1 Day Inca Trail Hike to Machu Picchu 2024





378 US$

During your trip to Peru, exploring the Andes is an absolute must. While taking a 1 day Inca Trail hike to Machu Picchu may seem impossible, it can definitely be done if you’re short on time.

Does this mean we’ll visit everything there is to see at Machu Picchu? We most certainly will. This fast-paced tour will cover everything you expect to see on a one-day hike to Machu Picchu as you trek along one of the most stunning sections of the Inca Trail.

As one of the shortest hikes to Machu Picchu, this Inca Trail trek is the best option if you’re not prepared for a long hike. You’ll be able to see the best parts of this famous Peruvian destination.

You’ll enjoy everything from the Chachabamba Archeological Site to the Wiñay Wayna Inca Site. We’ll stop at Sun Gate (where you can see one of the best sunsets over Machu Picchu) and explore the upper part of the Machu Picchu Inca Site.

While this tour explores the lesser-visited regions of Machu Picchu, remember that this short Inca Trail hike is far more than just historic sites. You’ll be able to capture amazing views and admire plants and animals typical of the region. We’ll even provide some interesting facts about the plants, views, and animals in the area as we see them.

This Machu Picchu hike distance is just 12 km (7.5 miles), and you have pretty much one full day to do the trek and visit Machu Picchu. If you have some extra energy, we can go inside this magical site to its iconic postcard-worthy points and snap some stunning photos. This is the perfect way to have some memorabilia of what will become one of your favorite moments in Peru.

The best adventure is up to you!!!

Machu Picchu 1 Day Hike Tour Details

Here are all the finer details you’ll need to know before booking your one-day Machu Picchu tour.

Highlights for Your 1 Day Machu Picchu Hike

Type of Tour: Culture, History, Adventure and Hiking

Machu Picchu Hike Length: 12 km / 7.5 miles

Inca Trail Elevation Gain: 969 meters / 3,179 feet

Good For: Hikers that would love to trek the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in one day, enjoying the nature and culture. You will need to have a moderate level of fitness to complete this trek.

Difficulty: Moderate


Useful Information to Consider for Your Machu Picchu Day Hike

  • Above all else, we will ensure your safety.
  • This full-day trek is where you are going to enjoy and take many photos with of the beautiful views surrounding you. So, be sure to bring your phone or camera.
  • Your belongings are not necessary as it is just a one-day trek.
  • The unique trail takes you through the Sun Gate to Machu Picchu (one of the new seven wonders all over the world).
  • Enjoy an amazing sunset of Machu Picchu while you have a tour of the site.
  • Hike by the same pathway that the Incas used to use to peregrinate to this Sacred Site (Machu Picchu).
  • You must be prepared with insect repellent, as there are lots of mosquitoes.
  • We are using local staff and natural resources.
  • We are a local company that considers sustainable responsibility.
  • Your professional Mountain Tour Guide will brief you on the tour the night before your trek in our office or your hotel.

Your 1 Day Machu Picchu Tour Includes

  • Pick up from your hotel by your professional guide
  • Professional trilingual mountain guide (English — Spanish — Quechua)
  • Professional Assistant Tour Guide (for groups over 9 people).
  • Entrance fee to Inca Trail
  • Entrance fee to Machu Picchu
  • Meals (1 snack and 1 prepared lunch)
  • Entrance fee for our Team
  • Bus transportation from Cusco to Ollantaytambo
  • Train from Ollantaytambo to Chachabamba – Km 104 (Beginning of the Inca Trail)
  • Tour of the entire Machu Picchu Archaeological Site
  • Bus tickets from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes (way down)
  • Train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo
  • Car Transportation from Ollantaytambo to Cusco
  • First Aid Kit
  • Oxygen tank

Your 1 Day Machu Picchu Tour Excludes

  • Breakfast and dinner
  • Tips (will be much appreciated)
  • Extra snacks
  • Travel Insurance
Inca Trail one day to Machu Picchu

What to Expect From This One-Day Inca Trail Itinerary


We are going to pick you up from your hotel in Cusco at 4:00 a.m. and drive you to the train station of Ollantaytambo. You will then take the train from Ollantaytambo to Chachabamba at 6:00 a.m.

