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Santa Teresa District

Our most recommended things to do in Santa Teresa District

Salkantay Trek 5-Day Hike to Machu Picchu

1. Salkantay Trek 5-Day Hike to Machu Picchu

Follow in the footsteps of the ancient Incas and hike along the same paths they used to trek through the mountains centuries ago. Get back to nature and experience amazing views of the snow-capped mountain peaks of the Andes. Day 1: Cusco - Mollepata - Markhuq’asa - Soraypampa - Humantay Lake (L, D) Depart Cusco and journey to Markhuq’asa for the start of your trek to Soraypampa, 3,850 meters above sea level. Stop for lunch at the base camp and then go on a round-trip hike to Humantay Lake. Then return to base-camp to spend the night. Day 2: Soraypampa - Salkantay Pass - Collpapampa (B, L, D) Hike to the highest point of the trail at Salkantay Pass and get spectacular views of the snow-capped mountains before a 2-hour downhill hike to the camp for lunch. Then, enter the upper part of the Amazon jungle on a hike through the “cloud forest.” Look for native wildlife on the way to the village of Collpapampa, where you will spend the night. Day 3: Collpapampa - La Playa - Santa Teresa (B, L, D) After breakfast, take an easy hike to La Playa through the Santa Teresa valley and marvel at the waterfalls and wild orchids. Encounter coffee, banana and avocado plantations, and get the chance to sample the local coffee at an organic coffee farm. After a typical lunch in La Playa, take a 40-minute car ride towards Santa Teresa where attractions include hot thermal springs and abundant birdlife. Here you will spend the night.  Day 4: Santa Teresa - Hidroelectrica - Aguas Calientes (B, L, D) On this day, in Santa Teresa, you can choose to visit the zipline, canopy, or hot springs. Then, you will head to Hidroelectrica, passing trough waterfalls coming from the glaciers and fields of cocoa and coffee. After a nourishing lunch, begin a 2-hour walk to Machu Picchu Pueblo, known as Aguas Calientes. Once in Aguas Calientes, you can go to your hotel to shower and relax before dinner. After dinner, get some rest before the early morning climb up to Machu Picchu the following morning. Day 5: Machu Picchu (B) Explore Machu Picchu in the early morning before the crowds arrive. You can choose to hike uphill to the ruins or take the bus for an additional charge. Benefit from a 2-hour guided tour on arrival and learn more about the temples, palaces, priest houses, and more. You will have some free time to explore at leisure and you can use it to climb to Huayna Picchu or the Machu Picchu mountain (if booked in advance). Alternatively, you can trek to the Sun Gate at the main entrance of the Inka Trail. Take the train to Ollantaytambo at approximately 6:30 PM and then catch the bus back to Cusco for drop-off at your hotel or hostel on arrival.

From Cusco: Machu Picchu 2-day Budget Tour by Car

2. From Cusco: Machu Picchu 2-day Budget Tour by Car

Journey to the iconic Machu Picchu on a 2-day tour specially designed to be an affordable alternative that takes you over scenic mountains, past indigenous villages, and through lush jungles hikes. Make your trip more comfortable by upgrading to options that include hotels in Aguas Calientes and additional bus and train add-ons. DAY 1: Cusco - Santa Teresa - Hydroelectric - Aguas Calientes Pickup at 7:00 AM from hotels and hostels in central Cusco. Head through the Sacred Valley and appreciate different villages and climatic changes in the Andes. Arrive at Santa Teresa around 1:30 PM where a typical lunch will be served. Then, continue the tour until arriving at Hydroelectric around 3:00 PM. From here, start a walk on the train tracks through a native jungle to Aguas Calientes, about a 3 hours trek. You can choose add-on a train to Aguas Calientes at the checkout if you don't want to do the walk. At Aguas Calientes, your guide will show you to your accommodation (if option is selected). You also have the opportunity to go relax optionally at the hot springs (this activity can only be paid on spot) or take a stroll around town before dinner. DAY 2: Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu - Hydroelectric - Cusco Get up early in the morning and 4:30 AM to start the walk towards Machu Picchu, the Lost City of the Incas. The steep walk up will last approximately 1:30 hour, and the objective is to appreciate the sunrise from the Inca citadel and be the first to arrive. The walk up to Machu Picchu requires a fair physical condition — you can also choose add-on a bus to Machu Picchu at the checkout, if you don't want to do the walk. Get a 2-hour guided tour of Machu Picchu and the surrounding sites. Enjoy free time to take photos and look around the citadel. If you chose one of the extra hikes to one of the mountains you will split ways with the group to go by yourself to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain — you can choose add-on these hikes at the checkout. Leave Machu Picchu and return to Aguas Calientes at around 11:30 AM (walking or by bus, depending on if you choose add-on at checkout). Once in Aguas Calientes, start the walk back to Hydroelectric where your guide will be waiting to gather the group to return to the city of Cusco — again, you can choose add-on a train to Hydroelectric at the checkout, if you don't want to do the walk. Be back in Cusco around 9:30 - 10:00 PM. The drop-off will be in San Francisco square in the historic center, near Plaza de Armas. Distances for the whole itinerary: • Distance traveled by car/van Cusco to Hydroelectric: approximately 4 to 5 hours • Trekking Distance from Hydroelectric to Aguas Calientes: approximately 2:30 hours (1-way) • Trekking Distance from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu: 1:30 hours (1-way) • Bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu: 25-minutes (1-way) • Distance traveled by car/van from Hydroelectric to Cusco: approximately 5 to 6 hours

