This 4 day heart stopping adventure is the perfect combination of an adrenaline pumping 3,000 meter mountain biking descent followed by trekking into the backwoods of the Andes and passing through local villages to see the way of life in mountain communities such as Santa Teresa and Santa Maria. The ultimate ending to an excellent trip is the one and only Machu Picchu archaeological site.
Departure Times Tuesday Friday Sunday 07:00
Departure PointHostel Pick-Up
Arrival PointBus Station Drop-Off
PRE-DEPARTURE BRIEFING: Please visit our Cuzco office at Milhouse Backpackers & Hotel for your mandatory brief one day prior to your departure at 6:30 pm. You will receive detailed information on your excursion, a list of what to bring and confirm your departure details.
Milhouse Backpackers & Hotel is located at:
Calle Quera 270, Cuzco, Peru, (1.5 blocks from Avenida del Sol)
Hours of Operation: 9:00 - 19:00 hrs Daily
Tel: +51 84 232151, Emergency Tels: 984285801 Darwin, 984280529 Ruth
SUGGESTED PACKING LIST: Bring or Rent in Cuzco: sleeping bag, hiking poles, rain pants, rain poncho, trekking boots, sandals, warm socks, sweater, thermals, hat, gloves, sun hat, sun block, sun glasses, flashlight/torch, camera, extra batteries and memory card, (there is no electricity available during the trek), waterproof bags for your camera, hand sanitizer, personal first aid kit, water bottle, water purification tablets or filter. Bring extra cash for snacks, water, gatorade which doubles or triples in price along the trail. Bathing suit for hot springs in Santa Teresa and/or in Aguas Calientes town (these activities are available at an additional price).
DON'T FORGET THE ESSENTIALS: original passport, visa (if applicable), insurance card, personal medications.
Arrive to Cuzco anytime and please make your own way to Milhouse Backpackers & Hotel. Enjoy the rest of the day to walk around town and make last minute preparations for your big trip ahead. Attend your pre-departure briefing and get a good night's sleep at Milhouse Backpackers & Hotel.
Today we leave Cuzco between 7:00 - 7:30am to journey by road in a van making our first stop after 1.5 hours in Ollantaytambo where we can have a quick breakfast and buy some snacks. Then we continue driving for another 1.5 hours up to the Malaga High Pass (4,350 meters) where our guide will provide us with a safety briefing before we begin our adventurous 2.5 hour bike ride down into the lush and humid jungle. We will see Huamanmarka Archaeological site along the way, cruise through fruit plantations and over rivers before arriving to Santa Maria village (1,400 meters) where you will enjoy your night at a basic but cozy hostel in Santa Maria. (Optional Activity in Santa Maria: Rafting. Go on a scenic 2.5 hour rafting adventure that takes us down class III & IV rapids on the Urubamba River (also known as Vilcanota River).
After an early morning breakfast, we will begin our day of hiking through the jungle mountains to observe beautiful pristine landscapes, abundant flora and fauna and friendly local people. Have lunch halfway during the trek and relax breathing fresh mountain air. In the afternoon we will arrive to Santa Teresa village (1,680 meters) where we will stay overnight in a hostel. (Optional hot springs 20 soles extra). (17 kilometers; 8 hrs. approx.)
(Optional Activity in Santa Teresa: Canopy Zip-Line. Fly through the treetops on a 2-hour morning canopy excursion on South America's highest and Peru's first canopy zip-line. Traverse over 2,500 meters of cables with the longest ride covering 400 meters and the highest at 150 meters.) Take an easy 3-hour hike along the train tracks from Santa Teresa to Hydroelectric Station where you will stop for lunch. Continue 3 more hours on foot to reach Aguas Calientes town where we will have free time to relax our sore bodies in the hot springs for a well deserved bath (10 soles extra). (Most people hike this portion of the trek but there is an optional train ride from Hydroelectric Station to Aguas Calientes for $18 USD if you're feeling tired).
We will catch one of the first buses (05:30 am) to Machu Picchu (25-minute ride) in order to appreciate the magnificent city as the mist dissipates at sunrise. A walking tour (approximately 2 hours) is given by your guide and after this you can explore the mysterious city by yourselves. If you still have energy you can also climb Huayna Picchu (2720m/8890ft)!!! Return to Aguas Calientes for your afternoon train back to Ollantaytambo and bus to Cuzco. Please make your own way to the hostel of your choice upon arrival.
*If desired, an extra night in Aguas Calientes town can be arranged. (Please let us know whether you would like to stay an extra night when booking your tour.)
MACHU PICCHU GUIDED SITE VISIT:
The one and only, the most spectacular (and not to mention most popular) archaeological site in all of South America. Your guide will take you on a 2-hour tour of Machu Picchu walking you through the most important sites and covering the history of the place (if you haven't already heard it all during the Inca Trail Trek). Then you will have free time to explore on your own and take pictures at your leisure. When you decide to head back down to Aguas Calientes, there are buses departing every 15 minutes from the entrance or you can take the walking trail down if you feel like another 1 hour stair stepping downhill to Aguas Calientes town.
Machu Picchu was (relatively recently) "discovered" by American historian, Hiram Bingham, in 1911 while searching for the legendary "lost city of the Incas". Hiram Bingham and his local guides stumbled across the site which was then covered in thick vegetation which was later cleared revealing the magical mountain-top archaeological site and opening up the possibility for archaeologists to conduct research on the site by 1915. Whether arriving via Inca Trail or entering from Aguas Calientes don't miss the excellent photo opportunities from the following spots: Hut of the Caretaker of the Funerary Rock (a restored building with a thatched roof), Sacred Plaza with views of the Cordillera Vilcabamba in the distance and Rio Urubamba below. Take a short walk out to the Inca Drawbridge (30 minutes) and Inti Punku (45 - 60 minutes) for great views of the site as dawn breaks and the clouds lift over Machu Picchu.
Take an OPTIONAL hike up the steep peak named Huayna Picchu, which is located inside the Machu Picchu archaeological site. This sometimes muddy peak takes about 45 - 60 minutes to hike up and awards you with unforgettable views of Machu Picchu from a coveted perspective. Keep in mind that if you want to take this optional hike, you must now purchase your ticket at least 2 weeks in advance for an additional 30 soles in order to get one of the 400 passes (200 people are allowed up at 7:00am and 200 more at 10:00am). Please send us an email directly to request this extra ticket.AGUAS CALIENTES: Have a delicious lunch at any restaurant you desire and then head over to the hot-springs to soak your sore body in the rejuvenating waters (Entrance Fee 10 soles). There are internet cafes, cafes with board games and cards, plenty of shops and places to relax. Visit the local marketplace right next to the train tracks where you can shop until the train whistle blows signaling your return to Ollantaytambo. From Ollantaytambo, you will take a bus for the last section of highway to Cuzco arriving back around 10:30pm. Please make your own way to the hostel of your choice upon arrival.