The Inca Jungle Trail – Part 2

Amazing Jungle Inca Trail Views


Santa Teresa, Peru

After a great first day on the Inca Jungle Trail we were looking very forward to the remaining three days! We had two long treks ahead of us, and then of course, the world famous Machu Picchu. Read on to find out about the treks on day two and three and our thoughts on the Reserve Cusco Agency.

Walking The High Jungle

Lipstick plant markings on our faces

Juan Carlos insited we used the lipstick plant to make markings on our faces!

An early wake up call, followed by a hearty breakfast containing plenty of fresh fruit, juices and teas sets you up nicely for the long walk from Santa Maria to St Teresa. After stocking up on water, we began our trek following the river we had rafted on yesterday, allowing us to once again to realise how crazy we must have been to set foot any where near its raging waters!

Once again, Juan Carlos, our guide proved himself to be excellent. His knowledge on the area, the Inca Empire, and the plants around us was second to none, and before we knew it we where covered in a red plant that is the basis for a lot of lipsticks. Juan Carlos told us how it is great for helping wounds heal over as it has antibacterial properties, and it helps the body form a natural barrier to infection. Arthur had a couple of cuts and grazes from

Sacred Coca Plant

The Coca plant, Sacred to the Inkas and still a very important part of Peruvian and Bolivian culture today, but highly illegal in most modern developed countries.

biking so we went ahead and covered them in the plant. Sure enough it worked! Within two or three days the cuts had almost completely healed.

As well as the huge number of wild plants around you, one plant you can’t avoid is the sacred and controversial Coca plant. The mountains are lined with Coca plantations and on multiple occasions you will walk through them and get the chance to take a closer look at the Inca’s sacred plant.

Stunning Views and Steep Climbs

Along the length of the trek you are treated to breathtaking views. Like most things, you are required to work for your rewards, and parts of the trek are very steep following winding tracks up through coffee and coca farms. Fortunately, Juan Carlos allowed us to go at our own pace with plenty of stops along the way, and anyway, the hard work just makes the amazing views you see all the more rewarding as you reach them.

Inka Steps

Arthur and Ben make there way down (slowly!) some of the original Inca steps on the trail.

One thing you will learn on the treks is that the Inkas were definitely not scared of heights! Some of the paths and steps you follow are surrounded by very steep, and very tall cliffs and drops. For us that wasn’t a problem as none of us are scared by heights, and if anything it added to the awesomeness of the views. At the same time it is completely safe and Juan Carlos kept good care of us.

Halfway through the trek you stop for a lunch, the kind of lunch that would keep you perfectly satisfied if you had it for dinner, complete with a soup a main course and a desert! This sets you up nicely for the second half of the walk and before you know it in a couple of hours time you will be at the second hostel ready to put up your feet and relax after a hard days walking. Awesome!

Day Three Trek

Another early start followed by breakfast, in our case omelettes! This time you a completing the final part of the walking from St Teresa to Aquas Calientes which is essentially a town right at the base of Machu Picchu.

Wooden Bridge Jungle Inca Trail

Bridges liek this are a common occurance along the treks!

Along the way we had already come across some pretty awesome bridges, wooden logs carefully wedged between ravines, rope suspension bridges etc but on day three we came across an entirely different way of crossing deadly rapids! Fairly near the beginning of the trek you come across a large raging river that needs to be crossed.

Say hello to the hand operated cable car! Somebody obviously thought a bridge wasn’t adequate in this situation so decided that pulling yourself across the powerful waters in a small basket suspended precariously above would be a much better idea. I agree, this is ten times more fun and interesting than walking across your average bridge!

This trek takes you through some very “jungley” areas and we followed quite a lot of the path that the Machu Picchu train takes through the jungle. There is plenty of wildlife surrounding you but Juan Carlos surprised us by telling us that bears live here too! Best keep walking!

Inca Sacrifice Table

Us about to sacrifice a dog on the Inca sacrificial table. Only Joking!

As we came near to Machu Picchu we got our first glimpse of Inca ruins when we found an ancient sacrificial area. Juan Carlos told us about the rituals that would have been held there which only got us more excited for Machu Picchu itself!

