Machu Picchu is high on every traveler’s bucket list, and for good reason. The ancient city of the Incas is an incredible place to visit. The only problem is that it’s just not that easy to get to. You might as well make an adventure out of it and do a multi-day Machu Picchu jungle trek! Read a bit about our recent trip and learn some Spanish along the way in this post.

El primer día
The First Day

The first day of the trip is spent driving out of Cusco. You twist and turn your way up some windy mountain roads until you reach a good spot to begin some downhill mountain biking. This would usually be great, except for one big problem for our group.

El clima fue terrible el primer día.
The weather was terrible on the first day.

Not great weather for a bike ride…

As soon as we got to the starting point, clouds rolled in and it began to rain. This is the risk you take when doing the jungle trek in the rainy season. I lasted about 30 minutes on the bike and gave up – soaking wet and freezing cold.

No me gusta andar en bicicleta bajo la lluvia.
I don’t like riding a bike in the rain.

The rest of the day was pretty relaxing. We enjoyed a nice lunch while trying to dry our clothes in the sun. Our group then checked into our local guesthouse and relaxed until dinner.

Un buen lugar para relajarse después de un largo día.
A nice place to relax after a long day.

Home for the night.

Dinner was at the same place as lunch. The food was actually surprisingly good for the whole trip! Our guide gave us all the info we needed for the next day and we all got to bed early.

El segundo día
The Second Day

The second day is the biggest day of hiking on the trip. Making our way out of the town, we crossed a river and started walking up in the mountains. After a few hours, we were able to walk on a very famous trail.

En el segundo día, puedes caminar en el Camino Inca.
On the 2nd day, you can walk on the Inca Trail.

Amazing views along the way.

It may not be quite as cool as walking on the Inca Trail all the way to Machu Picchu, but we were still pretty stoked to do it even just for a little while.

El paisaje es muy hermoso.
The scenery is very beautiful.

The rain continued to fall in spurts on us, but we still enjoyed the views off to the side. We also got to try some native fruits along the trail thanks to our awesome guide. Along the way, we had to cross a few rickety bridges and even zip across the river in a makeshift cable car.

Crossing the river.

After a long day of hiking, we got to soak our tired bones in the aguas termales (hot springs). It was the perfect way to reward ourselves after that epic day.

Soaking in the hot springs.

That night, our group and several others had dinner in the same restaurant. Things got a little wild when our guides insisted we try the “Inca Tequila.” We actually finished the whole bottle and ordered up some beers as well. We were told that Day Three would be easy so to go ahead and party!

El tercer día
The Third Day

Thanks to the fiesta from the night before, everyone was moving a little slow the next morning. After breakfast, we headed out to fly across the river on a zipline course.

¡Las tirolesas son muy divertidas!
The ziplines are very fun!

Out at the zipline course.

On one of them, you had to hang upside down. On another, you got to fly like Superman. I’ve done several zipline courses over the years, but this was one of the best.

After that, we stopped for lunch and then began walking along the train tracks from the hydroelectric plant to the town of Aguas Calientes. The trains are still running, though, so there are quite a few breaks.

Tienes que parar y esperar el tren.
You need to stop and wait for the train.

Choo-choo…

All in all, it was almost four hours of walking to reach the town. We caught some glimpses of Machu Picchu along the way and learned a lot about it from our guide. The excitement was high as we were finally gearing up to visit one of the New 7 Wonders!

El cuarto dia
The Fourth Day

It was an early wakeup call for those wanting to reach Machu Picchu when the gates opened…

¡Nos levantamos a las tres y media de la mañana!
We got up at three thirty in the morning!

We decided to hike all the way up to the entrance. That meant walking a few kilometers out of town to the entrance, waiting in line until they opened at 5, and hiking up to the main gate. Once inside, we got a short tour with the rest of our group and our guide. When we got our first glimpse of the ancient city, we were absolutely awe-struck.

¡Machu Picchu es absolutamente increíble!
Machu Picchu is absolutely incredible!

Wow.

It really is one of those places that you just have to see to believe. It’s hard to put into words (Spanish or even English) what it feels like gazing out at Machu Picchu with the morning fog rolling in.

After our short tour, we made the climb up Huayana Picchu. It should be noted that you need an extra ticket to do this and that they only sell 200 per day. As such, you’ll want to plan your trip out well in advance if you hope to climb this or the other mountain. Was it worth the extra cost and effort? Just look at this photo:

Well worth it!

Thankfully the weather gods were on our side, as we had a nice sunny morning for the most part. Once we got down from Huayana Picchu, the clouds returned and opened up. We stuck around to explore some more of the main sight anyways. You can’t let a little rain ruin your day when you’re all the way out at Machu Picchu!

That evening, we caught a combination of train and bus all the way back to Cusco. While the scenery outside the window was beautiful, I couldn’t help but take a little nap. It was an eventful and exhausting four days getting to Machu Picchu.

Llamas!

Of all the adventures we were fortunate enough to enjoy in our recent 7-month trip around South America, it’s hard to top the Machu Picchu jungle trek. That’s why we saved it for the end of our trip, and we’re so glad we did. If you’re planning a trip to Peru to visit Machu Picchu and you enjoy a bit of adventure, I highly recommend you try the jungle trek. We booked ours through American Inca Trail and had an incredible experience.

¿Has visitado Machu Picchu?
Have you visited Machu Picchu?

About the Author:sasha

Sasha is an English teacher, writer, photographer, and videographer from the great state of Michigan. Upon graduating from Michigan State University, he moved to China and spent 5+ years living, working, studying, and traveling there. He also studied Indonesian Language & Culture in Bali for a year. He and his wife run the travel blog Grateful Gypsies, and they’re currently trying the digital nomad lifestyle across Latin America.



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