You can’t go to Peru and not see Machu Picchu. That’s like going to Paris and not see the Eiffel Tower. So once we entered this beautiful country we had a mission. Since I had my fair share of hiking already, I didn’t really feel the urge to walk the actual Inca trail (besides the fact that you have to book this 6 months in advance…). Instead we signed up for a Inca Jungle trekking; hiking, rafting, zip lining and mountain biking, it will all bring us closer to the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu.

view mountains river inca jungle trail

bridge inca jungle trail river

Crossing a lot of dodgy bridges…

inca jungle trail view

Inca Jungle Trekking

Starting our adventure at 4200m with mountain biking the winding roads of the Andes was a good call. Properly geared up and ready to race down those mountains all the way down to 1500m. I might not be the ultimate Dutchie that loves cycling (quite the opposite to be fair), but honestly, this was pretty cool. The views were amazing, and so was the speed.

mountainbiking inca jungle trail

Misty mornings

mountainbiking trail inca jungle

Let’s start cruising!

Extreme sports and good looking outfits

It seems like it’s the trekking of looking ridiculous though; there’s something about extreme sports that doesn’t make you look very flattering. Looking like a Ninja during mountain biking, like a Power Ranger (and not the sexy yellow or pink one!) during zip lining and just retarded during rafting. Oh well, you gotta own up to it right? As an ultimate sucker for sports like these, you couldn’t make me happier though. Crazy rivers for one of the best rafting i’ve ever done, pretending to be Superman while zip lining, and crossing canyons and rivers in very creative ways all add up to the adrenaline rush, and make me one happy camper.

ziplining inca jungle trail

They call it the Superman… certainly didn’t feel like him

rafting river santa theresa

Meet the locals

The Inca Jungle trail is not all about mountains, rivers, extreme sports and Machu Picchu as the cherry on the cake. It’s also about daily life and the local communities in this part of the Andes. We tried lots of locally grown fruits, the best chocolate ever (really tried to not eat it all at once and failed miserably) and some snake tequila. Do have to say that the meals were a bit strange. Dinners and lunches normally contain meat with rice, fries, mashed potatoes (from a package) and three green peas, if you’re lucky. I kid you not. Very nutritious. What makes them think that you need rice, fries and mashed potatoes all at once?! I still haven’t figured this one out.

monkey on inca trail

Brockway monkey

 

local products inca jungle trail andes

Inca specialties

Machu Picchu sunrise sessions

Since Machu Picchu is of course the ultimate tourist attraction, you wanna make it up there before the rest of the crowd does. So there we went, hiking up those freaking steps at 4 in the morning, to arrive there together with a bunch of others who caught a bus at 5.30am. Kind of feels like we’re doing something wrong here. Nonetheless, we actually get to say we followed the Inca footsteps all the way to the top.

train rails machu picchu peru

As if the clouds knew we were coming, they slowly started to disappear the moment we set foot on the Inca premises leaving behind this gorgeous view of sky-high mountains and of course… Machu Picchu! Another place where words don’t seem to do it justice… a 360 degree view that can’t be beaten.

machu picchu view peru

Machu Picchu looking so impressive

mokum surf club view machu picchu

The Mokum Surf Club bucketlist

Back to civilization

Pretty much done with eating carbs 24/7 and hiking in humidity, it was time to make our way back to the beautiful city of Cusco. Longing for cold corona’s, a very comfy bed and good food we said goodbye to the mystical Andes and Machu Picchu. Another world wonder we can tick of our list.. and Machu Picchu, you were magical.

Marthe

trekking inca jungle trail view

Walking the actual Inca trail

andes mountain view

puppy dog inca jungle trail

Can I please, please, pretty please take this puppy home?

hiking inca jungle trail

inca jungle trail view

face paint with fruits peru

bridge system inca jungle trail

From dodgy bridges to even dodgier river crossings

machu picchu group picture

inca trail art portret

Portrait by the amazing Ikko Shimoyama of Cabuqui works

sleeping machu picchu site

And what a hike it was!

machu picchu view with clouds

cleaner of the inca walls at machu picchu

Machu Picchu cleaning man

machu picchu view mokum surfclub

Photos by: M. Barends, J. Roeland ©