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Machu Picchu by bicycle
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Machu Picchu by bicycle: the Inca Jungle Adventure

If you are someone who loves adventure sports and especially cycling, this is your best option to get to know Machu Picchu. The Inca Jungle offers the opportunity to spend up to 4 days of pure adrenaline before reaching the Inca citadel. The trip on two wheels is included, as well as other adventure sports: rafting, zipline and hiking. The visit includes a relaxing afternoon at the thermal baths of Cocalmayo. Learn more!




The Inca Jungle adventure to Machu Picchu

Enjoy the Inca Jungle adventure by bike to Machu Picchu

The route to Machu Picchu by Hidroeléctrica
The Inca Jungle tour goes through the jungle of Cusco until arriving at the Hydroelectric station where the final route to Machu Picchu begins. The route through Hidroeléctrica is a 10 kilometer hike parallel to the Vilcanota River until arriving at the town of Aguas Calientes. This route is preferred by young adventurers because it allows them to avoid the train trip. To get to Hidroeléctrica you must take a bus from Cusco (5 hour trip) or by the Inca Jungle tour.


What is the Inca Jungle?

  • The Inca Jungle is one of the alternative options to visit one of the Wonders of the World.
  • This is a tour of up to 4 days and 3 nights, ideal for adventurers who enjoy extreme sports. Among the main attractions of this circuit is the approximately 5-hour bike ride through unforgettable landscapes and towns.
  • In addition, the tour includes the practice of other adventure sports, such as: rafting, zipline and hiking trails.
  • During the route, in the town of Santa Teresa, we visit the thermal baths of Cocalmayo, considered the best in all of Cusco.
  • The last part of the Inca Jungle tour includes the famous hike from the hydroelectric station to the town of Aguas Calientes (10 kilometers). The next day we visit Machu Picchu and return to Cusco by bus.

What adventure sports are included?

Adventure biking is just one of the sports included in the Inca Jungle. In addition, there is rafting, ziplining and hiking. The tour also includes enjoying the thermal (medicinal) baths. At the end of the tour, the beauty of the citadel of Machu Picchu crowns the adventure.

CyclingRaftingZiplineTrekking
DayFirstFirstThirdEvery day
LocationFrom Abra Malaga to Santa MariaOn the Vilcanota River in the town of Santa MaríaIn the town of Santa TeresaThroughout the Inca Jungle
Distance76 kilometers5 kilometers1 kilometer in different sections29 kilometers
EquipmentBicycle, helmet, gloves, knee pads.Wetsuit, life jacket, canoe, paddles, etc.Helmets, safety vests, safety rope, etc.Does not include any equipment.
DifficultyModerateModerateModerateModerate
LandscapesHigh mountains and jungle of CuscoCusco jungleCusco jungleCusco jungle
TipsThe route is on paved roads. Caution with vehicles is recommended.The tour is along the Vilcanota River. It is recommended to choose a serious tourism agency.The adventure is in an adventure center in the town of Santa Teresa. It is recommended to choose a serious tourism agency.The tour is through the jungle of Cusco. It is recommended to use sunscreen, hat, mosquito repellent and trekking shoes.

This is the Inca Jungle Tour 4 days

  • Day 1 – The Inca Jungle begins with the ascent by car to the Malaga pass (approximately 2 hours from the city of Cusco), a place at 4330 meters above sea level. Then comes the descent by bicycle to the town of Huamanmarca, where lunch is served. At this point, those who require it will venture into the waters of the Vilcanota River. Those who do not, will continue the descent by bicycle to the town of Santa Maria.

  • Day 2 – On the second day, we enjoy the flora and fauna of the Santa Maria village and take an unforgettable hike along part of the ancient Inca Trail. Then we enjoy the relaxing waters of the thermal baths of Cocalmayo. Due to the proximity to the jungle, the scenery of the place is unforgettable.

  • Day 3 – The third day is destined to walk the routes made by the discoverers of Machu Picchu. In addition, those who wish to do so, will venture into the zipline in the town of Santa Teresa. From this place we will start the journey to the town of Aguas Calientes, a magical place where we will spend the night before visiting the Wonder of the World.

  • Day 4 – The day that crowns the adventure is the fourth. In the morning you will ascend on foot very early in the morning to Machu Picchu (or by bus if the visitor wishes). There you will learn more about the Inca Citadel thanks to the guided service. You will also have free time to explore the site on your own. At the end, you will return to the town of Aguas Calientes where, after a pleasant visit, you will return by train to the town of Ollantaytambo and, finally, to the city of Cusco.

Tourists ziplining or ziplining in Santa Teresa on their way to Machu Picchu
Tourists ziplining in the village of Santa Teresa

Inca Jungle Tour 3 days (short version)

  • Day 1This shorter version of the Inca Jungle starts with the ascent to the Malaga pass. Then we descend to the town of Santa Maria. After lunch, we arrive to the town of Santa Teresa where we enjoy the thermal baths of Cocalmayo.