Eventually we reached Aquas Calientes which is situated alongside one of the roughest rivers I have ever seen, glad we weren’t rafting down this one. The hard part was done, now we could look forward to the 4:00am wake up call to set of to Machu Picchu the following day. It had been hard work getting there, but it was extremely rewarding and we had had a great time learning about the Incas and Peru and its politics in general from Juan Carlos! Can’t really think of a better way to spend two days!


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  • Lucy

    Fabulous blog about the trek and video of the river crossing, how long did Ben and Arthur sit in the basket?
    Presume we will now have loads more blogs now that you are home Zef? Keep them coming!

  • Jacqui

    Great read, great info, great scenery & what a great adventure. Loved the lipstick plant face painting too!!

  • Aviewtoathrill

    Classic….the old saying that necessity is the mother of invention is a truism…..genius!  I think you made a great decision in hiring that guide….the time, money and frustration saved is worth whatever you paid him!

  • Y Bates

    What a great guide.  Made the experience so memorable I’m sure.  Something you will never forget.

  • I would be “not so much” on the bridge…

    • Haha, guessing you’re not the kind of person to bounce them deliberately then!

  • interested to hear whether you tried the coca leaves or not? when we were in peru we got stuck into the tea. was pretty good really. gladyour guide was good. can really make the difference to a tour i reckon!

    • The tea is great for getting you up in the morning! The leaves don’t taste too nice on their own though. A good guide does make all the difference. You know the guide was good when you are still in contact after the trip!

  • Steve Maxted

    Very coloufully expressed. Can’t waity to read the next bit -visiting Machu Pichu.
    The route you took sounded challenging yet very rewarding. The views and scenery are breathtaking.
    Well done

  • Looks like an awesome time and a fun hike.  Those are some crazy rapids though!

    • I know! The rapids at Aquas Calientes are even worse!

  •  The reward of incredible views has always been worth the effort of a challenging hike.  I imagine Machu Picchu has to be one of the best in terms of payback on that hard work.

    • Definitely! When you finally reach Machu Picchu its such a great feeling.

  • Sounds like you had one great adventure.  Beautiful pictures.  A friend of mine did this in early spring.  An amazing trek to an awesome place.

  • Ahhhh – we just did this a few weeks ago – so tough!!!

  • Thanks for the recommendation. We’re looking for a good agency to arrange our trek when we’re in Peru. Should be there in a month or so (still in Ecuador currently). Can’t wait!

    • Yes would highly recommend. Liek most tours in South America you hear horror stories about certain companies but I’d say Reserve Cusco are definitely a safe bet.

  • Travel Agents India

    nice pics……… its really true walking in a high jungle is very amazing ,dangerous, and memorable.


  • Arturo

    nice trip …&  good company

  • wondrful pic and amazing sight seeing i wish to accompany you plz visit us to know more

  • Great story! I just got back form Peru and had a blast in Macchu Picchu. DID NOT DO THE TRAIL  THOUGH! Would have liked to but my female counter part probably would not have. Great story! 


  • Lauren Conrad

    Wonderful post with amazing & unforgettable pictures



    Pick up from hostel between 6:00 to 6:30 a.m., depart for the Sacred Valley of the Incas, where we can appreciate beautiful and scenic natural attractions and cultural … arrive at about noon to the Abra Malaga which is at an altitude of 4316 m, starting point the bike down in the direction towards the high forest for 4 hours to 5 hours, passing through small villages, orchards, rivers and streams, reaching the mark Huamán archaeological center of a beautiful place for us as free time, then the group will decide whether to continue to bike or car to the first break point where, will arrive at the town of Santa Maria in the afternoon. During the descent into the valley, have the support of our private vehicle which will give security to the group reaching the town of Santa Maria where we spend our first night in a family home.
    (Lunch / Dinner / breakfast)

    We got up around 6:00 a.m. To enjoy breakfast and then begin the walk by the river bank. Then we will climb up the mountain that will take 1 ½ hrs. About to reach the highest point where we can admire the entire valley and the slopes of the canyon, part of this hike is subject to an original Inca trail to reach the town of Quellomayo where we take a delicious lunch break, then continuing with the walk to the town of Santa Teresa, an approximately 3 hrs, arriving at our overnight santa teresa second night of family home
    (Lunch / Dinner / Breakfast.)

