Inca Jungle to Machu Picchu
TREKKING MAP The Inca Jungle Tour is ideal for people with a passion for adventure with newly recharged energy; what defines this tour is trekking and biking! We will go through trails and archaeological sites similar to the ones on the Inca Trail until we arrive to the magical town of Aguas Calientes. Finally, we will visit the historical sanctuary of Machu Picchu.
The Inca Jungle Trail of biking and trekking is not a simple alternative option to the classical Inca trail, it is the most original adventure that takes you to Machu Picchu. We will follow recently discovered trails. This tour is recommended for people of all ages that have a big sense of adventure, curiosity, and energy!
DAY 1: Cusco - Ollantaytambo - Abra Malaga - Santa Maria.Shuttle to Abra Malaga: – 3.5 hour by bus from Cusco
Biking time: – 3.5 to 4 hour approximately.
Maximum Altitude – 4350 meters ASL / 14271 feet ASL
Minimum Altitude – 1575 meters ASL / 5167 feet ASL
Meals: Lunch, and Dinner
Accommodation: Sleeping in the home of a host family in Santa Maria
Adventure: Absolutely! You will be in the middle of the Andes and tropical forest.
If you don’t like the idea of going downhill on a bike, you can travel comfortably sitting in the van behind the group that is biking. All your stuff will be held in the van for you.
During the adventure, we will pass by small towns, rivers, planting fields, and streams that end in the arqueological site of Huamanmarca where we will have some free time. We will continue on bikes or in the van until we arrive at the town of Santa Maria where we will sleep in the home of a local family.
DAY 2: Santa María - Santa Teresa - Lucmabamba(JUNGLE DOMES)Walking Distance – 7 hrs (12 km.)
Starting Elevation – 1575 meters ASL / 5167 feet ASL
Campsite Elevation – 2400 meters ASL / 7874 feet ASL
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
Accommodation: Newly constructed Jungle Domes
Adventure: Absolutely! You will be in the middle of the tropical forest you have dreamt about!.
We will climb a mountain for approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes until we arrive to the highest point where we will admire the beautiful view of the Sacred Valley and the canyon. Part of this trek is done over the trails of the original Inca trail that leads to the village of Quellomayo. Around noon, we will have a delicious lunch and, after lunch, we will have a brief rest before we continue our trekking along the old highway until we arrive at Santa Teresa, where we will take our private transportation to Lucamabamba Camp (Experience our Jungle Domes, brand new this year! In your dome, you will find a comfortable bed, twin or double (depending on your stated preferences). These domes have been ecologically designed to not interrupt the beautiful, raw surrounding landscape of the cloud forest.
DAY 3: Lucmabamba - Llactapata - Hidroelectrica – Aguas CalientesWalking Distance – 18 km / 11.2 miles
Starting Elevation – 2450 meters ASL / 8038 feet ASL
Campsite Elevation – 2000 meters ASL / 6561 feet ASL (Aguas Calientes hotel)
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner (Plus snacks and afternoon tea time)
Accommodation: Comfortable Hotel
Adventure: Moderate-High! How could it not be an adventure travelling back in time to visit with the Incan people?!
Today’s Highlights: Today something particularly special happens – we get to travel along part of the famous Inca Trail! On this path, we will come to the impressive archeological site of Llactapata right in front of its more well-known big brother, Machu Picchu. You will meet some of the native people who live their day-to-day lives in the area. Along the path you will have the opportunity to harvest several fruits while relishing in one of the best views of the Urubamba valley! Don’t forget to turn around and see Apu Salkantay again in the background before you look forward to have your first glance at the glorious Machu Picchu!
Like previous mornings, the chef of the trek will wake you up early with a hot cup of coca tea served in your bed. You will get ready for today’s activities while enjoying your last prepared breakfast by the talented trek chef. We will begin the hike early, and you will have the opportunity to enjoy a small part of the famous and highly-acclaimed Inca trail! After a climb of 2 hours with amazing views of the Santa Teresa valley we will arrive at the Llactapata Inca site right in front of Machu Picchu. This will be the first archaeological site we will see of the mysterious Lost City of the Incas! It is a very special place to enjoy together and spend time learning a bit more about this land’s roots and history. We will be able to see not only the ruins of Machu Picchu from this spot, but also Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain. We will explore this Inca site with the guide, and he will continue telling the history of the Incas who used and worshipped this land. Of course, you will have plenty of time to take as many photos as you want to capture these memories and share with your friends back home!
After the Llactapata ruins, we will continue our trek with a 2-hour downhill hike. On this part of the trail, you are always able to view Machu Picchu until we arrive at the Hidroelectrica train station to have lunch. One of the most impressive sites in this area is the 300-meter-tall natural waterfall which generates electricity for the entire region of Cusco! After lunch, we will arrive at Intiwatana, a famous ancient rock used as a sundial in the Incan era. According to history, Intiwatana worked together with the famous sundial stone in the Machu Picchu site. The people used these two stones to measure and read the winter solstice, which was the beginning of the new farming season for the Incas. After passing this interesting Inca site, we will reach train tracks which lead to the town of Aguas Calientes.
Here you will have two options:
1) If you are exhausted, you may take the train to Aguas Calientes ($31.00 extra).
2) If you are still eager to hike, you may walk from Hidroelectrica to Aguas Calientes for about 3 hours along the train track. Next to the tracks, there is a nice path we will through the warm paradise of the cloud forest. This is the same trail used by the American professor Hiram Bingham who rediscovered Machu Picchu after centuries of it being lost to the outside world!.
