Kondor Path Tours

Inca Jungle Trek Ultimate Travel Guide to Machu Picchu (2023)

The Inca Jungle trek is one of the treks through the Amazon circuit of Cusco between Santa María and Santa Teresa and, therefore, to the magnificent Inca citadel of Machu Picchu. You can see breathtaking landscapes full of lush vegetation, exotic fruit trees, coffee plantations, etc., while taking the Inca Jungle Amazon to Machu Picchu tour, along with a stunning fusion of all the qualities that nature offers, like the Low jungle and the cloud forest.

Several Inca Trails, including Santa Maria, Huacayupana, Santa Teresa, and Lucmabamba from the Aobamba valley, are used by tourists as loops through the Inca Jungle in the Amazon.

The best thermal baths in the Huadquiña Valley in Santa Teresa, Peru, are found at the Cocalmayo thermal baths, which we visit on our 2, 3, and 4-day Inca Jungle Trek tourist circuits.

The thermal baths have four pools and mini cold-water waterfalls so that after the thermal waters, you can combine temperatures; the magnificent climate complements the beautiful panoramic views. On the last day of any Inca Jungle Trek adventure circuit, we visit Machu Picchu on a 2-hour guided tour.

What is the Inca Jungle Trek to Machu Picchu?

The Inca Jungle Trek to Machu Picchu is an adventure through the beginnings of the jungle in Cusco, Peru. The tour includes various moderate adventure activities between Santa María and Santa Teresa, the thermal baths of Cocalmayo, and the Inca Trail of Lucmabamba. The Machu Picchu Jungle Trail has become one of the popular trekking trails to reach Machu Picchu through the Amazon route.

Hiking the Inca Jungle Trek, we have excellent Inca Trails with warm climates that most visitors love. The experience of observing tropical plants with superb panoramic views makes the vacation one of the best in Peru – South America, and even better when we head to Cocalmayo Hot Springs.

Around Santa Teresa, more adventurous explorers can experience zip lines built from mountain to mountain or walk across suspension bridges. The day before arriving at Machu Picchu, enjoy stunning panoramic views of Machu Picchu from the Llactapata, Intihuatana Ruins, Hidroeléctrica Train Station, or Puente de las Ruinas.

Why should I go to the Inca Jungle Trail?

The Inca Jungle Trek is a great alternative route to Machu Picchu and adds incredible scenery to the Amazon route to Machu Picchu.

The Inca Jungle Trek tour of the Amazon from Cusco is packed with adventure along a beautiful stretch of the original Inca Trail between Santa María, Santa Teresa, and Lucmabamba, ending the expedition at the Inca fortresses of Machu Picchu, one of the most amazing places on the planet.

You will experience many breathtaking landscapes, including the Andes, the rainforest, the Urubamba River, and the Amazon jungle around Machu Picchu.

How long does driving between Cusco and Santa María take to start the Inca Jungle Trek?

The bus journey from Cusco to Santa María takes about 4 hours and 20 minutes. We travel from Cusco to Huarocondo road down the Sacred Valley and then to Ollantaytambo.

From Ollantaytambo, the trip heads up the Andes to the Malaga Pass. Admire the dramatic scenery of snow-capped Veronica from the Abra Malaga Pass, then head to the Carrizales Amazon Forest. At Santa Maria, embark on an adventure on the Inca Trail Jungle Trek to Santa Teresa.

  • Travel time by car from Cusco to Santa Maria
  • From Cusco to Ollantaytambo 1 hour and 40 minutes
  • From Ollantaytambo to Paso Málaga, 1 hour and 10 minutes
  • From the Málaga pass to Santa María 1 hour and a half.

What to pack for the Jungle Trek to Machu Picchu?

Things to pack for trekking in the Cusco Inca Jungle

These items should be light and easy to carry. Bring only what you will need for the outing.

