trip advisor Andean Paths


The Inka Jungle Trek, a complementary route to Machupicchu, is designed for those looking for an adventurous, sunny, and warm counterpart to the classic Inca Trail.  You will have the opportunity to experience downhill biking, whitewater rafting, zip-lining, see jungle animals up close, walk among banana groves, and finish the journey on day four at Machupicchu—one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World.

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This phenomenal hike starts in the City of Cusco, where your guide from Andean Path Adventures will pick you up from your hotel between 6:00 and 6:30 am in a private van and take you to Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley, about an hour and a half away from the city.  In Ollantaytambo the group will make a quick pit stop in order for you to use the restroom, stretch your legs, enjoy a light breakfast, and buy snacks for the day.  We will then continue on towards Abra Malaga, the highest point of the trek at 4,350 meters, or 14,270 feet.  Once we arrive to Abra Malaga, we will get off the van and the guide will provide you with all of your equipment needed for the day’s downhill biking.  

Prepare yourself for an incredible downhill journey through the elevations of the Peruvian sierra: we start at the chilly and cloudy Abra Malaga (remember at an elevation of more than 4,000 meters, or 14,000 feet) and three and a half hours later you are in warm and tropical Santa María village (at a balmy 1,100 meters, or 4,200 feet)!  While you glide through the valley beginning with snow-capped mountains and ending in lush vegetation, feel free to stop at any time and take in the views of the stunning landscape.  In Santa María we will have lunch and afterwards you will have free time to either stroll around the jungle town; or, if you’re still down for adventure, sign up for white-water rafting in the Santa María River (only US$ 30 extra). Dinner will be provided at a tourism-oriented restaurant in the evening, with comfortable lodge accommodations to follow, allowing you to rest up from your first day on the Inca Jungle Trek!


• Downhill biking: 3-4 hours (roughly).

• Total distance: 22 km, or 13 miles (roughly).

• Accommodation in a lodge in Santa Maria at 1,100 meters or 3,600 feet (roughly).



We will wake up early in the morning on day 2 and enjoy breakfast in the same restaurant we dined in the day before.  Then we set off as a group for the Old Inka Trail, three hours away from Santa María. The morning hike will lead you through lush tropical vegetation, stopping in jungle huts along the way that house tropical animals like monkeys and parrots; you might even have the opportunity to feed them!  As we continue on you will pass by alternating coca leaf (the Sacred Plant of the Inkas) and coffee bean plantations, as well as some tropical fruit groves.  Once we reach the Old Inka Trail, it will be an hour and a half more hike to our lunch destination. The restaurant where we will have lunch is designed for Inka Jungle Trekkers, meaning the meal will be relaxing and hearty, with time afterwards to converse with your friends and rest your feet in comfortable, shaded hammocks.

The after lunch portion of the trek will hug the banks of the Santa María River until we reach an oroya, the local term for the steel baskets used to traverse the rope bridges that crisscross the river.  The afternoon hike is shorter, and you may allow yourself to be rewarded for all the day’s journey with a dip in the famous hot springs and healing waters of Cocalmayo (additional expense of 5 Peruvian soles).  After the relaxing soak in the thermal baths, we will continue on to Santa Teresa village, known locally as “The Land of Coffee”.  As the night before, we will have dinner in a tourism-oriented restaurant and stay the night in a cozy lodge.  

• Hike: 3.5-4.5 hours before lunch, 2.5-3.5 hours after lunch

• Total distance: 35 km “21 miles” (roughly).

• Hostel in Santa Teresa: 1,550 m “5,085 feet” (roughly).



On Day 3 we will get up early and excited, enjoying our last breakfast on the road before we begin today’s big adventure: zip-lining in the tropical Andes. The zip line course consists of six lines set between two different mountains.  Furthermore the zip line company in Santa Teresa is completely secure, regulated, and inspected, and each participant is given safety gear: it will be a blast!

After the exhilarating experience of zip-lining, we will take a private van to Hidroeléctrica, or the hydroelectric power plant next to Machupicchu. Our last section of hiking will take as along the train route to Aguas Calientes, the village below Machupicchu.  This stunning three hour hike will give you the best opportunity of the trek to marvel at the highland jungle landscape, with plenty of orchids, butterflies, and waterfalls to keep your camera busy.  And if you look above, you will be able to make out ancient Inka terraces—ones belonging to Machupicchu that have yet to be excavated!  Once we arrive to Aguas Calientes, we will have our final group meal at one of the excellent restaurants in the village, and you will spend the night in a comfortable hostel, dreaming of the next day at Machupicchu.  

