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The Inca Jungle Trek to Machu Picchu is for those who love an adventure. Hike, Bike, Raft and Zip Line your way to the Ruins of Machu Picchu.
As an alternative hike to Machu Picchu, this trek is the most varied in activities, perfect for those that want to do more than just hiking.
Departure and Return Location
4 Days, 3 Nights
Easy to Moderate
Total Hiking Distance
50 km / 31 miles
4,316m / 14,160ft
Included, we cater to all diets.
Abra de Malaga, Santa Maria, Urubamba River, Santa Teresa Hot Springs, Aguas Calientes, Machu Picchu
As the Industry Leader in customer service we provide you with the flexibility to change your travel plans – with the assurance that you’ll have options to re-book when it suits you. As long as you notify us about changes to your travel plans at least 24 hours* before your scheduled departure, you can pick new travel dates or an entirely different trip, with no change fees. We offer:
View our updated Terms and Conditions here
*Domestic/International Airlines may have their own fees. Day tours can be cancelled for a full refund at least 24 hours before tour start time. Multi day tours, treks and tour packages need to be cancelled at least 40 days before departure for full refund.
Our Inca Jungle Trek starts early in the morning (approx. 6:00 a.m.) Where you are picked up at your hotel/hostel. Our guides visit you the day before to answer any last minute questions you may have and confirm your location. On route to the starting point of the trek we will pass through the towns of Chinchero, Urubamba, and Ollantaytambo which are all part of the Sacred Valley.
As we arrive at Malaga Pass 4316 m. (14160ft.) you will take in the beautiful scenery and the majestic snow capped Huacay Willca (Verona) Mountains, here we will begin our cycling adventure as we descend through different ecological zones including high Puna area and cloud forests which include a wide variety of flora and fauna. Our Inca Jungle Trek then takes us to the town of Santa Maria where we will stay overnight, have dinner and breakfast the next day.
For the adventurous travelers, we recommend adding the rafting tour (Full Package). The Warm jungle climate makes conditions for rafting ideal in the high Amazon Jungle of Peru. Before the rafting, there is a briefing about the commands, secure lines, safety kayak etc, this will be followed by a practice in the water, once passengers and guides feel comfortable, we will start going down the river.
During the first hours, we will be in the water running rapids class II, III and IV, in this section there is a lot of water, nice big waves and holes, scenery is also spectacular with nice big trees and mountains that surround the river.
Biking time: 3.5 hour approximately.
Meals: Lunch, and Dinner
After breakfast we begin the hike, about one hour into the climb we reach the Santa Rosa Village were start our walk along the Inca trail (Qapaq ñan) viewing a wide variety of birds including parrots, Calibri’s and eagles. We will observe crops of Coca plant (sacred leaf of the Incas), coffee, cassava, banana, orange, and mango trees. We will have a brief rest in the village of Pispitayuc where you can relax in the hammocks.
We resume our hike through the beautiful landscapes of the Vilcabamba mountains. We have lunch in the village of Qellomayo, here we will rest before beginning the last part of the walk. The Cocalmayo hot springs are on route, the visit here is optional and gives you the opportunity to take a break and enjoy the medicinal waters . From the hot springs there is 45 minute hike until Santa Teresa. We will finish our day in the town of Santa Teresa where we will stay for the night, dinner and breakfast the next day.
Trekking Time: Approximately 9 hours (including picnic lunch in the route), and 2 hours for the lunch time.
Walk and Terrain: Walk, on mostly steep trails, and some open slopes.
The Inca Jungle trek resumes following the trail taken by the first expeditions into the area, we will hike for about two hours, we will have a chance to see water falls and local coffee and coca plantations, arriving at the Hydroelectric station where we will have lunch. Afterwards we will continue walking from Hydroelectric to Aguas Calientes following the rail lines. Upon arrival at Aguas Calientes you will be taken to your hostel. We’ll get together in the evening for dinner and brief the group on the following days climb to Machu Picchu.
If you choose to add Zip Lines to your Inca Jungle Trek then you will begin the day by taking a taxi to the Inca Flyer Zip Lines where there will be a short hike to the platforms where the Zip Line activity begins. These Zip Lines are among the longest and highest in South America. This activity is for all ages, your guides along with the Inca Flyer professional staff will give you a short orientation regarding the Zip Lines before beginning the activity.