    morning after breakfast, we take a walk around the floor flat valley from Santa Teresa to an estimated hydroelectric 2:30 hrs, appreciating the landscape bordered by mountains and nature, leading to hydro, we have a comfortable lunch in order to continue our hike to Aguas Calientes an approximately 3hrs, along the banks of the river and also along the railway track rail train to get hot water, this hike can be seen, vegetation of the area as well as the fauna, reaching Aguas Calientes, where we will spend our last night.

    Around 4:00 a.m. we get ready to go to the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu climb a path through the jungle, taking the opportunity to see the sunrise, after registering in the control of the park 6:20 a.m. appreciate the sun if we are lucky, then continue the visit within the Inca citadel together with our professional guides who will share their knowledge to us for two hours or so, UD. Free time to visit and walks inside the citadel, or they can climb the mountain Waynapicchu, based on the return train schedule.
    Item tourist train from Aguas Calientes-Ollantaytambo then by bus tour to the city of Cusco and end of our services.


    Pick up from your Hotel.
    cusco tourist bus transport – and accompanying Abra Malaga to Santa Maria.
    Front suspension bikes, helmets and gloves.
    3 lunches, 3 dinners, 3 breakfasts.
    2 nights in a shelter house with basic service.
    1 night accommodation (with private bathrooms and hot water), the last night.
    Entrance ticket to Machupicchu.
    Professional bilingual guide service for 3 days. (Last day in Machupicchu 2:30 hrs.)
    Return train to Machu Picchu town – piscaccuchu and tourist bus to Cusco
    Wizard (when more than 10 passengers).
    First Aid.
    vegetarian option without additional group contained

    Bus Ticket to Machupicchu (U.S. $ 19.00).
    First breakfast and lunch the last day.
    Snacks and side dishes.
    Mineral water during the trip

    clothing to prevent cold.
    Sportswear (01 pair of each).
    Walking shoes.
    Camera or camcorder.
    Mosquito repellent.
    Hat or cap.
    Jacket or poncho for rain.
    Extra money.
    Standard Backpack Trip.



    Vamos a empezar la gira con un traslado desde su hotel a las 6:00am. Para luego emprender nuestro viaje con un trayecto de 3 hrs aprox. Pasando por lugares con paisajes hermosos y encantadores a lo largo del valle sagrado también apreciaremos colinas y los picos nevados de la Cordillera del Vilcanota. Llegando de esa manera a nuestro punto más alto “abra malaga” con 4316mts viene a ser el lugar elegido para el inicio del descenso en bicicleta de aprox. 3 hrs pasando de esa manera por distintos ecosistemas que caracterizan a los andes y la selva. Esta actividad concluye en el pueblo de huamanmarka, donde almorzaremos. El viaje continua hasta santa maria donde hay la posibilidad de que los participantes puedan optar por la alternativa de canotaje de 2hrs en el rio Urubamba ya por los 1200mts. En el valle denominado como tunkimayo. Siendo finalmente conducidos hasta el sector de cocalpampa de donde tendremos que ascender tan solamente 1/2hr para llegar a la comunidad de pispitayoc (1530msnm). Lugar donde la familia local nos espera para integrarnos a ella esta noche.

    Este dia nos despertamos a las 7:00 am para disfrutar de un buen desayuno preparado por la familia. luego vamos a iniciar la caminata subiendo por media hora, alcanzando una altitud de 1720 metros, ese día podremos disfrutar de la vida silvestre y las plantas nativas que pertenecen a esta área, tales como las plantaciones de café, árboles frutales como mangos, naranjas, plátanos, aguacate, papaya, etc.,. Cuando llegamos a la parte superior veremos todo el valle del río Urubamba, de allí durante la caminata se encuentra un original camino Inka. Continuando con la caminata, llegaremos a la aldea Quellomayo donde tendremos el almuerzo, y luego vamos a seguir para llegar a Santa Teresa de aguas termales, después de un relajante baño continuaremos caminando durante 30 minutos más para la ciudad de Santa Teresa, donde cenaremos y pasaremos nuestra segunda noche en un albergue(servicios básicos de alojamiento).
    Viaje a Distancia: 14km
    Tiempo estimado: 6 horas

