Why Inca Jungle Trek the best choice is for visiting Machu Picchu
Why Inca Jungle Trek the best choice is for visiting Machu Picchu
An intriguing question for many travelers in Peru: what is the best option to travel to Machu Picchu, the amazing Inca Citadel? There are several ways to travel to Machu Picchu. Do you want to know Why Inca Jungle Trek the best choice is for visiting Machu Picchu?
When preparing for your visit to Machu Picchu, the first decision you have to make is: will I do a Machu Picchu Tour by train? Or a Machu Picchu hike? My boyfriend, my mother-in-law and I agreed from the beginning that we wanted to hike to Machu Picchu instead of taking a bus or train. But which trek would be the best option for us?
It was not easy to decide for a trek to Machu Picchu. The tickets for the Inca Trail were already sold out months in advance, so this was not an option for us. The 4- or 5-day Salkantay Trek offers amazing views and nature experiences… But it seemed to be a bit too difficult for us. Then we heard about the Inca Jungle Trek. The Inca Jungle Trek offers hiking at a lower altitude than the Salkantay Trek, and it also includes biking and optional activities like rafting and zip lining. That sounded perfect! So, we booked the Inca Jungle Trek with Dos Manos!
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Day 1 – Biking and Wild River Rafting
After meeting our group and Sergio, our guide, we first went to Ollantaytambo where we had breakfast. From here we continued for about one hour by bus, until we arrived at Abra Malaga, the highest point of the trek at 4,316 meters above sea level. Everyone was very excited because our mountain biking tour finally started.
Sergio and the driver of the transport provided us with the bikes as well as helmets, kneepads, and jackets. After some instructions, we started our 53 km bike ride. Descending around 3,000 meters (!), we only needed 2 hours to arrive. During the ride, the climate changed. At first, it was a bit cold, but it got hotter the farther we went down. On our way, we got pretty wet because small rivers flew across the street. Let’s call it a nice, tropical shower. After the biking tour, we were looking forward to our lunch in the lodge. We were not disappointed – the lodge prepared a delicious buffet for us.
In the afternoon, the optional activity wild river rafting started. It was a lot of fun! Because of the rapids, everyone was soaking wet after a few minutes. In the evening, we had another tasty buffet. Enjoying the cozy atmosphere and drinking some cocktails, we got to know each other. In total, we were eight people – a perfect group size for the trip.
Day 2 – First Hiking Day
When we woke up, we heard the rain falling on the roof. Sergio told us that we wouldn’t wait for the rain to stop, so we put on our rain ponchos and started our 17 km hike. First, the way was almost flat. On our way, Sergio cut off many fruits from trees so that we could try typical Peruvian fruits. We also visited some locals, and two women let us try their fruits. After the fruit tasting, the walk was slightly uphill and got more difficult. In the end, we were happy that it stayed cloudy as hiking in this tropical, hot climate was already tough enough.
Fortunately, we had a break soon. We got some passion fruit juice and Chicha Morada, a Peruvian drink made of corn, lemon, and cinnamon. Afterward, we tried some local chocolate –delicious! Sergio used a red paste to paint our faces. Some of us were warriors; others had funny symbols on their face.
Afterward, we felt ready for the hike to the highest point of the day. The farther we climbed up, the most impressive the view got. We admired the valley and the river that meandered through it. After descending to Quellomayo and having lunch, we relaxed in the hammocks for a while. Then we only had to walk two hours more until we arrived at the hot springs in Santa Teresa. To get there, we had to cross the river. We took a construction that resembled a kind of ski lift which was very funny. The hot springs were a nice way to end the second day, and the hot water let the aches of the hiking day melt away. In the evening, we enjoyed a nice buffet with typical Peruvian food and played table soccer and flip cup before going to bed.
Day 3 – Time for Zip Lining
After breakfast, five zip lines waited for us! Two of these zip lines even crossed the river and provided amazing views of the mountains and the whole valley. It was a great experience! We also crossed a rope bridge and arrived directly at our lodge. We took a bus to Hidroeléctrica where we started our last hike.
Sergio told us the food on the third day would the best food of the whole trek, and he was right. After a walk of two kilometers, we stopped at a restaurant next to the rails. We ate guacamole, soup, a delicious chicken fillet with potato wedges and fruits as dessert. When we finished, all of us selected an appetizer and a main course for our dinner in Aguas Calientes, and we then continued our way along the rails to Machu Picchu town, where we arrived after an 8 km walk. As the way was flat, this hiking day was quite easy. We took a well-deserved hot shower and went to the restaurant called Gabriel where we enjoyed a final, tasty dinner all together. I had ordered a salad with avocado, caramelized nuts, mozzarella sticks and passion fruit dressing – the best salad I’ve had in Peru so far. My main dish was ravioli filled with sweet potato and pumpkin. Happy and full we went to bed.
Day 4 – Final Destination: Machu Picchu
On the last day of the Inca Jungle Trek, day 4, we woke up very early because we wanted to be among the first people to arrive at Machu Picchu. At 4 am in the morning, we already stood in line for the bus going up to Machu Picchu and were actually in one of the first buses that departed at 5:30 am. Our guide recommended us taking a bus up to Machu Picchu because all of us wanted to climb one of the two mountains, the Huayna Picchu or the Machu Picchu Mountain after the guided tour. According to Sergio, many people arrive tired in Machu Picchu when they walk up and don’t have a lot of energy left for the guided tour and the extra mountain. I think everyone was thankful for this advice.
We had a two hour Machu Picchu Tour – with our guide Sergio, as part of the Inca Jungle Trek. After, my boyfriend, my mother-in-law and I climbed up the Huayna Picchu. – We had booked the Huayna Picchu Tickets separately. It was a strenuous climb which consisted almost entirely of stairs. But the view was definitely worth the effort. From the top, we had a great view of Machu Picchu and the mountain range. After lunch in Aguas Calientes and took a train to Ollantaytambo at 16:22 pm. Tired, but happy we arrived in Cusco at 8:30 pm.
Why Inca Jungle Trek the best choice is for visiting Machu Picchu?
So, was now you know Why Inca Jungle Trek the best choice is for visiting Machu Picchu.
Because it certainly was.
With its activities like biking, rafting and zip lining, it was the most varied trek I’ve ever done. The scenery was amazing, and the accommodations and the food were great. Because of the small group size, we got to know each other pretty well.
According to my mother-in-law, the Inca Jungle Trek is not just for young travelers but is recommended for anyone who loves adventures. She is definitely right. If you are interested in doing the Inca Jungle Trek, you should contact Dos Manos. They take care of everything and organize a perfect trip to Machu Picchu for you.
Thanks to Janna Steenblock
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