Need more adventure? Inca jungle is your best option!
his hike from the Inca jungle to Machu Picchu is the best option for those who prefer a more adventurous and adrenaline trek to Machu Picchu. Go hiking, mountain biking and zip wire on your way to the famous archeological site. During the excursion we will enter from a cold climate to a hot one in the jungle. This route shows a lot of vegetation typical of the jungle where tourists will be immersed in a world of adventure and can observe different natural attractions. Making this excursion aside from having an unforgettable experience you will be supporting the economy in the inhabitants of the different areas where we will visit.Inca Jungle Trek, the best option for adventurers!
Quick Itinerary of the Inca Jungle Trek to Machu Picchu:
- Day 01: Cusco – Abra Malaga – Santa Maria
- Day 02: Santa Maria – Santa Teresa
- Day 03: Santa Teresa – Hidroelectrica – Aguas Calientes
- Day 04: Machu Picchu – Cusco
- Starting point: Cusco.
- Point of arrival: Cusco.
- Activities: Archaeological, Cultural, Ecological, Hike.
Why Inca Jungle Trek to Machu Picchu?
This alternative trip to Machu Picchu combines trekking with mountain biking, rafting and zip-lines. Part of the trail will take you along the discovered path most recently used by the Incas. Admire the beautiful mountains and subtropical areas of the cloud forest, and visit the thermal baths where you can cool off. The highlight of the trip is the visit to the archaeological site of Machu Picchu.
Day 1: Cusco to Santa María
After the early morning pick-up from your hotel in Cusco, we will drive by private vehicle to Abra Málaga (4,350 meters above sea level), the highest point of the tour. From there, you will walk downhill for about 4 hours to the small town of Santa María. On the way you will see birds, medicinal plants, butterflies, snakes and tropical fruits. You can visit a local family to learn their daily routine. In Santa María, you will stay in a family hostel for the night.
Day 2: Santa María to Santa Teresa
Starting early, you will walk on a path that becomes steeper and steeper until you reach the restaurant where you stop for lunch. Relax in hammocks and admire the coca plantations. Continue trekking to reach an authentic Inca trail that winds around steep slopes. Then, descend to the famous thermal springs of Cocalmayo and bathe in the healing water (optional, at an additional cost). After that, head to Santa Teresa where you will spend the night in another simple family hostel.
Day 3: Santa Teresa to Aguas Calientes
Fly through the treetops on a 2-hour canopy tour along the highest route in South America and the first zip line in Peru. Later, it descends to bamboo forests and a cloud forest with increasingly thick vegetation and tall trees, which offer excellent opportunities for bird watching. In the afternoon, follow the trails that lead to Aguas Calientes. Spend your last night in a more comfortable hostel, with private rooms and bathrooms with hot showers.
Day 4: Machu Picchu to Cusco
You will take the bus at 5:30 a.m. to Machu Picchu to appreciate the magnificent city in the light of the morning. Take a guided 2-hour walking tour of the site and after this you can explore the mysterious city on your own. If you still have energy, you can go up to the Huayna Picchu Mountain (reservations must be made at an additional cost). Return to Aguas Calientes by bus at your own convenience. If time permits, visit the local market next to the train station before taking the train to Ollantaytambo. From there, you will take a bus back to Cusco, where you will be dropped off at your hotel.
- Pre-trek briefing
- Transfer by private bus to Malaga Pass – the initial point of the trek
- Accommodation: Basic hostel (2 nights) and a comfortable hostel (1 night)
- Entrance fee to Machu Picchu
- Meals: 3x breakfast, 3x lunch, 3x dinner
- Professional bilingual Tour Guide
- Mountain bicycles (brand Scott with a hydraulic brake), helmet and gloves
- Tourist train (Expedition Service) from Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu) to Ollantaytambo
- Tourist bus from Ollantaytambo to Cusco.
- Breakfast on the day 1 and lunch on the last day
- International and domestic flights nor airport departure taxes
- Travel insurance
- Entrance fee to Huayna Picchu ($80) nor Machu Picchu Mountain ($80)
- A shuttle bus between Machu Picchu and Aguas Calientes Town ($9.50 – one way, $18.50 – a round trip)
- Tips to local staff (please note: it is a custom to give tips in Peru; however, it is not obligatory);
- Other extras not mentioned
• Keep in mind that accommodation options are very limited for the first 2 nights, so the facilities will be basic. The rooms often share a bathroom and sometimes do not have hot water.• You will have to carry a small backpack, a fleece, shoes or hiking boots, a raincoat or poncho, a swimsuit, sandals, a towel, insect repellent, shirts and shorts, sunscreen, sunglasses , a hat, a flashlight, any personal medication and your original passport.