From Cusco: Machu Picchu 2-Day Overnight Trip

3. From Cusco: Machu Picchu 2-Day Overnight Trip

Venture to Machu Picchu on this round-trip tour from Cusco. Follow a trail through the lush jungle and visit the town of Machu Picchu. Tour the archeological site of Machu Picchu with a professional guide. DAY 1: Cusco – Hydroelectric Plant – Machu Picchu Town You will be picked up from your hotel in the historic center at 6:20 AM. Drive to the hydroelectric plant passing through the towns of Ollantaytambo, Malaga, and Santa Teresa to arrive at the hydroelectric plant where you will have lunch. The walk begins from here and your tour guide will give instructions for the 3-hour walk to Aguas Calientes, a town near Machu Picchu. Meet you guide in the main square Aguas Calientes at the end of the walk. Before departing for your accommodation for dinner on your own, guests will be briefed on how to arrive to Machu Picchu the next day. Day 2 Machu Picchu – Hydroelectric – Cusco Wake up at 5 AM and walk or take the bus to the entrance of Machu Picchu. Enter with the group and enjoy 2.5 hours exploring the site, taking unique photos and making memories along the way. After exploring Machu Picchu, walk down the road to the ruined bridge and return 3 hours along the same trail to the hydroelectric plant where the bus will be waiting. Guests will arrive at 2 PM for 2:30 departure for Cusco. The tour will finish in Cusco in the Plaza de San Francisco at 11:00 PM.

