For those who enjoy hiking – but are not excited about three nights camping – the “Short Inca Trail Hike to Machu Picchu” allows folks to take the train from Ollantaytambo to kilometer 104 along the railway, beginning a one-day hike from there. It can be a strenuous day, as one quickly zigzags up the hillside from the train stop to a set of ruins at Winay Wayna (elevation gain of about 1,800 feet). Winay Wayna was one of the largest support communities along the original Inca Trail. It served as a guard post and agricultural area just a few miles from the citadel of Machu Picchu itself. From Winay Wayna it’s a slight, but long, downhill along the Inca Trail itself to the Sun Gate, where folks scramble over the top to gain their first sweeping views of the ruins at Machu Picchu and the famous triangular mountain called Huaynapicchu in the background. From the Sun Gate (Inki Punku), it is still another mile or so to the heart of the ruins – but a mile filled with great views and anticipation!