During this two-hour train ride, you can take in the beautiful and spectacular views of farming lands with snow-capped mountains surrounding these areas. At the same time, you can see birds in the Urubamba River, one of the sources of the Amazon River.

At the iconic Km 104 Inca Trail or Chachabamba (2,080 m/6,824 ft), your hike begins. Before embarking on the trek, we’ve made sure you have everything you need. We provide you with a packed lunch, and a debrief on key information about the hike and the necessary safety precautions.

The first Inca site is located just 5 minutes away, where our tour guide will provide insider details about the location and take a lovely group photo before continuing. The trek gradually begins heading uphill as we head toward Wiñay Wayna.

After hiking for roughly 3 hours, we will reach the most beautiful site on the Inca Trail – Wiñay Wayna (Forever Young) at 2650 m/8600ft. This is a wonderful Inca site from where you can enjoy the amazing views of the Urubamba River with a nice waterfall in the background. There is an elaborate water fountain, temples, and some agricultural terraces providing the perfect opportunity to learn more about the way of the Inca and their history.

Before leaving Wiñay Wayna, we are going to take some more group pictures at Sun Gate, where we see the stunning Machu Picchu below. After taking in the once-in-a-lifetime views and getting your souvenir photos, we begin our descent to Machu Picchu for sunset.

The best aspect of this hiking tour is the fact that you’ll arrive at Machu Picchu in the afternoon when there aren’t many visitors. This means you can enjoy the archeological sites without hoards of people and truly get the best possible photos. Before having a little time to explore the site independently, you’ll be taken on a two-hour guide to this archeological masterpiece.

Your tour guide will also give you the bus tickets from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes. These tickets will have the bus departure times on them, so make sure you keep track of this when exploring Machu Picchu independently.

Once at Aguas Calientes, your tour guide will provide you with your train tickets, which will take you all the way back to Cusco on another two-hour trip.

Note: If you want a slightly longer experience, we also have a 2 Day Tour and a 4 Day Trip that include visits to Machu Picchu.

one day Inca Trail hike to Machu Picchu

What Is Included in Your Machu Picchu One-Day Hike

  • Professional Tour Guides: All of our tour guides attended the San Antonio Abad Cusco University or have a college degree. They also all speak really good English. However, the most important aspect is that all our tour guides are local people who grew up in the Andes with much ancient knowledge, ready to help broaden your knowledge of their ancestors’ traditions. At the same time, they are funny and professional, making sure you’re safe and happy.
  • Permits: After we receive your deposit and information about you, our staff will get your permits for the Inca Trail. This permit is for a specific date, and the name provided on the permit will need to match your passport details.
  • Transportation: All transportation during the tour is included, from the beginning to the end, via both car and train. We’ll pick you up from your hotel and take you back to your hotel that same day. Our services are door-to-door.
  • Equipment: Sparrow Explorer has the best equipment that you need for the Inca Trail treks. The utmost importance for us is your safety and that you are happy and enjoying the entire experience.
  • Food: Our healthy and organic food is prepared by our chef, who has a lot of experience cooking in this mountainous region. You will also have the chance to tell us of any dietary requirements, and we will be sure to cater to this.
  • Water: Remember that this is a very important element for the hike to avoid dehydration and ensure you can breathe well. The elevation of the hike will make breathing slightly more difficult, so staying hydrated is essential. We will provide some water, but it’s important you bring extra.
  • First Aid Kit: Your safety is one of our first priorities. As such, this first aid kit that we have is complete with basic things that you can need for the trek. We will also have an oxygen tank in the event you are struggling with the elevation gain and need assistance.
  • Extras: We will brief you on the tour the day before we leave so you have the opportunity to prepare. Some important extras to bring with you will include rain ponchos, suncream, and a few smaller bits and bobs that will be easy to purchase before we leave.
short Inca Trail hike to Machu Picchu