  • T-shirts
  • Comfortable pants
  • Sun hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Waterproof jacket/rain poncho
  • Sun cream (factor 45 or higher)
  • Shoes with ankle support plus hiking socks
  • Warm jacket (for Santa Teresa)

Clothes for the hot springs of Cocalmayo

Bring the following items to enjoy the best thermal baths in Cusco:

  • Swimwear
  • Towel
  • Flip flops
  • Toiletries
  • Repellent
  • Cash for frozen drinks or a snack

What activities can be done in the Inca Jungle Trek?

In addition to trekking through the Amazon tourist circuit of Machu Picchu, there are special activities of the Inca Jungle Trek, such as:

Mountain biking from Abra Malaga towards Huamanmarca ruins “downhill.”

On the Inca Jungle Trek Mountain bike, Day 1 is a 65 km / 40-mile descent of approximately 2 hours, starting at the Malaga Pass and ending at the ruins of Huaman Marca.

Informative note: In the 2-, 3-, and 4-days Inca Jungle to Machu Picchu tour, Kondor Path Tours does not organize the experience of the bike tour between the pass of Malaga and Huamanmarca because it is an asphalt road, and there are many regular local vehicles. If visitors are required to experience a bike tour, we recommend doing it around Maras Moray. If guests need, we can arrange a bike tour before embarking on the Inca Jungle Trek.

Rafting on the Vilcanota de Santa Maria River, Cusco

Rafting can be done in the white water of Vilcanota; many travelers want another option. Recommended between May and October due to the good conditions of the Vilcanota Santa María River, “boating is done only in summer.”

Santa Teresa Zipline Experience, Cusco

Travelers can include a zipline experience through the Santa Teresa Valley. The Inca Jungle tour package does not include the zipline experience, but if guests want a zipline tour, we can arrange it.

Enjoy the thermal baths of Cocalmayo de Santa Teresa, Cusco

Just a 10-minute drive from Santa Teresa, we arrive at the Cocalmayo Hot Springs for a 02-hour splash in Cusco’s most luxurious waters.

All our Inca jungle trekking tour packages include access to Cocalmayo Hot Springs. Relax after experiencing the Inca Trail on a 2-, 3- or 4-day tour, the Inca Jungle Trek from Cusco, Peru.

When is the best time to go on the Inca Jungle Trek?

The climatic conditions in the Cusco region vary from dry winters to wet summers. But it’s much different on the Amazonian trekking circuit in the Inca Jungle Trek:

A dry season – from May to September

A wet season – from October to April

  • Inca Jungle Treks can be done all year round. However, heavy rains in January and February often cause landslides, affecting Santa Maria’s road to Santa Teresa.
  • The best time for Inca Jungle Trekking is the dry or dry season in March/April and October/November.
  • The Inca Jungle Trail is busier during the dry season, but you can still enjoy this fantastic adventure without the usual crowds on certain days of the year.
  • Temperatures are consistent throughout the year, with the hottest days reaching temperatures above 20 °C (68 °F). Nights and early mornings are cold (temperatures often drop below 0°C / 32°F). In the dry season, temperatures sometimes drop below 0°C / 32°F.
  • When active, it is recommended to bring hiking clothes suitable for the body’s daily changing temperature, especially during the day.

How fit do you need to be for the Inca Jungle Trek?

The Inca Jungle Trek is a walking adventure through the low Andes and the Amazon route to Machu Picchu. The ride is best suited for vacationers of all ages, children, youth, adults, and seniors.

The route of the walk from Santa María to Santa Teresa is 3 hours and a half following the Inca Trail of Huacayupana; the other days can be exchanged for rides in local vehicles or the experience of the zip line with the thermal baths of Cocalmayo, etc.

How long is the Inca Jungle Trail between Santa Maria and Huacayupana de Santa Teresa?