From Cusco: Classic Inca Jungle Trek with Return by Train

4. From Cusco: Classic Inca Jungle Trek with Return by Train

DAY 1: Cusco - Abra Málaga - Huamanmarca - Santa María or Santa Teresa (overnight depending on option chosen) Pickup from your accommodation in Cusco between 6:00 - 6:30 AM. Transfer to the highest point, Abra Malaga at 4316 meters, from where you will descend by bike for 3 hours, passing streams and vegetation until you reach Huamanmarca. Then, you will be transferred to the town of Santa María, to have a typical lunch and free time to explore plants like Coca and coffee with your guide. You can choose to add on a rafting activity available at an additional cost (Level II, III and IV). If you choose the 3-day option, you will continue the route until you reach the thermal baths of Cocalmayo in Santa Teresa, which have medicinal and therapeutic waters. After relaxing, continue in a 40-minute walk to the town of Santa Teresa where you will overnight in a family lodging. If you choose the 4-day option, you will have free time until dinner time in Santa María, and will overnight. DAY 2 for 4-day option: Santa María - Quellomayo - Termas de Cocalmayo - Santa Teresa Start the hike with a gradual climb for 3 hours. This area is tropical and you will appreciate organic products of different varieties such as coffee, cocoa, avocado and medicinal plants. Along the way you will also appreciate natural attractions such as the "El Velo de Nusta" waterfall, and the highest pass of the day, "Pastogrande", at an altitude of 1900 meters. Stop for lunch at Islayunca. Continue to an unexplored waterfall, then walk 2.5 hours so you can enjoy the hot springs of Cocalmayo in Santa Teresa. After relaxing, continue on a 40-minute walk to the town of Santa Teresa where you will overnight in a family lodging. DAY 2 for 3-day option / DAY 3 for 4-day option: Santa Teresa - Hydroelectric - Aguas Calientes After a typical breakfast, you can choose add on a zip line adventure after. In this case, after the activity, you will be taken by transport to the beginning of the trail to Aguas Calientes at Hydroelectric. If you don't add the zip-lining activity, you will be taken by bus straight to Hydroelectric. Then, start a 3-hour trek along the train tracks through the jungle to Aguas Calientes. Upon arrival in Aguas Calientes, enjoy lunch. After lunch, your guide will show you to your accommodation. Have dinner in a restaurant and plan with the guide for the next day for Machu Picchu visit. Overnight in Aguas Calientes. DAY 3 for 3-day option / DAY 4 for 4-day option: Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu - Ollantaytambo - Cusco Get up early in the morning and 4:30 AM to start the walk towards Machu Picchu, the Lost City of the Incas. The steep walk up will last approximately 1.5 hours, and the objective is to witness the sunrise from the Inca citadel and be the first to arrive. The walk up to Machu Picchu requires a fair physical condition - you can also choose add on a bus to Machu Picchu at the checkout, if you don't want to do the walk. Enjoy a 2-hour guided tour of Machu Picchu and the surrounding sites. Enjoy free time to take photos and look around the citadel. If you chose one of the extra hikes to one of the mountains you will split ways with the group to go by yourself to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain — you can choose to add on these hikes at the checkout. Leave Machu Picchu and return to Aguas Calientes at around 11:30 AM (walking or by bus, depending on what you choose). Once in Aguas Calientes, board your train to Ollantaytambo, and take a minivan from there to Cusco. Be back in Cusco around 9:30 - 10:00 PM. The drop-off will be in San Francisco square in the historic center, near the Plaza de Armas.

From Cusco: Budget Salkantay Trek with Return by Car

5. From Cusco: Budget Salkantay Trek with Return by Car

DAY 1: Cusco - Mollepata - Challacancha - Laguna Humantay - Soraypampa Get picked up from your accommodation in Cusco. Pass through the towns of Izcuchaca and Limatambo before arriving at Mollepata, where you can buy a light breakfast or supply water. Continue until you reach Challacancha, from where the 3-hour walk begins to Soraypampa. Stop for lunch and then walk around 1-2 hours to the Humantay Lagoon. Return to Soraypampa and overnight at camp with tent and dinner. DAY 2: Soraypampa - Soyrococha - Salkantay - Huayracmachay - Chaullay Wake up with the first lights of the day at 5:30 AM and have a quick but energizing breakfast. Start a walk to the highest point of the trail, the Salkantay Pass (4650 MASL - 15255 FASL), where you will appreciate the imposing snowy peaks of the Salkantay, Humantay, Tucarhuay and Pumasillo mountains. Hike down the snake-shaped path, leading to the Huayracmachay camp where you will stop for lunch. At the end of this exceptional hike, arrive at Chaullay Village (2900 MASL - 9514 FASL) for a break from a long day of hiking. Stay overnight at the camp with a tent and dinner. DAY 3 - for 5-day option: Chaullay - Playa Sahuayaco - Lucmabamba - Santa Teresa (optional Cocalmayo) After the comforting breakfast, continue the walk to the small town of La Playa through the Santa Teresa valley. Stop here for lunch and then board a bus to the camp in Santa Teresa. You'll arrive at the camp where you can optionally enjoy the hot springs of Cocalmayo in Santa Teresa, which are medicinal and therapeutic waters. Stay overnight at the camp with a tent and dinner. If you choose the 4-day option, you will be taken by bus to Hydroelectric right after your lunch in La Playa. From there, start a 3-hour walk on the train tracks through a native jungle to Aguas Calientes. Upon arrival in Aguas Calientes, you will have free time before dinner to rest or walk through the town. DAY 4 - for 5-day option: Santa Teresa - Hydroelectric - Aguas Calientes After a typical breakfast, you will start the walk to the Hydroelectric through the valley floor for an average of 3 hours. Upon arrival, recharge with a lunch. You can choose add-on a zip line adventure after your breakfast; in this case, after the activity, you will be taken by transport to the beginning of the trail to Aguas Calientes at Hydroelectric. From Hydroelectric, start a walk on the train tracks through a native jungle to Aguas Calientes, about a 3 hours trek. Upon arrival in Aguas Calientes, you will have free time before dinner to rest or walk through the town. DAY 4 for 4-day option / DAY 5 for 5-day option: Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu - Cusco Get up early to start the trek to Machu Picchu, the Lost City of the Incas. The steep walk will last approximately 1:30 hours, and the objective is to appreciate the sunrise from the Inca citadel and be the first to arrive.  The walk up to Machu Picchu requires a fair physical condition — you can also choose add-on a bus to Machu Picchu at the checkout if you don't want to do the walk. Get a 2-hour guided tour of Machu Picchu and the surrounding sites. Enjoy free time to take photos and look around the citadel. If you chose one of the extra hikes to one of the mountains you will split ways with the group to go by yourself to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain, you can choose add-on these hikes at the checkout. Leave Machu Picchu and return to Aguas Calientes either by foot or by bus, depending on the add-on at checkout. Once in Aguas Calientes, start the walk back to Hydroelectric where your guide will be waiting to gather the group to return to the city of Cusco. Be back in Cusco around 9:30 - 10:00 PM. The drop-off will be in San Francisco square in the historic center, near Plaza de Armas. Please have in mind this is a budget friendly tour and does not include the train back to Cusco. Distance traveled by car/van from Hydroelectric to Cusco is approximately 5 to 6 hours.