Hiking Time: 5–6 hours
You are woken up early in the morning for breakfast at 5:00AM to visit Machu Picchu, the new wonder of the world. The hike itself lasts about an hour and a half as you climb up 500 meters to the entrance of the ruins.
Upon entering the site you will have plenty of time to take pictures during sunrise, you are then treated to a 2 hour guided tour of the famous ruins. Afterwards you have free time to explore the ruins and even climb up Huayna Picchu ($20, optional), the large mountain overlooking the ruins.
Your guide will have informed you of what time you need to begin going down the mountain to Aguas Calientes, where you can enjoy the small town.
The train takes you to Ollantaytambo where you board the tourist bus back to Cusco (included). You have the option of including the 6:20PM or 9PM Return Train to Cusco. The return train ride to Cusco is approximately 4 hours. Early Expedition Train departing Aguas Calientes at 2:30PM to Ollantaytambo, arriving in Cusco at approximately 7 PM at Plaza San Francisco is also available at additional cost as is the 4:22PM Vistadome Train that arrives in Cusco at 8PM.
This concludes your Inca Jungle trek with Karikuy Tours. Please don’t forget to review us as the best company for Inca Jungle Trek.
The Inca Jungle Trek is one of the alternative hikes to Machu Picchu. While not the original Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, this route is for adventure sports lovers as it includes biking, rafting and zip lines on route to Machu Picchu.
No, the guided trek itself is not dangerous. You do need to be properly acclimated to the elevation however and it is always best to consult your doctor before starting any high altitude trek.
Hiking the Trek alone could be dangerous under unpredictable weather conditions. Fog or extreme weather conditions can disorient hikers. Solo travelers have been lost under such conditions in the past.
The difficulty of the trek is rated by hiking experts at a level of difficulty of 2-3 on a scale that reaches up to 7. The easy to moderate rating is due to the high altitude, you will need a reasonable level of fitness to complete the trek.
The Inca Jungle Trek is 50 km or 31 miles in length and reaches a maximum elevation of 14,160 feet (4,316 meters) at the highest point; Abra de Malaga. The estimated trekking time per day is 6 hours.
The Inca Jungle Trek has you lodged at rustic guesthouses and does not have camping therefore camping equipment is not necessary. Here is what is recommended:
1. Well worn-in waterproof walking boots : Good quality, comfortable footwear is essential. Whatever you wear on your feet the most important thing is comfort. It is vital to ensure your boots are well worn in and lightweight. Ankle support and waterproofing is recommended but if you already have something comfortable with good grip on rocks then don’t go rushing out to buy new boots – you are better off with your well worn in pair!
2. Waterproof clothing : A plastic poncho is recommended and can be purchased easily in Cusco.
3. Small lightweight umbrella : Light umbrellas which pack away to almost nothing can be useful to keep away drizzle.
4. Plastic bags – to keep your belongings & clothes dry (wrap everything in plastic bags).
Toilet paper – Most important! Also small plastic bags for rubbish which can then be thrown in the main rubbish bag provided by the porters.
5. Small towel & basic personal toiletries. There is an opportunity for a shower at the campsite on the third night so bring travel size shampoo and shower gel if you would like to use it, plus wet wipes for the rest of the trek.
6. Water bottle – Bring 1 large (1.5 liter) or 2/3 small water bottles which can be refilled on the trek with boiled water which will be supplied when it is possible to make camp.
7. Warm clothing for nights – Fleece, long pants, woolen hat, and gloves
8. Thermal underwear – If trekking in winter or you feels the cold
9. Walking clothing in layers – e.g. zip off trousers, fleece, T-shirts
10. Personal medication and first aid kit – Band-aids, Imodium, Panadol, re-hydration sachets
11. Camera and spare batteries, memory cards and/or film – There are no electrical
outlets on the trek so make sure you fully charge or/and have spare batteries!
