Adventure Activities on the Inca Jungle to Machu Picchu
The Inca Jungle Trail is the ultimate adventure tour to Machu Picchu that leads you to explore the most fascinating spots in the jungle of Peru. It combines several adventure activities during the four days away from the tourist destination. Biking, river rafting, hiking on the Inca Trail, bathing in natural hot springs, flying between mountains through the zip-line, and a visit to Machu Picchu.
An adventure that will make you experience intensely all the way to Machu Picchu, discovering the wildest nature, the biodiversity that you can find only visiting Peru, learning the local culture, and sharing incredible moments with Quechua people—all these in only a multi-day tour in Cusco.
Inca Jungle Trail Activities: Ultimate Travel Guide
In the following article, you will discover what exactly you will be doing in each of our activities during the Inca Jungle Trail, learn about the distance, time, difficulty, and what you should bring for those activities.
Mountain Biking in the Inca Jungle
The mountain biking starts after a couple hours of driving from Cusco at 4,316 meters (14,160 feet) above sea level. Vidal Expeditions provides you with suitable and well-maintained bicycles for this type of sport, as well as biking equipment that includes:
A full-face helmet from top brands such as Fox and Seven1 Pro, a pair of fox gloves, full-body armor, and a pair of knee pads. Yes, you are probably wondering why there are so many gears for just a couple hours of cycling. We know safety is first, and we take every detail seriously when doing this mountain bike along the Inca Jungle Trail.
Mountain Bike Instructions
Once you are well equipped, your adventure guide will explain to you the basics of how to control and use the bikes more effectively during the route that you will undertake.
Bikes in Peru are quite similar to those in other countries; however, the breaks and shifters can be located on opposite sides.
Bike Ride Time and Distance
Your tour guide will lead the mountain bike; every biker should keep a single line and keep the minimum distance of 2 meters. At the beginning, it could be quite difficult, but after a few minutes, you will feel confident and start enjoying the incredible landscapes around you. Your guide will have several stops on the way to check how you are doing, as well as the bikes.
The ride will take about 2 hours through the asphalt road, which descends from the mountains towards the lush forest in the high Peruvian jungle.
Mountain Bike Scenery
While you are descending from the high mountains to the tropical area, you will see how the dry landscapes change to a green tropical valley with spectacular views on the way. You will stop at specific spots to take some photos or enjoy the breathtaking views.
You will have the chance to see some spectacular waterfalls, some wildlife, and streams to make splashes and have some fun.
Whitewater Rafting in the Inca Jungle
Once you have done the mountain biking and have enjoyed the delicious lunch in Santa Maria, you will embark on the most epic water rafting adventure in the Urubamba River. Your rafting guide will provide you with all the safety gear and safety speech before going in the river.
Safety on the water while rafting
This section of the river has some fun rapids where the water will splash your face and probably flip over the boat. To make this activity safe, a professional kayaker will accompany the group for the entire time you are in the river.
During the rafting activity in Santa Maria, you will be able to see some wildlife in the zone, such as wild parrots, stalks, hummingbirds, and otters. This Urubamba River is the affluence of the Amazon River.
Rafting Distance and Time
The rafting activity usually takes about 1.30 hours in total, from the pick-up at our lodge to the drop-off. The distance could vary according to the season; however, it normally runs 10km (6 miles) with some stops along the way.
Water Rafting Class
During the dry season, the water rafting at this section of the Urubamba River is usually I, II, and III with some rapids. It is well recommended for everyone, including couples, solo travelers, and families, even those who have never tried it.
Zip Line Activity in the Inca Jungle
The zip line in the Inca Jungle is one of the most famous and safest in Cusco, due to its location and the distance that you fly. It runs 150 meters above the rainforest valley through different wires that cross from one side to the other, plus a suspension bridge.
All the instructors are well prepared to take you on this truly exciting adventure. Before starting the activity, you’ll get a compressive safety brief, giving you support and guidance at each platform.
Distance Between Platforms
At the beginning, you can feel terrified, but there will always be an instructor who will show you which position is the right one to go in and give you different options. After you face your fear, you will be able to fly upside down or fly like a superhero.
The equipment that we use for this activity was tested by the Petzl brand, which has the proper certificate to be used during the zipline. Definitely, your safety is important, and we care about each detail to make sure you will enjoy every moment of it.
Hiking along the Inca Jungle Trail
Without a doubt, the section that you will love on the Inca Jungle will be hiking in the forest, exploring some of the most fascinating biodiversity of the flora and fauna that you can find only in this section of the high Peruvian jungle.
You are also hiking on the lost Inca Trail, which years ago connected with Machu Picchu and the Amazon, where you can learn about Inca history and be impressed with the stunning views of the valley and the tall mountains around you.
Hiking Distance and Time
During this Inca Jungle, you will hike mostly on the second day if you are doing the classic four-day trip. With Vidal Expeditions, usually the hike takes about 8 hours walking the distance of 14 km (8.6 miles) with different stops on the way. The highest point that you will reach this day will be 1,700 meters (5.570 feet) above sea level.
There is another section that you will also hike. On the third day after the zipline, you are hiking beside the railway for about 3 hours to reach the final destination of Aguas Calientes town.
The Hot Spring of Cocalmayo in the Inca Jungle
After hiking almost the entire day, you definitely deserve to relax your muscles in the thermal baths. This water has natural properties with some benefits for your skin. There are different pools with varied temperatures; 42 °C is the hottest one.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Inca Jungle Trail FAQs
Is the Inca Jungle recommended for children?
According to our experience leading different groups to Machu Picchu through the Inca Jungle, we have 8 years old as the minimum age; however, if you are a family with kids under this age, contact the Vidal Expeditions team, who will provide you with all the needed information.
Can I join the Inca Jungle if I am over 50 years old?
Yes, you can. If you are a regular active person, you can join the Inca Jungle with all the activities we mentioned above. The Inca Jungle is not as demanding as the Classic Inca Trail or Salkantay Trek.
Can I escape any of the activities in this Inca jungle?
Definitely, our guide will provide you with all the details before you join each activity. If someone in the group wants to skip any of the activities, the guide will give you some other options or just rest at our lodge.
How dangerous is the mountain bike?
Actually, riding the bike in the Inca Jungle is not dangerous because the guide will be at the head of the group, making some signs to avoid any kind of issue, and the bus will be at the back, taking care of the last one or anyone who has some difficulty with the bikes.
You will always have the option to board the bus if you don’t want to continue riding.
Can I go water rafting if I don’t have any experience?
Yes, this section of the river is well recommended for everyone, including children, families, and those who are inexperienced. Even for those who do not swim, your instructor will keep these details in mind and will take care of you. You will also have a safe kayaker next to the boat.
How long is the zip line?
Every wire on the zip line has a different distance; the longest one easily gets over a kilometer, and the shortest one is about 600 meters.
How difficult is the hiking section?
The hiking on the second day is not very demanding; the eight hours of hiking will be with different stops and explanations along the way, and it is located at the lower altitudes of Cusco and Machu Picchu.