Aguas Calientes

Aguas Calientes is the closest town to Machu Picchu. Staying here for a night or two will give you intimate access to this incredible Inca site.

Aguas Calientes
Southern Highlands
Aguas Calientes
Southern Highlands, Peru, South America

Ruins

Guided Tours

Archeology

Biking

Historic

Hiking

Horseback Riding

Community Base

Textiles

Shopping

& More

Average Rating
194 Reviews
nature
4.7
touristy
4.3
experience
4.9
representation
4.9
culture
4.9
safety
4.9

Great tour of Machu Picchu, Antonio was a great tour guide."

NATALIE P
See Reviews

Aguas Calientes was once a poor and somewhat rundown town, but recent improvements in business and infrastructure have helped bring about a new vitality to the area. New hotels and restaurants are working their way into the limited space of this valley.

The small town spreads into the hillside above the Río Aguas Calientes, and hotels are beginning to populate the Orquideas neighborhood on the other side of the river. Aguas Calientes has a scattering of hotels and restaurants (pizzerias abound here), as well as a few sites that are worth visiting.

The town’s thermal baths offer travelers a place to soak and relax. They are cleanest in the morning, but can be fairly dirty by nighttime. A trail leads uphill past the baths to a few impressive waterfalls—these are good places to swim and take photographs. There are a few other waterfalls in this area that can be visited as well.

On the road to Machu Picchu, you’ll find a new museum dedicated to the famous Inca site. The museum is small but modern, and has a number of good exhibits dedicated to the culture, history, and geography of Machu Picchu. The museum also has a botanical garden.

Putukusi is a forested rock dome above Aguas Calientes. It’s a good half-day hike to get here, and travelers are rewarded with wonderful views of Machu Picchu. During the hike you’ll pass through cloud forests and have the opportunity to spot a range of tropical birds. Do note, however, that you’ll have to ascend a 600-foot (200-m) wooden ladder along a cliff face to reach the final lookout.

Aguas Calientes is the end of the line for the train that runs between Cusco and Machu Picchu. There are frequent bus shuttles to Machu Picchu from Aguas Calientes, and you can also hike through the forest to reach the ancient site.

Get your Perfect Vacation!
Free Custom Vacation Planning
Start Planning Now
HAVE QUESTIONS?
Is Your Planning Service Free?

Yes! The rates are the same if you book directly with the hotels and tours. We offer the additional value of an expert planner to ensure your trip is perfect.

How Does Your Service Work?

We listen to your vision for your trip and ensure that your experience exceeds all of your expectations. Think of us as the “Zappos of Travel.” We do more than book your reservations — we take a holistic approach and create seamless plans.

Can I Trust You?

We have planned thousands of vacations for people just like you. Our mission to redefine and simplify travel planning began in 2006 in Costa Rica, and it continues to this very moment. With over a decade of travel planning experience, we are confident that we can craft your perfect vacation for free.

Aguas CalientesAguas Calientes194