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Inca Jungle Trail To Machu Picchu: 4 days
This tour brings you the best of two Peruvian delights: the awe-inspiring Inca citadel of Machu Picchu in the Andean cloud forest and the lush Amazonian jungle. It includes trekking and bicycling, colourful wildlife and majestic human-built ruins. Accommodation is in lodges and inns. In terms of elevation, the journey takes us from Cusco (3,400 m / 11,200 ft) up over a pass of 4,316 m / 14,160 ft before we descend to moderate elevations. Machu Picchu itself sits at an altitude (2,430 m / 7,970 ft) where most people have no acclimatization issues.
Day 1: Cusco - Abra Málaga - Huamanmarka - Santa María
We will begin the tour at 7:30 am, picking you up from your Cusco hotel. We drive through Sacred Valley of the Incas, which includes the towns of Chincheros, Urubamba, Ollantaytambo. Then we arrive at Abra Málaga (4,316 m / 14,160 ft), a highpoint on the road where we'll have an exceptional view of the majestic snowcapped mountain of Huacay Willca (Veronica).
We finish our journey on bicycle into the archaeological remains of Huamanmarka (also known as Huaman Marq’a and Wamanmarka). We continue to Santa Maria (1,200 m / 3,937 ft) where we have dinner, spend the night and get our breakfast the next day.
Day 2: Santa María - Qellomayo – Hot Springs - Santa Teresa
After a delicious breakfast, we will begin our trek through the Vilcanota River valley until we reach Santa Rosa town (about 1 hour away), following the great Inca Trail or Qhapaq Ñan. Along the way we will see birds like parrots, hummingbirds, eagles and the plantations of coca (the sacred leaf of the Incas), coffee, yucca, and fruit trees (orange, mango, banana).
We will have a little break in the community of Pispitayuc, where we can relax in hammocks and have fun watching monkey and capiso antics. Restarting the trek, we have views of the beautiful and impressive landscapes of the Vilcabamba mountain range, and stop for lunch in Qellomayo town.
As the last part of today's trek we cross the hot springs of Cocalmayo and end in the town of Santa Teresa, for dinner, overnight and breakfast the next day.
Day 3: Santa Teresa - Hidroeléctrica - Aguas Calientes
We start walking in the morning and after 3 hours will reach a view of waterfalls. Also, we will see plantations of coffee and coca. When we reach Hidroeléctrica (1,900 m / 6,270 ft) we stop for lunch. Afterwards we continue by train, a short ride, to reach Aguas Calientes, where we will lodge and have the afternoon free.
At night, we will gather for dinner and plan our climb to Machu Picchu for the next day.
Day 4: Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu - Ollantaytambo - Cusco
At 5:00am and after breakfast, we begin our uphill walk to Machu Picchu city which takes about 2 hours but you also have the option of a 25-minute bus ride. Once in the citadel you'll have a 2-hour guided tour, followed by free time to explore on your own and soak in the magic of this wonder of the world. Your guide can suggest areas to explore, such as Inti Punku (the Sun Gate) and the Inca Bridge. To climb Huayna Picchu you'll need to book well in advance (when you book the tour).
Leaivng Machu Picchu in the afternoon, we will descend and take the train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo where a bus will take you the rest of the way to Cusco, by evening.
Optional activities at Machu Picchu:
- Climb the mountain of Huayna Picchu; only 400 people a day are permitted and there is an additional fee; the climb takes about 45 minutes up and is very steep.
- Climb the mountain of Machu Picchu itself; also an additional fee on top of the entrance one.
Optional activities in the Inca Jungle:
- On the first day, you can have a rafting ride on the Urubamba River, for around 2 hours. You'll cross rapids of class of II and III, and also witness the beautiful landscapes. There is an extra cost.
- On the second day, entrance to the Cocalmayo hot springs. There is an extra cost.
- On the third day, there's a canopy Zip Line of 6 wires crossing through the mountains. The distance among the cables is 500 meters. There is an extra cost.
- Pick up from and return to hotel
- All transportation indicated above
- Kona-brand bicycle, plus elbow and knee pads, gloves, goggles, helmet
- 3 breakfasts / 3 lunches / 3 dinners (lunch the last day is not included)
- 3 nights lodging accomodation
- Entrance tickets to Machu Picchu
- Return train ticket from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo
- Professional guide (fluent in English, Spanish, German, Quechua)
- First aid kit
- Bus ride up to Machu Picchu citadel
- Discretionary spending, tips
For tips on what to bring, check our Travel Tips page.