The Inca Jungle Trek to Machu Picchu (Inca Jungle Trail) is the best option for those who prefer a more adventurous and adrenaline pumping way to hike to Machu Picchu. The trail belongs among so called Alternative Treks to Machu Picchu and it combines trekking with mountain biking with an opportunity to enjoy rafting and ZIP line too. Moreover, a part of the trail leads through the latest discovered authentical Inca path called Qapaq Ñan. On the way, you can admire beautiful mountains as well as suptropical areas of a cloud forest. One of the highligts of the trek is a visit of amazingly lovely and hot thermal baths where you can refresh yourself in its healing water to benefit your body. The baths, which temperature ranges from 40ºC to 44ºC, possesses therapeutic effects on rheumatism, skin ulceration and other skin problems as well as bone pains.
The beginning of the trek start at an altitude of 4,350 m.a.s.l. and then it descend to only 1,900 m.a.s.l. The trek offers us a visit of the nca ruins, a view of splendid waterfalls, meeting local settlers and a possibility of collecting exotic fruits along the path! Like the icing on the cake, we reach the overwhelming Incan citadel - Machu Picchu, where our Tour Guide explains us functions of each part and its history.
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
Crew: A Tierras Vivas Representative in Cusco and a professional bilingual Tour Guide on the Inca Jungle Trail to Machu Picchu.
Accomodation: Hostels with a dorm and a shared bathroom (2 nights), hostel with a private room and a private bathroom (1 night).
Meals: 3x breakfast, 3x lunch, 3x dinner, 2x afternoon tea (Please allow USD 20 - 40 for meals not included).
Transportation: Transportation by private van, 1x train.
Rafting in Santa Maria: USD 45
Zip Line in Santa Teresa: USD 40
Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain are two mountains peaks which tower over the Machu Picchu archaeological site. To climb one of the mountains you need to purchase a pass in combination with your Machu Picchu entry ticket-passes cannot be purchased separately from entry ticket, and once entry ticket has been purchased a mountain pass cannot be added or cancelled.
This is the more popular of the two optional mountain treks but it also can be very crowded. 200 people start climbing between 7am-8am, and 200 people start between 10am-11am so in total 400 people climb every morning. The trail is quite steep and takes about 1.5 hours to climb up and down - people who have trouble with vertigo may not enjoy this trek. There are some interesting archaeological ruins on the top of Huayna Picchu mountain.
Early morning, we pick you up from your hotel in Cusco to transfer by private vehicle passing Sacred Valley of the Incas to a starting point of the trek at Abra Malaga (4,350 m.a.s.l.) which is the highest place of the trek. There we sit on a bicycle and start biking down for about 4 hours to the small town of Santa Maria. On the route, you can appreciate an Incan site, cloud forest´s birds, medicinal plants, butterflies, snakes and tropical fruits. We also can visit local families to find about their daily routine. When in Santa Maria, we accommodate ourselves in a familial basic hostel where we can have a shower. After dinner, we spend the night there.
Optional tour: Rafting in the afternoon in Santa Maria, 3-5 class of rapids. The price of the rafting is extra USD 45.
We continue our trip early morning after breakfast getting progressively steeper until we get to a restaurant where we have lunch. Then we can relax in hammocks admiring surrouning coca plantations. Later on, we continue trekking to later reach an authentical Inca path - "Qhapaq Ñan"!! The path winds around steep hillsides and sheer gorges for approximately half a mile.
Please note that this part of the trek is not for people suffering from vertigo!!
Later, we descend to the famous hot springs of Cocalmayo and refresh ourselves in its healing water!! After that, we trek to Santa Teresa, a town located at Santa Teresa River. There, we accommodate ourselves in another familial simply hostel.
We have early breakfast before taking a private transport to Llucmabamba Town. There we observe a stunning sunrise above a lovely landscape with Machu Picchu in its centre!! Later, we descend to bamboo groves and a cloud forest with increasingly thick vegetation and tall trees offering us some excellent birdwatching opportunities! Later in the afternoon, we get to Hidroelectrica (a hydroelectric plant) Railway Station and there we start following trails leading us to the Aguas Calientes Town. We spend the last night in a more comfortable hostel there with private rooms and bathrooms offering us a hot shower.
Optional tour: ZIP Line in the morning in Santa Teresa. The price of the ZIP Line is extra USD 40.
After an early morning breakfast, we hike for 2 hours up to the mysterious city of Machu Picchu that we enter for the early morning best photos opportunities! Then our Tour Guide shows us around the Incan city and explains us about its history and purposes. After the guided tour, we have an opportunity to climb up for about 45 minutes to Huayna Picchu, a peak above Machu Picchu that serves to take some panoramic pictures of the Incan city. Then, we are given time off to spend and explore Machu Picchu on our own.
In the afternoon, we return by train to Ollantaytambo (alternatively to Poroy), from where we are taken by van back to Cusco.
Machu Picchu is both, the best and the least known site of the Incas as it is not mentioned in any Spanish conquistador´s chronicle so that contemporary archaeologists can not do anything more than just speculate on its functions. Local Quechuan farmers had known about Machu Picchu for centuries before an 11-year-old boy showed the American historian Hiram Bingham (who was in a search of Vilcabamba) this site on the 24th of July 1911. At that time, all the rest of the world became aware of its existence. However, the site was covered with thick vegetation so Hiram Bingham along with his team returned and within the years of 1912 and 1915 cleared its surface. Over the years, plenty of work has been done on excavating and studying the site. Despite these efforts, many unanswered questions remain.
Meal budget: Please allow USD 20-50 for meals not included.
Single room: Please note that if you have booked the "Single room" option for this trek, you receive your own single room for all nights.
Local flights: No local flights are included in the trek´s price!