Inca Jungle Trail To Machu Picchu – The Less Traveled Hike

The Inca Jungle Trail is a remote and ancient footpath in the same region of the Inca trail, but less traveled with more spectacular views.

A magnificent wilderness alternative for those who wish to escape the more congested trekking routes or those who are looking for alternative if the traditional hiking Inca Trail has no spaces available.

Book the Inca Jungle Trail with Viator.

Hiking the Inca Jungle Trail To Machu Picchu
Hiking the Inca Jungle Trail To Machu Picchu

Hiking the Inca Jungle Trail To Machu Picchu

Here’s the itinerary for hiking the Inca Jungle Trail to Machu Picchu in Peru.

Day 01: Cusco Santa Maria

Have a coffee and leave in the morning — The journey begins leaving Cusco with a panoramic view of the city, and then way Chinchero / Ollantaytambo. There you will take the track on the right bank to rise to a height of 4350 meters above sea level, you will encounter with the Open Malaga. Point too mystical, where payment is made to land very often.

Finally, after about 2 hours approximately biking, you will reach the 1430 meters high Santa Maria. That’s your first day of rest in a lodge. You are in the middle of a humid forest and the magnificent for its fauna and flora.

Day 02: Santa Maria Santa Teresa

You will begin the day’s trekking, but first have an energy packed breakfast. This second day is really impressive! Here begins your journey of approximately seven to eight hours between up and down. But the interesting thing in this trek for the second day is not only part of Inca roads crossed perfectly designed, but also an adventure through the Inca jungle trail.

There you will be surrounded by green nature filled with fruit trees, rivers and exotic animals of the region. That will make you feel full of satisfaction. Among the fauna such as the parrots you will find countless varieties of flora like Coca, Coffee. Combine that with some wonderful hot springs where you can relax after a wonderful walk.

It’s a combination of Inca trail and forest roads. A great day! Then you will arrive to your final destination of the second day at Santa Teresa (1900 m).

Day 3: Santa Teresa – Aguas Calientes

Nature, adventure and adrenaline on the third day hike to Machu Picchu. Enjoy the convenience of trekking in the pleasant climate that ranges from 20-30 ° C. Here in this third day of walking you will be six hours of walking. But full of energetic adrenaline. Cross not only landscapes but also other Inca trails that are also called path of nobility. You will have the privilege to enjoy a view from the highest point and it is the best gift of nature to which one can admire the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu in the distance. Arrive at Aguas Calientes, where you will establish in your accommodation.

Day 4: Machu Picchu

On your special day, you get up very early (4:00 am) and you will head on foot to the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu in order to spot the cloud forest and other natural wonders of the dawn. Practically most of the day you will want to visit the archaeological complex, that will make this last day imperishable in the memory. Enjoy as well the mountain of Huayna Picchu (only 400 persons allowed per day). Then return to the town of Aguas Calientes where you could board the train or bus to transport you back to Cusco.

You could also stay an extra night in Aguas Calientes, which would allow you to visit Machu Pichu one more time.

Book the Inca Jungle Trail with Viator.

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A Guide to Hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in Peru is the most famous of South America’s trekking routes.

The 26 mile trek includes a mix of Inca ruins, mountain scenery, lush cloud-forest and subtropical jungle, leading to the sacred Inca city of Machu Picchu.

Though the terrain is not extremely difficult to hike, the high altitude will make it hard for an unprepared hiker. Hikers will need to spend several days in Cusco before the hike to adjust to the altitude. Drinking lots of water will help to acclimatize to the altitude.

There are only 500 Inca trail permits available per day, including support staff such as cooks, porters, and guides. So, we recommend booking your Inca trail tour at least 3 months in advance. During the peak summer months, however, you may want to book even further in advance.

Hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in Peru
Hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in Peru

The best time for hiking the Inca Trail

The dry season, which is the best time of year to go, lasts from May to October or November and the rainy season is from December to April. The Inca trail is closed in February due to heavy rains. Day time temperatures can range anywhere from 50-82ºF, with night time temperatures from around 32-50ºF.

What to Pack for the Inca Trail

The tour operator you choose will help determine exactly what you need to bring on the trek. Usually they supply the appropriate duffel for you to pack and for the porters to carry, which can weight up to 17.6 lbs. You will carry only a light day pack. Usually they also provide all camping equipment, except for sleeping bags, which are available to rent. We highly recommend layering with water soluble clothing, or fabric the doesn’t retain moisture, and advise against wearing cotton, which absorbs water quickly and is slow to dry which can make for an uncomfortable trek.

We recommend you bring the following:

  • A small day pack that holds your sunglasses, hat, sun screen, insect repellent, a camera, a reusable water bottle, a wind jacket and rain gear.
  • One complete change of clothing per day.
  • Sweater and jacket for cool days or nights, gloves and winter hat recommended.
  • A down jacket is recommended for evenings, as it can get very cold at night.
  • Warm sweat pants for evening around camp and in tent.
  • Comfortable high top and water proof hiking boots.
  • Comfortable wool socks.
  • A pair of sneakers to wear around camp and a pair of flip flops for showering.
  • Passport.
  • A flashlight and batteries.
  • Personal toiletries and medications.
  • Medium sized towel.
  • Peruvian currency (soles) for tips and small purchases along the way.
  • Sleeping bag (if you choose not to rent one).

Check out our hiking gear guide.

What documents do you need to hike the Inca Trail?

You will need a passport that is valid at least six months after your date of arrival. Citizens from the US, UK, Canada and Australia visiting as tourist do not need a visa. Tourist may stay a maximum of 90 days, should you be staying longer you will need to request an extension from the Peruvian immigration authorities. All visitors must fill out a copy of a tourist card which will be provided on your flight to Peru; keep this in your passport and present it to authorities when departing the country.

Tipping on the Inca Trail

We recommend tipping your porters $10 per day and tipping your guide $15-20 a day.

Machu Picchu

Your journey will begin in Lima, where you will spend the night and depart the next day for Cusco. On most treks you will hike an average of 4-7.5 miles per day. Once you reach Machu Picchu you will spend the night and return to Cusco by train the next day. If you do not want to hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, you can also get there by train.

Hiking the Inca Trail with GAdventures

GAdventures was named the Best Inca Trail Tour Operator by the Regional Direction of Foreign Trade and Tourism of Cusco (RDFTTC) in Peru. By joining this tour, you will be helping to support over 569 local guides, porters, cooks, drivers and staff.

Their four-day Inca Trail trek combines the cultural highlights of the Sacred Valley with hiking through the region’s ruins, mountainscapes, and cloud forests.

Check out the tour here.

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