aguas calientes

When we talk about one of the seven wonders of the world, Machu Picchu, we have to talk about its support town, Aguas Calientes. Because there is a terminal train station for everyone who wants to know about the Incas citadel. Remember that train is the main transportation to get to Machu Picchu. Even, the adventures who dare to do the famous Inca trail will finish the trekking in Aguas Calientes. In consequence, the town is a must for those who want to visit Machu Picchu. Therefore, with the experts of Machu Travel Peru, we want to make your vacations much easier through the Inca citadel and its local town of Aguas Calientes. We invite you to learn more about this important town in the following lines.

Aguas Calientes: Everything you need to know about Machu Picchu Town

Aguas Calientes or Machu Picchu Town

aguas calientes river

Aguas Calientes or Machu Picchu town is a little town located in the lower zone of the mountain, in La Convencion district, Urubamba province, in Cusco, south of Peru. It has hot springs, where travelers can soak while waiting for their turns to visit Machu Picchu.

We know that this is one of the most Machu Picchu facts asked, and the confusion usually occurs more than it should, but both names represent the same town. Aguas Calientes (Hot Springs in English) is a name given by the locals, based on hot springs located in the north of the town, next to the banks of the Vilcanota River, 800 meters from the main square, where many tourists and visitors, who while waiting for their turns to visit Machu Picchu, they take advantage of their time and take a dip in its waters. On the other hand, Machu Picchu Town is a name given by the municipality in recent years to avoid tourist confusion and to take the name of the Incas wonder, for future promotions of the town.


aguas calientes location

Aguas Calientes is the closest town from Machu Picchu citadel. This is a support town where many restaurants, hotels, handicraft markets, even a train station are located, as a previous step for everyone who will get to Machu Picchu citadel. This town lasts around the jungle eyebrow are of the Cusco region, in La Convención district, northwest of Cusco, and northeast of Machu Picchu.

Machu Picchu Citadel9 Kilometers north
Ollantaytambo (Sacred Valley)31 kilometers northwest
Cusco city74 kilometers northwest

Believed or not, Aguas Calientes has an altitude of 2040 meters above sea level (6693 feet). So, it is lower than Machu Picchu (7973 feet) and Cusco (11152 feet)

Brief History

aguas calientes history

Another surprising piece of information is the town was created before Machu Picchu’s discovery. It all began when  ENAFER (Peruvian State Railway Company) decided to build a railway to connect the town of Santa Ana (A commercial point located very close to Quillabamba, maybe the biggest Cusquenean Jungle city) to the capital, Cusco city. Santa Ana is situated 208 kilometers (683 feet) northwest of Cusco, in a jungle area. That’s why the progress was slow when the railway began to be built in 1901, the workers had to open trails, cut weeds, and clear the road for months.

Until, very close to Machu Picchu (at that time its existence was unknown), the workers decided to form a camp to rest. They were in this situation for a long time until they received the order to install a small railway station there. In this form, the train station was the first building installed in Aguas Calientes. Of course, with time, the train station was attracting commerce, food, and the transit of people to the zone. Until 1911 when the famous explorer Hiram Bingham made known Machu Picchu to the world (The Peruvian agriculture Agustin Lizarraga was the real discoverer of Machu Picchu 9 years before)

So, in 1911, the zone was invaded by archaeologists, historians, studies, and researchers fascinated by Machu Picchu. Therefore, the town was always considered only as a provisional point, before getting to the recently discovered wonder. Even, with the terrorism age from the 70s to 80s, the population density of the town was under dramatically. Just in the 90s, with terrorism dead, with the growth of Peruvian economic and tourist flow, the town began to fill with commerce, shops, restaurants, hotels, among other until these days.

For this reason, according to urban architects and civil engineers who worked on a Machu Picchu map at that time, Aguas Calientes always was a provisional point that was exceeded by population and infrastructure, not advising to spend more than one night there for tourists and general visitors. Even, these days, it is a very disorderly town.

