We pioneered the Jungle Trail to Machu Picchu, and it’s one of our signature trips. With culture and history in the Sacred Valley and awesome outdoor adventures in the high jungle, all on the way to Machu Picchu, the Jungle Trail is the greatest four-day adventure you can have in Peru.
Maximum group size:
3 4 days
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The trip in detail
Today starts with Chinchero, best known for its outdoor weaving studios and extensive Inca terracing with incredible views. Next we’ll explore Moray – a mysterious complex of massive amphitheatres of incredible engineering precision and stern, magnificent beauty.
Then an easy stroll (or ride in the vehicle if you prefer), through rolling farmland and views of the high Andes, brings us to Salineras – a surreal and beautiful patchwork of pools and paths that still produces salt using Inca technology.
We’ll spend the night in Ollantaytambo, a charming village of cobbled streets and sleepy plazas watched over by spectacular mountain-side fortresses.
Meals: Lunch and dinner included
Accommodation: Cosy, family-run hotel in Ollantaytambo
Today we cross one of the world’s more drastic topographical divides: from the arid, Pacific side of the Andes to its lush western slope and the uppermost reaches of the Amazon Basin. The differences become more and more obvious as we descend from the icy high pass of Abra Malaga (4,350m/14,000 feet), all the way down to the steamy heat of the ceja de selva (the “eyebrow of the jungle” that gives this route to Machu Picchu its name).
Our destination, sleepy Santa Teresa (1,550m/5,085 feet), is home to one of our favourite places in Peru, the Baños Termales de Cocalmayo, natural mountain hot springs beside a raging river. It’s the perfect place to soak away the road dust of today’s journey from one side of the Andes to the other.
If you’re into biking, you might want to ride some or all of the day’s long descent to the high jungle – it’s an incredibly fun, freewheeling, downhill and is suitable for anyone who can ride a bike. We provide bikes so you can ride as much or as little as you like.
Meals: All meals included
Accommodation: Rustic eco-lodge near Santa Teresa
Coffee, grown at cottage-industry level and exported to the world through growers’ co-operatives, is the backbone of this area’s economy. This morning a local coffee producer will show us around their plantation, and the operation where they harvest and mill coffee.
In the afternoon we’ll take a short (7km/5 mile) train ride, or hike the gentle jungle trail beside the tracks if you prefer, to Aguas Calientes. There’s time this afternoon to explore the market and admire the lush rainforest scenery all around and above us – the isolated little town has one of the most beautiful settings you’ll see in Peru.
Meals: All meals included
Accommodation: Comfortable hotel in Aguas Calientes
An early start rewards us with sunrise at Machu Picchu – a peak moment for anyone. A spectacular stone city surrounded by incredibly steep, incredibly green mountains, Machu Picchu needs no introduction and is deservedly one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. Your guide will show you around the important features and orient you in the massive site, then you’ll have plenty of time to explore the site and some of the surrounding peaks on your own before we catch the train back to Cusco.