Inca Ruins

Short Inca Trail Lodge Based

Cusco, Peru
4.9 (9 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


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.

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$3280 Per Person
$260 Single Supplement

$260 Single Supplement

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


Scale of 1-5. 1 is least difficult; 5 is most difficult

This trip requires significant elevation gains and losses on rocky trails, and tops out at nearly 11,500 feet. The higher elevations make the trekking more difficult but this trip is considered easy-moderate.

Hiking Distances:

Up to 8 mi

Backpack Weight:

8-12 lbs


Lightly Rugged

Max Daily Elev. ↑↓:

Up to 2,000 ft

Heights Exposure:


Please Note: Terrain, Elevation Gain and Heights Exposure ratings reflect the section or day of the trip with the maximum difficulty of each. Much of the trip is at easier levels. See the trip itinerary for more detailed information.


  • Hiking uphill or downhill with a 8-12 lb backpack for 5-7 hours
  • Maintaining balance and footing on variable, uneven terrain
  • Hiking at elevations of 11,000+ feet
* For an official and complete list of physical requirements, please see our Essential Eligibility Criteria.


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.

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

Travel in perfect company by booking a private trip exclusively for your group!

Our sliding scale for private trips is based on the final number of guests in your group. Rates are per person and do not include sales tax, national park fees or guide gratuity. The final rate is based on the actual number of guests on the trip and may adjust based on cancellations or additions.

Please Note: you can also enjoy a private trip at our normal scheduled rates by filling any empty tour to capacity. However, if group members drop from the tour those spots will automatically become available on our website for instant booking. By purchasing a private trip at the rates listed below, your trip will remain exclusive to your group regardless of cancellations. 

Private Rates FOr This Trip

  • 2 People: Rate x 2.5
  • 3 People: Rate x 2
  • 4-5 People: Rate x 1.5
  • 6-10 People: Rate x 1.15
  • 11-12 People: Rate x 1

*all rates are per person and single supplements apply

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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.

  • Accommodations: Tierra Viva Centro

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.

  • Accommodations: Tierra Viva Centro

Day 3

  • Hiking Mileage: 6.5 miles (10.5 km)
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 2,100 feet (640 m)
  • Highest Elevation: ~11,400 feet (3,475 m)
  • Trekking Duration: 5-6 hours
  • Accommodations: Tierra Viva Valle Sagrado

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 stunning (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 roughly 2 hours down. Our hike features amazing views of Ollantaytambo and the surrounding valleys, as well as the incredible experience of visiting these historic ruins and ancient quarries. During the hike, we’ll have lunch and learn about the area’s rich history and the significance of the ancient town of Ollaytaytambo. After the hike, we will head to our hotel for the night, freshen up, and go out for another fantastic Peruvian dinner.

Day 4

  • Hiking Mileage: 7 miles (11.3 km)
  • Elevation Gain: 1,805 feet (550 m)
  • Elevation Loss: 890 feet (271 m)
  • Highest Elevation: 8,860 feet (2,700 m)
  • Trekking Duration: 6-7 hours
  • Accommodations: Tierra Viva Machu Picchu

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 historic significance. One of the many highlights will be reaching the Wiñaywayna Incan ruins (8,366′), 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 8,860 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. Here we will rest and take in the stunning iconic views of Machu Picchu before hiking down for roughly 1 hour to the bus station. We then take a 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
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: minimal
  • Trekking Duration: 3-4 hours
  • Accommodations: Tierra Viva Centro

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 back to Cusco (11,200′) have dinner, 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: lodging/campground availability, extreme weather, political or bureaucratic obstacles, earthquakes, fires, flooding and more. Normal terms and conditions apply to trips with itinerary changes.

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


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


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


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
  • A professional Wildland guide, trained in 1st Aid, risk management and assessment and responsibility to provide overall standard of excellence in service quality
  • 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 backpack 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 communication device
  • A Lifetime Hiking Membership entitling you, your spouse and dependents to a discount of 10% off any Wildland hiking trip after your first one (must book directly with us to receive the discount)!

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, rain gear, and footwear (see recommendations)
  • 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) is optional but always appreciated; (The industry average for this trip type is 10-15% of total trip cost. Local currency is preferred or USD is acceptable.) *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.