How to get to Aguas Calientes

get to aguas calientes

As Aguas Calientes is located close to Machu Picchu Citadel, the ways to get to the Inca’s citadel are similar to get it. In this sense, we have three different options, from the most popular option to the recent way.

By train

train to machu picchu

Aguas Calientes is famous for its train station, so, it is not surprising when the majority of visitants arrive there by train, forgive the redundancy. Today, two train private companies offer tourist services of transportation, one of them is Peru Rail and the other one is called Inca Rail. Following, you will have a table with the stations where the trains depart to Aguas Calientes and the duration of the trip.

FromLocation of departureTravel time to Aguas Calientes
Wanchaq Train StationCusco4 hours approx
San Pedro Train StationCusco4 hours approx
Poroy Train Train StationSurrounding Cusco3 hours approx
Ollantaytambo Train StationSacred Valley2 hours approx

Regarding Wanchaq and San Pedro train stations, these are located in the same Cusco city. Whereby, a taxi service will be enough to go there.

In the case of Poroy, this train station is located surrounding Cusco and you will have to take a taxi or private transportation to get there (the trip lasts 1 hour)

In the case of Ollantaytambo train station, you will have to take private transportation to get there (02 hours of the trip until Sacred Valley)

Happily, both companies have varying schedules for the train to Machu Picchu services, departing from these points.

By walking

walking to aguas calientes

If you are some of these adventurers who want to experience how were got to Machu Picchu in ancient times, the Inca Trail is for you, and it is the most common walking way to get, first to Machu Picchu citadel and after (taking a down bus) until Aguas Calientes. Also, there are other trekking routes like the Salkantay trek, Choquequirao, and Lares trek. Of course, realize that all these trekking routes, including Inca Trail, have a part of their routes in buses or trains.

But, What is meant? In short, no route is done entirely on foot. All of them have a part of their journey by bus or train from Cusco. Until getting to some point, where the trekking will begin, really.

TrekkingPoint where trek beginsTrek time to Aguas Calientes
Inca Trail82 Km (Until there, in train)4 days
SalkantaySoraypampa Camp (Until there, in a bus)4 days
ChoquequiraoCachora Camp (Until there, in a bus)7 days
LaresLares Town (Until there, in a bus)3 days until Ollantaytambo (From there, taking a train)

By car

car to machu picchu

This is an alternative option to get to Aguas Calientes and to Machu Picchu, too. It does not mean that the route, from Cusco to Aguas Calientes, will be developed by car completely, quite the opposite, you will travel by car in the first part until the Hydroelectric zone. Departing there, the following part will be by train or walking. Of course, taking this option will depend on the season or Machu Picchu Tours types that you were chosen. In the rainy season (November to April) the road is usually muddy, and it isn’t recommendable to travel by it. On the other hand, the dry season (May to October) is the best time to take it.

From CuscoTransshipment Area(Hydroelectric Zone)Get to Aguas Calientes
TrainBus trip lasts 4 hours approxTrain to Aguas Calientes 45 minutes of train trip
Walking Bus trip lasts 4 hours approxTrekking to Aguas Calientes03 hours of trekking

The zone where one of Aguas Calientes rail branch end receives the name of its close power plant, “Hydroelectric”. This is located southwest of Aguas Calientes (2 kilometers of distance) and the car that you took from Cusco will stop there. From this point, a Peru Rail train carriage departs to Aguas Calientes, every day, and returns, too. There, you can opt to buy in-person train tickets (S/15 per person, one way) on this train or begin to walk, following the railways, up to Aguas Calientes.

TrainFrom Hydroelectric To Aguas CalientesTrain From Aguas CalientesTo Hydroelectric

From Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu

bus to machu picchu

9 kilometers is the distance from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes Town. As we tell you before, all passengers who want to visit the Incas marvel have to pass by Aguas Calientes first, obligatory. Happily, the town is well-connected with the Citadel and today there are two ways to get to Machu Picchu from Aguas Calientes.

