Aguas Calientes Peru
Aguas Calientes – the gateway to Machu Picchu
If you want to visit the historic site and Machu Picchu, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, sooner or later you will end up in Aguas Calientes, a place of 2,000 souls in the Urubamba Valley, and the last place before the legendary Inca site.
Aguas Calientes – which means “hot springs”, which are just above the town, by the way – can only be reached via a narrow gauge train from Cusco, and there is no road connection to this day. Here ends the Peruvian South Railway (Southern Railway) for tourists.
The town, officially called Machu Picchu Pueblo, has numerous hotels, restaurants and shops, but it is not necessarily touristy. But that does not mean there is nothing to see.
The hot springs of Aguas Calientes
The fonts of the same name are easy to find: simply follow the path uphill. The gardens open every morning at 5 a. M., and as they can be filled during the day, it is advisable to present as soon as possible. Towards the end of the day, not only the water in the pools is no longer particularly hot, it is not very clean!
If necessary, you can borrow towels and swimsuits at the entrance for a small fee.
Here you can relax sore muscles and then enjoy a relaxing treatment in one of the many massage rooms (adequate massages, not negligible)
The Machu Picchu Museum and Botanical Garden
At the foot of the road to Machu Picchu you can cross the bridge to the other side of town. In the museum you will find numerous artifacts and interesting facts about Machu Picchu and the life of the Incas in the weddings of this culture.
And the Botanical Garden is a true paradise to enjoy the surroundings and maybe relax before going on an excursion to Machu Picchu.
Eat, drink and buy
There are numerous restaurants where you can eat well. However, now you can see a less beautiful phenomenon with the constant flow of visitors: not only the prices are relatively high, some of the owners of the restaurants also try to attract it with cheap prices, and later the bill remains a service and taxes to tone. You can surround this by insisting on a fixed price in advance and citing a friendly “no taxes, no service, no more”.
Even drinks in stores are a little more expensive than in Cuzco. Whether it’s worth it, for a weight you save, all the way over a 2.5-liter water bottle, everyone has to decide for himself.
On the way to Machu Picchu there is a large market with everything you might need. There is also a craft market in front of the train station, where you can find colorful souvenirs. Again, the prices are a little higher, but the products are extremely creative and of high quality.
So come on
The trains to Aguas Calientes start in Cuzco and last approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes for the route, which runs in serpentines to Urumbabmatal. The cost of the round trip is from 55 to 85 dollars.
For something special, take the Hiram Bingham train, where an observation car with a glass roof offers beautiful views of the Andes while pampering it with exquisite delicacies.