DAY 4: THE MOST IMPORTANT DAY – MACHU PICCHU!Activity Overview: Touring Machu Picchu with optional hike
Activity Level: Touring: easy, hike: strenuous
Activity Length: 2-5 hours exploring and optional 2-3 hour strenuous hike; Machu Picchu is at 7,972’ elevation
Today’s Highlights: Your excitement for our rendezvous at Machu Picchu will rise as we are hiking early in the morning through the forest to reach the site before most other tourists – even the Inca Trail trekkers!! You will have plenty of time to explore this truly magnificent World Wonder while you enjoy the beautiful sunrise from this once-in-a-lifetime viewpoint. Your group will learn about this mystical place in a two-hour guided tour of the ruins. Afterwards, you can opt to climb Huayna Picchu or Machupicchu Mountain (if you have pre-booked tickets) or walk to the Sun Gate or Inca Bridge (without extra tickets).
After this tour, you are free to climb up to Huayna Picchu (the top of the mountain we see in all the Machu Picchu pictures; 2720 MASL/8890 FASL) or Machu Picchu Mountain (Be sure to book in advance to get tickets for these!). Huayna Picchu hike is a 50 minute hike up and 50 minute hike down. Machu Picchu mountain takes approximately 3 hours to hike up and down. Another lower-impact option for which you do not need an extra ticket is to trek to the Sun Gate, the main entrance from the Inca Trail (this takes about 2 or 2.5 hours round-trip). Another option is walking to see the Incan Bridge. You will be able to stay and enjoy this magical city for as long as you need before hiking back down to Aguas Calientes. If you go down early enough, you can have lunch (it is not included but it can be added up to the package), visit the hot springs in town, go to a museum, or shop at the artisan market. We will take our train ride at 18:20 PM to Ollantaytambo. A private bus will pick up our group and drop you off at your hotel in Cusco at about 22:00 PM. Rest your feet and your body now, but we can assure you your heart will still be soaring for weeks and years to come!
Total time of the hike: 2:15hrs (6 km) - Initial Altitude 2650 MASL – 8694 FASL; Final 2,400 MASL – 7876 FASL
Trip by train back to Ollantaytambo, Trip by bus de back to Cusco and transportation to your hotel.
The prices of this tour are organized in function to the number of people in your group (the more people the lower the price).
What is Included?
- Professional tourist guide (English or Spanish and assistant for groups larger than 9 people)
- transportation: Airport – Hotel - Airport
- The tour starts and ends in your hotel in Cusco
- Van trip: Cusco – Abra Málaga – Santa Maria
- The train trip: Aguas Calientes – Ollantaytambo
- Trip in van: Ollantaytambo – Cusco
- Bikes and biking gear
- Entrance tickets to Machu Picchu
- 3 nights in hostels: Santa Maria, Santa Teresa, and Aguas Calientes
- Foods (B= breakfast, L= lunch (box lunch), D= dinner). It does not include lunch of day 4.
- Vegetarian food is available without extra cost
- International or national flights
- Tips or additional money spent
What you should pack for this tour:
- Original passport, student card (ISIC) for a discount of USD $25
- Hiking shoes, rain jacket, t- shirts, pants
- Hat for the sun, sunscreen, insect repellent, hand sanitizer and cosmetics
- Water and personal medicines
- Short pants, band aids, extra money, bathing suit
- Camera, flashlight
- It is recommended to have travel insurance
- To qualify as student, it is necessary to have a valid student ID card with expiration date (ISIC).
- You have to tell us in advance if you want to include the hotel and the train services or not.
Terms and Conditions
OUR HIKING TEAM
Our Tour GuidesYour tour will be led by a trained and highly experienced professional with a very solid guiding background, years of hiking and wilderness experience, medical certifications, and a passion for leading people into unforgettable adventures.
They never stop learning so that they can be the best possible guides. They all speak English and of course they also speak Spanish and even Quechua, the Incan Language. They are all able to communicate with natives from around the area and will have lots of history to share with you. Check out the Meet Our Team page for staff bios.
Our CooksAfter a challenging trek we know how important a good hot meal can be to prepare your body and warm you up. That’s why on every trek with Salkantay Trekking we employ chefs with years of experience cooking on the trails so that they provide filling and nutritious meals using fresh ingredients and a variety of flavors.
Every chef prepares different meals depending on what food is available. ...More info.
Meals: What to ExpectAll of our hiking tours include a diversity of tasty meals packed full of critical carbohydrates, proteins and fats. We carry foods that travel well in the backcountry – rice, pastas, lentils, beans, couscous, packaged meats, nuts, breads, oatmeal, granola, and more.
For optimal taste and energy, we supplement all our meals with spices, herbs, oils, cheeses, butter, sugar, fruits and vegetables (fresh and dried). In addition, we provide you with an assortment of trail mix, snacks, and dried fruits to eat at your own discretion.
We regularly accommodate vegan, vegetarian, kosher and non-gluten diets and will make adjustments for food allergies. These and other special dietary requests may require an additional fee. ...More info.
Our Horseman and HorsesOur Horseman and his horses are in charge of all our gear and will always await us within the safe and comfortable camp sites.
Our horsemen are hired from the areas where the trekking route goes and therefore have extensive knowledge of the area.
Besides trekking and camping gear every horse carries a total of 40 kg of guest's belongings.
You will have a personal allowance of 7kg/165lb for your gear....More info.