  • CONSETTUR Buses: The population of Aguas Calientes (at least people who were born there), through a cooperative, are shareholders of a municipal transport company called CONSETTUR. This company of buses is the only one authorized to offer tourist transportation services from Aguas Calientes town to Machu Picchu citadel and returns. The buses are modern, with air condition systems and padded seats. The trip lasts 40 minutes, departs every 5 minutes, and you can take them a few meters from the train station. The buses will drop you up at the same entrance of the citadel, and from this point, you will take anyone to return.
  • Walk (A little trek to Machu Picchu): If you consider that Machu Picchu is a great goal to reach with effort, so, this option is for you. There is a climbing path, in a zigzag, that connects Aguas Calientes Town with Machu Picchu town. If you want to take it, you have to walk, following down the railway and passing the first bridge that crosses the Vilcanota River, from this point you will begin the path. Fortunately, this one is well signed, so you will don’t have any problem following the route and getting to Machu Picchu citadel. The trek lasts 01-hour climbing and another one to go down. Take note that taking this option in the rainy season (from November to April) is not recommendable, because usually, the path is muddy, and you may have slipped.

What to do in Aguas Calientes

hot spring in aguas calientes

Until a few years ago, Aguas Calientes was a passing town for everyone who want to visit Machu Picchu. However, over the years, seeing the number of tourists who want to spend, at least, a night in Aguas Calientes, the town was filled with hotels, restaurants, and interesting experiences to do, obviously. In this sense, nowadays, you will find several attractions and things to do in Machu Picchu town.

  • Hot Springs: Or Aguas Calientes in Spanish languages. This is the principal attraction of the zone, and it is the origin of the town’s name. These pools of hot water with sulfur (water temperature around 38 – 46 degrees Celsius) are good for relieving the pain of rheumatism, osteoarthritis, poor circulation of the body, among others. The hottest water pool is located at the end of the complex (North part), at the foot of a rock cliff. These pools are located northeast of the town and the entrance has a cost of $6 per person and includes a storage cabin for your luggage. Inside, you can hire swimwear, sandals, towels, not to mention, that you can buy a drink while you rest in its waters.
  • Shopping: Around the Aguas Calientes train station, a handicraft market is located. Even, when you go out of the train station (once arrive in Aguas Calientes) its exit door is the entrance to this market. Generally, handicrafts there are more expensive than in other traditional markets like Ollantaytambo, Pisac, Cusco. This is due to the location of the town and the difficulty of transporting things there. Also, most crafts found there are copies of original ones located in the handicraft market mentioned before. Therefore, we recommend don’t make shopping in Aguas Calientes.
  • Spas center: Cross all Aguas Calientes town you will find a Spas center where you will take massage sessions with aromatic herbs and plants. Of course, the quality will vary according to the cost. $11 is the base price for 1 hour.
  • Butterfly farm in Machu Picchu: This butterfly interpretation, conservation, and breeding center are located just before getting to Aguas Calientes municipality camp zone and Vilcanota river bridge. 20 minutes walking and following down the railway from Aguas Calientes. The center is a private project of local resident Leonardo Serrano Gutierrez, who wants to conserve and protect 9 species of native butterflies of the zone, with other collaborators. The experience includes a brief view-guidance through the metamorphosis process of the butterfly (from larva to an adult butterfly), an explanation of the butterflies wings’ color, and finally, the liberation of a butterfly to its natural state by asking for a wish. Amazing for everyone who has a honeymoon in Machu Picchu! The cost of entrance per person is $6.
  • Inkaterra Spectacled Bear Conservation Center: The Peruvian luxury hotel chain Inkaterra has a Spectacled Bear conservation center in its  “Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo” hotel land (2980 square meters) located in the same Aguas Calientes. There, 4 Spectacled bears, who were affected by humans’ influence in their habitat, are protected, fed, and reincorporated into their habitat. Of course, this project is standing by SERNAMP (National Service of Natural Areas Protected by the State). The entrance cost and schedules of visits with and hotel biologist or zoologist depend on the reservation. The experience is not cheap, but worth it each cent!
bears in aguas calientes
  • Mandor Waterfall and garden: Mandor is a family private botanical conservation center, located 4 kilometers from Aguas Calientes town. If you want to get there, you have to follow the railway, in direction of the Hydroelectric Zone, by 50 minutes from Aguas Calientes. Once arrive at a sign: “Mandorpampa”, turn left and follow the signed path until the botanic gardens ticket office. $6 per foreign adult and $3 per Peruvian adult. There, you will find a route that passes through beautiful gardens with well-signed plants, herbs, and trees until getting to the waterfall, where you can take a dip and cool off from the hot and humid climate of the area. The complex offers camp zones and some bungalows to spend nights, too.
  • Putucusi trekking: Putucusi or Happy Mountain (translating from Quechua) is a mountain located west of Aguas Calientes and northeast of Machu Picchu citadel. To get to the start point of the trek, you will have to follow the railway in the direction of the Hydroelectric zone (¿Again? Yes, again) for 2 kilometers or 1 hour. You will get to some stairs located on the right side of the railways, continue walking by these stairs up to reach a giant stone wall with a  metal rope attached to this wall, you will begin to climb by this rope until getting to the other incline stairs. Finally, climb these for a while to get to the top. The top of the mountain has an altitude of 2560 meters above sea level and there you will have spectacular views and photos of Aguas Calientes town, the north part of Machu Picchu, and the Vilcanota river that flows through and surrounds the town of Aguas Calientes. Of course, this trekking is recommended for done in the dry season (from May to October) and for persons with good physical and health conditions.
  • Machu Picchu Site Museum: Machu Picchu has its own museum called Manuel Chavez Ballon (in honor of its founder). This museum is formed by five permanent exhibition halls, whose contents show didactically the cultural process and historical moments that occurred in the current area of the National Archaeological Park of Machupicchu, through eight sequences complemented with infographics, panels, maps, videos, and especially the samples of collection funds such as ceramics, lithics, metals, and others. To get there, you have to follow, again, the railway from Aguas Calientes, in the direction of the Hydroelectric zone. Walking around 30 minutes or 2 kilometers, after passing the Puente Ruinas bridge, turn right and continue walking for 3 minutes more to get to the Museum. The entrance cost is $7 per person, and the visit can last up to 02 hours if you decide to visit the botanical gardens located on one side of it and answer the eternal question, What is Machu Picchu?

