One of the best sensations to experience in Peru is the train that goes from the imperial city of Cusco to Machu Picchu. You will arrive at the city of Machu Picchu, known to most as Aguas Calientes. Over the past 10 years, the city has grown by leaps and bounds to keep up with the growing number of tourists who want to see Machu Picchu. The city still has its picturesque essence and boasts one of the most incredible scenery. The town is surrounded by the Andes and has the Vilcanota River passing through the city. There is no denying that Machu Picchu is a great place to spend a few days. The town of Machu Picchu is located 2040 meters near Urubamba, in the lowest part of the Sacred Valley of the Incas. It is located about 112 kilometers northeast of the City of Cusco. And for that reason, together with the experts from Cusco Peru Travel, we have prepared a small article about Machu Picchu town.
Everything about the Machu Picchu town
- The best way to get to Aguas Calientes
- What to do inside Aguas Calientes
- Shopping and tours within Aguas Calientes
- Hotels and restaurants within Machu Picchu town
- Some important tips to know
THE BEST WAY TO GET TO AGUAS CALIENTES
Taking the train is considered one of the best ways to get to the Machu Picchu Station located in the Town of Machu Picchu. You can go by train from Poroy Station for a trip of around 3 hours and 30 minutes. Poroy is the closest to the city of Cusco, about 20 minutes from the city. However, if you are in the Sacred Valley, you can start from the Ollantaytambo Station arriving in approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes. It also has the option that goes from Urubamba Station, from here you will arrive in approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes. The rugged terrain of Machu Picchu Town makes it an undeveloped area. This means that there are no taxis, roads, or airports, but there are a train station and a minibus stop that will take you to Machu Picchu.
WHAT TO DO INSIDE AGUAS CALIENTES
One of the things that not many tourists know is that within Aguas Calientes there is much to enjoy. If you have some free time there are several points of interest in the town of Machu Picchu. Why not walk to the Jardines de Mandor, which is located 3.5 km at the base of the Huayna Picchu mountain. You can also choose to do a 3-hour walk from the city of Machu Picchu. This place offers the tranquility, peace, and rest that every traveler needs. This natural habitat features a wide variety of native plants and animals to appreciate. You can also enjoy the natural waterfalls in this area. Do not forget your comfortable shoes, sunscreen to protect your face, and repellent to avoid mosquito bites, a hat, comfortable clothing, and waterproof. In case you didn’t know, the name of Machu Picchu town has a clear meaning. Aguas Calientes can be translated from Spanish to “hot springs”. There are hot springs with healing qualities that are 800 meters from the Machu Picchu town. Its sulfurous water comes from the rocky subsoil. The incredible hot springs are very attractive to tourists; The hot springs also have changing rooms, restrooms, and coffee shops to add to your experience. Keep in mind that all the places to visit in Machu Picchu can be traveled more calmly after recharging your energy in Machu Picchu town.
SHOPPING AND TOURS WITHIN AGUAS CALIENTES
While walking through the town of Machu Picchu you will find a great variety of handmade products such as handicrafts, textiles, pottery, silverware, jewelry, alpaca, or vicuña clothing. All these products can be found in the many markets located around the town and inside the train station. When visiting Machu Picchu there is a museum, which is located about 30 minutes from the city and 10 minutes from the Ruins Bridge. In this sample of the museum are metal works from the time of the Inca Empire. You can also find other content on display that includes infographics, boards, maps, videos, ceramic collections, and sculptures, among others.
HOTELS AND RESTAURANTS WITHIN MACHU PICCHU TOWN
There are many different types of hotels in Machu Picchu town for all budgets. There are wonderful five-star hotels for the luxury traveler, four-star hotels for the traveler who likes comfort, and also great three-star hotels for the traveler on a budget. All alternatives are located a few minutes away from the main square. The five-star Sumaq hotel has one of the best restaurants in the area to enjoy delicious food made with local products. Chefs prepare world-famous Peruvian cuisine that will delight your palate. If you have time to visit the Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, you have to know its garden. The hotel has one of the most beautiful gardens in the city, it has many varieties of orchids and other plants that are native to the Andes and the area. The city of Machu Picchu is full of restaurants for lunch or dinner while accompanying a few drinks to help you relax. Within the different luxury Peru tours, you will have the opportunity to stay in the best hotels in Machu Picchu town.
SOME IMPORTANT TIPS TO KNOW
There is much to learn before embarking on your trip to Machu Picchu town and the ruins, so here we offer you some Machu Picchu facts that you may not have known or need to know.
- Machu Picchu was discovered by Yale University professor Hiram Bingham in 1911 with the help of a local farmer.
- When it was discovered, the citadel was covered by jungle, but the terraces were in use by farmers.
- Machu Picchu was recently named one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
- Wheels were not used to transport heavy rocks for the construction of the city.
- The structures were built with a technique called “Sillar“. The stones are cut to fit without mortar. Surprisingly, not even a needle can fit between two stones.
- The citadel is divided into two parts: Hanan and Urin according to the Inca tradition.
- In the native Quechua language, “Machu Picchu” means “Old Peak” or “Old Mountain”.
- Many of the stones that were used to build the city weighed more than 50 tons.
“LEAVE NOTHING BUT FOOTPRINTS, TAKE NOTHING BUT PHOTOS, KILL NOTHING BUT TIME.”
We hope together with the experts from Cusco Peru Travel to have been helpful. Remember that to know the wonderful Machu Picchu, on certain tours, it is a requirement to go through Machu Picchu town. Except for the Inca Trail and other treks, this small town will be a mandatory stop. If you want to know more about our different tours to Machu Picchu, you can consult with our qualified advisers.