The Inca Jungle is a popular and adventurous trip in Cusco, comprised of a wide variety of enjoyable activities ranging from mountain biking to river rafting. The Inca Jungle trip passes through many different climates, beginning high in the Andes Mountains, where the group coasts down a winding road with breathtaking views on mountain bikes and outfitted in safety equipment. After a lunch in the town of Santa María, travelers have the option of river rafting in Vilcanota. The second day is comprised of hiking along the traditional Inca Trail, which passes many small Incan ruins The area passed through this day is brimming with life, including a wide variety of natural growing fruits and exotic birds. In the afternoon, the group relaxes in the thermal baths of Cocalmayo. Day three, the option of ziplining is available, which costs extra but offers a unique vantage point of the forest. That night, travelers rest in Aguas Calientes before the highly anticipated early morning tour of the legendary city of Machu Picchu.
the Inca Jungle does pass through a jungle, as the name would suggest, which means that there will almost definitely be mosquitoes and/or sand flies. Also, as with any Andean experience, it is important to take into account that the altitude makes it much easier to get sunburned and apply sunblock early and often.
While cars on that road are few, they often drive recklessly, and there are many blind corners. While the ride itself is fairly easy, the wind and the cars are potentially dangerous, so safety gear is highly recommended.
There are multiple points along the trip to visit hot springs – in Cocalmayo and, of course, Aguas Calientes.
There are several optional activities along the route that, if not included, may cost extra to do. With that in mind.
Aguas Calientes is a tourism town, with plenty of opportunities to buy souvenirs or additional experiences in the area. There are also options for zip-lining and river rafting, which is typically only available during the rainy season, between October and April.
The Inca Jungle tour is very adventurous, so know whether river rafting, zip-lining, and mountain biking are activities you want to participate in. If not, there are many other more relaxed treks to reach Machu Picchu.
The trekking portion of the Inca Jungle is at a relatively low altitude, since it is through the jungle, but the rest of the trip may not be. Either way, suffering from altitude sickness on any one portion of this trip would be highly uncomfortable. It is recommended that travelers arriving in Cusco rest for at least 1 or 2 days to allow their bodies to adjust to the altitude, while drinking a lot of liquids.
There should be places to get access to filtered water along the trip, but it never hurts to have a few chlorine tablets just in case. As with any other physically demanding activity, it is absolutely essential to make sure that the body has enough water. The last thing anybody wants on this trip is to need to take an emergency trip to the hospital, and dehydration is one of the easiest problems to avoid.
While it may be nicer to visit Machu Picchu and do the Inca Trail during the dry season, the river rafting option may not be an option. For the best of both worlds, the months at the beginning and end of the dry season are ideal.
because although most of the trek is at low altitude and through the jungle, where it is warmer, the highest point of the journey is at over 4,000 meters above sea level, which can be pretty chilly. Also, even during the dry season, it is usually a good idea to bring a raincoat, as the weather in the Andes can be unpredictable, and most raincoats can double as a good windbreaker (which could be nice on the bike ride down).