  • Walking kilometers: 5.5 km/3.4 miles | 3-4 hours
  • Hiking Difficulty: Challenging – Moderate – Easy.
  • Highest hiking place: 1st. Pass 1,640m/5,380ft.
  • Lowest trekking site: Cocalmayo Hot Spring 1,433m/4,701ft.
  • Leisure: 02 hours of enjoyment in the hot spring of Cocalmayo

Enjoy the Amazon Inca Trail with beautiful vegetation, fruit plantations, coffee, coca leaves, avocados, and many more. The scenic landscapes amaze from the tops of the Inca Trail and the thermal baths of Cocalmayo.

How long is the Inca Jungle Trail between Lucmabamba and Hidroeléctrica?

  • Walking kilometers: 10.2 km/6.3 miles | 05 hours
  • Hiking Difficulty: Challenging – Moderate.
  • Highest hiking place: Lucmabamba Pass 2,814m/9,232ft.
  • Lowest trekking site: Hydroelectric 1,815m/5,954ft.

One of the most spectacular hikes before visiting Machu Picchu is walking the Lucmabamba Inca Trail; as you turn the mountain, enjoy one of the best views of Machu Picchu from Llactapata Mountain in the Aobamba Valley.

Should I bring insect and mosquito repellent for the Inca Jungle Trek?

Exposure to mosquitoes and minor insects bothers you during the Inca Jungle Trek. Neither mosquitoes nor insects are poisonous or vectors of disease.

Sandfly bites are more annoying than mosquito bites, but luckily, they repel very well with insect repellent.

Informative note: The spray repellent is prohibited in the tourist circuits of the buffer zone of Machu Picchu and inside the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu. Repellent cream is allowed. “Let’s take care of the environment.”

christmas in machu picchu 5 day

christmas in machu picchu 5 day

Can I have altitude sickness on the Inca Jungle Trail?

The Inca Jungle Trail technically has a typical elevation gain between 1,203m/3,946ft. – 2814m/9232. This means that altitude sickness is rare on the Inca Jungle Trek. It doesn’t happen as often as other tourist circuits in Cusco.

When are you at higher risk of getting altitude sickness before hiking? Most travelers to Machu Picchu first fly to Cusco City, which is located at an altitude of over 3,400 meters/11,155 feet. It is usual for visitors to Cusco to experience mild altitude sicknesses such as headaches or nausea. It would be best to acclimate to this altitude for several days before going higher.

Another reasonable option, if you have time, is to quickly descend from Cusco to the stunning Sacred Valley at an altitude of 2,851 meters/9,353 feet. Rest here for a few days before returning to Cusco or joining the Inca Jungle Trek group on your way to Machu Picchu.

Where do you sleep on the Inca Jungle Trail on the first day?

The accommodation in the walk through the Amazon jungle of the tourist circuit Santa María, Santa Teresa to Machu Picchu, we offer lodging services in three-star hotels.

We recommend booking the Inca Jungle tour of 2, 3, or 4 days of excursion in advance and if there is no availability in the only two hotels in the town of Santa Teresa! We accommodate visitors in basic lodgings the first night, and the following days in Machupicchu Pueblo, we stay in 3-star hotels according to the Inca Jungle Trek, Cusco, Peru itinerary.

We advise you to book the 2, 3, or 4-day Inca Jungle Tour in advance. There are two hotels in Santa Teresa! We lodge guests in 3-star hotels, and if there is no availability, accommodation in basic lodgings on the first night, according to Inca Jungle Trek, Cusco, Peru.

Do I need to bring my Passport for the Inca Jungle Trek?

All travelers on the Inca Jungle Trek must carry their Passport to check the Intiwatana section of the Hidroeléctrica station for the entrance to the Amazon Tour Circuit.

A passport is also required to enter the Inca Citadel of Machu Picchu; the entrance ticket to Machu Picchu must be given together to enter Machu Picchu and get the most spectacular visit in Peru and South America.

What are the various circuits of the Inca Jungle Trek?

We invite you to explore the following tourist circuits of the Inca Jungle Trek in the Cusco region in Peru, South America.

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