The Inca Jungle tour is a combination of biking, trekking, and rafting through the impressive Peruvian Andean Mountains to the Amazonian Rainforest. This adventure ends with a guided tour to Machu Picchu on the fourth day.
My family of 4 including 2 kids had the best vacation ever, awesome guides, delicious food, good gear. Highly recommended!!
As the government has reduced the overall number of visitors allowed on the Inca Trail, we have opened new tours so that our clients can see Machu Picchu. If you are looking for an alternative trip to Machu Picchu, this is the one.
On the first day, a private vehicle will pick you up from your hotel at 8 AM. Our bus journey takes us through the Andean villages of Poroy, Chichero, and Maras until we arrive at the Sacred Valley (Urubamba) and then continue to Ollantaytambo. We Will have a quick stop where passengers can have breakfast or buy last-minute supplies for their Inca jungle tour.
We begin by going uphill to Malaga pass (14,500 ft or 4,350 meters above sea level), which is the highest location on the Inca Jungle tour. Here the scenery is spectacular: snow-capped mountains, waterfalls, and many picturesque Andean communities will fill your entire field of vision – be sure to have a camera ready.
After another hour of driving, we will arrive at Carrizales, which is the starting point of this adventure.
Before we start biking, we will test the bikes and have a briefing about the route and some other safety precautions. You are bound to experience many different environments, so it is best to be prepared. The first hour is downhill on a paved road, the rest of the trip changes to dirt road, crossing small rivers, and easy ups and downs on small hills. Throughout the journey, you won’t even pay attention to the peddling because you will pass by bananas, papayas, and other jungle plantations as well as vegetation and animals. We will arrive at Santa Maria, a small village in the jungle that marks the end of the bicycle tour. You can have a little rest or buy some snacks while the guides will be organizing the second activity in the Inca jungle tour: the white water rafting on the Urubamba river.
Rafting Option: For those who are really adventurous, we recommend the rafting tour for an additional $60. The weather is warm, the rapids and the natural scenery will make for a great day and a chance to see the Amazon jungle.
Before the rafting, there will be a safety briefing about the commands, safety while in the kayak, security lines, etc., followed by practice in the water. During the first hours, we will be running class II, III and IV rapids with nice big holes and waves. In quiet sections, we will enjoy breathtaking vistas of the surroundings, swim in the river, take pictures or simply rest to recover for the next rapids. We will finish around 4 or 5 PM, pack the gear on the bus, and then drive to Quillabamba.
Quillabamba is a city hidden in the rainforest that tourism still hasn’t touched: you can see local restaurants, markets and local life without the influence of tourism. This is truly an authentic experience. We will sleep in a hotel with double-occupancy rooms and private bathrooms.
Accommodation: Hotel 2 stars in Quillabamba.
Meals: (1 lunch-1 dinner).
After a nice, energizing, and filling breakfast, we will continue to the Inca Jungle tour. Today, the trekking is quite easy for everyone; first we will use public transportation that will take us to Santa Maria where the beginning of the trek starts. During the hike, there will be some small hills, but it will become a little easier later while descending to the Urubamba River. You will cross banana plantations, papaya groves, and other farms, we will arrive at a small village where we can relax and have lunch.
The scenery is fascinating, with big mountains around it and the Urubamba River along the road. After a couple of hours hiking, we will arrive to Santa Teresa (1,800 meters – 5,905.51 ft. above sea level), a small village located in the rainforest, just one hour away by transport from Machu Picchu. Overnight in a charming lodge in Santa Teresa with a chance to relax in the Cocalmayo hot springs (3 U$).
There are 3 options for today’s Inca Jungle tour:
Walking Tour (Easiest) Walk on a dirt road for 3 hours, crossing the Urubamba River until the Hydroelectric train station, where we will meet with the rest of the group.
Ziplining (Not Included – $40) – Canopy Cola de Mono Zipline is a great option for those who don’t fear heights. The Canopy is located 2 km from Santa Teresa and takes a 20 minutes hike to the top of the Canopy. Each person will take turns to zipline down the canopy for 400 meters. You will then take a van for 25 minutes to join the rest of the group at the Hydroelectric station.
Hiking (Recommended) – Llacatapata hiking: In the early morning, we will take public transport until the small village of Lucmabamba. We will hike through farms growing coffee and bananas as we gradually ascend on a road path of stone stairs. The jungle will grow thicker as we hike along orchids, fruits, including the berries of the citronella tree, and colorful fungi. Soon we will begin winding along the sides of grassy hills with fantastic views of the Santa Teresa River Valley.
