Highlights of Inca Jungle Trek to Machu Picchu
Highlights of Inca Jungle Trek to Machu Picchu
Anna is a Spanish student at AMAUTA Peru and participated in the Spanish & Excursion Program AMAUTA offers in partnership with Dos Manos Peru Travel.
Anna is 31 years old and works in Berlin. Part of her program was the Inca jungle Trek, a 4 day trek through the Peruvian wilderness to the Inca Citadel Machu Picchu.
In this blog, she shares her experiences and recommendations for people who want to combine jungle, adventure and adrenaline activities in Peru. Here a day-to -day report and the highlights of this great hike to Machu Picchu.
“Early in the morning, I met with the group that consisted of two guys and two girls in the city of Cusco. From here we drove to the “Sacred Valley”. We took a short break on the way to buy some things and have breakfast. After 2 hours of driving, we arrived at the mountain pass “Abra Malaga” (4350 m), close to Urubamba, the capital of the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Here we began with a tour on Mountain bikes. Our guide gave us all the important equipment, such as a jacket, gloves, a helmet etc. We drove down the valley on an asphalt road. At first, I found it kind of boring, but later I was grateful because the day turned out to be tough.”
“We had lunch at the archaeological site of Huamanmarka, which was a great buffet that consisted of simple, fresh things. Afterward, we took the bus to Santa Maria, where we started our rafting tour (an add-on that can be booked separately). The preparation before we left was really good, I was happy to see that we would be rafting on a difficulty level 3 out of 5. After the great ride through the rocky river, we drove back to Santa Maria. It was the most exhausting day, as we still had to hike for around an hour to an ecoLodge in the middle of the Peruvian jungle. The view out of the wooden houses was astonishing, and we were really happy that there was functioning electricity. However, there was only cold water and no mosquito nets in the room. The day was completed with a tasty dinner and a bottle of tequila with a snake inside; we also wore some traditional clothing and had a great night.”
“Unfortunately, the second day of our hiking to Machu Picchu started with a lot of rain. We hiked early in the morning through the jungle next to rocky walls, which was very exciting. We saw many animals, such as hummingbirds, centipedes, lizards and also various plants and fruits. We also prayed to PachaMama (Mother Earth in Quechua), as we were wishing for less rain and a good trek. This was really funny because we tried an old Incan method to try to stop the rain.
If you like to know more about Anna and her travels in Peru, you can follow her on her blog (in German), under: www.fernvergnuegen.de
Officially, our hike through the jungle was supposed to be 7 hours, but we were a bit faster and made it in around 5 hours. Luckily, the rain stopped soon. Our guide painted our faces with a traditional red paste to guard against Mosquitos, which was really helpful.
Afterward, we hiked for about an hour along the Urubamba River to be transported over the river in something resembling a ski lift. We finally arrived in Santa Teresa, which is a part of the Inca trail. In Cocalmayo, we were really glad to find the hot springs. We relaxed in the hot springs, which was great to calm our muscles. Then the 10 of us went to a dance club for tourists and had a great night.”
“At 8 am we departed to go zip lining in the Sacred Valley, which took us around one hour including transportation time. In total, we had five different zip lines. The first three were a bit slower and crossed the valley at an impressive height. The last two were the most exciting, as we crossed a high bridge heads up and also hanging down in superman position.
We then followed an amazing but long hike along the rails where the trains from Cusco to Machu Picchu are passing by. Our final destination was Aguas Calientes, just below Machu Picchu. We all had a great third day, but we were really exhausted and went straight to bed after dinner.”
“As I wanted to do the early hike, two other girls joined me to hike at 4 am at Machu Picchu. After one hour, we arrived to Machu Picchu and could enter the gate. Our guide showed us around the ruins of the magnificent complex. I separately booked the entrance to the trail “Montaña Machu Picchu,” a hike that took me around 2 hours. I assumed it was a smaller tour, but in the end, it was mostly stairs and stairs and more stairs… it took all of the energy I had left. I stayed at Machu Picchu until 3 pm and explored the ruins until I started my journey in the pouring rain back to Aguas Calientes. It was a fascinating hike, this Inca Jungle Trek, and I really enjoyed finally seeing Machu Picchu. At around 6 pm, the train to Ollantaytambo departed, and later that night I arrived back in Cusco.
Highlights of Inca Jungle Trek
My highlights were definitely the rafting, zip lining and, of course, the visit to Machu Picchu. It was a great chance to adventure in Peru´s beautiful nature. I am glad I could experience this great trek with nice people and the well-organized agency Dos Manos.
My recommendation for the people who are questioning if this trek is the right one: if you really want to go hiking, this trek might be a bit too “soft” for you, as there is not much hiking. Instead, you might want to consider to the Salkantay Trek, or, if you are on time, the classic Inca Trail.
However, if you are looking for a lot of adventure in Peru, adrenaline activities and a special jungle experience all in one hike, this Inca Jungle Trek is a great way of getting to Machu Picchu!
One final tip: try to attend a briefing a few days before departure. I felt like I would have liked to have more time to buy some essential things for this trip. If not possible, make sure yo don’t forget toilet paper, mosquito spray, a flashlight, energy bars, good shoes, a poncho and the most important thing, your passport for Machu Picchu.
Daily Departures! Guide, camping equipment, transport, meals during the trek, Machu Picchu