• Bring a current valid passport on the day of the trip.
• It is recommended that you bring a local currency, as there may be some places on the site that do not accept credit cards.
Best Time for an Inca Jungle Trek:
There are two main seasons in the sub-tropical Peruvian Andes – a dry season which runs from May through to September, and a rainy season from October to April.
The Inca Jungle trek can be completed all year round, however, heavy rains during January and February often lead to landslides on the trail and road that connect Santa Maria with Santa Teresa and hence the Inca Jungle trek is often closed during this time of the year.
The best time to do an Inca Jungle trek is either during the dry season, or on the dry season shoulder months of March / April and October / November. The latter shoulder months are particularly good if you are keen to do some rafting in Santa Maria. The trail is busier during the dry season, but nowhere near as busy as the Classic Inca Trail.
Temperatures are fairly consistent all year round, with warm days reaching into the high 20s (Celsius). Nights and early mornings are cold (in the single digits and sometimes drop below zero degrees, especially in the dry season).
You will want to bring layered trekking clothing so that you can layer up or down as the daily temperatures fluctuate (see packing list below for details on layering)
Acclimatization and Altitude Sickness
The Inca Jungle trail is technically a high altitude trek, although the amount of time you spend at altitude is in fact very short. The highest altitude you will reach is Malaga Pass at just over 4,300m. From this point you descend relatively quickly, as you are cycling, and end the day at a rather low altitude for the Andes, just under 1,200m.
For the rest of the tour the trail undulates, but never goes higher than 2,000m. Machu Picchu itself sits at 2,430m, which is still relatively low. This means that altitude sickness on the Inca Jungle trail is rare and nowhere near as prevalent on some of the other trails in this region where trekkers spend good portions of time hiking over 4,000m passes.
You are in fact at greater risk of succumbing to altitude sickness symptoms before you start the trek. Most visitors to Machu Picchu fly into Cusco which is situated at high altitude, over 3,400m. Experiencing mild altitude sickness, like a headache or nausea, is common for many visitors to Cusco.
It is important that you spend a few days acclimatising at this altitude before going any higher. Another good option, if you have the time, is to immediately descend from Cusco into the Sacred Valley, which is a good 1,000m lower, and rest here for a few days before returning to Cusco to join your Inca Jungle trek.
Either way, acclimatising for a few days in Cusco or in the Sacred Valley before you begin your trek is a worthwhile investment.
Frequently Asked Questions
Inca Jungle, the most amazing and adrenaline way of reach to Machu Picchu!!! Need adventure? Prevent any situation, don’t forget to read our section of Frequent Questions.
When is the best time of the year
to do the tour?
The best time to do any tourist activity in Cusco is from the end of March until the end of November. This is the high season of tourism (absence of rain) and therefore it is recommended to reserve on average three (3) months in advance.
What is the average age of the
The majority of participants are young people from different parts of the world and on average 25 years old. But there are also travelers of different ages who make the tour without problems, from the very young (15 years old) to adults between 40 and 60 years old.
Is the Inca Jungle tour done all
It is open 7 days a week, every day of the month, including holidays; but between January and March (rainy season) the Inca Jungle tour can suffer alterations of the route, sudden cancellations and drastic changes in schedules and mode of transport. All this because the security of the participants is prioritized.
Is it necessary to have good physical condition?
It is recommended to be able to walk for more than 6 continuous hours. Likewise, having a practice in bicycle handling (downhill) is the minimum recommended. In case you do not have experience driving a bicycle, you can coordinate with the guide so that you avoid doing this sport and you can accompany the group from the bus that accompanies that first section.
Can I buy food and water during
Yes, in some sections of the road you can buy bottled water, snacks and seasonal fruits, but of course at a price slightly higher than that found in the city of Cusco.
Can I book without a passport?
Travelers from South America can book with their ID and must present it when entering Machupicchu. Tourists from other countries will have to book and present their passport to access tourist attractions. It is important to mention that they must present the same document with which they made their reservation.
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