Inca Trail to Machu Picchu: The Best Hike of South America

Inca Jungle Trek to Machu Picchu

Embark on the most adventurous trekking option in the Cusco Region, and live a cutting edge experience by biking, rafting, ziplining, and trekking through the Inca Paths

Explore THE INCA JUNGLE

The Adrenaline Pumping Way to Hike to Machu Picchu

The Inca Jungle Trek is the ultimate trip for adventure lovers. It combines cycling and walking through some beautiful areas of Cusco. You’ll come across many sites and paths just like those on the Inca Trail.

Witness the changing climate as you head down on bicycles from the Abra Malaga at over 4,000 masl winding and descending to the start of the jungle in Cusco. Let your exciting journey take you all the way to the New Seven Wonder of the World, Machu Picchu.

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Great Experiences & Magical Places

The Journey is the Destination

What better way to explore a magic destination than by following in the footsteps of the people who know it best? To find out the best places to view during your Salkantay Trek, take a look at some of our traveler's favorite places.

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Inca Jungle Travel Guide

Before You Go, What You Should Know

Inca Jungle Highlights

  • Enjoy the thrilling bicycle ride downhill to the jungle.
  • Take in the stunning surroundings of the landscape.
  • See parts of the original Inca Trail.
  • Witness incredible Inca archaeological sites.
  • See Machu Picchu from a distance the day before you arrive.
  • Discover the mysteries of Machu Picchu.

What to Expect on the Trail

Knowing what to expect will help make your decision easier, so we’ve come up with some aspects to aid you to make your choice.

A Thrilling Bike Ride

For those who love to feel the wind rushing through their hair as they ride down a winding road from a cold, high altitude, this is a great choice. It’s a real thrill and is just fascinating to see the surroundings change as you go further and further down.

Stunning Landscapes

As you’ll be cycling from high up, you’ll get some of the most wonderful views over the ever-nearing jungle below. The luscious green scenery is the perfect backdrop for your bike ride, hike, and photos.

To Learn a Lot

There’s no doubt that on this route you’ll learn a lot about the surroundings. You’ll see exotic plants and wildlife as well as get to know more about the Incas history. Your guide will give you plenty of information and feel free to ask whatever you like.

Something Different

Most of the routes to Machu Picchu include just hiking; this is something different and offers a more exhilarating adventure with the bikes.

Feel the Heat

In contradiction to most of the other tours, you don’t spend much time in the colder climate regions on this trek, hence the name. Be ready to feel hot a lot, so light and thin clothing is a must to make sure you feel comfortable.

Get Bitten by Bugs

The jungle is full of bugs that love to bite. To make sure you get bitten as little as possible, you should make sure you take plenty of repellent as well as long-sleeved shirts and pants rather than shorts.

Where is Inca Jungle?

The Inca Jungle trek takes place in the La Convencion province of Cusco. To get to the starting point you’ll travel around 2-2.5 hours from the city of Cusco. It’s a beautiful trail through the jungle region to Machu Picchu.

Difficulty Level

This trek is relatively difficult. The reason being that you’ll need to take care when riding the bikes as you go along a road where cars are also passing from Cusco to Quillabamba. The changing climate can make things tough as well as the terrain and ascents and descents. Expect a moderate to challenging trek overall.

Packing List for the Inca Jungle

Make use of this packing list to make sure you have everything you need and don’t get stuck in the middle of the trek without the necessities.

  • Sunblock, hat, and sunglasses for the strong Andean sun
  • Warm clothes for the bike ride
  • Thin layers that you can take off and put on easily
  • Hiking boots or shoes
  • Walking poles
  • Sleeping bag
  • Bug spray/repellent
  • Water bottle (not plastic)
  • Sandals/flip flops for the campsites
  • Snacks
  • Cash in small denominations
  • Waterproofs or poncho
  • Good quality camera
  • Passport
  • Machu Picchu and train tickets
  • Personal medication

Inca Jungle Tips

To help you prepare for your jungle adventure, we’ve got some tips for you.

  • Go on bike rides and treks at home as often as you can to prepare your body for the trip. Try to make these at higher altitudes and over a few days to get better accustomed to the same style.
  • Implement daily exercises and stretches into your routine to build muscles.
  • Look into ways you can help altitude sickness. Your doctor at home may be able to prescribe you some pill just in case.
  • This trek will be hot and there’ll be lots of bugs around, too. Make sure you have long sleeved tops and pants, but also that they’re thin and cooling. This way you’ll avoid being bitten but stay cool at the same time.
  • Drink plenty of water along the route. The higher altitude and warm climate will ake you thirsty often. We recommend a camelbak or bottle (not plastic) that you can refill at every stop.
  • Stay in Cusco or the Sacred Valley of the Incas for 2 or 3 days before you leave for the trek to be better acclimated.
  • Don’t rush the trek. Go at your own pace to avoid feeling tired.

Recommendations

The following recommendatoins are to help you with planning the trek and to make sure you feel ready.

Book Beforehand

To avoid disappointment upon arrival in Cusco, we suggest you book well in advance. This way we can guarantee we’ll have guides available and a group ready to go. Last minute plans can mean we don’t have the date available that you’re after.

Check the Season

The best time to enjoy this trek is in the dry season, from May to October. The trip is available in rainy season but it can mean that the roads and trail are slippery and a little more dangerous.

Get Insured

You’ll need to make sure you have travel insurance that includes adventure activities for this trip. Many companies won’t let you travel with them without it, and healthcare in Cusco isn’t cheap if you do end up needing it.

Take Care When Packing

Packing well means you won’t be stuck without something you need in the middle of the trail, especially tickets for the train and Machu Picchuand passport, as you won’t be able to ener without these. Use our list to make sure you have everything you need. You also want to be careful of the weight as you only have an allocated amount.

Prepare for the Altitude

The altitude can really affect how you feel the first few days. Take things slowly and use some local remedies to help you including coca tea. If all esle fails, oxygen is available at most pharmacies in the city centre.

Travel Information

  • Highlights
  • What to Expect?
  • Where is Inca Jungle?
  • Difficulty Level
  • Inca Jungle Packing List
  • Inca Jungle Tips
  • Recommendations
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What makes these trips different?

We believe that a vacation should be more than a hotel room, a flight and a rental car. It should be more than the sum of its parts. We also believe a challenge can help you grow and a trip can stir the soul. We create journeys worth taking - for the traveler, for the host and for the world.

  • TOURCERT - Travel for Tomorrow
  • AATC - Asociación de Agencias de Turismo de Cusco
  • CALTUR - Plan Nacional de Calidad Turística
  • DIRCETUR - Dirección Regional de Comercio Exterior y Turismo Cusco
  • MINCETUR - Ministerio de Comercio Exterior y Turismo
  • PERU BRAND - Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism of Peru
  • SERNANP - Servicio Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas por el Estado