Permits to the Classic Inca Trail tend to sell out quickly, so in order to satisfy the great demand to trek to Machu Picchu year-round, we’ve had to discover less-travelled trails that had been constructed by the ancient Incas. This network of trails connected their sacred sanctuary, Machu Picchu, with the rest of the empire. The Inca Amazon Trail was one of the most important of all the trails and was built primarily to transfer food and sacred coca leaves to the ‘chosen people’ that once inhabited the sanctuary.
This trail connects Machu Picchu with the rainforest of Vilcabamba, the last capital of the Incas. It was once the most important commercial trade route between the Incas and the people of the rainforest. Imagine how the Incas walked this same path centuries ago!
This is not just an “alternative” Inca Trail trek. The Original Inca Amazon Trail is an exclusive route offered by Green Peru Adventures which combines biking and trekking. It includes an 80 km (50 mi) downhill ride on brand new full suspension mountain bikes through the mountains from Abra Malaga (4316 m/ 14,160 ft above sea level) to the green valley below the cloud forest at the base of Santa Maria (1250 m/ 4101 ft). You will hike along recently discovered, authentic Inca paths. When you reach the lookout point of Llactapata, you will have the opportunity to visit archaeological sites and have a first glimpse of the sanctuary of Machu Picchu, which you will reach on the fourth day of your journey.
Cusco – Ollantaytambo – Abra Malaga – Humanmarca
Your guide will pick you up at your hotel at 7:00 am. You will drive out of the city into the Sacred Valley of the Incas towards Ollantaytambo. Upon arrival at Ollantaytambo (approx. 8:30 am), you will stop for a hearty breakfast before continuing to Abra Malaga, the starting point of your trek. When you reach Abra Malaga (4316m/ 14,160 ft), you will have some time to enjoy the breathtaking view of snow-capped Apu Veronica while your guide briefly explains you the activities for the days to come. Furthermore, he will perform a safety check before you gear-up (helmet, gloves, and protective pads) and then head off on your mountain bikes. You will begin your exhilarating downhill ride from Andes Puna into the cloud forest, amidst changing scenery and gorgeous landscapes. From the mountainside, you’ll enjoy stunning views of the valley and river below.
Your guide will call for a stop once you reach the Inca site of Humanmarca. Here, your guide will give you an informative tour of the site which once housed an ancient temple and administration center. After the tour, you will head to the nearby town of Humanmarca for a taste of local hospitality — a freshly prepared lunch and a tour of a tea plantation. You will then continue on to the campsite in the cloud forest, where you will have the chance to rest before touring a nearby coca plantation. You’ll learn about the growing and harvesting methods used to cultivate this iconic leaf. Before darkness descends upon the valley, you’ll return to the campsite for dinner, and then retire for the night.
Meals: Lunch, Dinner
Santa Rosa – Santa Teresa
Today you will wake to the myriad sounds of the forest. You’ll start the day off with a campsite breakfast including the finest indigenous coffee. As you trek farther into the cloud forest, your guide will highlight interesting features of the flora and fauna lining the trail. You’ll pass a tropical forest and a plantation where you will be invited to taste delicious exotic fruits straight from the trees. After a short while, you’ll come across the intersection at which the ancient jungle tribes traded with the Incas. You will continue to ascend along the mountain until you reach The Monkey House where you experience a fantastic view of the Sacred Valley of the Incas. From there, the trail ‘snakes’ along the side of the valley, ascending and descending ancient stone steps and crossing short, flat sections until you reach the home of a local family. You’ll learn about the lifestyle of local people while you enjoy a delicious lunch prepared by the family. You’ll have some time to rest before you continue your hike along a colonial trail. You’ll cross a bridge over the Urubamba River, and, after a short while, you’ll reach the cable car that will take you back across the river. Here, you’ll have a unique perspective of the valley and river below. You will then hike to Colcamayo, arriving in the early afternoon. You will have the opportunity to freshen up and spend some time relaxing in the natural thermal baths before enjoying your dinner. Afterwards, you may retire to your tent or spend a little more time in the thermal baths.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Colcamayo – Lucmabamba – Aguas Calientes
