Santa Teresa offers an alternative, cheap way of getting to Machu Picchu, not to mention amazing thermal springs.
Daily buses run to Quillabamba from the Santiago terminal in Cusco (7-8 hours, ~ US$4) via Santa María.
Hike to Machu Picchu (four hours).
Visit the amazing Aguas Termales de Colcamayo - entrance S/5 (soles), shared taxi to there S/3 per person.
- Hospedaje El Sol, Av. Calixto Sanches G-6, ☏ , , . Built after the earthquake, with clean rooms with flat TV, Wi-Fi and private showers. The owner is super friendly and can organize cheap transportation for you. If he likes you, he can even make you a super simple breakfast for free, which is not officially included. There is also a small shop next to the entrance, which he operates. S/60 for double with private bathroom.
- Choquequirao - Take a taxi or bus to the end of the road then hike for several days and finish in Cachora or Huanicapa.
- Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu Pueblo) - Hike to the hydroelectric plant and catch the train (2 hours) or hike all the way (4 hours). In the morning you can also take a shared taxi to Hidroeléctrica for S/5 per person with locals who are boarding the 07:45 train.
- CuscoTake a shared taxi/collectivo to Santa Maria (3 soles, 1 hour), and from there another shared taxi to cusco (30 soles, 4 hours). Beware of collectivo drivers charging you a 100 soles flat fee for taking you all the way from Santa Teresa to Cusco. You will have to change over in Santa Maria anyway and pay almost double for a supposed ‘direct’ service.