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Santa Teresa: the cheapest route to Machu Picchu

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Santa Teresa: the cheapest route to Machu Picchu

The district of Santa Teresa is located in the province of La Convencion in the Cusco region. As a tourist point, the district of Santa Teresa is interesting because of the thermal baths that it presents in its territory, as well as because of the natural resources it has.

 

The town of Santa Teresa

The Peruvian district of Santa Teresa is one of the nine districts of the Province of La Convencion, located in the Department of Cusco, under the administration of the regional government of Cusco.

 

Geography.- Its capital, the town of Santa Teresa, is at 1811 meters above sea level, on the right bank of the Urubamba River.

 

Where is the town of Santa Teresa?

  • The town of Santa Teresa is located in the edge of the jungle of Cusco, in Peru. It is famous for being an obligatory stop on the ‘alternative route to Machu Picchu’.
  • This famous district is in the Province of La Convencion (Cusco), approximately 30 kilometers from Machu Picchu.
  • Starting from the city of Cusco, the town of Santa Teresa is 221 kilometers away (by road).

What to do in Santa Teresa?

Santa Teresa in Cusco Peru is very popular due to its medicinal thermal baths known as the 'Cocalmayo hot springs'.

  • In addition, the town of Santa Teresa in Cusco Peru offers various tourist services, such as: lodgings, restaurants, bars and camping sites.
  • In Santa Teresa you can also do adventure sports such as: hiking (Hydroelectric route - Machu Picchu town), canoeing (on the Vilcanota River) and zipline (zip line).

How to get to Santa Teresa?

There are two ways to get there:

A.- By road: from Ollantaytambo, passing through the Abra Málaga Private Reserve (4,350 masl), surrounding the Nevado Urubamba, passing through Ipal. They are 152 km that are done in about 5 hours.

 

B.- By train: from Ollantaytambo, passing through Machu Picchu, to the final station called Hidroeletrica de Santa Teresa. This tour takes just 3 hours.

 

Tourism in Santa Teresa

Santa Teresa in Cusco Peru, has become in recent years an alternative route to visit Machu Picchu crossing the cocoa and coffee plantations. It is only 14 km from Machu Picchu.

 

Cocalmayo Thermal Baths.- Composed of 3 pools of different sizes, temperatures and depth. It has showers, dressing rooms and wooden and carved stone kiosks that respect the natural environment. Located just 10 min by bus from the center. There are comping places in the area and it is open 24 hours

 

Choquequirao.- From Santa Teresa it is also possible to visit this important regional Conservation Area and the archaeological complex itself.

 

Adventure sports.- Like trekking, rafting, kayaking and the monkey tail canopy.

 

Hot Springs of Santa Teresa in Cocalmayo Cusco

The Santa Teresa Hot Springs are located in Cocalmayo, Sacred Valley of the Incas, Cusco.

 

The thermal complex, located at an altitude of 1,600 meters above sea level, is built on the slopes of the mountain and on the banks of the Urubamba River.

 

A unique space, in which visitors enjoy a pleasant moment immersed in the warm waters of Santa Teresa while contemplating an incomparable natural beauty.

 

The thermal baths of Santa Teresa in Cocalmayo Cusco are made up of three pools of different sizes and depths, which are supplied with medicinal water that varies between 40ºC and 44ºC.

 

The medicinal waters have healing properties to treat skin ulcers, bone pain and rheumatism.

 

The pools of the Santa Teresa Hot Springs are surrounded by nature. Its bottom is composed of soft sand and is surrounded by rocks, vegetation, the sound of the Urubamba river and the mountain.

 

Near the pools, there are jets of cold water from the Uripata lagoons, which provide a very pleasant sensation. And a hydromassage system.

 

The hot springs of Santa Teresa in Cocalmayo Cusco are fully equipped with bathrooms, showers, dressing rooms, soccer fields, camping area, cafeteria, kiosk (where the visitor can buy food and drinks) and a viewpoint.

 

It is a very pleasant place to rest after visiting the ruins of Machu Picchu, the Inca trails, Choquequirao and other tours in Cusco.

The hot springs of Santa Teresa in Cocalmayo Cusco are open every day of the year, almost 24 hours a day. Its wide time slot allows you to enjoy the starry nights inside the pools, which is amazing since the stars are reflected in the crystal clear water as if it were a mirror.

 

Chemical composition of the water in the Santa Teresa hot springs:

The thermal baths Santa Teresa in Cocalmayo Cusco differ from the other hot springs in Peru for their crystal clear waters.

The thermal waters of Cocalmayo or Santa Teresa are composed of minerals such as calcium, sodium, bicarbonate, sulfate, magnesium, among others.

 

TRAVEL TIP! Don't forget to bring mosquito repellent to your visit to the Santa Teresa Hot Springs.

 

Nature offers us a unique and incomparable setting in these medicinal waters, but it also presents the typical insects of the jungle areas. With a repellent you will avoid small mosquito bites.

 

How to get to the Santa Teresa Hot Springs?

The Santa Teresa Hot Springs (or Cocalmayo, as many know them) are located at kilometer 135 of the former Cusco - Quillabamba railway line, on the left bank of the Urubamba River.

 

To get to the thermal baths from the city of Cusco, you can choose to do it by bus, bicycle, motorcycle, train or quad.

 

By Bus from Cusco to Santa Teresa

You should go to the Cruz del Sur Bus Terminal - Santiago, in the city of Cusco.

