Inca Jungle Trek, Day 3; Ziplining and hiking to Machu Picchu Pueblo

by Adventure with Scott
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I have already written a detailed report about our trip to Ecuador. Day 3: Hiking to Machu Picchu.

This series of posts will detail our trip to Peru and ultimately one of the new seven wonders of the world – Machu Picchu.

This post (part 8) will cover the third day of our 4-day Inca Jungle Trek with Loki Travel.  Check out our other posts to learn more about our trip to Peru.

Part 1:  Traveling to Machu Picchu: The Basics
Part 2:  Planning travel and lodging
Part 3:  Travel from Cusco to Ollantaytambo
Part 4:  Things to do in Ollantaytambo, Peru
Part 5:  Eating in Ollantaytambo, Peru
Part 6:  Cycling down a mountain
Part 7:  Hiking on an Inca trail
Part 8:  Zip lining and hiking to Aguas Calientes
Part 9:  The climb to Machu Picchu
Part 10: How much did our trip to Peru cost?

Inca Jungle Trek, Day 3; ziplining and hiking to Machu Picchu Pueblo

Our lodging for last night was ideal, because the zipline tour operated out of the same establishment. Note that ziplining is not included in the cost of the jungle trek.  It costs an additional 100 soles, or $30 USD.

After breakfast, we took a bus high up the mountain to begin our adventure.

I had never been ziplining before so I was a bit scared (remember I was the one scared on the hike yesterday), espcially when I looked at how high we were.  And they didn’t make it any less intimidating as our first zip went all the way across the river.

Hiking to Machu Picchu

I was very hesitant coming to the edge and and getting strapped in.  Finally, I stepped off the edge, and, instead of the terror I expected, had a very exhilarating ride, lasting about a full minute.  My fear disappeared as soon as I stepped off, and I wondered why I had been so scared all morning.

Hiking to Machu Picchu - Ziplining

We not only zipped across the river, but then again and again for a total of five zips until we reached the bottom.

The adventure wasn’t over, as we needed to cross this bridge to complete our journey.

Hiking to Machu Picchu - Bridge

Though I am scared of heights, and this bridge was up high, I wasn’t scared at all.  I think it’s because we were harnessed to the cables on both sides.

Hike along the railroad tracks

After our zipline experience, we got in our van and drove about 30 minutes from the village of Santa Teresa to what is known as the Hydroelectica.  A lot of people use this point as their departure for the final 3-hour trek to Machu Picchu Pueblo, the village below the Machu Picchu sanctuary.

Hiking to Machu Picchu - Hike

Basically from this point it’s pretty easy.  If you follow the railroad tracks you end up at Machu Picchu Pueblo (our guide was savvy and knew a shortcut through the woods that cut off a part at the beginning that cuts back on itself).

Stop for Lunch

For lunch, we stopped at a restaurant, on stilts, in an amazing jungle setting, and had one of the best meals I have ever had.

Hiking to Machu Picchu - Food
Hiking to Machu Picchu - Eating
Mmmm. This was probably the best chicken I have ever eaten

Note that before we left we were handed a menu and were requested to place our order for the evening’s meal in Machu Picchu Pueblo (apparently the same family owns both places).

Onward to Machu Picchu Pueblo

We then continued to follow the railroad tracks.  If you get hungry or thirsty, there are places to stop regularly along the way.

Hiking to Machu Picchu - Group

After a total of about three hours of hiking, we finally reached Machu Picchu Pueblo, also known as Aguas Calientes.

Inca Jungle Trek, Day 3; Ziplining and hiking to Machu Picchu Pueblo 128

Our lodging was very simple, but it was clean, so I was fine with it.

We showered and changed and then met up for dinner at a very nice place in town.

Inca Jungle Trek, Day 3; Ziplining and hiking to Machu Picchu Pueblo 129

At dinner our guide gave us our entrance tickets to Machu Picchu and our train tickets back to Ollantaytambo for the next day. He then told us that it was up to us to get to the Machu Picchu Sanctuary the following morning.  You could either take the bus or hike up, both on your own, and he said he would meet us at the top at 6:00 a.m.

If you want to take the bus up to Machu Picchu ($12 USD cash each way) you need to get your bus tickets the day before as you don’t want to be waiting in line the next morning.

Inca Jungle Trek, Day 3; Ziplining and hiking to Machu Picchu Pueblo 130
The bus station is this BLUE building next to the railroad tracks

After dinner, we took a little time to wander around the town before it got dark.

Inca Jungle Trek, Day 3; Ziplining and hiking to Machu Picchu Pueblo 131

But then we got to bed early, because the adventure begins at 5:00 a.m. tomorrow.

Summary

The ziplining was exhilarating!  The 3 hour hike was pretty easy.  I loved the lunch.  Dinner was good too.  Make up your mind whether you want to hike or take the bus tomorrow.

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