From Cusco: Budget Inca Jungle Trek with Return by Car

6. From Cusco: Budget Inca Jungle Trek with Return by Car

DAY 1: Cusco - Abra Málaga - Huamanmarca - Santa María or Santa Teresa (overnight depending on option chosen) Pickup from your accommodation in Cusco between 6:00 - 6:30 AM. Transfer to the highest point, Abra Malaga, at an altitude of 4316 m, from where you will descend by bike for 3 hours, passing streams and vegetation until you reach Huamanmarca. Then, you will be transferred to the town of Santa María, to have a typical lunch and free time to explore coca and coffee plants with your guide. You can choose to add on a rafting adventure available at an additional cost (Level II, III and IV). If you choose the 3-day option, you will continue the route until you reach the thermal baths of Cocalmayo in Santa Teresa, which are medicinal and therapeutic waters. After relaxing, continue in a 40-minute walk to the town of Santa Teresa where you will overnight in a family lodging. If you choose the 4-day option, you will have free time until dinner time in Santa María, and will overnight. DAY 2 for 4-day option: Santa María - Quellomayo - Termas de Cocalmayo - Santa Teresa Start the hike with a gradual climb for 3 hours. This area is tropical and you will appreciate organic products of different varieties such as coffee, cocoa, avocado and medicinal plants. Along the way you will also appreciate natural attractions such as the "El Velo de Nusta" waterfall, before reaching the highest pass of the day called "Pastogrande" at 1900 meters. Stop for lunch at Islayunca. Continue to the unexplored waterfall "Gonzales", then walk 2.5 hours so you can enjoy the hot springs of Cocalmayo in Santa Teresa, which have medicinal and therapeutic waters. After relaxing, continue on a 40-minute walk to the town of Santa Teresa where you will overnight in a family lodging. DAY 2 for 3-day option / DAY 3 for 4-day option: Santa Teresa - Hydroelectric - Aguas Calientes After a typical breakfast, you can choose to add on a zipline adventure after your breakfast. In this case, after the activity, you will be taken by transport to the beginning of the trail to Aguas Calientes at Hydroelectric. If you skip the zipline, you will be taken straight to Hydroelectric. S tart a walk on the train tracks through a native jungle to Aguas Calientes, about a 3 hours trek. Upon arrival in Aguas Calientes, enjoy lunch. At Aguas Calientes, your guide will show you to your accommodation. Have dinner in a restaurant and plan with the guide for the next day's visit to Machu Picchu. Overnight in Aguas Calientes. DAY 3 for 3-day option / DAY 4 for 4-day option: Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu - Hydroelectric - Cusco Get up early in the morning at 4:30 AM to start the walk towards Machu Picchu, the Lost City of the Incas. The steep walk up will last approximately 1.5 hours, and the objective is to appreciate the sunrise from the Inca citadel and be the first to arrive. The walk up to Machu Picchu requires a good physical condition — you can also choose to add on a bus to Machu Picchu, if you don't want to do the walk. Enjoy a 2-hour guided tour of Machu Picchu and the surrounding sites. Enjoy free time to take photos and look around the citadel. If you chose one of the extra hikes to one of the mountains, you will split ways with the group to go by yourself to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain. You can choose to add on these hikes at the checkout. Leave Machu Picchu and return to Aguas Calientes (walking or by bus, depending on if you choose add-on at checkout). Once in Aguas Calientes, start the walk back to Hydroelectric where your guide will be waiting to gather the group to return to the city of Cusco — again, you can choose to add on a train to Hydroelectric at the checkout, if you don't want to do the walk. Be back in Cusco around 9:30 - 10:00 PM. The drop-off will be in San Francisco square in the historic center, near Plaza de Armas. Please have in mind this is a budget-friendly tour and does not include the train back to Cusco. Distance traveled by car/van from Hydroelectric to Cusco is approximately 5 to 6 hours.