What Is Excluded From Your Machu Picchu One-Day Hike

  • Daypacks: We highly recommend bringing your own day pack for the hike. We would recommend bringing a small to medium-sized day pack, as this is only a one-day Machu Picchu hike. Bear in mind that the tour guide will also help carry some of your belongings to ensure you aren’t carrying loads of extra weight. The backpack that you’ll bring should have enough space for your water, sunscreen, sun hat, a few warm layers, camera, personal snack, headlamps, and a few more things that you can consider important for your trek.
  • Headlamps: With our experience in the mountains, we recommend having personal headlamps. As it’s a full-day tour, it will get dark towards the end. It also gets fairly foggy in the Andes, and you may need a headlamp when trekking.
  • Packing list: As this is a single-day tour, you won’t need to pack a lot. We do recommend including a rain poncho, sunscreen, water, headlamp, walking sticks, and extra snacks. For our longer tours, we provide a slightly more extensive packing list.
  • Extra Snacks and Things: You can bring your own snacks for the hike and toilet paper, as there is no toilet paper at the trail restroom.
  • Rentals: While it’s not entirely necessary, we highly recommend each hiker have a walking stick. If you don’t have one, you can still rent a high-quality walking stick with us. We also offer rentals for things such as sleeping bags and inflatable mattresses for our multi-day tours.
  • Walking sticks (per pair): 10 US$
  • Huayna Picchu: This is the name of the mountain next to Machu Picchu, from where you can get nice views of the archeological site and the Urubamba River. Unfortunately, you won’t have enough time to visit Huayna Picchu on this one-day hike to Machu Picchu. This is largely due to time. If you wish to visit this landmark, let us know when you book so we recommend one of our other tours that includes a visit to Huayna Picchu. The permits to visit this site are also limited, so be sure to let us know in advance. However, if you don’t get this permit, you don’t need to worry, as you still have the chance to go to the Inca Bridge between Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu.
Machu Picchu one Inca Trail hike

Helpful Information for Your One-Day Inca Trail Hike

Here are a few things to keep in mind before booking your Inca Trail 1-day hike to Machu Picchu.

Altitude Sickness

It’s common to start wondering about altitude sickness if you’re planning a trip to Peru, especially in Cusco. However, It’s easy to figure out this problem. You just need to spend a few days in Cusco drinking plenty of water and coca tea.

Headaches, tiredness, dizziness, nausea, tingling, loss of appetite, trouble sleeping, and vomiting are common symptoms of altitude sickness. Please, if you suffer from one of these symptoms, contact our company or call a doctor in order to help you.

It’s worth noting, though, that altitude sickness is usually temporary, and staying hydrated with water and coca tea will help a lot. However, some of our customers prefer pills, in which case we suggest you have acetazolamide or dexamethasone and come to Cusco a few days before you intend on taking this tour.


In general, the weather here in the Andes is unpredictable, which is the reason we suggest to our customers to be prepared for anything. This is why having waterproof clothes will be a big help, as it can be sunny one minute and rainy the next.

First Aid Kit

All of our mountain guides have their first aid kits and a lot of training in first aid in the mountains. Every year, they receive classes from doctors on how to treat the most frequent problems – diarrhea, cuts, headaches, scrapes, etc. They will also have an oxygen tank in order to help you feel much better should you need it. However, It’s fine if you are thinking of bringing your own first aid kit for the trek.

Winay Wayna on Inca Trail hike to Machu Picchu

Travel Insurance

It is always a good idea to have travel insurance during your travels. As our tour doesn’t include travel insurance, we highly recommend getting insurance before you leave for Peru. This will come in handy if you have any serious illness or if something happens while you’re on holiday.

If you don’t have travel insurance, this is also fine, and you are still more than welcome to book this tour.

Environmental Impact

This company is a travel agency that protects our environment. We’re a sustainable company that uses biodegradable packaging for meals. We also consider the leave-no-trace principles during our tours as a way to help reduce the effects of global warming and ensure everyone protects our home (planet Earth).


Most important for us is our amazing team. As we are a local company, the families and communities of our team feel proud of everyone involved at Sparrow Explorer. By sharing the culture and knowledge of our ancestors, everyone who joins our tours is able to have a better understanding of our traditions, behaviors, and customs.

By doing this, we are able to help protect everything left by our ancestors, as we believe in “Love just the things that you know.” This way, in our own small way, we are able to help preserve the amazing Inca culture for generations to come.

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