The best time to go hiking is from April to October, the driest season; it is cold during the night, most normal bringing cold clothes without problems.
What is different from the classic 4-day trail and the 2-day short?
The journey of the classic Inca trail is 4 days and 3 nights, starting at kilometer 88, where the bus leaves from Cusco, after a 2-hour trip. Now the 2-day and 1-night Inca Trail starts at km 104, called by archaeologists, as the beautiful Wiñaywayna, whose name means (always young) This route is 15 km long and passes through Inca ruins surrounded by spectacular mountain scenery. Another difference between the classic trail and the short trail is that in addition to the distance covered and the level of difficulty the main difference is that on the short trail you do not see, do not go through the archaeological sites of Puyupatamarca, Sayacmarka and Runkurakay that are visible on the classic Inca trail 4 days. Furthermore, on the short Inca trail there are no camps, because you spend the night in a hotel in the village of MachupicchuPueblo (Aguas Calientes). So you don’t need to sleep in camping tents, ideal for those who don’t like camping.
Below is the itinerary of the archaeological sites seen during the Inca trail : 4 days and 2 days:
1 day: Cusco – Piscaycucho (Km 82) – Wayllabamba:
The trail starts at 82KM, altitude of 2,500, at the height of the ruins of Qoriwayrachina, entrance, checkpoint, delivers the entrance tickets.
After the entrance, there will be 9 km to be traveled until the village of Wayllabamba (3000 above sea level), where the groups spend the night camping, in the ruins of Qoriwayrachina
2nd day: Wayllabamba – Pacaymayo:
I consider it the most tiring day, because of the climbs and descents, then we will climb to the top of the Warmiwañusca mountain, and then we will descend 700 meters to the Pacaymayu River valley (3500 meters), where the groups spend the night camping in Warmiwañusca place.
3rd day: Pacaymayo – Runcuracay – Sayacmarca – Puyupatamarka – Wiñaywayna.
On the third day, we will walk 17km to Wiñaywayna, but that day is less tiring than the previous one and on this very day 4 very important archaeological sites are known, in Wiñaywayna we will camp.
Archaeological site of Runkuraqay:
(Runkuraqay – which means pile of ruins) is at 3,500m, it is believed that the building was a tambo, a type of post for travelers who followed the trail to Machupicchu. It had dormitory areas for travelers and stable facilities for their domesticated animals.
Sayacmarka archaeological site:
This at 3580m was explored by the second Bingham expedition in 1915, and in 1941 an expedition led by Paul Fejos explored the place again and renamed it Sayaqmarka, due to its geographical location that visually dominates the entire valley of the Urubamba River. Inside the citadel there are several buildings, shaped like a mountain, including a stone aqueduct that once brought water to the site. The walls are solid and the shape of the fortress can be seen easily from a distance.
Archaeological site of Puyupatamarka:
This a3685m and his name means in Quechua (place over the clouds), and was also discovered by Bingham in 1915, but like other, it was Paul Fejos who in 1941 renamed it Puyupatamarka, for this place, almost always this with fog and clouds that form in the surrounding valleys. In this set, a platform with an almost oval shape and a series of rectangular structures aligned along one side with channels through which water still flows from the highest level stands out. For some archaeologists they believe that these structures were of baths with some ritual function.
Archaeological site of Wynaywayña:
This at 2645m was revealed by Paul Fejos in 1941 and then in 1942, the Peruvian archaeologist Julio C. Tello renamed the place with the name of Wiñaywayna (young forever) which is also the Quechua name of a species of orchid, very common in area, region. There are several well-crafted buildings, among which one stands out at the top known as a “tower” built partially with worked stones; a succession of 11 ritual sources on the right and also the agricultural sector with a large number of artificial terraces. Other buildings on the edge of the cliff, with pirka-style walls, from there, have a wonderful view of the bottom of the mountains, and towards the northwest, you reach the (Intipata-place of the sun) which are artificial terraces for agricultural use .
Read also: Inca quarry trek to machupicchu 4 days
4th day: Wiñaywayna – Intipunku – Machupicchu:
Wiñayway on a path, a trail that is carved with mastery on the mountain, and on the side is a deep precipice, following the wide trail inside the very fresh forest. Arriving where there are some steps that take you to Intipunku (door of the sun) it is made of steps, it was a control gate for people, it was dedicated to the cult of Inti, the sun god, and from there you have the incredible, vision of citadel of Machupicchu, Montaña, Huayna Picchu.