The Inca Jungle Trek to Machu Picchu is aimed at adrenaline-junkies! This 4-day adventures combines an incredible suite of activities, from mountain biking and hiking to white-river rafting and jungle zip-lining.
The trip culminates with a guided tour of the famous Machu Picchu ruins.
Is this tour right for you?
The Inca Jungle is one of our favourite tours to Machu Picchu. However, if you are only looking to hike then this experience is not for you. The tour is jam-packed with adventure activities, including an epic downhill mountain bike ride, white-river rafting and zip-lining!
START & ENDS
Easy Moderate Challenge Hard
- DAY 1
- day 2
- day 3
- Day 4
CUSCO TO SANTA MARIA (MOUNTAIN BIKING AND RAFTING)
Santa Maria Homestay
Biking: 3 hours. Rafting: 2 hours
Cusco (3,350m) to Malaga Pass (4,350m) to Santa Maria (1,250m)
You will be collected around 8:00am from your hotel in Cusco. We'll drive for around 3 hours through the Sacred Valley and up to the high mountain pass of Malaga (4,350 meters), arriving around 11 am. From there we will gear up and get ready to start our amazing 3 hour mountain biking descent through small villages, orchards, and streams, all the while surrounded by stunning glaciated peaks. At around 13:30-14:00 we will reach the town of Huamanmarca where our private bus will take the group to the town of Santa Maria. After a short break, we will begin our 2-hour rafting trip, where you will encounter class III and IV rapids. Throughout the rafting experience you will always be accompanied by a professional safety kayak to watch over the group until leaving the river.
SANTA MARIA TO SANTA THERESA (TREKKING)
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Santa Theresa Homestay
Hike 12 km (5-6 hours)
Santa Maria (1,250m) to Santa Theresa (1,657m)
After a delicious but early breakfast (6am), we will begin our first day of the trekking. The first 2 hours of our hike is an ascent, but there will be several stops to learn a bit more about the wide variety of flora and fauna that can be found in the region.
One of these stops will be a family house where we will rest for 20 minutes and supply ourselves with more water and some regional tropical fruit. After resting for a bit, we will cross a section of the Inca Trail that historically connected Machu Picchu with the city of Vilcabamba. Here, our guide will explain a bit more about the history of the Incas, as well as the system of communication that existed during that time. At this point, we will also see one of the most impressive views - the Huancarccasa Canyon. Afterward, we will descend to the small town of Quellomayo, where we will stop for lunch and rest in the nearby hammocks. We then continue two more hours on foot to the thermal baths of Cocalmayo, where you will have plenty of time to enjoy the naturally heated water of the bathrooms.
SANTA THERESA TO AGUAS CALIENTES (TREKKING AND ZIP-LINING)
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Golden Sunrise Machu Picchu Hotel *** or similar
Zip-lining. Hike 16 km (4-5 hours)
Santa Theresa (1,657m) to Aguas Calientes (2,050m)
After breakfast in Santa Teresa, we'll walk for 20 minutes to the zip-line facility. The zip-line in Santa Teresa consist of 12 platforms and 5 galvanised stainless steel cables suspended 250 meters above the valley floor. The length of the cables range from 500m to 1000m in length. We'll spend 1.5 hours having an amazing adrenaline-filled morning, before being transported to the Hydroelectric station. From here we will hike towards Aguas Calientes. Lunch will be included along the path and we will have the opportunity to see a series of waterfalls and admire the majesty of the surrounding mountains of Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu. You'll also have the chance to see an astronomical sundial used by the Incans, as well as other constructions such as the Incan citadel of Machu Picchu. After 3 hours of walking we will arrive in Aguas Calientes, where we'll overnight.
MACHU PICCHU TO CUSCO
Tour of Machu Picchu
Aguas Calientes (2,050m) to Machu Picchu (2,400m), back to Cusco (3,250m)
This last day starts very early. We will wake around 5.00 am, have breakfast, and then take one of the first buses to Machu Picchu. There are two good reasons to be at the entrance of Machu Picchu very early:
1. It is well worth the effort to get up early, as the Inca city is quiet early morning. You will have plenty of time to take photos and enjoy the sunrise over Machu Picchu, before day visitors from Cusco arrive.