Hotels and restaurants

restaurants in aguas calientes

As we mentioned before, nowadays Aguas Calientes has become a port of high tourist flow. In this sense, tourist infrastructure like hotels, restaurants, travel agencies, handicraft markets, inter alia abounds in the area. With many offers, the tourist could be overwhelmed and confused. Therefore, we will give you our recommendation of the best restaurants and hotels that you can find in the zone.


hotels in aguas calientes


  • Belmond Sanctuary Lodge: A five-star hotel located on the same top of the mountain (Where is located Machu Picchu citadel) Even its main door is opposite the entrance to Machu Picchu. This is the main factor because its rooms and reservations are so expensive. The hotel has bungalows, suites, double rooms, single rooms, a pool, a spa center, inter alia, and a first-look at Machu Picchu citadel.
  • Sumaq Hotel Machu Picchu: This five-star hotel is located in the same Aguas Calientes town (South of it). The hotel has a spa, a restaurant, and a bar. Free Wi-Fi in common areas and free train station pickup are also provided. In addition, the property features a snack bar, a sauna, and a conference center. All 62 soundproofed rooms feature free Wi-Fi and iPod docks. Entertainment options include LCD televisions with cable television channels, and guests will also have a pillow and bedspread menu at their disposal.
  • El Mapi by Inkaterra: This is the jewel of Inkaterra hotel chain in Machu Picchu. It is located northeast of the main square of Machu Picchu, just before getting to the hot springs of Aguas Calientes. The five-star hotel has Wi-Fi free in public areas, breakfast included in all its services, 161 comfortable rooms, with minibars, high connection’s internet, and TV HD cable, a spa salon, restaurant, bar-lounge, the bathrooms are implemented with shower, robes, free bathroom amenities, and hairdryer.
  • Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo hotel: The second most important hotel of Inkaterra hotel chain is located at south of Aguas Calientes. This hotel has a big extension where is located its infrastructure and Spectacled Bear Conservation Center. The hotel has 83 accommodation options with DVD player and is safe. These lodging options have an independent rest area. The beds are equipped with Egyptian cotton sheets and high-quality bedding. The host can choose its pillow type. TV with satellite signs and the bathrooms are well-equipped.


