One Day Inca Trail in Peru with Kenko Adventures

One Day Inca Trail in Peru with Kenko Adventures

The Inca Trail One Day hike is the shorter version of the renowned and demanding Inca Trail tour in Cusco, Peru. It has surged recently in popularity, allowing visitors to visit this famed path on a tight schedule. This shortened path to Machu Picchu is a breathtaking experience in its own right.

The beginning point is shared with the two-day version of this tour (the 104th km of Cusco’s highway), and it goes without stopping from Cusco to the South American world wonder, Machu Picchu. 

To explain the feats of this tour would be redundant to this point. There are hundreds of websites that explain the stops, requirements, highlights, etc. Yet, these sites will give you the same information based on the tour itinerary of the 2 day trek to Machu Picchu (sometimes the search engine might even direct you straight to a page that sells the two-day Inca Trail tour because of the similarities), and you’ll surely be able to find that info too in the link above to check out the agency that helps plan this hike.

What needs to be clarified straightforwardly is that this tour is more hectic than the two-day version. Sure, you’ll be able to experience pretty much the same, but the reason for this tour is pretty much the timing (if you’re unable to spend too much time in Cusco’s region).

Also, it would be good to clarify that none of these tours allows visitors to travel through the Inca Trail’s pathing in its entirety. If you have more time and would like to check the whole route that traverses this route, you may want to consider reserving the 4 days Inca Trail tour, but the tickets for this tour usually sell out within 5 months of advance for the high tourist season.

The Tour Itself

Pickups begin around 4:00 AM, depending on the group’s accommodations. After that, everyone shares a bus ride to Ollantaytambo’s train station. This train will take approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes to leave you at your hiking beginning checkpoint, the 104th km mark.

After crossing the Urubamba River, you’ll begin the exercise, but before that, you need to identify yourself and present your entry tickets (usually handled by the agency’s personnel). Chachabamba is a 20-minute walk away. You’ll get your first glimpse of the tropical rainforest around these archaeological sites.

Many flora species are found throughout this path, and the diversity of orchids in this region is remarkable. After a 4 hour’s ascent, you get to reach the most drawing stop from the route, in my humble opinion, Wiñay Wayna (or eternally young if translated from Quechua, the local language used by the Inca civilization and current Andean Peruvian inhabitants) with its semi-circular terraces destined for agriculture of various products. You and the other groups can have your lunch there, and the stop lasts somewhat of an hour.

After this first section, a hike to the Sun’s Gate or Inti Punku still awaits. This one lasts approximately two hours, and you can see some deposits called “ambos” as you walk.

The tour’s apex finally stands in front of you—the world wonder, Machu Picchu. 

By this point, you may feel tired after the long hike, but the tour of Machu Picchu is still pending, as the trek to this point will feel more than worthwhile as you head to the citadel’s inner structures. There, you walk through the many restored Inca streets and buildings of this citadel, taking in the wonders of the ancient civilization’s history.

After that, you have some time to check out the picturesque Aguas Calientes, or what locals call the Machu Picchu town, where you can have dinner while waiting for your train to arrive at the station.

The train departs around 6:00 PM, as a panoramic train that the agency arranges travels before wonderful views of the valley. It’s a proper way to say goodbye to the incredible adventure that gave you your visit to the Inca citadel.

Finally, you leave the train at Ollantaytambo to continue by bus back to Cusco. You will arrive back in the city somewhere around 10:00 PM, finalizing your adventure.