2. Our guide will give you a tour around Machu Picchu, telling you about the history of Machu Picchu and the most famous temples and altars. Of course, he will also take you to the classical viewpoint (the sacred Rock Hut), this vantage point offers a terrific view of the whole Inka city.
After the tour, if you still have plenty of energy, you can hike to the top of Huayna Picchu Mountain. Please note: This is the steep mountain dominating the background of Machu Picchu. From the top of Huayna Picchu, you have a stunning and breathtaking view of the complete Machu Picchu area. It takes about 1 hour to hike up Huayna Picchu and 1 to 1 ½ hour (depending on if you want to make a detour to the vast cavern) to return down. This hike needs to be booked in advance and has an extra cost of US$ 35.00 per person. It is a very popular add-on and frequently sell-out 3 or 4 months in advance (especially on dates in May and June). If you want to hike Huayna Picchu please let our local tour operator know after making your booking.
We'll hike back down to Aguas Calientes around 1:00 pm. If you go down earlier you can have lunch (not included), visit the hot springs in town, go to a museum, or shop at the artisan market. We'll catch a train to Ollantaytambo at 18:20 and then the group will be transferred by private bus back to Cusco, arriving around 22:00.
Dates & Prices
Below are our open group dates for the Inca Jungle Trek. If the dates below don't suit, please get in touch as we can open a new group on any day as long as you have at least 2 people in your party.
Please note: January and February are the rainy season and we therefore don't operate treks during this period.
The evening before departure we ask guests to visit the offices of Inkayni Peru Tours in Cusco at 19:00 for a pre-departure briefing. You will be sent details for this briefing once your trip is booked.
When is the best time to complete this adventure?
The Inca Jungle trek can be completed all year round, however, during the rainy season of January and February we highly recommend avoiding this adventure (in fact we don't offer dates during this period).
When should I arrive in Cusco prior to this adventure?
Cusco is situated at high elevation (3,350m). To properly acclimatise we recommend that all guests arrive in Cusco at least 48 hours before their trip start date. Our local operator runs a pre-departure briefing in their Cusco offices at 19:00 o'clock the evening before trip departure. It is important you attend this.
How fit do I need to be?
You will need to be in good health and relatively fit for this adventure. We recommend doing 4 weeks aerobic gym / hiking training before embarking on this adventure.
Is advanced mountain biking experience required?
No. There is a total of 3 hours of downhill biking. 95% of the road is downhill and paved. Therefore, the cycling part of the tour is not difficult. Only basic to intermediate experience is required.
Do I need a visa for Peru?
Most country nationals, including the UK, US, Canada and the EU, can enter Peru visa-free for 183 days. Check eligibility and exempt countries here.
What immunisations should I get?
We recommend reviewing the UK NHS fit-for-travel website for Peru: https://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/destinations/south-america-antarctica/peru
What currency is used in Peru?
Peru uses Nuevo Sol (S), which has traded at 2.50 to 3.50 Sol for $1US dollar for several years, although you should keep an eye on current events.
Carrying cash, an ATM card or traveler's checks, as well as a credit card that can be used for cash withdrawals in case of emergency, is advisable.
When receiving local currency, always ask for small bills, as 100 Sol bills are hard to change in small towns or for small purchases. Carry as much spare change as possible, especially small towns.
Public bathrooms often charge a small fee for use, and getting change for paper money can be challenging.
The best places to exchange money usually are "Casas de Cambio" (foreign exchange bureaus), which are fast, have longer hours, and often give slightly better rates than banks.
Many places accept US dollars. It is best not to change money on the street as counterfeits are a problem.
Are vegetarian, vegan and other special dietary needs available?
Of course! And without any additional cost! When you make your reservation, please inform us of any dietary needs or requirements, including allergies!