lodge in aguas calientes
  • La Cabaña Machu Picchu: This hotel is located near to Hot Springs, north of Aguas Calientes Main Square. It is the most known among medium-level hotels in Aguas Calientes, the hotel has 20 rooms well-equipped with air conditioning, a minibar, and a safe box, besides 24 services rooms, breakfast, business center, Wi-Fi, TV of 42 inches with cable HD, inter alia.
  • Casa Andina Standard Machu Picchu: Casa Andina is a Peruvian hotel chain destined for urban and business tourists. The hotel in Aguas Calientes is its first lodging located in a rural zone (Outside a capital city) The hotel has 53 rooms with free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, and ceiling fans. Other services available to guests include a hairdryer, in-room safe, and shower. Besides of business center, snack bar, inter alia.
  • Taypikala Hotel Machu Picchu: This hotel is located at north of Aguas Calientes. This hotel has 22 rooms with a minibar and safe box. The beds are equipped with high-quality bedding. LCD television with cable channels is available. The bathrooms are equipped with free toiletries and a hairdryer. This hotel in Machu Picchu offers free Wi-Fi access. A cleaning service is provided daily.
  • Tierra Viva Machu Picchu: It is located northwest of Aguas Calientes, just before getting to Sumaq Hotel. Tierra Viva Machu Picchu has 42 lodging options with air conditioning, a safe deposit box, and complimentary bottled water. There is a 32-inch LCD television with cable channels. The bathrooms are equipped with a shower and hairdryer. This hotel in Machu Picchu offers free Wi-Fi access. Business traveler amenities include desks and phones. Turn-down service is provided at night and housekeeping is provided daily. Hypoallergenic bedding can be requested.


  • Presidente Hotel Machu Picchu: This hotel is located two blocks west of the main square of Aguas Calientes. Usually, the hotel is used to host tour guides or tour conductors of tourist groups. Hotel Presidente is a small family-friendly hotel offering a flat-screen TV in the rooms, and it is easy to stay connected during your stay as free internet is offered to guests. Plus, guests can enjoy free breakfast, which has made this a popular choice among travelers visiting Aguas Calientes.
  • Amaru Hostal: Hostal Amaru Backpackers is situated in Machu Picchu, 400 meters from Machu Picchu Hot Spring and 2.8 km from Huayna Picchu. The rooms are equipped with cable TV and a private bathroom. Hostal Amaru Backpackers provides free Wi-Fi. The reception is open 24 hours. Hostal Amaru Backpackers is a few steps from Wiñaywayna park and 200 meters from the stadium.
  • Continental Hostal: Hotel Continental was renovated to improve the quality of care for guests, where it is part of the mini-chain of Machu Picchu hostels. It is located along the main street, five minutes from the plaza of the citadel of Aguas Calientes. It has 16 rooms decorated practically for the comfort of our guests, it was decorated to improve the quality of care our rooms have private bathroom, heating.
  • Waman Hotel: This three-star hotel is located in the downtown area of Aguas Calientes, just a few minutes from the train station and the hot springs; very close you will find the Manuel Chávez Ballón site museum, the craft market, and many more attractions. Its infrastructure has an elegant, functional, and very comfortable design; In addition, it is surrounded by a beautiful mountainous landscape, allowing you to connect with nature.


aguas calientes restaurant

Aguas Calientes town is a place full of restaurants and options for food. Usually, the best place to eat something is the same restaurant as most known hotels (mentioned before) However, there are three restaurants that work on their own and are renowned by tourists and locals, too.

