The Best Inka Jungle Trek Itinerary To Machu Picchu
Inka Jungle Trek to Machu Picchu what is it?
The Inka Jungle Trek is a 3 or 4 day trek to Machu Picchu. In fact, this is one of the many alternative hikes to the popular Inca Trail. It is aimed at adrenaline enthusiasts! In fact, it is ideal for those looking for a combination of fun and excitement to liven up their hike. And as a family, is it possible? Yes, and with tweens or older, it’s even great!
Basically, the Inka Jungle Trek is a trek to which we add intense sports activities such as: cycling from The Peru Travel, rafting and zip-lining. There is also the hiking part that includes 1 or 2 days of hiking, depending on the chosen version of 3 or 4 days. As an additional benefit, a visit to the thermal baths and, finally, to the majestic Machu Picchu.
Focus of the entire service
All of the following information is based on our experience with The Peru Travel. Keep in mind that other companies offer the Inka Jungle Trek, which is designed the same way for everyone. However, the price, accommodation, restaurants, equipment provided, and quality of the guides vary from company to company. Therefore, we recommend that you inform yourself well before choosing one company or another.
Day 1: cycling and rafting
Very early in the morning, the transport will pick you up at your hotel. Then, once everyone is on board and after making a brief stop to choose the equipment, the transportation heads to the “Sacred Valley of the Inkas“. There, it is a first stop for buffet style breakfast and a bathing pose for everyone. Then the road continues to Abra Málaga, where the cycling part begins. The altitude is 4350 M and you can even see snow in certain peaks of the Andes!
Bicycle within the Inka Jungle service
The temperature should be around 3 ° C, but with the provided equipment and warm clothes, it is fine. Here is the equipment list:
• Motocross’ helmet
• Cycling gloves
• Strong and waterproof pants and coat.
• Mountain bike
Acclimatization period by bicycle
Once the equipment has been distributed, everyone has the opportunity to become familiar with their bike for ten minutes. When everyone is ready it’s a start and the descent can begin! This road is winding and is shared with motorists. You do not have to be a bicycle professional, but you feel comfortable on two wheels, since 90% of this activity is downhill! Note that you will have to pedal a bit, only in the last 20 minutes.
About the weather
Interest is the feeling of freedom offered by the bicycle, since nothing obstructs the view! In addition, going from 4350 M of altitude to approximately 1200 M, that implies a change of climate and vegetation! At the top, the landscape is made up of lichens and rocks, since you are in the Andes. At the opposite background, the flora is tropical, it is warm and humid since it is the upper part of the Amazon! Going from 3 ° C to 28 ° C in 3 hours is really quite impressive!
For your safety
If there is a problem with the route, the transport is always behind the last cyclist. Normally, there are some additional bikes to be able to swap in case of problems. Plus, you can always board the truck if you no longer want to continue.
Dinner in inka jungle
Once they reached the town of Huamanmarca and after having done a bath pose, the group returns on the transport that leads to Santa María for dinner. After lunch, an optional activity ($$) is possible, be it rafting! If you choose the Inka Jungle Trek 3D / 2N and want to go rafting, you will not be able to visit the thermal baths. Otherwise, with Inka Jungle Trek 4D / 3N, you can do it all!
Rafting an incredible adventure
Rafting is practiced in rapids of the R3-R3 + categories. There is no large tourist office to welcome you on site. Rather, you will find the essentials, the river, the rafting boat, the life jackets, the helmets and the oars. In addition, you must go down a slope without stairs to reach the edge of the Vilcanota River. This is where the “mini report” is done to give you directions to follow and safety rules. A kayak always follows the boat in case of capsizing.
Once on board, some maneuvers are performed to reassure everyone. So it’s a start! This is where the adventure begins! The guide knows the river very well, so each action is calculated so that you experience the rapids very intensely without ever capsizing! Screams and strong emotions guaranteed!
At some point, you are offered to do the “Jump off the Rock”, which is a jump from a large rock. It is a good psychological challenge! In fact, since the rock is quite tall and a river, one has the impression that it is shallow. Once everyone has jumped, everyone returns to the boat and the journey ends a few more meters. Transportation returns to pick you up at this location. Bring mosquito repellent, because as soon as you get out of the water, you will be devoured!
Rest for more adventures
After all this adrenaline, return to the Lodge, where dinner awaits you and a good night’s sleep. Since it is located in the upper Amazon, be sure to close your windows and lights at night. Otherwise, you could have unwanted guests in your room. In fact, this exceptional Lodge, which belongs to The Peru Travel, is the only one that exists. It is also surrounded by nature and everything that lives there!
Difference between options
The next morning, if you’ve chosen the 4-day Inka Jungle Trek option, you’ll have an early lunch to be ready to start a long day of hiking. On the other hand, if you opted for the 3-day Inka Jungle Trek, your second day will be a walk from Santa Teresa to Aguas Calientes. And you will have lost an excellent day in the upper Amazon!
Day 2: Hiking and thermal baths.
