The famous Inca trail to Machu Picchu is both expensive and difficult to book beforehand. Rather than taking the train to Aguas Calientes it's possible walk an alternative route. Take an eight-hour bus to Santa Maria and hire the services of local guides Lorenzo or Johan. They'll take you to Santa Teresa, stopping at beautiful hot springs on the way. On day two you can walk to Aguas Calientes. After visiting Machu Picchu it's possible to take a one-way train back to Cuzco or walk back to Santa Teresa and then catch a bus to Santa Maria before returning on the bus to Cuzco. This route requires more time, but is very friendly on the wallet.
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