    El día 3 se iniciará a las 6:30 am con un desayuno típico. ( Zip Line Tour adicional) Hoy será un clima más tropical aún a medida que nos acerca cada vez más a la antigua ciudad. Tendrá que caminar durante 5 – 6 horas por la carretera de camiones a la Central Hidroeléctrica, donde hay un sitio ceremonial sagrado, el Intihuatana esperando por nosotros, desde aquí tendremos una caminata hasta el pueblo de Aguas Calientes trekking por la vía férrea un aproximado de 3 hrs, donde de inmediato la transferencia de a nuestro hotel para pasar la noche. Esa noche vamos a compartir una cena con nuestro guía que nos informa sobre los planes del día siguiente antes de ir a dormir.

    Nos levantaremos muy temprano, a las 4:00 am, con el fin de empezar la caminata a la montaña de Machu Pichu en el tiempo para ver el amanecer en la parte superior. Que será de aproximadamente una hora y 45 minutos para llegar a la cima. Cuando llegan por primera vez, nuestro guía nos dará una gira guiada de 2 horas, iluminarnos sobre todo de la rica historia de las antiguas ruinas que nos rodea. Hay
    tanto que nuestro guía nos puede enseñar sobre todo lo que sabemos sobre el sitio hasta el momento.Después de la porción guiada de la gira, tendrá tiempo libre para explorar las ruinas por su cuenta. Si quieres subir al Huayna Pichu, a continuación, se recomienda que usted va a la cabeza de pista al terminar la visita, ya que sólo permiten 400 personas por día. La ida y vuelta a pie hasta la cima del Huayna Picchu es de aproximadamente una hora y media y vale la pena por las magníficas vistas desde la cima, pero es preciso señalar que la porción en la parte superior de las escaleras (la “parte de las escaleras” ya que con amor se refiere) es moderadamente peligroso. Usted tendrá que volver a Aguas Calientes para
    tomar el tren de retorno a Cusco o Ollanta. También existe la opción de permanecer una noche extra en Aguas Calientes, que le permite más tiempo en Machu Pichu también.

    Recojo de su Hotel.
    Transporte bus turístico cusco – abra Málaga y acompañando hasta santa maría.
    Bicicletas con suspensión delantera, cascos y guantes.
    3 Almuerzos, 3 Cenas, 3 Desayunos.
    1Noche en casa albergue con servicio básico.

    2 noches hostal (con baño privado y agua caliente).
    Ticket de entrada a Machupicchu.
    Servicio de guía profesional bilingüe durante los 4 días.
    Tren de retorno de machupicchu pueblo – Ollantaytambo y bus turístico hasta cusco
    Asistente de guía (para más de 8 pasajeros).
    Primeros auxilios.
    Opción de alimentación vegetariana sin consto adicional

    Ticket de Bus Para Machupicchu (US$ 18.00).
    Desayuno el primer día y almuerzo el último día.
    Snacks y platos adicionales.
    Ticket para las aguas termales de Santa Teresa S/. 10.00.
    Agua mineral durante el viaje

    Ropa para evitar el Frío.
    Ropa deportiva (01 par de cada una).
    Zapatospara caminata.
    Cámarade fotos o cámara filmadora.
    Repelentepara mosquitos.
    Sombreroo gorra.
    Lentespara el sol.
    Casaca para la lluvia o poncho.
    Dinero extra.

    Mochila Standard de viaje.

    Tel: 0051-(84) 233613 // 431201

    Web .

  • The best way to travel to Machu Picchu…
    Some preparation needed, though…

  • Miguel Angel

    Walking along the Inca jungle trail is an indescribable adventure, because on the route it is impossible not to be impressed by the enormous beauty of the jungle en route to Machu Picchu.

  • Lizandro Conde

    Great read, great info
    it´s a best trip i am
    Book Her ::