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Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu or the Llactapata Inca Trail programme is designed to offer you the highlights of the esteemed four days Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu. Apart from the iconic Machu Picchu, the ruins of Llactapata are one of the prime attractions of the three days Inca Trail.
Llactapata is an archaeological site of Incas. It is located to the west of the citadel of Machu Picchu and offers captivating views of the emblematic Inca citadel.
Our three days Inca Trail experience begins in Lucmabamba. It is a small town between La Playa and Santa Teresa. This small Andean village is the gateway to Llactapata ruins.
The trail is very interesting as it takes you through the cloud forests. Here you will see coffee, avocado and other plantations.
In Quechua, Llactapata means “High City”. It is located at 2,840 metres above sea level. The Incas built Llactapata as a spiritual site. It was also used for farming.
When the Incas ruled Machu Picchu, there were over 750 families who called the citadel their home. Most of them worked for the royal family.
The farming terrace of Machu Picchu did not suffice for those who stayed in the citadel. So the farmers utilised the farming terraces of Llactapata in addition to the ones in Machu Picchu.
Llactapata is a hidden gem. Not many people are aware of its existence. Infact, the complex is not excavated completely. The access to Llactapata is exclusive to those on Inca Trail.
Machu Picchu Amazon Peru is one of the licensed tour operators in Peru to offer this experience. We are an excellent team of local experts with a passion for trekking and history. Join us to retrace the footsteps of Incas on this Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.
The highest point of the trail is the dead woman’s pass at 4250 metres above sea level. We highly recommend you to spend at least 2-3 days in Cusco before the trail to avoid altitude sickness.
Do take a moment to check out our reviews on Trip Advisor.
Cusco Hotel Transfer
Early in the morning, we will be picking you up from your hotel in Cusco. Then, in our private transport, we will be driving you through the Sacred Valley of Incas to Ollantaytambo. Here we will be boarding the train to Km.82.
The trail head is named Km.82 because of its distance from Cusco to Machu Picchu. The train ride offers beautiful views of the Urubamba river snaking through the small Andean villages and farms.
At Km 82, the authorities will be checking your trail permit and original passport. We will then gradually hike up the hill to Huayllabamba. It is around a 45 minutes hike. Here we will be stopping for lunch.
Our local expert will be giving you a guided tour of the archaeological sites that we will be passing through on our way. After relishing an authentic Peruvian meal for lunch, we will continue hiking to Lluclluchapampa. We will be camping here for the night.
The second day of the short Inca trail to Machu Picchu is both interesting and challenging. Our chef will set up an exquisite breakfast. We will then start with a gradual uphill hike to the highest point of the Inca trail – Warmi Wañusca or Dead Woman’s Pass.
The pass gets its name because of its form. The peak of the mountain somewhat looks like a woman looking up at the sky. This is perceived to be the most challenging part of Inca trail. It is 4215 metres above sea level.
From the Dead Woman’s pass, we will hike to Runkurakay ruins. It is another less popular sight on the Inca Trail. After touring the site, we will hike up to the second highest pass of Inca Trail – Abra Runkurakay Pass at 3970 metres.
We will then descend for two hours to Sayaqmarka archaeological complex. Our local expert will be giving you a guided tour of the complex here. From here, we will continue descending to Phuyupatamarca. Here we will stop for lunch.
After lunch, we will hike to Wiñay Wayna which in Quechua means forever young. We will be camping closer to the archaeological complex for the night. Once we are all set in the evening, we will be visiting the complex where our guide will share some local insights.
We will be leaving the campsite early in the morning. The third day of the Short Inca Trail begins with a hike to the Sun Gate or Inti Punku. We will be reaching there a little before dawn. You will have a spectacular view of Machu Picchu and sunrise from here.
We will then descend to the citadel of Incas – Machu Picchu. Our guide will be giving you a detailed tour of the complex for two hours. During this tour we will be touring you through some of the prominent sites in the citadel.
After the tour, you will have some free time to explore Machu Picchu on your own. If you have booked to climb Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain, our guide will direct you to the respective entrance.
Later at noon, we will be taking a bus to Aguas Calientes town. From here, we will be boarding the train back to Ollantaytambo. At the train station, our representative will be waiting to transfer you back to your hotel in Cusco.
We wanted to do the regular Inca Trail but when we enquired the permits were sold out. I got in touch with Richard from Machu Picchu Amazon Peru and he suggested me this. I must admit this was by far the best experience we have ever had. Everything was organised efficiently and the guide was super nice, informative and friendly.