The Jungle Trails
Throughout the year, thousands of travelers from all over the world take the route of the Inca Trail from Cusco to access the jungle of Peru and the mysteries that still enclose the stones of Machu Picchu. Along the way are several ruins of different fortifications in a relative good condition. The Inca Jungle Tour is one of the most important tours that lead to the citadel of Machu Picchu. It is a unique adventure in the midst of nature, unique flora and fauna and many little known small archaeological remains.
The opportunity of hiking across narrow paths and parts of real Inca-routes, together with mountain-biking, rafting, ziplining and hot springs makes the Inca Jungle Trek highly recommended for thrill seekers. With a little less hiking, this route also offers the perfect alternative for families who want to visit the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu.
Day 01: Cusco – Santa Maria
We will pick you up at your hostel to leave Cusco at 7:30 a.m. by bus to “Abra Malaga”. On the road, when we have time, we are going to stop to enjoy the snowy mountain “Veronica.” After approximately 4 hours of driving including a break, the 2 hour long descent by mountain bike begins, stopping just before Santa Maria. Everyone can do this mountain bike tour on his own speed. Along the way, you will see the archaeological centers of Huamanmarca and diverse landscape of mountains and jungle; you will see jungle birds, medicinal plants and exotic fruits such as mango, pineapple, papaya, avocado, coffee and coca tea. After arriving at your hostel in Santa Maria, true adventurers have the opportunity to take a Rafting tour on the Urubamba River. After dinner, you can sleep in your own bed after a tiring day. Sometimes, locals take the opportunity to make money by taking pictures from you when you are rafting. They will ask you around 10 soles a person for a photo.
Day 02: Santa Maria – Santa Teresa
After getting up, we will have breakfast at around 6 a.m. Afterwards, we will start to walk along the banks of the Urubamba River and come across varieties of fruit plants, wild animals and medicinal plants that the locals use to cure their illnesses. After two hours of walking, we will enter the pure original Inca stone path at 1,758 masl. From that point, we might see the snowy peak of Salkantay. Then, we are going to walk for two more hours to Qellomayo, where we will have our break and lunch. We will keep walking along the river bank to the thermal baths of Cocalmayo. To arrive here, we have to cross a local zip line for an additional cost of 10 soles. After reaching Cocalmayo, it is optional to bathe in the thermal baths of Oroya for approximately 1.5 hours. Costs are an additional 40 soles. Afterwards, a hike of 45 minutes up to Santa Teresa is left for us to finish. For those who feel tired after the relaxing hot springs; local taxis ask 3 soles (prices may vary) per person to bring you up to Santa Teresa. We can recommend to take the taxi, since the path to Santa Teresa is not made for walking – own experience! After changing at the hostel, dinner is served and we have some free time before going to bed. The total walking distance at this day is around 21 kilometers and takes a total of 7 hours including breaks.
Day 03: Santa Teresa – Aguas Calientes
After breakfast, it is time to do our third and last activity: Zip lining! Do not forget to do the spider-man-zipline. Afterwards, we will start our walk towards “Hidroeléctrica”, we will go through a narrow canyon where the climate is very pleasant. On the way, we will see beautiful waterfalls, mountains covered with plenty of vegetation, banana plantations, cocoa, oranges, coca, etc. Lunch will be at “Hydroelectrica”. Later, we will continue along the railroad tracks where we will see beautiful flowers and greenery. After three more hours of walking, we will reach the town of “Aguas Calientes” where we have dinner and the final overnight before our final stop; Machu Picchu.
Day 04: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu
In case you have morning entrances to Machu Picchu, you will wake up around 3 a.m. and have to leave the hostel around 03:45 a.m. to be able to climb the stairs to the Machu Picchu around 4 a.m. You have the opportunity to leave your backpacks at the beginning of the entrance for around 5 euros. Everyone starts this hike on his own – of course you can arrange with the people from your group to go together. Most likely, the guide will not join this morning walk. For the true hikers, we will climb a 1,200 stair path through the jungle. For those who do not want to walk, buses go up to Machu Picchu for 12 dollars. The early wake makes sure that you will have the opportunity to see the sunrise. A lot of people decide to watch the sunrise from the Inti Punku or Sungate, an assured spectacular view! You can do this easily by yourselves by following a clear path up. After free time, you can enter Machu Picchu itself through a guided tour which lasts 2 hours. Most likely you can join a guided tour – please ask your tour guide the day before. It is also possible to visit the Inca town by yourself. Normally this is for a maximum duration of 2 hours, but sometimes it is possible to stay longer. In the city, you will come across places like “Inti Watana”, “The Temple of the Condor” and “The Sacred Rock”. In case you take the bus, you should start hiking downwards from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes and on to Hydroelectrica at around 11 a.m. Over there, our tourist bus will wait for you to transfer you to Cusco. The buses leave Hydroelectric at 3:00 p.m. and take around 6-7 hours to bring you back to central Cusco.
This travel itinerary is very detailed. Because of circumstances – weather, time to pick up people, South American culture – we cannot guarantee that you will carry out this itinerary perfectly. Moreover, the above description of ”day 4” is based on the first morning entrances to Machu Picchu. Because of limited spots, we cannot guarantee morning entrances to Machu Picchu. This travel itinerary should be used as a guideline.
- Hotel pick-up
- Tourist Bus (Cusco – “Abra Malaga” – Santa Maria)
- Food (3 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners)
- Three nights in a basic hostel (Santa Maria / Santa Teresa / Aguas Calientes)
- English-Spanish Professional Guide
- Professional bicycles (including protection)
- Entrance fees to the archaeological sites
- Wild water rafting
- Entrance ticket to Machu Picchu
- Transportation back from Aguas Calientes to Cusco.
- By bus: You should start hiking downwards from Machu Picchu at around 11 a.m. You then have to walk back to Hydroelectrica where the buses leave at 03:00 p.m. and take around 6-7 hours to leave you back at your Cusco accomodation.
- By train (+70 euros): You can hike downwards from Machu Picchu in the afternoon. The train takes you in about 2 hours from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo. From there, a bus takes you to Cusco in about 2 more hours where you arrive at around 10 p.m.
- Entrance to the thermal baths (40 soles)
- First breakfast
- Last lunch and dinner
- Bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu (12 USD one way)
- Access to the Machu Picchu mountain or Huayna Picchu mountain. Take a look at the FAQ page for more information (50 Euros).
Prices of the 4D/3N and 3D/2N trail are the same and mentioned beneath. The 3 day-jungle trekking to Machu Picchu is only different on the second day. Instead of hiking from Santa Maria to Santa Teresa, you will be picked up by bus and driven there. After this bus drive, you will walk to Aguas Calientes. Prices for both tours are the same.
Student price by bus: €229,-*
Student price by train: €299,-*
Adult price by bus: €249,-
Adult price by train: €319,-
* You need to be in possession of a legit student card. This student card has to be valid until you have visited the Machu Picchu. Furthermore, the current year in which you study has to be visible on the student card. If not, you will get in trouble at the entrance of the Machu Picchu.
- Original identification documents (passport, ID)
- Student ID (optional)
- Flashlight (extra batteries)
- Binoculars (optional)
- Walking stick (optional)
- Extra money
- Small backpack & rain cover
- Personal medication kit
- Clothing – we’re in the mountains, so prepare for rapid temperature changes!
- Gloves/scarfs/hats for the cold blooded
- Thermal clothing
- Small towel
- Socks (warm)
- Walking shoes or good sandals
4 days / 3 nights or 3 days / 2 nights
Phone/Whatsapp: +31 6 44668062
PaRa Travels B.V.