12. Snacks – Chocolates, chips, biscuits, energy bars.
13. Torch – (flash-light or headlamp) – this is very important, and spare batteries.
14. Sunscreen, sunglasses and sunhat
15. Tropical strength insect repellent
16. Antiseptic hand gel
17. Swimwear – for hot pools at the Hot springs
18. Flip flops / thongs / sandals / jandals – good to change into at camp.
Trekking (long hikes):
**It’s important you bring snacks on your trip, you burn a lot of calories and do a lot of exercise walking the trek. Even if it’s not a difficult trek the high altitude of certain locations causes your body to use more energy. You may encounter abnormal hunger and thirst, for this it is recommended to bring snacks to supplement your included meals.**
The Inca Jungle Trek departs from Cusco, Peru. Our guides pick you up from your hotel or hostel near the city Center. You are then taken to Abra de Malaga, the starting point of the tour where you start the downhill biking.
We recommend running for 15 to 30 minutes daily at least 2 weeks before your trek. Upon arrival in Cusco we recommend at least 2 full days in Cusco for your body to acclimate to the high altitude to give you the best possible Salkantay Trekking experience.
Yes the trek is available to hike without a guide. However it is not recommended as hikers have become lost in the past under extreme weather conditions.
The weather along the Jungle Inca Trek is warmer then other treks in the region as you are not approaching snowy peaks or extreme altitude. Most of the trek is hiked in High Jungle.
Here are some Average Temperature and Rainfall Charts for the area around Machu Picchu:
The Inca Trail requires a government permit to hike due to heavy demand, this makes the Inca Trail sell out quickly and have more hikers on the trek. The Inca Trail is the original route the Inca took to get to Machu Picchu and has several Inca Ruins on Route.
The Sakantay Trek does not require a government permit to hike. There is less congestion on the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu. The Salkantay Trek also gets you close to the Salkantay Glacier, the Inca Trail does not get you close to any glaciers. The Salkantay Trekking experience has you lodge in domes, tents, cabins and hostel while the Inca Tail is all camping.
The Inca Jungle Trek breaks up the hiking with other activities such as biking, rafting and zip lines on your route to Machu Picchu. It also does not require a permit and is considered the best budget option for travelers.
While there are many, Karikuy Tours is among the best due to offering some of the best customer service and price to quality. With over 15 years experience picking the best guides to accompany you on your journey, Karikuy Tours will give you an overall great trek.
While the area around Machu Picchu can be considered the high Amazon jungle it is not in the Amazon Basin. There is still however a wide variety of plant and animal life in the area. The area around Machu Picchu is also not as warm and wet as the Amazon Basin.
The Jungle Inca Trek was great, and we had a great time. Biking, hiking, zip-lining, every day was a new adventure. Our guide, Maria, was a gem, full of energy and passion. The food was hearty and filling, the fellow trekkers were friendly, and Machu Picchu was a sight to behold. A big thank you to Julio for planning this incredible adventure. Also we rescheduled from 2020 so finally being able to travel to Peru was exciting!
If you’re looking for adventure, the Inca Jungle Trek is for you. Biking down mountains, hiking through the jungle, exploring ancient ruins – it’s a thrill-seeker’s paradise. Our guide, Carlos, was top-notch, always there with a story or a helping hand. The food was good, the company was great, and Machu Picchu was awe-inspiring. Oscar’s oversight in Cusco ensured everything went smoothly. This wasn’t just a trek; it was an adventure I’ll never forget.
The Inca Jungle Trek was an unforgettable adventure. We biked, we hiked, we explored the jungle, and we even tried zip-lining! Our guide, Rosa, was knowledgeable and fun, and she made sure we were always safe and comfortable. The food was delicious, and the fellow trekkers were a joy to be with. Machu Picchu was the icing on the cake, a dream come true. Thanks to Julio in Lima for planning this amazing trip. We couldn’t have asked for a better experience.
I just finished the Inca Jungle Trek, and I’m still reeling from the experience. From biking down mountains to hiking through the jungle, it was an adrenaline-packed adventure. Our guide, Diego, was a legend, always encouraging us and sharing fascinating tidbits about the area. The food was great, and the camaraderie among the group was something special. And Machu Picchu? It’s something you have to see to believe. A big shout-out to Oscar in Cusco for overseeing the activities. This was a trip of a lifetime!
Organized and made my itinerary just the way I wanted for my dream trip to peru. Took great care of me and the tour guides were really nice.