Inka Jungle: tour description
We are constantly striving to give our customers the best possible experience and so there are several unique aspects that make our Inka Jungle tour different from any other tour offered. The first is the bus that takes you from Huamanmarca to Santa Maria. Most companies have you walk this, but it is a tedious 3 hour hike along a motorway without much to see. We know your time is valuable so we take a bus and skip ahead so that you are able to actually experience the jungle on the first day. Another difference is the first day lodging, instead of a hostel in the unremarkable town of Santa Maria, we have a private lodge in the jungle run by a local family. Here you have a truly unique experience of the Andean jungle.
DAY 1: Cusco - Huamanmarca - Pispitayoc (biking, rafting, treking)
The Inca Jungle tour starts very early, between 5:30 - 6:30 am with the gathering of participants from the hotels/hostels where they are or in a central location previously agreed with the guide during the meeting (in the case if the participants staying far away from historic center). After picking you up we will go by private bus to Ollantaytambo (arrival around 8:00 am). Here we will stop for approximately 30 minutes. You will have possibility to take a breakfast here and to buy some things, if you forgot to purchase them earlier, like ponchos, snacks, repellents, etc. Then we will continue the trip by bus for the next one hour and a half till the highest point of the journey – the mountain pass Abra Malaga to (4,330 m.a.s.l.). Along the way you will get a chance to see picturesque villages and beautiful landscape of sacred valley of the Incas. All the time you can enjoy the breathtaking Andean landscape. In Abra Malaga we will start the first part of the adventure – biking tour. Here you will get all necessary equipment, like helmets, vests, bikes and after a while we will descend (downhill) with bicycles approximately 3 hours towards the lower jungle to the town Huamanmarca (1250 m.a.s.l.). You will be accompanied by the private transport for emergency reasons. On the way we will pass through small villages, orchards, rivers and streams. You will also have a chance to feel and understand how the climate change from high mountains, with snowy peaks, which you will see at the beginning in Abra Malaga, to the jungle full off fruit trees, varied fauna and flora, with warm and humid climate. Probably you will also feel the difference in the altitude (the difference will be more than 2000 m.a.s.l.).
In the village of Huamanmarca we will have a break for the lunch (buffet) in the restaurant. You will taste here typical local dishes. After a short break we´ll go by bus to the town called Santa Maria, where all participants will be divided into 2 groups: the one who booked the rafting and the one who doesn´t. The group who booked the rafting will be picked and brought to the rafting camp, where they will receive a briefing and instructions. The service includes equipment like helmets and life jackets. Depending on the season the river will have class III and III+ (medium risk) with exciting speed and some turbulence but all controlled and supervised by experienced guides (certified in extreme sports), who have also an excellent knowledge about the geography, climate and local environment. Also we will be accompanied by a fleet of rafts and spaced a professional kayak rescue. Rafting adventure will take approximately 2-2,5 hours. In case the river will have class IV or higher for security reasons we will cancel the rafting refund your payment.
Travelers who have not previously booked the rafting can buy this activity after arriving to Santa Maria, if it will be available (sometimes it can be impossible, especially in high season, when a lot of tourists buy this activity).
The travelers who didn't book the rafting tour will go by private bus with an assistant of the guide to the village of Santa Rosa (around 20 minutes), where they will start a hike for the next approximately 45 minutes until reaching eco lodge called “La Choza”. Here you will have a chance to get some extra knowledge about coca leaves, coffee beans and maybe some other fruits or vegetables available depending on the season. After rafting adventure all its participants also will go by private bus to the village of Santa Rosa. From this point they will start the hike towards our jungle lodge “La Choza”. Here you will spend the first night of Inca Jungle Tour, accompanied by an orchestra of jungle sounds. Staying in “La Choza”, which is run by the local family, will be a unique chance to enjoy the pure jungle in its best way.
Meals: Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Local Hosting
Maximum altitude: 4,316 m.a.s.l.
Minimum altitude: 1,200 m.a.s.l.
Day 2: Pispitayoc – Cocalmayo – Santa Teresa (trekking)
Second day of Inca Jungle Tour will start around 7:00 am. After a delicious local breakfast with a nice cup of home grown and made coffee – all of that in the middle of the jungle, around 8:00 am we will start trekking. After approximately 30-40 minutes you will continue the walk through original Inca Trail. This section is a must. Along the way you will be a witness of the diverse flora and fauna, of many fruit trees, like for example pineapple, papaya, banana trees and different species of birds fluttering around. This ecosystem belongs to the high forest and it is one of the richest biodiversity in the world.
After around 2:30 hours of walking we will arrive to a small village of Quellomayo, where we will have a lunch and taka a rest in hammocks, what for sure will give you some extra energy for the next part of the trip.