About 3 hours after entering the rainforest, we will reach a set of stone stairs that will take us to the complex of Llactapata Pass (2,735 meters or 8,974 feet). This complex consists of a restored small Incan town and temple. The grassy knoll by the temple offers astonishing views of the Urubamba River Valley and Machu Picchu Complex.
After spending some time here, we will continue our hike. We will go back through the jungle and pass more interesting and historical ruins before reaching a flat área that will take your breath away.
Next, we will start a 1-hour descent on a narrow, rocky, zigzagging road until we arrive at the Hydroelectric train station, where we will meet with the rest of the group and have lunch.
From here, we will spend a few more hours walking through a railroad with amazing views of the Urubamba Gorge and Machu Picchu until Aguas Calientes (a town below Machu Picchu). You will have the option to take the train. (20 to 30 minutes), but the train ticket is not included in the tour price but can be purchased for $22.
At Aguas Calientes, we will check into a hostel for a nice evening in rooms with private bathrooms and showers.
Accommodation: Hotel in Aguas Calientes
Meals: 1 breakfast – 1 lunch – 1 dinner
We recommend starting our trek early in the morning. The idea is to enjoy this magical place before more tourists arrives from Cusco. Walking from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu will take two to three hours, depending on the speed of the group: we will work with you. Once at the complex, your Inca Jungle tour guide will answer your questions regarding to this impressive complex. Our tour guides are highly educated and make this trip frequently.
Machu Picchu, “Old Peak,” is a pre-Columbian, 15th-century Inca complex located at 2,429 meters or 7,970 feet above sea level. Machu Picchu was built on a mountain ridge above the Urubamba Valley. Most archaeologists believe that Machu Picchu was built as a royal estate for the Inca emperor Pachacutec. We must say that one the most amazing things about Machu Picchu is the scenery – this place is surrounded by amazingly steep green mountains, thick Peruvian jungle and bending rivers. It is unlike anywhere you will ever see.
Optional hikes to Huayna Picchu peak or Montaña mountain are subject to availability and they are not included in the price. It is best to book these early and independently if you wish to do them.
After the guided tour ends, there will be plenty of time to take pictures, walk around the places that you like the most, and have any questions answered. Aguas Calientes is the meeting point to catch the train to Ollantaytambo, and then we will be transfer to Cusco via our private van, ending this Inca Jungle tour at your hotel.
Accommodation: Hotel in Cusco (Not included)
Meals: 1 breakfast.
Last lunch, first breakfast and dinner in Aguas Calientes (day 4), one-way bus tickets to from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu, entrance fees to Huayna Picchu and entrance fees to hot springs in Santa Teresa or Aguas Calientes, train ticket from Hidroelectrica station to Aguas Calientes.
Hiking shoes, mosquito repellent, couple of t-shirts, hat or cap, swimsuit, towel, sandals, shorts, camera, things you consider necessary during this Inca jungle trek.
All our gear in this Inca Jungle tour are very good, the bicycles have suspension, disc brakes and 27-gear change. The rafting gear is also good; class V life vest, boat, helmets, and we always take one safety kayak or Cataract to minimize risks.
Our prices are carefully arranged so this can be fair for clients and the company. You can find prices cheaper than ours, but you need to be aware that, there are that the government does regulate the biking and the rafting part in this area, therefore the companies offering this service run this trips with minimum safety precautions. In fact there were more than 2,000 complaints regarding the Inca jungle tour during the last year.
Our prices are based on double-bed or king-bed occupancy in 2- or 3-star hotels. If you are a solo traveler and wish to share a room, we will assign a same-sex roommate if one is available; however, there are 5 in the group and no extra person to share a room, we will cover the extra expenses of the room rate.
Notes that the hotels we use during the first and second nights of this Inca Jungle Tour are the best available; there are no better hotels than the ones mentioned above. The lodges and hotels are very clean but they are not the same standard 3-star hotels in Cusco, Lima, Europe, the United States or any other developed city in the world.
Don Carlos Hotel Quillabamba
Eco Quechua Lodge Peru Santa Teresa
Terrazas del Inca Aguas Calientes
To upgrade your hotel category, contact us, we offer 4 and 5 start hotels.
Our departures are guaranteed with a minimum number of 2 people. The maximum number of people per group is 18. For groups of more than 18, please firstname.lastname@example.org
Inca Jungle Tour tour map