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Cusco, Peru

Inka Jungle Trek

Point-to-Point Trail

Originally added by Kevin Guevarra

Stunning views of the Urubamba River ValleyZiplining over the Urabamba River (optional)Hot springsGreat foodMeet localsand of course...MACHU PICCHU!$230 upfront cost but can be booked last minute

The Inka Jungle Trek is a 4 day trek and serves as an alternative to the popular Inca and Salkantay Trails. There are many tour operators to book through but I booked mine through Loki Travel. Machi Picchu is a must for anyone traveling to Peru so instead of paying hundreds of dollars to take the over priced train, why not spend that money on mountain biking and trekking through the jungle?

Day 1 starts early with a drive from Cusco's historical center through the Andes to Abra Malaga (4300m, 14160 ft above sea level), a high point on South America's Continental Divide. From here the cycling portion of the trek begins. You descend 2000 metres down the mountain, crossing natural streams all while taking in views of the Urubamba River Valley and the beginnings of the Amazon. Be sure to keep your eyes on the road though because the road is fairly trafficked and many of the turns are hairpins. There's also an optional rafting portion this day if you so desire.

Day 2 begins the actual hiking portion of the trek. You begin from the town of Santa Maria and begin your hike through the jungle. Remember, it's hot and humid and mosquitoes abound, so dress accordingly. You stop at local homes along the way every half hour or so, trying different fruits, foods, and coffee. The second or third stop even has you dressing up in traditional Inca wear and sampling some of the local liquor. At some point in the day, you hike along a newly discovered Inca road and take in some amazing views of the valley below. The day ends with a rickety bridge crossing, a cable car ride across the river, and relaxing at a hot springs.

Day 3 starts with some ziplining over the Urubamba River. It's optional and costs $30, but it's totally worth it. (Hopefully you won't get stuck in the middle as some people did!) After the morning's ziplining, you're driven to the Hydroelectric Power Station where the second hiking portion begins. There's no real elevation gain here as you follow the railroad track for PeruRail. Remember that this is the jungle and that the mosquitoes will bite you; make sure to wear repellent containing DEET. After about 10 miles of walking, you arrive in the town of Aguas Calientes where Machu Picchu looms overhead.

Day 4 - MACHU PICCHUThis is the last day of the trek (finally!). You have two options to get to Machu Picchu; you can either climb the stairs for two hours, or if you're too exhausted from the previous three days (as most of my group was), you can take the bus. If you take the bus, remember to buy your ticket the night before, and wake up early the next day. Your ticket to Machu Picchu is included in the tour package price, so if you book through Loki Travel, don't worry about it. You have the whole day at Machu Picchu, so wait around a while for the clouds to clear, you won't regret it. Make sure to hike to Intipunku (Sun Gate), the entrance for those coming in on the Inca Trail and get a llama selfie.

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Mountain Biking
Hot Springs


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