• Walking time: 3 hours (roughly).

• Total distance: 16 km “9 miles” (roughly).

• Hostel: 2,050 m “6,700 feet” (roughly).



 Day 4 will be our earliest wake-up, at 4:30 am, but only so you will have time to enjoy the sunrise over Machupicchu, one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World.  We will walk by flashlight as a group up the famous Inka Stairs to Machupicchu, arriving just before daybreak.  (There is also the option to take an eco-friendly bus up to the park as well!)

This vast archeological park is also known as the “White Stone City” and is surrounded by apus, the snow-capped mountains regarded as deities by the Quechua people.  The latest archeological research stipulates that Machupicchu was built during the reign of Pachaqutec, the Alexander the Great of ancient South America.  You will have a guided walking tour for two hours throughout the ancient citadel, after which you will have free time to explore the vast city for yourself.  After you are ready to leave Machupicchu, you can take an eco-friendly bus down to Aguas Calientes.   Here you will have the opportunity to relax in the thermal springs the town is famous for and have dinner at many of the fine bars or restaurants in Aguas (both are optional and at your own expense).  At the end of the day we will take the train back to the Sacred Valley, where a private van will return you to the City of Cusco.  

• Walking time: 1-2 hours (roughly).

• Total distance: 4 km, or 2 miles (roughly).

• Machupicchu Archeological Park: 2,400 m or 7,800 feet.


REMINDERS: Any point of the itinerary could be changed because of circumstances out of our control such as weather conditions, flight schedules, etc. 



  • Pre-departure briefing.
  • Pick-up from your hotel on Day 1
  • Private van from Cusco to Abra Malaga and Santa María.
  • Official and licensed English-speaking guide, with vast knowledge of the entire Cusco region, especially the high jungle area.
  • 3 breakfasts, 3 lunches, and 3 dinners, with vegetarian options available for each meal.
  • For the downhill biking on day 1: Front-wheel suspension bikes, every piece of necessary safety-gears such as helmets, gloves, knee protection, etc. is included.                                                
  • One night in a lodge in Santa María, one night in a lodge in Santa Teresa and one night in a hostel in Aguas Calientes
  • First-aid kits.
  • Zip line adventure in Santa Teresa.
  • Entrance ticket to Machupicchu.
  • A two and a half hour guided tour of Machupicchu Archeological Park.
  • One-way bus service from Aguas Calientes up to Machupicchu or Machupicchu down to Aguas Calientes.  (If you wish to buy the round trip, it is only an extra US$10.)
  • Train service return trip to Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley.
  • Private van from Ollantaytambo to Cusco.



  • The first breakfast and snacks in Ollantaytambo and the final dinner at Aguas Calientes.
  • Entrance fee to Huaynapicchu Mountain, the tall mountain towards the back of Machupicchu. This is optional; please tell us before the trek because tickets to Huaynapicchu may only be purchased in the City of Cusco, not at Machupicchu.
  • Entrance fee to the hot springs of Cocalmayo (5 Peruvian soles) and Aguas Calientes (10 Peruvian sols)
  • Bottled- or mineral-water (you can buy them along the way).
  • Extra money in Peruvian soles and US dollars (snacks, souvenirs, personal expenses). 

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  • Original Passport and (ISIC student card if applicable).
  • Travel and Health Insurance (bring only copies with you).
  • A backpack to carry your belongings.
  • Trekking boot with ankle support.
  • Trekking poles.
  • Warm clothes layer for variable temperatures especially at the beginning on day 1.
  • T-shirts and trekking pants that zip off to short pants for comfort.
  • Head light or torch and extra batteries.
  • Camera and extra batteries
  • Wear a hat with a broad visor to keep the sun off your face!
  • Sunscreen and sunglasses!
  • Rain jacket and rain poncho.
  • Toilet paper, small towel.
  • Insect repellent, with at least 15% DEET.
  • Personal medicine kit.
  • 2-Liter water bottle.
  • Water purifying tablets.
  • Bathing suit for the hot springs.
  • Extra Money in Peruvian soles and US dollars.
  • A sense of humor!