 

There take the bus that goes to the district of Santa María. This journey (Cusco City - Santa María) has a duration of approximately 5 hours.

 

Once in the town of Santa María, take a taxi or a means of transport to Santa Teresa. The duration time is approximately one hour.

Having reached the town of Santa Teresa, walk for 20 minutes to the thermal baths or take a taxi whose journey takes only 10 minutes.

 

By train from Cusco to Santa Teresa

Go to the San Pedro train station, in the city of Cusco. Get off at the end of the tour, at the hydroelectric power station.

 

From there take a taxi, van or walk to the Plaza de Armas de Santa Teresa. From here, take a shuttle service back to the thermal baths (this last journey takes approximately 10 minutes). While if you want to do it walking, it will last approximately 20 minutes.

 

If you want to get to the thermal baths of Santa Teresa from the hydroelectric power station, you should know that the journey will take you approximately 2 hours.

 

By train from Ollantaytambo to Santa Teresa

If you are in Ollantaytambo and you bought your train ticket to Machu Picchu, get off at the hydroelectric power station and, as it says in the previous point, take a taxi or remise to Santa Teresa (20 minutes) OR walk to the thermal baths for around 2 hours .

 

The best time to visit the thermal baths of Santa Teresa

The best time to go to the Hot Springs of Santa Teresa (Cocalmayo) is during the months of April to October.

 

Santa Teresa in recent years has grown a lot due to the investments that have been made in Accommodations, Restaurants and other tourist services.

 

Prices the Hot Springs Santa Teresa - Cocalmayo

The values ​​of the tickets to the Termas de Santa Teresa in Cusco belong to the 2018 rate.

 

  • Foreign adult: PEN 10
  • National adult: PEN 5
  • Local Adult: PEN 2.50

Santa Teresa Trek in Cusco

 

How to get to Machu Picchu through Santa Teresa?

  • To get to Machu Picchu through the town of Santa Teresa, you must follow the alternative route to Machu Picchu, starting from the city of Cusco.

To get to Machu Picchu through this route you must follow these 5 steps:

 

  1. Take a bus (on Antonio Lorena avenue) from Cusco to the town of Santa María. The trip takes approximately 4 hours 30 minutes.
  2. In Santa María you must take a ‘collective taxi’ in the direction of the town of Santa Teresa. The journey takes approximately 1 hour.
  3. Once in Santa Teresa, take a ‘collective taxi’ again to the famous Hydroelectric station. The journey takes 30 minutes.
  4. In Hydroelectric, the tourist must walk to Aguas Calientes (approximately 2 hours). Another option is to take a train (30 minutes). This walk is an incredible experience due to the landscapes that are there.
  5. Finally, you must take a bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu (30 minutes). The other option is to walk up (approximately 2 hours).

 

How much does it cost to get to Machu Picchu through Santa Teresa?

  • The alternative route to Machu Picchu is the cheapest way to get to the Inca City. It has an approximate cost of 27 US dollars per tourist.

These are the approximate costs of the alternative route to Machu Picchu:

 

ROUTE CUSCO - HYDROELECTRICA - MACHU PICCHU  PRICE IN AMERICAN DOLLARS
Travel by bus Cusco - Santa María 10 USD
Collective taxi ride Santa María - Santa Teresa 3 USD
Collective taxi ride Santa Teresa - Hidroeléctrica 2 USD
Hydroelectric Walk - Aguas Calientes 0 USD
Travel by bus Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu 12 USD
Total cost: 27 USD

 

Questions and answers about the alternative route to Machu Picchu

 

a) How much does the entrance to the thermal baths of Santa Teresa cost?

The entrance to the Cocalmayo de Santa Teresa thermal baths has a cost of 10 Peruvian soles (3 USD) for foreign tourists.

 

b) How high is the town of Santa Teresa?

The town of Santa Teresa is 1,550 meters above sea level. (5,085 ft).

 

c) How is the weather in Santa Teresa?

Santa Teresa has a tropical climate that varies from 11ºC. (52ºF) to 28ºC. (82ºF). From November to April is the rainy season and from May to October, the dry season (with little rain).

 

d) How much does a train ticket cost from Hidroeléctrica to Aguas Calientes?

The train ticket from Hidroeléctrica to Aguas Calientes has an approximate cost of 30 US dollars per person. However, most tourists choose to walk this stretch of only 10 kilometers.

 

e) Where to sleep in Santa Teresa?

The town of Santa Teresa offers several lodging offers from 1 to 3-star services. Another good option is to choose an inexpensive ‘camping’ where you can rest outdoors.

 

f) When is the best time to visit Santa Teresa?

The dry season (from April to October) is the best time to visit the town of Santa Teresa. The months of May, June and July are especially hot and with little rain, which is why they are ideal for sports and walks.

 

g) What to bring if I travel to Machu Picchu on the route through Santa Teresa?

If you choose to get to Machu Picchu through the Santa Teresa route, do not forget to bring a hat, sunscreen, mosquito repellent, hiking shoes, bathing suits, towel, light clothing, poncho in case of rain and mineral water.

 

h) Can I go to Machu Picchu on the Santa Teresa route through a tour?

Yes. There are different tours that offer to take the tourist to Machu Picchu through the alternative route through Santa Teresa. You can hire one of these services online or in the city of Cusco.

 

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