Hike & Drive Jungle Route to Machu Picchu

Trip Overview

4-Day mini-vacation along the uncrowded jungle route on the backside of Machu Picchu. Drive over a glacier before descending into a jungle eco-system where you hike through coffee and avocado plantations to Aguas Calientes.

4 Days

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Day 1:  Cusco to Santa Maria

Early AM Pickup from hotel to drive about 2 hours to Ollantaytambo where we stop for a break and explore the village. We begin our long drive about 2 hours up to the the Abra Malaga glacier, with stops to see obscure Incan ruins along the way. Once you cross over the 15,000 ft pass, you descend into the semi-tropical jungle on the backside of Machu Picchu for another 4 hr drive with stops to explore along the way, arriving in the small town of Santa Maria. Box lunch provided. Overnight  in small hostel. Dinner in small local restaurant. (Hot water & showers are possible, but not guaranteed.) (BLD)

Day 2: Santa Maria to Santa Teresa

After breakfast, drive a few minutes to the trailhead to begin 5 hour hike on an old Inca Trail that winds through small villages and the warm canyon. Enjoy spectacular views while hiking through coca farms, coffee plantations, and fruit orchards. Bring your swimsuits if you want to relax with a dip in local hot springs.  Then drive 45 minutes to Santa Teresa. Overnight in small local hostel. (Support vehicle will return to Cusco. You will need to pack backpacks for 2 overnights.) (BLD)

Day 3: Santa Teresa to Aguas Calientes

Your choice to continue trekking or visit the local zip line. Optional and at your own risk. You can decide if you want to do it when you arrive and then pay on-site. Your guide arranged local transport to drop you off for the final 3 hour hike on easy flat terrain from Hidroelectrica along the river trail to the town of Aguas Calientes. Check-in to your hotel for overnight. Dine in restaurant of your choice.  (About 14 km total hiking distance. Altitude 5000 ft / 1500 m to 7000 ft / 2000 m.) (BL)

Day 4: Machu Picchu to Cusco

Take early bus to main entry of Machu Picchu for guided tour of the ruins. Depart ruins by early afternoon to allow 2 hours ride back to Aguas Calientes and be at the station 30 minutes before the train departs to
Ollantaytambo where our driver will meet you.  Continue 2 hours by car to your hotel in Cusco.  Arrival usually around 6-7 pm. (B)

Tour Options

4 Days

4 D / 3 N
Difficulty Level:
Starting From$1047per person

Frequently Asked Questions

This Adventure Includes

    • All ground transportation and driver (private van, bus and train)
    • Train ticket from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo .
    • Bus tickets from Aguas Calientes-Machu Picchu-Aguas Calientes
    • Full-time, professional English-speaking guide;
    • Cooks and meal preparation while on the trail
    • Meals and snacks during the hikes as noted (B-breakfast, L-lunch, D-dinner)
    • Equipment needed for meals.
    • 2 Nights accommodations in basic lodges/small hotels. (showers and hot water are possible, but not guaranteed)
    • 3* Hotel accommodation/private bath includes breakfast buffet Aguas Calientes
    • Single entry to Machu Picchu National Park and private, guided tour.

Not Included

    • International airfare to and from Lima.
    • Domestic airfare
    • Hotel in Cusco (can be arranged on request)
    • Cusco airport transfers (can be arranged on request)
    • Lunches/Dinners/Bottled water after arrival in Aguas Calientes
    • Gratuities at your discretion
    • Travel insurance
    • Optional Zip-Line activitiy at your own risk / cost not included
    • Bring your own sleeping bag or bring a liner to use in one of ours for $20 pp.
      (Please let us know)


    • All trips are private departures and you can choose any dates you like
    • Best time is from April through October
    • Difficulty of hikes can be scaled to meet the needs of each group.  From easy to strenuous
    • Itinerary subject to change
    • Single supplement $155 (min 2 pax)
    • Cusco hotel & transfer services available on request
    • Ask about trip extensions to Lake Titicaca, Arequipa, Colca Canyon, Ecuador & Galapagos Islands