Going to Peru makes it a must to go and see one of the 7 wonders of the modern world: Machu Picchu!
You have a couple of ways to get here. Three of the most common ones are:
We aimed to reach Aguas Calientes same day as the next day we had the tickets for Machu Picchu & Huayna Picchu.
Route: Cuzco — Santa Maria — Santa Teresa — Hidroelectrica — Aguas Calientes.
Cuzco — Santa Maria
We left at 4AM from our hostel in Cuzco towards the terminal de Santiago.We got the taxi for 4 soles. Once at the terminal a combi was just leaving with 3 more free places. The guy was asking 20 soles, in the end we paid 15 soles per person. From there a 5h trip to Santa Teresa. The road is brand new, so although a lot of turns we did not feel that it was a dangerous road as I read around the internet. What might surprise you are the rivers that are passing over the street as there are no bridges.
Santa Maria — Santa Teresa
Well, people in Santa Maria got used to the tourists. As they know you don’t have too many options to get to Santa Teresa they started asking higher prices and negotiating turned out difficult. They also leave in a certain order so going to someone else would not help. We got the ride for 10 soles per person. It was a true local life experience. It was a normal 5 persons car, the guy had his wife in front, the 3 of us on the back seats and then in the trunk a local lady that needed to be dropped off on the way, we picked up some other people on the way..we were 8 in the end. I am very sorry I did not have the chance to take a picture of the car, it was quite funny too see.
Santa Teresa — Hidroelectrica
Once here you have 2 options, further take a combi/taxi or walk. We asked some locals and they told us it would take about 2.5h to walk so we walked. Normally you just need to follow the road, there are some crossroads where we had to ask just to be sure but you should not have any problem.
Hidroelectrica — Aguas Calientes
You basically need to follow the railway tracks. There are some arrows at the beginning, so it is absolutely impossible to get lost. You just need patience & watch out for the train :)
After some 10 km you get to Aguas Calientes.
If you need more details on the route, we more or less followed the information on this post (in Spanish).