Santa Teresa offers an alternate, cheap way of getting to Machu Picchu, not to mention amazing thermal springs.
Daily buses run to Quillabamba from the Santiago terminal in Cuzco (7-8 hours, ~ 4US$) via Santa María.
Hike to Machu Picchu (four hours).
Visit the amazing Aguas Thermales de Cocalmayo - entrance 5 soles, shared taxi to there 3 soles per person.
- Hospedaje El Sol, Av. Calixto Sanches G-6, ☎ (084) 637158 / 940 877506 / 984 754864. 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. 60 soles 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.
- Machu Picchu Pueblo - Hike to the hydro electric 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 Hydroelectrica for 5 soles per person with locals who are boarding the 7:45 train.