A virtual tour and travel guide of Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail in Peru. Travel resources for the traveler.
Aguas Calientes Peru
If you've been dreaming about visiting the sacred Incan city of Machu Picchu, it's time to start researching the practical details. The closest town to the historic site is called Aguas Calientes Peru and is located just under four miles away from Machu Picchu. This town is very convenient for tourists who want to spend some time exploring the Incan attraction, and staying here helps set the stage for the perfect visit to the ruins. Formally called Machu Picchu Pueblo, this town offers a wide range of restaurants and hotels to visitors. It is also known for its hot springs, which are responsible for the name of the town-Aguas Calientes translates to "hot waters" in English. This town is an excellent base for what will be one of the most thrilling days of your visit to Peru.
Adventurous travelers choose Aguas Calientes Peru to make the most of their time spent at Machu Picchu. One popular strategy is to arrive in the evening the day before you plan to visit the Lost City of the Incas. After a good night's sleep in one of the local hotels, you can rise early and be one of the first people to arrive at Machu Picchu. Travelers who have made the time for this experience say that seeing the Incan city without hordes of other visitors is special beyond words. Before the tour buses arrive, you could see Machu Picchu as it was meant to be seen: quiet and serene.
If you want to bring that adventurous spirit to a new level, you can always hike between Machu Picchu Pueblo and the historic city. This hike can easily be done in about an hour and a half, and many travelers think it is an invigorating start to visiting the Incan city. At the end of the day, it will feel even better slipping into the local hot springs if your muscles are sore from a day of hiking.
Most visitors reach Aguas Calientes Peru the same way-on the train from Cusco. If you don't want to rent a car, train service from Cusco on PeruRail is convenient and easy. Once you arrive, there are many options for accommodations. Whether you're looking for a budget hostel or a regular hotel, you will find a match in this small town. Some popular options include Hostal Pachacutec, La Cabana Hostal, InkaTerra Machu Picchu Hotel, and the Hostal Presidente. The town is quite small, and all of the accommodation options are within walking distance of the train station. Located on a river, the town is picturesque, with a small plaza and a church at the center, but keep in mind that it was developed as an access point to Machu Picchu and isn't a massive attraction in its own right.
The biggest attraction of Machu Picchu pueblo is the hot springs. These outdoor thermal pools are noted for their medicinal qualities. Located about a fifteen-minute walk outside of town, they are easy to reach and cost a few dollars to enter. Here you will find a range of facilities including lockers, showers, and a small café. The opening hours can change depending on season and day of the week, so check with the staff at your hostel or hotel before setting out.