Once the meal is over, a short van ride leaves you at the beginning of the trail where the climb begins. Along the way, you can discover dense vegetation with, among other things, coffee plants, mango trees and coca plants. Also, your guide will give you very interesting explanations about your surroundings, including cross bugs on your way. Then, a first stop is made for a break in the “Turkish bath” and a supply of water. This place houses a monkey on a leash and 2 tame parrots. You can also discover an artisan technique for processing coffee beans.
Overview and presentation
Then you take the path that continues to climb, until you reach a panorama on the side of the mountain. This offers you a spectacular view! Also, some strong feelings are felt due to the narrowness and height of the place. The path always continues until you reach a “farm” in the middle of the Amazon. There, your guide presents a food platter to taste and touch. It also tells him about the history of the Inkas and their veneration for Pachamama (mother nature). It is a really interesting moment!
Dinner on the way
Then, you continue your hike which becomes quite descending until Quellomayo, where you can relax in the hammocks while we prepare you for dinner. The food served is generous and you are very pleased to continue your journey.
Several different crosses
The next part contains approximately 2 hours of walking. Along the way, you can see a very diverse flora and various insects. The hike leads to a river at one point. You cross it for the first time through a suspension bridge and a second on a zip line. Then you have to go through a cave full of bats, which are very calm and discreet. Then continue your walk until you reach Cocalmayo and its thermal baths.
This beautiful place offers you several natural hot water pools that flow together. The first is the hottest and the second is the coldest. The site is gigantic and surrounded by mountains, making the experience truly sublime. Various kiosks are available to you, should the desire arise to purchase sweets, drinks or chips. Plenty of tables and chairs allow you to store backpacks and other items that your guide can control for you. You can spend 1 to 2 hours on site, it’s up to you. Then, a transport takes you to the hotel in the city of Santa Teresa, where you share another good meal with your guide, and then spend the night.
Day 3: zip lines and hiking
The next morning, after lunch, you can take a zip line course if you wish. This activity is not included ($$), but we recommend it! If you are with your family, don’t worry, everyone can participate. Children are hooked to a guide for certain crosses to add weight. The zip lines are over a small canyon with a river in the background. This activity also includes climbing a rock wall when climbing. After you have made the first crosses in a classic way, we suggest you do 2 differently. The first, condor style, hung from the back with arms outstretched. The second, backwards! Everything is well organized and safe, you can really let go!
Then, the van takes you to the entrance of the Machu Picchu National Park. From this point, follow the railway, walking towards Aguas Calientes. Along the way, your guide makes you discover: Intihuatana. It is a stone carved by the Incas, which is actually a solar calendar. Another copy is found on the Machu Picchu website. This explanation of how it works is really fascinating! Then continue your trek to Inka Rakay where you stop for a delicious lunch. You also have the opportunity to relax in the hammocks before going to Aguas Calientes.
Towards Aguas Calientes
Along the way, you have the opportunity to observe orchids, huge trees, lush vegetation, a beautiful river and the Machu Picchu mountain at the bottom. You also often come across the train that makes the trip from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes. Then, after a while, the tourist town appears, hidden at the foot of the mountains. Upon arrival, you go to your hotel where you have time to relax or visit.
For dinner, it is at Chullpi Machu Picchu, a gourmet restaurant, where you share the last meal with your guide. This is the best food we have eaten in Peru! After enjoying, you can return to your room or buy your tickets for the next day bus.
Clarification for the bus to Machu Picchu
Without going into detail, as I explained extensively in a previous article, bus tickets are necessary if you choose not to climb the stairs that lead to the Machu Picchu site. For more information on this topic or, to: Know everything about Machu Picchu, click here.
Get back to your hotel as soon as possible and go to bed as the next day starts very early! In fact, your guide will take a 2-hour tour of the site with you upon opening, so at 6:00 a.m. To be on time, you must be ready around 4:00 a.m.
Day 4: Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu is the last stage of this trek. You can appreciate its splendor even more with all the way to get there! Your guide, during the visit, will tell you about its history, its conception and its discovery. So much information comes to close everything you learned in the last days! Because this teaching about the Incas, begins from the first day and accompanies you every day! Machu Picchu is a big part of this story, but I won’t dwell on the details here. I invite you to read my article on this topic mentioned above, you will find a lot of information there!
What to bring for the Inka Jungle Trek:
• A backpack of 30 to 60 l maximum.
• Mountain boots
• Mosquito repellent (25% Deet)
• Long and short sleeve sweater
• Long pants or leggings
• Hat or cap
• Bathing suit and sandals
• Light or windproof coat
• Personal medication
• Original passport to enter Machu Picchu
• Walking sticks (optional)
Finding bottled water is easy on the go and your guide will point you to the best times to stock up. It is also possible to leave your large backpack to transfer it from one Lodge to another, for a fee. In addition, towels are provided for the visit to the thermal baths. Finally, don’t forget to stamp your passport with the legendary Machu Picchu stamp at the exit of the site!
To know more
For more information on pricing and to watch Inka jungle Trek videos, I invite you to click here, which will direct you to The Peru Travel page.