  • Indio Feliz: This is a Franco-Peruvian cuisine restaurant located east of the main square Manco Capac. The restaurant offers a great variety of dishes and beverages, like Pisco Sour, beers, tasty dishes that combine French and Peruvian ingredients, with a comfortable atmosphere. Without a doubt, a perfect place to spend lunch or dinner close to Machu Picchu. (Lloque Yunpanqui Street, 103)
  • Sanctuary Lodge Restaurant: This is the buffet restaurant of Belmond Sanctuary Lodge Hotel, located just in front of Machu Picchu entrance, on the same top of the mountain. There you will find buffet options of lunch, Peruvian, international, and vegetable cuisine. This is perfect for those who want to taste delicious dishes for a short time before entering Machu Picchu.
  • Totto’s House: This restaurant has three advantages (Beside tasty dishes, of course) in comparison to other restaurants. The first one is the decoration of the place, comfortable, cozy, and charming. The second is the location, which is very close to the train station, and the last one is the spectacular views the eater has of the Vilcanota River (on the second-floor balcony).  Imperio de los Incas, Avenue 600.

The best time to visit Aguas Calientes

best time to visit aguas calientes

As Aguas Calientes is the closest town of Machu Picchu. Usually, the best time to visit Machu Picchu is similar to visiting Aguas Calientes. In other words, in the dry season (April – October). Why? Because the weather between these months is dry, hot, with a clear sky and rays of sunshine, perfect to take photos and postcards of Machu Picchu. On the other hand, from November to March is the rainy season, which means hard rains sky cloudy, muddy roads, and the possibility of overflowing the Vilcanota River (This river borders the town). Therefore, if you want to take the perfect photos, the dry season will be perfect for you. However, if you prefer to walk in the rain and enjoy the humidity, the rainy season is your time.

An expensive town

aguas calientes market

As we mentioned before, we have three ways to get to Aguas Calientes, the most direct form is by train, the other two are walking (tourist trekking) and by car (One part by car and the other one walking). As you can see, the forms to get there are scarce. Therefore, getting to Machu Picchu or bringing something there is difficult and expensive. These are the principal reasons why handicrafts, groceries, fruits, foodstuff even bottles of water are more expensive there than in other parts of the Cusco region. 

PriceProducts in any zone of Cusco or PeruProducts in Aguas Calientes
Bottle of Water$0.30$2.00
“Snickers” Chocolate$0.80$2.50
Coca Cola 500 ml$0.50$2.75
Cup of Coffee$1.50$3.00

Therefore, we recommend buying things of first necessity in Cusco or Sacred Valley, but not in the same Aguas Calientes town. These prices are only examples but show us the expensive that a product can up to. And let’s not talk about crafts! You have other good handicraft markets outside Aguas Calientes where you will find the best crafts at the cheapest prices (Pisac, Ollantaytambo, Cusco)

Is it worth spending a night there?

take a walk by aguas calientes

When a visitor wants to enjoy the Machu Picchu citadel for more than one day, they choose to spend a night, even two, in a close zone to Machu Picchu, to return to the citadel the next day. In this sense, Aguas Calientes town and Ollantaytambo are two strong options to book a room hotel. However, What is the best place to spend a night? Following, we make this compact comparison between these two places considering prices, location, ways to get there, health center, inter alia.

Ollantaytambo is the previous step, to get to Aguas Calientes and after, to Machu Picchu. There is located the principal train station in Sacred Valley, and, from it, depart all trains that go to Aguas Calientes (train trip last 2 hours) and the Hydroelectric zone (train trip last 2:45 hours)

