Vacation in Machu Picchu? Unquestionably, the best decision when deciding to roam around the world. Many hikers are more than prepared to venture into the famous Inca Trail, but are there any other adventurous trek to get to the Inca Citadel? Luckily, Cusco Peru Travel has the answer: YES! The 4-day Jungle Trek to Machu Picchu.

The Jungle Trek to Machu Picchu is one of the most exciting and adventurous treks in the Cusco region. Indeed it’s really popular among backpackers due to its range of fun and cool activities as well as its cheap price. The Jungle Trek to Machu Picchu combines trekking with many other adventurous activities like biking, jungle trekking, rafting, and zip-lining. It sounds like an incredible multi-activity tour, eh?

Most trekking companies offer the Jungle Trek to Machu Picchu on a 4-days/3-nights itinerary, others on a 3-days/2-nights itinerary. So, adventurous souls and thrill-seekers, you must choose properly which one fits you best. We will provide you an idea of a day-by-day itinerary on the Jungle Trek to Machu Picchu. Are you ready for this high-adventure and low-cost trek? Let’s get started!

Route: Jungle Trek to Machu Picchu

Day 1: Cusco to Abra Malaga

jungle trek to machu picchu abra malaga

The first day of the Jungle Trek to Machu Picchu begins with a scenic ride up through beautiful Andean mountains to Ollantaytambo, in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. You will stop to take in some of the sights. Then, the bus climbs up to the top of the impressive Abra Malaga Pass that sets at 4,200 meters above sea level… The adventure has just begun!

High in the Andes Mountains, you will start the first activity of the Jungle Trek to Machu Picchu: Mountain biking. The descent will start with a chilly breeze caressing your cheeks while admiring the breathtaking and stunning surrounding scenery through curvy roads and steep drop-offs. The ride is entirely downhill so there is practically no need to pedal during the entire ride. A very thrilling ride! Without a doubt, one of the most exciting things to do in Machu Picchu.

After, approximately 3 hours of adrenaline riding through these winding mountain roads and local villages, you will finally reach the bottom of the mountain. If you are nervous about all this, don’t worry. You can go as slow as you like. Keep in mind that feeling comfortable is part of the fun. Besides, a backup van travels behind you in case of any problems, or if you get tired or wish to stop.

After cycling and burning all those calories, you will stop to have a well-deserved lunch in the town of Santa Maria. After lunch, you have to make a choice between a walk through the picturesque town of Santa Maria or go white water rafting. The rafting is an optional extra offered by some tour operators. 

Day 2: Santa Maria to Santa Teresa

jungle trek to machu picchu santa maria

After all the fun on day 1 and after a hearty breakfast, the real trekking begins on day 2. This day is a relatively hard trekking day in terms of distance (15 km approximately). Most travelers consider it the hardest but most rewarding day.

The trek begins with a steep and challenging but thoroughly enjoyable climb that will be gradually flattened. You will get to trek on parts of an authentic Inca Trail where your guide will teach you the purposes of the Inca trails and all about the Incas. Besides, you will pass through several undulating trails, stunning valleys, and coffee, Coca and fruit tree plantations. As you have already realized, during your Machu Picchu tour from Cusco, you will witness a vegetatively lush scenery. Don’t forget you will be in the Jungle region of Cusco so you will encounter many different colorful birds and even some monkeys.

At the highest point of the trek, you will have truly beautiful and incredible views of the valley of Urubamba. Here, you will stop for refreshments. After lunch and a short break, you will continue trekking and come down through impressive tropical mountains, crossing farms and rivers along the way. The weather will be warm and humid so you will have the opportunity to bathe your sweaty feet in the cool river.

After the long tough day, you will reach the town of Santa Teresa where you will enjoy its natural hot springs. A great reward for all the struggle during your Jungle trek to Machu Picchu, don’t you think? There are 4 different pools, ranging from the hottest to the coldest ones. They are enjoyed by visitors and locals alike. Cusco Peru Travel recommends soaking between the hottest and coldest hot springs to ensure your legs are not sore the next day.

* Remember to wear insect repellent and have your bathing suit at hand.

Day 3: Santa Teresa to Aguas Calientes

jungle trek to machu picchu santa teresa

We think that adrenaline seekers will enjoy this day a lot! This day begins with a morning full of zip lining. The zip lining is an optional extra on tour packages. So, check it when booking your tour. Keep in mind that the highest zip is 150 meters above the ground. For those opting not to zip line, you can choose a 3-hour hike along Inca paths. 

Whether you walk or do the zip line, everybody regroups at Hydroelectric before continuing the trek together to the town of Aguas Calientes, the tourist town at the foot of Machu Picchu. It is about a 3-hour trek along the railway lines at the side of the river. Be aware of these train tracks are still in use so if you hear a train coming, run!

Day 4: Machu Picchu!

jungle trek to machu picchu wonder of the world

The last day of the adventurous Jungle trek to Machu Picchu starts early at around 4:30 a.m. At this point, you need to decide if taking a bus up or hiking up to Machu Picchu. Buses start running at 5:30 a.m. and take 30 minutes to reach the Inca Citadel which opens at 6 am.

If you decide to hike up to Machu Picchu, you must know the hike is steep but manageable. You will arrive at the top of Machu Picchu at around 6 a.m. or just before opening time. It means that you will witness one of the most beautiful and epic sunrises of the world over this wonder.

After arriving at Machu Picchu, your guide will give you a 2-hour tour around the Sanctuary, explaining everything about the Inca Citadel. But you will be free to explore the Sanctuary by yourself and even take some selfies with friendly and fluffy llamas. Furthermore, we recommend climbing Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain during your Jungle trek to Machu Picchu. At the top of them, you will get the most stunning views of Machu Picchu. But keep in mind that the permits to climb these mountains must be purchased along with your Machu Picchu tickets.

Finally, you will go back on foot or bus to the town of Aguas Calientes and then take the train to Ollantaytambo or Cusco.

Thrilling adrenaline-filled experience

The Jungle trek to Machu Picchu represents a fun, incredible and exciting way to discover Machu Picchu. So don’t have any doubt that you will have an amazing time!

Peru has many wonders waiting for you to be discovered. Here in Cusco Peru Travel, our speciality is to make your trip an outstanding experience, fill-in this form and let your tailor-made luxury Peru vacation begin.


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