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.

For optimal taste and energy, we supplement all our meals with spices, herbs, oils, cheeses, butter, sugar, and fruits and vegetables. In addition, we provide you with with an assortment of trail snacks* (nuts, dried fruit, chocolate, & cookies) to eat at your own discretion.

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.

*Common trail snack brands and items found easily in the US are not readily available in this destination. (i.e. protein bars, trail bars, beef jerky, etc…) We recommend guests that prefer these types of trail snacks to bring a few of their own choice items from home.

Gear We Provide

We provide all group gear which includes the following:

  • Backpacks
  • Trekking poles
  • Company-issued first-aid kit
  • Emergency communication device(s)

Guest Packing List

When you register for this tour you’ll receive access to a printable, downloadable trip information packet with a detailed packing list specific to this trip (click here to see it now.) All trips require a sturdy pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots, rain gear, a recommended clothing system, a headlamp or flashlight, a hydration system (water bottles and/or bladder) and other items specific to each trip.

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 5:30 PM the first evening (your flight should arrive before 3PM). Our Peru communications team 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.

Travel to Cusco, Peru


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.

Safety Precautions

Your safety is our top priority. Our hiking tours are led by professional hiking guides, all of whom are wilderness-certified first responders or EMT’s, each with years of guiding and wilderness experience. Guides adhere to standardized risk management protocols in case of any potential or actual incident, and all tours carry an emergency communication device and comprehensive first-aid kit. Additionally we have a “24/7” system through which guides or guests can reach Wildland support personnel at any time.

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.

Essential Eligibility Criteria

Essential Eligibility Criteria (“EEC”) have been specifically identified to help you understand the skills and abilities necessary to participate on each Wildland trip, and they apply uniformly to all potential trip participants, irrespective of the presence or absence of any disability.

Once you identify a trip in which you may be interested, please carefully review the EEC and itinerary details. If after reviewing the EEC that apply to your desired trip, you determine you need an accommodation in order to meet the EEC, please contact us prior to registering to discuss your requested accommodation.

The EEC exist for your own safety and the safety and enjoyment of all participants. If you are unable to meet the EEC for the trip, with or without an accommodation, you are not eligible for that trip. If you register and arrive for a trip for which you do not meet the EEC, you will be disqualified from participation on the trip and will be dismissed or evacuated from the trip without a refund.


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.

Age Restrictions

Age restrictions on this trip 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: [email protected]
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.

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





This inviting Cusco hotel maintains the feeling of a historic residence built with stone, tiles, adobe and wood. It is the beautifully 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.



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.



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:

  • 4.9 (9 reviews)
Chrisie A


23 days ago

I cannot say enough about this trip, it was an amazing experience from beginning to end. The team via the website was very responsive in answering my questions, arranging extra accommodations, transportation, etc. Then once we were there, it was all seamless. Our guide Edgard was top notch. Everything was taken care of, never a question of when or where we were headed. Always felt very aware of what was next, what to expect and well taken care of by Edgard and the team. The restaurants that were chosen were delicious and offered great options. I cannot say enough about my experience with Wildland Trekking and trip.

Christine A

Amazing Experience from Beginning to End

1 month ago

I cannot say enough about this trip, it was an amazing experience from beginning to end. The team via the website was very responsive in answering my questions, arranging extra accommodations, transportation, etc. Then once we were there, it was all seamless. Our guide Edgard was top notch. Everything was taken care of, never a question of when or where we were headed. Always felt very aware of what was next, what to expect and well taken care of by Edgard and the team. The restaurants that were chosen were delicious and offered great options. I cannot say enough about my experience with Wildland Trekking and trip.

Doug S

Great trip, highly recommend it for those who want more comfortable accomodations.

10 months ago

We really loved this trip and itinerary. We were a group of people in their late 50s/early 60s, and just didn't want the whole sleeping in a tent on the ground scenario. The accomodations were fine except the Tierra Hotel in Cusco. The other hotels were very nice. The best part of the trip, other than the hiking and Machu Picchu itself, was Edgar our guide. I can't say enough how nice, helpful, and knowledgeable he was. The meals were fantastic, Edgar knew everyone at the restaurants and we were always made to feel like special guests.

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