Vegetarian foods will not include any meats, chicken, or fish. But we will assume that eggs and cheese or other lactose products are OK.
Most of our main meals are buffet-style, leaving you the option to avoid anything undesirable to you.
If there are any food items that you can not stomach, perhaps onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, etc., upon your request, we will ask our chef to leave them out or separate this item.
We can also cater for lactose-intolerant or gluten-intolerant diets.
We can not accept individuals with severe allergic or life-threatening reactions.
How big are the groups?
Group size is limited to 12 people.
Can I do the trek privately?
Yes, if you would like a private trek just contact us and we can arrange this. There may be a single supplement charge.
Is there a minimum age requirement?
Yes, the minimum age to join this adventure is 18. Children over the age of 16 can join this adventure but will need to be accompanied by a parent / legal guardian.
How much should I tip the crew?
Tipping is discretionary. But as a rough guideline you should budget 10% of your trek cost. Tips should be given to the guide at the end of the trek and can be given in US$ or Peruvian Sols. Your guide will distribute tips fairly to porters and the cook.
What are your cancellation terms?
Should you need to cancel the following terms apply.
- Less than 4 weeks from departure: No refund
- Between 4-8 weeks from departure: 100% refund less full deposit
- More than 8 weeks before departure: 100% refund less 3% refund transaction fee.
Cancellation fees are set our in our Terms and Conditions. You may be able to reclaim refund charges if your reason for cancellation is covered by your travel insurance policy.
- 1 x hiking shirt + 1 x long-sleeve hiking shirt
- Mid-weight fleece jacket
- Hard shell rain jacket
- Light insulating down or synthetic jacket / gilet
- Light gloves
- Sun hat + Sunglasses
- Beanie for the nights
- Mid-weight hiking boots / hiking trainers
- 3 x hiking socks
- 35-40L daypack (Only pack what is necessary for the 4 days of the trip. The rest of your luggage can be left in a storeroom at your hotel/hostel in Cusco or our office. On the second and third day, you will be carrying your own backpack so don't over pack)
- Original passport (you need this to enter Machu Picchu)
- Water bottle / hydration bladder
- Water treatment tablets
- Sun cream
There are a number of good rental gear shops in Cusco where one can rent / buy most items listed above.
We highly recommend getting travel insurance for your trip. We recommend World Nomads as they provide comprehensive cover for adventurous activities and are very affordable. Get a quote below.
Night 1: Santa Maria homestay with basic private rooms.
Night 2: Santa Teresa homestay
with basic private rooms.
Night 3: Golden Sunrise Machu Picchu Hotel or similar 3 star hotel.
LOCAL TOUR OPERATOR
Inkayni Peru Tours
Inkayni Peru Tours are a fantastic local operator based in Cusco, Peru. The company is run by Edgar, Alex, and Percy, spiritual brothers and natives of the town of Chinchero in the Sacred Valley. Together they are united by their ambition of offering personalised services of great quality, aiming to make every experience unique and unforgettable. With Inkayni Peru Tours you can expect a professional tour to the highest standard!
Mountain IQ is a platform for travellers to book holiday services available from tour operators, accommodation providers and other service providers available around the world. We act as an authorised agent for these Suppliers. Please read our booking and cancellation terms here.
What an adventure!
This trip was by far the best adventure tour I have ever been on! The Inkayni team were amazing – so professional, helpful and most importantly fun. I can’t thank them enough for providing such a great tour. And thanks to Mountain IQ too, for all the pre-trip support.
Leave a Review
Why book with us?
We connect travellers with the best local guides in each destination. No agents or expensive tour operators!
Our team have completed every adventure we offer. Get impartial and practical insight from real experts.
We only work with local guides to offer great value adventures at unbeatable prices.
Just wanted to thank the team at Mountain IQ for their super helpful advice. The trip we booked went smoothly and the local guides were amazing!
It was an absolute pleasure booking through Mountain IQ - seamless every step of the journey, thanks!