Gate. Like the multi-day Inca Trail trek, the 1-day Inca Trail is a permitted hike.
The adventure starts by meeting your local guide and taking the train early in the morning from Ollantaytambo to KM 109 where the hike begins. Over the course of the next 5-7 hours, the hike ascends from 2220M to 2700M along the Royal Inca Trail through the Peruvian cloud forest until the Inti Punky Sun Gate is reached giving an unforgettable first look at the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu.
Here are 4 reasons to consider the 1 day Inca Trail hike
1. You prefer hotel rooms
If you dislike sleeping in a tent, then the one day hike is the easy choice. The 4 day Inca Trail hike includes 3 nights of tent camping along the trail and latrine tents.
2. You are new to hiking
If you are new to hiking, a 4 day trek at high altitudes might be intimidating. The one-day hike is a moderately difficult hike and is usually attainable for most healthy travelers. It gives newcomers to hiking a good sense of the adventure without jumping in with both feet.
3. You are limited on time in Peru
Peru is a big country with a lot to discover and experience. Between Lima, Cusco and the Sacred Valley, you can easily spend a couple weeks exploring without needing to spend 4 days on the trail. If your time is limited in Peru, you might prefer to skip the extra 3 days on the trail so you can experience more of everything Peru has to offer.
4. More time at Machu Picchu
Day hikers arrive in the afternoon after the morning rush, when the crowds have typically thinned out. You’ll have time to take some good photos and then catch a bus back down to Aguas Calientes to spend the evening. The next morning you can return to Machu Picchu, fresh and showered, ready for a guided tour.
The one day Inca Trail Hike is a great option for people that want a taste of the Inca Trail without the commitment of a 4 day high altitude trek.
Are you dreaming of Peru in 2022? Join us on an incredible journey to Machu Picchu. Trek the Inca Trail or explore the Sacred Valley by train. You pick your adventure!
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