You’ll have another early start today, but the freshly brewed coffee and the opportunity to take another dip in the thermal baths will make it a lot easier for you. Once you’ve had breakfast at the camp, you prepare for the next stage of your journey — an hour-long private transfer to Lucmabamba where you intersect with the Inca Jungle Trail. Once you disembark from the vehicle, you will begin the day’s trekking, continuing along the same trail as the previous day. Recently discovered, this trail has been confirmed as the original path that the jungle tribes used to transport supplies to the citadel of Machu Picchu. Your guide will explain the history and significance of this trail as you ascend the stone stairway to the top of the hill. Once you reach the peak of the hill, you will see the ancient archaeological site of Lactapata as well as you will take your first look at Machu Picchu, flanked by the peak of the snow-covered mountain Salkantay. Your guide will give you a guided tour of these ruins, explaining their purpose and highlighting the interesting architectural properties of these ancient places. After the tour, you will continue your hike along the trail, descending to the Aobamba River passing a variety of crop plantations along the way. Once you reach the river, the trail continues for approximately two hours until you reach the train station in Hidroelectrica where lunch will be served. After lunch and a short rest you will take the three hour walk following the route of the train tracks leading to the town of Aguas Calientes. On arrival to Aguas Calientes your guide will escort you to a comfortable family run hostel with private bathrooms where you can enjoy your dinner and rest ahead for your following day’s visit to Machu Picchu. Aguas Calientes is a unique and interesting place, famous not only for the entry point to Machu Picchu but also for the hot springs for which it is named Aguas Calientes (= hot springs). Apart from that, you can also spend some of your time exploring the small town and visiting the sights to be found here.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Ollantaytambo – Cusco
Today, you will visit the Inca-Citadel of Machu Picchu! In order to avoid the crowds and be among the first visitors at Machu Picchu, you will depart from your hostel shortly after a very early breakfast. After managing to remain hidden throughout the Spanish Conquest, the citadel was rediscovered by American historian Hiram Bingham in 1911. Your guide will take you on a tour around the vast ruins for approximately three hours, explaining the historical significance of the various structures built during the time of the Inca Empire (mid-15th century), including the Main Square, the Royal Quarters, the Temple of the Three Windows, the Circular Towers, the Sacred Sun Dial and the Burial Grounds.
After the guided tour, you will be free to explore the archaeological site on your own. If you reserve early enough in advance, you may have the option to hike up the mountains of Machu Picchu or Huayna Picchu (the one situated behind the citadel in the most commonly taken photos of Machu Picchu). They are moderately challenging hikes, but the stunning views from the top are worth the effort! Only 400 entrance tickets are available for each mountain per day, so we highly recommend that you let us know if you wish to climb one of them when you book your Inca Jungle Trail. Tickets for each mountain costs US$ 15. Climbing and descending Huayna Picchu, on average, takes 2-3 hours; Machu Picchu mountain can take 3-4 hours. Tickets to Huayna Picchu tend to sell out quickly, but don’t be discouraged if they’re sold out during your visit; Machu Picchu mountain may not be as popular to climb but it is less crowded and the views are just as beautiful, if not more. Should you wait to decide until the day of your visit to Machu Picchu that you want to take on the extra climbing challenge, there are likely to still be Machu Picchu Mountain tickets available for purchase; they usually don’t sell out.
You may also opt to visit Inti Punku (The Sun Gate) or the Inca Bridge on an unguided walk. Inti Punku is the traditional end of the Inca Trail; from the citadel it takes around 1,5 hours. To reach the Inca Bridge, is takes you about 1 hour. After your free time, you may either walk back down to the town of Aguas Calientes or you can take the bus which runs on a regular and frequent schedule. Before you catch the evening train to Ollantaytambo, you may choose to have a late lunch in town, take a dip in the hot springs (not included), or simply relax and reflect on your amazing experience. Our driver will await you in Ollantaytambo to take you back to Cusco.
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Group Price US$ 510 based on 4 people
Price for 2 people US$ 590 per person
Price for 3 people US$ 550 per person
Exclusive international transaction fees: The amount of the extra transaction fees depends on how the payment is made and on your bank. For further information please don’t hesitate to ask.
Upon request, with each booked tour with Green Peru Adventures, you will receive a free walking tour of the mysterious and historic city of Cusco. You will be guided by one of our multilingual, professional guides.