  • Day 2 – The second day we enjoy a pleasant hike through unforgettable landscapes to the town of Aguas Calientes. On the way, the visitor will be able to see the routes of the discoverers of the Inca Citadel.

  • Day 3 – The third day you will ascend on foot or by bus, depending on the visitor’s taste, to Machu Picchu. If you booked your ticket in advance, you can also visit Huayna Picchu Mountain or Machu Picchu Mountain. Finally, you will return to the town of Aguas Calientes from where a train will take you to Ollantaytambo. From here a car will take you to the city of Cusco.

Colcalmayo hot springs pools in Santa Teresa
Colcalmayo hot springs pools in Santa Teresa

What should I bring to the Inca Jungle tour?

  • Passport (or identity card).
  • Rehydrating water.
  • Hat, mosquito repellent and basic medicines.
  • Clothing and shoes suitable for the adventure.
  • A photographic camera.
  • Bathing suit (for the visit to the thermal baths of Cocalmayo).
  • Towel.
  • Sleeping clothes.
  • Cash.
  • Travel insurance (optional).

Other adventurous options in Cusco

  • Inca Trail to Machu Picchu – Trekking route of 4 days and 3 nights that goes through the Inca trails (qhapac ñan) until arriving to Machu Picchu as the Incas did (through the Intipunku). The hike includes visits to Inca archaeological sites, beautiful flora and fauna and more. It can only be done with a tour (offers camping, food, guide, porters and more).
  • Salkantay trek a Machu Picchu – Trekking route of 5 days and 4 nights that covers high altitude trails near the snowy Salkantay, as well as sections of the jungle of Cusco until arriving to Machu Picchu through the town of Aguas Calientes. It includes visits to famous tourist sites such as the Humantay Lagoon, the thermal baths of Cocalmayo, Machu Picchu and more. It can be done with a tour or on your own.
  • Lares trek to Machu Picchu – Trekking route of 4 days and 3 nights that goes through high altitude roads where the visitor will appreciate beautiful landscapes (lagoons, snow-capped mountains, fields) and Andean villages with a lot of culture and tradition. It includes a visit to the thermal baths of the town of Lares. The penultimate day is the trip to Aguas Calientes by train from Ollantaytambo. It can be done with a tour or on your own.
  • Route through Hidroelectrica to Machu Picchu – This short hike is known as the ‘adventurous route to Machu Picchu’ because it does not offer the comfortable train ride but a 10 kilometer stretch from the Hidroeléctrica station to the town of Aguas Calientes (Machupicchu village). To get to Hidroeléctrica, you have to take a 5-hour overland trip from Cusco. This is the most economical route to get to Machupicchu.

Questions and Answers about the Inca Jungle in Cusco

  • How many days does the Inca Jungle tour last?

    The classic version of the Inca Jungle tour lasts 4 days and 3 nights. The alternative version lasts 3 days and 2 nights.

  • What are the tourist attractions included in the Inca Jungle?

    The Inca Jungle includes visits to tourist attractions such as the Malaga pass, the town of Santa Teresa, the thermal baths of Cocalmayo, the town of Aguas Calientes and the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu.

  • What are the adventure sports included in the Inca Jungle?

    The Inca Jungle tour includes the practice of adventure sports, such as: cycling, rafting, ziplining and hiking.

  • Is the Inca Jungle suitable for visitors of all ages?

    Yes, the Inca Jungle is recommended for visitors of all ages. However, it is most recommended for young people or people with a young spirit.

  • Can I do the Inca Jungle on my own?

    No, the Inca Jungle is a tour that, for safety reasons, is done with a tour agency. It includes the practice of adventure sports, which must be done with all safety equipment.

  • When is the best time of the year to do the Inca Jungle?

    The Inca Jungle tour can be done all year round. However, for safety reasons, it is recommended to do this adventure from April to November. From December to March the rains are more constant, which makes the hike more difficult.

  • How much does the Inca Jungle tour cost?

    The 4-day, 3-night Inca Jungle tour costs between US$380 and US$440, depending on the tour operator you choose.

  • Which tour operator should I choose for the Inca Jungle?

    There are many tour agencies that offer the Inca Jungle tour to Machu Picchu. It is recommended to choose a serious tour agency with good reviews on online forums such as TripAdvisor.

Advice from people who have been there

Inca Jungle

Santi F.By: Santi F.

“Full adventure!“

“Prst day of biking. Descent from 4500 masl to 2500 masl. Second day we hike all day through the mountain, passing through the vegetation and at times next to the cliff, but we make several stops and the guide explains many customs and facts about the place and the Incas. On the third day we hike 4 hours to the hydroelectric plant, have lunch and then 2 hours to Aguas Calientes, where we sleep for the next day to do Machu Picchu.“

 

By Ticket Machu Picchu – Last updated, February 21, 2024