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Santa Teresa is not the easiest place in the world to reach so do be prepared to invest some time getting there. There are basically three ways to get to the town of Santa Teresa – by road, by foot and by train.

By train:

Peru Rail Train to Santa TeresaThis is in our opinion the easiest and most stress-free way to get to Santa Teresa. Catch the 45 minute Peru Rail train from the town of Aguas Calientes (Also known as Machu Picchu Pueblo) to the Hidroeléctrica station. Ideally try to plan a trip to Santa Teresa to coincide with your trip to Machu Picchu to save time and energy. Train times are as follows:

Aguas Calientes – Hidroelectrica by Peru Rail Expedition Service.

Departs: 06.44 Cost: US$12

Departs: 12.30 Cost: US$12

Departs: 13.30 Cost: US$12

Hidroelectrica – Aguas Calientes by Peru Rail Vistadome Service.

Departs: 07.54 Cost: US$18

Departs: 15:00 Cost: US$18

Departs: 16:30 Cost: US$18

When you arrive at the Hidroelectrica train station you can take a colectivo (mini-bus) for 4 soles to the town of Santa Teresa (approx. a 20 minute drive away) or you can hire a taxi when you arrive.

Follow the same route to return from Santa Teresa to Aguas Calientes but make sure to buy your ticket in advance in either Santa Teresa or Aguas Calientes as you can’t buy tickets at the Hidroelectrica station.

By foot:

Follow the train tracks out of Aguas Calientes towards the Hidroelectrica station. This route involves a 15km hike along the tracks and takes between 2.5 and 3.5 hours depending on how fast you walk. Make sure to stay aware at all times as trains do use these tracks.

When you arrive at the Hidroelectrica train station you can take a colectivo (mini-bus) for 4 soles to the town of Santa Teresa (approx. a  20 minute drive away) or you can hire a taxi when you arrive.

Follow the same route to return from Santa Teresa to Aguas Calientes.

Cola de Mono Zipline Adventure Santa Teresa, Machu Picchu, PeruBy road:

This option is mainly used by backpackers wanting to get to Machu Picchu for less. This is the longer, more adventurous and definitely hair-raising route which involves either:

  • Hiring a taxi to take you from Cusco directly to Santa Teresa. Approximately 4 hours from Ollantaytambo (S/.350 Approx. US$135 ) and 6 hours from Cusco. Cost S/.450 Approx. US$.175)
  • Taking the bus from Cusco (Santiago bus terminal) to the jungle town of Santa Maria. (Approx. 5 hours and 15 soles Approx. US$6 ) Then take a colectivo (approx. US$2.40 or 6 soles) or shared taxi (approx.  US$4 or 10 soles) on to the town of Santa Teresa. (approx. 1.5 – 2 hours depending on the state of the road.)
Best of Cusco recommends:
  • The road  to Santa Maria is a windy, narrow road with steep precipices on one side almost the whole way. The road is paved except in small sections until Santa Maria so is reasonably comfortable but the deep precipices do make for a heart-stopping journey. Make sure you have a good driver who is ok with driving slowly around hair-pin bends. Views are spectacular.
  • The road from Santa Maria to Santa Teresa is unpaved and mostly single lane. Try to avoid this route at night and in the rainy season (Dec – March) as landslides are common and you have to make your way across many streams/small rivers and multiple sharp bends. The numerous road-side crosses say it all about this section of the road…
  • Our advice is to train it to Santa Teresa (Hidroelectrica station) from Aguas Calientes to guarantee safety, comfort and a relaxed trip.
  • If you do opt to get to Santa Teresa by road and suffer from motion sickness, take a motion sickness tablet before your journey begins. There are over a hundred sharp bends so be warned!

Click here for information on how to get to Machu Picchu

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