OllantaytamboAguas Calientes
Location Ollantaytambo is located in the same Sacred ValleyAguas Calientes is located in Jungle eyebrow
ConnectionThis has more ways to get there (By train, by car, by walking) in any time during the year. The train is the main way to get there. The other forms (Walking and by car) depend on the season.  
CostOllantaytambo has more connection ways to Cusco and other Peru zones. Therefore, the products there are cheap.Aguas Calientes has fewer connection ways, therefore, products there are more expensive and scarce.
Health centersOllantaytambo has a big health center in the town, with the possibility to be transferred, in easy forms, to hospitals or clinics located in Sacred Valley, even Cusco.Aguas Calientes has a medical post and some small clinics. Therefore, in an emergency, the patient will depend on scarce transportation and the season to reach a larger medical complex in Cusco.
AttractionOllantaytambo has a great archaeological park close to its main square (It receives the same name Ollantaytambo). Without mentioning the possibility to get to other attractions around the Sacred Valley zone and Cusco. In Aguas Calientes, you will have attractions located in the same town and surrounding areas, beside of Machu Picchu, of course.

For all these reasons, we recommend spending a night in Ollantaytambo (prioritizing health, connections, and cost of living)

Tips to enjoy

aguas calientes tips to visit it

Finally, we want to bring you some tips before your travel to Machu Picchu and, your consequent visit to Aguas Calientes:

  • Money: Carry always dollars, most markets, and little businesses accept this kind of coin. Regarding credit cards, don’t worry, 95 % of establishments there accept them (Visa, Mastercard, Diners Club, inter alia)
  • ATMs: In the Manco Capac main square and surrounding streets you will find ATMs machines. But, before, take note if your bank charges some commission for withdrawing cash abroad.
  • Personal documents: Always, carry with you your passport and your Machu Picchu entrance ticket. Why? Because both documents will be useful to the entrance to the citadel (The security control always requires these two ones) and to get information when a bill of sale of any establishment will be registered for you.
  • Allowed luggage weight on the train: 5 kilos or 11 pounds is the maximum weight of luggage allowed on the train (Peru Rail and Inca Rail)
  • Luggage Store in hotels: The majority of hotels have free luggage storage for their hosts. You can leave your luggage while taking a walk in the town, visiting Machu Picchu or any other attractions. After that, you can get your luggage to take a train back or do late check-in.
  • Take care about Mosquitos: Aguas Calientes is located in the Jungle eyebrow of Peru, and its altitude is lower than Cusco. Also, the weather there is hot and humid (increasing these characteristics in the rainy season). Therefore, the presence of mosquitos is annoying for many visitors. Buy a repellent before going to Aguas Calientes and use it when you stay in the same town, where mosquitos’ presence is greater.
main square in aguas calientes
  • The rains can occur at any moment: So, Where is Machu Picchu located? Well, the citadel and its local town Aguas Calientes are located in a Jungle area, and not is necessary to be in the rainy season to get some good showers in the mornings. Therefore, bring with you raincoats, trekking pants, light jackets, shoes with a chunky soles among others.
  • The traditional market of Aguas Calientes: If you want to know more about the idiosyncrasy of the Peruvian or, simply, want to cheapen some purchases, you can go to the traditional market of Aguas Calientes (Antisuyo Street 102). There you will find local groceries, artisanal products like coffee, chocolate, bread, and a food court with bathrooms on the second floor.
  • Spanish is not so important: As a touristic zone, it can say that the population of Aguas Calientes has English as its second language. So, communicating there will not be a problem. Of course, Spanish words courtesy as “Buenos dias”, “Buenas tardes”, “Por favor”, will never hurt to learn.


We hope to give you all the necessary information to have a good time in Aguas Calientes. A town with a great variety of restaurants, hotels, handicraft stores, markets among others. Even, the cosmopolitan town is a perfect meeting point for many people with only one objective, visiting Machu Picchu citadel. Therefore, with the experts of Machu Travel Peru, we hope we have given you all the tips and information to visit the closest town of Machu Picchu and enjoy its charms. And remember that we are here for any questions or vacation planning that you will have regarding Machu Picchu and Aguas Calientes. Until another opportunity!

Peru has so much to offer, it can be hard to know where to start. With many years of experience in the tourism sector, Machu Travel Peru is happy to help with anything regarding your trip to Machu Picchu and any tours around it. Make your Machu Picchu experience an unforgettable one!