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The Inca Jungle trek to Machu Picchu is by far the most adventurous trekking option in the Cusco region. It is also the most varied in terms of activities.
The ‘trek’ includes a massive downhill mountain biking experience, followed by possible river rafting on Grade III and IV rapids, jungle trekking, and optional zip-lining. It culminates with a visit to Machu Picchu.
The trek naturally appears to adventurous types who like thrilling adrenaline-filled experiences.
Cusco Hotel Transfer
The tour begins at 6am. You’ll be taken to Lorenzo’s Lodge where we serve the first breakfast (buffet style; included in the tour). After, you’ll continue in our private van for 3 hours until you arrive at the Malaga Pass (4,316 metres above sea level).
This is where you’ll start the bike tour down the mountain. Your guide will give a quick, informational briefing and provide all riders with the appropriate safety gear, before the 3-hour mountain descent (about 34 miles or 55 km) to the town of Huamanmarca. From there, you’ll continue the journey by bus for approximately 30 minutes, until reaching the town of Santa Maria. Here, you can enjoy lunch, and spend the first night in a basic hostel.
During this part of the journey, you’ll experience the beauty of the snow-capped mountains and their fast-changing climate, from a dry cold to a humid heat. Upon arrival to Santa Maria, you’ll have the option to go rafting* (level III and IV, during April to November) in the Urubamba River, which crosses through part of the jungle. The rafting price (100 Soles) is not included in the tour.
After a delicious breakfast, at 6am you’ll begin the first day of the trekking course to Santa Teresa. The first part of the tour is an ascent of around 2 hours, but there will be various stops in order to learn a bit more about the rich variety of flora and fauna that can be found in the region. One of these breaks will be at a family house, where you can rest for 20 minutes and top up your water supplies, as well as trying some regional tropical fruit.
After some time-out, you’ll cross a section of the Inca Trail that historically connected Machu Picchu with the city of Vilcabamba. Here, our guide will explain a bit more about the history of the Incas, as well as the communication system that existed during that time. At this point, you’ll also see one of the most impressive views in the Huancarccasa Canyon.
You’ll descend to the small town of Quellomayo, where there’ll be a lunch-stop and time for a breather in the near-by hammocks. This will be followed by 2 more hours on foot to the thermal baths of Cocalmayo, where you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the naturally heated water of these pools. After bathing, you’ll continue to the final destination of the day, Santa Teresa, and spend your second night in a basic hostel.
Today, there’s the option of doing canopy zip-lining for 100 soles (not included). Otherwise, you’ll begin the trekking course to Aguas Calientes at approximately 7am. It’s a 3 hour walk through the Aobamba Valley, until you reach the Intihuatana area, where you’ll pass a government control post and continue the trek.
Lunch will be included along the way, and you’ll have the opportunity to see a series of waterfalls, and admire the splendour of the mountains surrounding Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu. Look out for the astronomical sundial used by the Incas, as well as the Incan citadel of Machu Picchu.
You’ll walk for 2 to 3 more hours alongside train tracks, which will lead you to the town of Aguas Calientes where you’ll spend the night.
This is the day that everybody has been waiting for – today you’ll see one of the 7 Wonders of the World! It’s a very early start, allowing time to arrive and watch the sun rise over the Inca city of Machu Picchu.
You’ll begin the ascent from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu at 4.30am, with the option of hiking the 1,500 Incan steps or paying a $12 bus fare to reach the citadel. Once inside the site, your guide will provide a 2-hour tour of the ruins, as well as the most important temples within the ancient city. After, you’ll be free to explore Machu Picchu yourself, and maybe even hike Huayna Picchu** or Machu Picchu Mountain**.
In your own time, you’ll need to return to Aguas Calientes (via stairs or bus) in order to take a return train to Ollantaytambo or Cusco.