Cusco: 4-Day Multi-Activity Inca Hike to Machu Picchu

7. Cusco: 4-Day Multi-Activity Inca Hike to Machu Picchu

Day 1: Cusco to Santa María (Biking and Rafting) You'll begin by taking a van for 3.5 hours to Abra Malaga, which sits at 4,350 meters above sea level. There you will be provided with all the equipment before you mount your bike for an enjoyable downhill bike ride to Huamanmarca, at 1,430 meters above sea level. Following a lunch break, your guides will take you on a Quillabamba River rafting adventure for approximately 2 hours (costs not included). The rafting experience will run for 25 kilometers and includes both class-2 and class-3 rapids. Later that evening, you will enjoy dinner before retiring for the night in Santa Maria. Day 2: Santa María to Santa Teresa (Trekking) After breakfast, you will prepare for your trekking high into the forest. On your way up, you will pass local as you venture towards the original Inca Trail at the highest point of your hike. After leaving the Inca Trail behind you, you will arrive at Quellomayo Village, where you will enjoy a delicious lunch and a small rest before trekking onward to the Cocalmayo Hot Springs. That evening you will enjoy dinner before spending the night in a Santa Teresa homestay. Day 3: Santa Teresa to Aguas Calientes (Zip-line) After breakfast, you will travel to a zip-line where you will spend 2 hours (costs not included). From there the group will be taken by bus to an area known as the Hidroelectrica for lunch. Following a short break you will continue walking along the train tracks, enjoying beautiful landscapes for approximately 3 hours. You will arrive to the town of Aguas Calientes at around 4:00PM, where you will check-in for your final night's accommodation and dinner. Day 4: Machu Picchu to Cusco On your final day you will wake up early to catch the bus up to Machu Picchu, where you'll take a 2-hour tour around the most important constructions of the area. This is bound to be an enlightening experience, as you learn about this ancient city that was once so vibrantly alive. Following your guided tour you will descend to Aguas Calientes to get lunch, before beginning your return journey to Cusco.

Other Sightseeing Options in Santa Teresa District

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What people are saying about Santa Teresa District

Overall rating

3.9 / 5

based on 98 reviews

An alternative way to get to Macchu Picchu that I particularly liked! However, consider that there are 7 hours by bus on the first day and another 7 on the second day for the Cusco-Hydroelectric transfer and vice versa, which are heavy motorbikes and on a road that in the first half is full of hairpin bends and in the second it becomes a steep dirt road. The walk from hydroelectric to aguas calientes is particular and characteristic, within everyone's reach as it is all flat and lasts 3 hours. The accommodation is a functional and basic hostel. The boys called us by name in the town square to find us. Macchu Picchu, on the other hand, does not need a description: it is simply pure spectacle and the guide made everything even more special with her genuine attachment and interest for the place, she was able to send us all the necessary information in 3 hours even if I would have stayed to listen to it all the day. The return, also uncomplicated, takes about 3.30-4 hours

if there's one excursion you take in Cusco, make it this one! Staying at the family lodge being the highlight. So beautiful and quiet! Ricardo our guide was kind, fun and full of knowledge. A once in a life time experience!

Trip was amazing and Gustavo was an incredible guide. Can’t recommend this enough.

It was a great tour, the accommodation was better as I thought

The service was excellent, helpful people, I recommend