After a break we will continue trekking around 3 hrs. more crossing farms, waterfalls and rivers (one river you will have to cross with a cable car). At around 4 pm we will arrive to Cocalmayo - better known as the hot springs of Santa Teresa, where you will have possibility to take a relaxing, warm bath. Cocalmayo offers several relaxing hot springs, each with its own temperature. The sound of the river and the stars in the evening give for this place a unique atmosphere. You will have enough free time to relax and enjoy this incredible scenery and “charge the batteries” for the next day of your adventure.
After the break in the hot springs we will walk about40 minutes more until reaching the town of Santa Teresa (you can also take a taxi, but this option is not included in the tour), where we will stay for a night.
After the dinner you will have free time to explore the town, or just relax and take a nap. Santa Teresa offers also some local pubs, discotheques where you can taste typical Peruvian beverages and meet with the locals.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Local Hostel
Maximum altitude: 1,700 m.s.n.m.
Minimum altitude: 1,280 m.s.n.m.
Distance: approx. 12 km
Optional: hot springs in Cocalmayo
Day 3: Santa Teresa – Hidro Electrica - Aguas Calientes (zip line, trekking)
This day we will also start at around 7 am. After a breakfast we will get ready to continue exploring the roads that were followed by the first expeditionaries who discovered Machu Picchu and other important archaeological complex.
Because in Santa Teresa there is an option to do zip line, all participants will be divided into 2 groups - one who booked zip line and the other who did not. Those of you who reserved zip line will be transported to the place where will be organized this activity. This part will take around 2 hours. After zip line this group will be taken by bus to the area known as the hydroelectric. The rest of the group will continue the trek for approx. 3 hrs. more through the valley until reaching the hydroelectric, where the entire group will get together again. Here all of you will have a lunch. After a break we will continue walking along the railway enjoying among others the beautiful waterfalls, coca and coffee farms. This part will take approx. 3 hrs. We will arrive to the town of Aguas Calientes, called also as Machu Picchu Pueblo, around 4 pm. Here, in the hostel with hot water, wi-fi, you will spend the last third night. In the evening we will meet all together in the restaurant, where will be waiting for you delicious dinner. You will also have a briefing with the guide about the fourth day and Machu Picchu. You will also have time to explore the town on your own. In Aguas Calientes there are hot springs available, so if you will have desire to rest in the warm water, you will have opportunity to visit this place too (the entrance ticket is not included in the tour).
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Local Hostel in Aguas Calientes
Maximum altitude: 2,040 m.a.s.l.
Minimum altitude: 1,600 m.a.s.l.
Distance: approx. 16 km caminata aprox.
Optional: zip line
Optional: hot springs in AguasCalientes
DAY 4: AGUAS CALIENTES – MACHU PICCHU – CUSCO (trekking, exploration of Machu Picchu)
The last day of Inca Jungle tour we will start around 4:00 am. Thanks to that we will arrive to Machu Picchu, our final destination, very early, and have more time for exploration. First, we will walk through the high forest, overcoming around 1500 stairs, till the control entrance, where we will arrive around 6:00 am. After crossing the gate our tour guide will lead you, for about 1,5 hours, through the spectacular ruins of Inca city. You will also have a lot of time to explore Machu Picchu on your own. After visiting Machu Picchu you will go by train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo where you will be picked up and transferred to Cusco city by bus. The journey ends in the Plaza de Armas in Cusco. Note that from Machu Picchu ruins to the train station in Aguas Calientes you will descend on your own, because some of you will want to stay longer in the ruins, some maybe shorter and some will climb additional mountains, some will book the train back in other hour.
Important!!! Remember that you have to be at the train station in Aguas Calientes at least 30 minutes before departure of your train. Your departure train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo is at 9:50 pm, unless you booked other option. Remember to leave Machu Picchu ruins enough earlier to be 30 minutes before departure of your train. Usually it takes around 2 hours to come back on foot from Machu Picchu ruin till Aguas Calientes, but of course it depends on the person and physical condition and sometimes can take even more.
The travelers that booked hiking to Huayna Picchu or Alternative Mountain (Montana Vieja) will be able to start trekking after the All of you who will climb Huayna Picchu, note that it will take around 45 minutes to reach the top. The way to the top is very steep and narrow, but it is definitely worth to take this extra effort, especially that the view from the top is absolutely breathtaking. Climbing on Alternative Mountain (Montana Vieja) will take you about 2 hours, but definitely the route is not so steep like in Huayna Picchu, although this mountain is higher. Remember that entrance tickets to Huayna Picchu and Alternative Mountain (Montana Vieja) are for a specific time, so be in front of the entrance gate on time, otherwise you will lose the opportunity to explore these additional mountains.
Maximum altitude: 2,490 m.s.n.m.
Minimum altitude: 2,040 m.s.n.m.
Distance: approx. 1,5 km