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Things to do in Aguas Calientes

Our most recommended things to do in Aguas Calientes

From Cusco: Full-Day Group Tour of Machu Picchu

1. From Cusco: Full-Day Group Tour of Machu Picchu

Travel from Cusco to learn about the majestic Inca city: Machu Picchu and the ancient civilization living there. Discover the secrets that are hidden in it. Go back in time as you explore the streets of these ruins located in the Peruvian Andes.  Begin with an early morning pickup from your hotel in Cusco for transfer to the train station. Get on board and enjoy the comforts offered by the train during the journey to Machu Picchu. Choose from the option of a standard train or a Vistadome train that offers panoramic views. Enjoy the dynamic landscapes of the Peruvian Andes. Arrive in Aguas Calientes and take a bus to the entrance of the citadel of Machu Picchu. Learn about the history of this wonderful place. Depending on the option you select, enjoy a guided visit of Circuit 5. Visit Qolqas, the Agricultural Zone, the waterway, dry pit, Temple of the Sun, Inka House, water sources, set three covers, Pisonay Square, and the archaeological reserve. Take the bus back to Aguas Calientes and get recommendations for lunch. Board the train back to the Ollantaytambo or Poroy station where transportation will be waiting to take you to your hotel in Cusco.

From Cusco: Machu Picchu 2-Day Overnight Trip

2. From Cusco: Machu Picchu 2-Day Overnight Trip

Venture to Machu Picchu on this round-trip tour from Cusco. Follow a trail through the lush jungle and visit the town of Machu Picchu. Tour the archeological site of Machu Picchu, renowned for its sophisticated dry-stone walls that fuse huge blocks without the use of mortar, with a guide. Day 1: Cusco – Hydroelectric Plant – Machu Picchu TownStart with a pickup from your hotel in the historic center at 6:20 AM. Drive to the hydroelectric plant passing through the towns of Ollantaytambo, Malaga, and Santa Teresa to arrive at the hydroelectric plant where you will have lunch. After lunch, follow instructions from your guide for the 3-hour walk to Aguas Calientes, the gateway to the Inca ruins of Machu Picchu. Explore the town center full of eateries and shops, anchored by the central Mercado Artesanal craft market.  Next, meet your guide in the main square Aguas Calientes who will lead you to your accommodation for the night. Before enjoying the evening of picking your own spot for dinner, get the next set of instructions for how to get to Machu Picchu on the 2nd day. Day 2: Machu Picchu – Hydroelectric – CuscoWake up at 5 AM and walk or take the bus to the entrance of Machu Picchu, an Incan citadel set high in the Andes Mountains in Peru. Enter with your group and enjoy 2.5 hours to explore the historic site. Explore intriguing buildings that play on astronomical alignments and panoramic views. Learn about the centuries-old secrets trapped in the walls of the site. After exploring, walk down the road to the Inca bridge, one of the best examples of ingenious Inca architecture. Next, travel together along a trail to the hydroelectric plant from Day 1, where the bus will be waiting. The tour will finish in Cusco in the Plaza de San Francisco at 11 PM.

From Aguas Calientes: Round-Trip Bus Ticket to Machu Picchu

3. From Aguas Calientes: Round-Trip Bus Ticket to Machu Picchu

Benefit from the convenience of pre-booked round-trip transfers from Aguas Calientes to Machu Pichu. Soak in the peace and quiet whilst riding an air-conditioned bus and checking out the scenery along the way. Your professional driver will make sure your transfers are safe and relaxed. Avoid the crowds and enjoy a flexible schedule and reasonable prices.  

From Cusco: Classic Salkantay Trek with Return by Train

4. From Cusco: Classic Salkantay Trek with Return by Train

Make the most of your time in Peru with a 4 or 5-day hike along the famous Salkantay Trek. Take in panoramic views of Humantay Mountain, enjoy an optional visit to the Cocalmayo Hot Springs, and watch the sunrise at Macchu Picchu. Campsite accommodation and transfers are included. Day 1: Cusco - Mollepata - Challacancha - Laguna Humantay - Soraypampa After getting picked up from your accommodation in Cusco, drive through the towns of Izcuchaca and Limatambo before arriving at Mollepata, where you can buy a light breakfast and water. Continue to Challacancha, where the 3-hour walk to Soraypampa begins. Stop for lunch and then walk around 1-2 hours to the Humantay Lagoon. Return to Soraypampa and overnight at camp with tent and dinner. Day 2: Soraypampa - Soyrococha - Salkantay - Huayracmachay - Chaullay Wake up with the first light of the day at 5:30 AM and have a quick breakfast. Start your walk to the highest point of the trail: the Salkantay Pass (4650 meters/15255 feet), where you can appreciate the imposing snowy peaks of the Salkantay, Humantay, Tucarhuay, and Pumasillo mountains. The downward hike is snake-shaped, leading to the Huayracmachay camp, where you will stop for lunch. At the end of this exceptional hike, arrive at Chaullay Village (2900 meters/9514 feet) for a break from a long day of hiking. Enjoy dinner at the camp before heading to your tent for the night. Day 3: Chaullay - Playa Sahuayaco - Lucmabamba - Santa Teresa (optional Cocalmayo) After breakfast, hike to the small town of La Playa through the Santa Teresa Valley where you will stop for lunch. After lunch, board a bus to the camp in Santa Teresa, where you can enjoy an optional visit to the Cocalmayo Hot Springs, which have medicinal and therapeutic waters. Enjoy dinner at the camp before heading to your tent for the night. If you choose the 4-day option, you will be taken by bus to Hydroelectric right after your lunch. From there, start a walk on the train tracks through the native jungle to Aguas Calientes, about a 3-hour trek. Upon arrival in Aguas Calientes, enjoy free time before dinner to rest or walk through the town. Day 4 for 5-day option: Santa Teresa - Hydroelectric - Aguas Calientes After breakfast, start the 3-hour walk to the Hydroelectric through the valley floor. Upon arrival, recharge with lunch. You can add on a zip line adventure after breakfast; in this case, after the activity, you will be taken to the beginning of the trail to Aguas Calientes at Hydroelectric. From Hydroelectric, hike on the train tracks through the jungle to Aguas Calientes, about a 3-hour trek. Upon arrival in Aguas Calientes, you will have free time before dinner to rest or walk through the town. Day 4 for 4-day option / Day 5 for 5-day option: Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu - Cusco Get up early to start the trek to Machu Picchu, the Lost City of the Incas. After a steep 1.5-hour walk, be rewarded with views of the sunrise from the Inca citadel before the crowds arrive (you can replace the hike with a bus ride for an additional cost if required). Enjoy a 2-hour guided tour of Machu Picchu and the surrounding sites. Enjoy free time to take photos and look around the citadel. If you choose one of the add-on hikes to the mountains, you will split ways with the group to go by yourself to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain. Leave Machu Picchu and return to Aguas Calientes (walking or by bus, depending on what you choose). Once in Aguas Calientes, board your train to Ollantaytambo, and take a minivan from there to Cusco. Arrive back in Cusco around 9:30 - 10:00 PM. The drop-off will be in Plaza San Francisco in the historic center, near the Plaza de Armas.

Cusco: 2-Day Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu Guided Tour

5. Cusco: 2-Day Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu Guided Tour

Discover Peru's ancient wonders with a 2-day excursion from Cusco. Explore Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley, take a 2-hour guided tour of the ancient ruins at Machu Picchu, and upgrade your tour to include a hike up Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain. Day 1The journey starts with the pickup from your hotel in Cusco. If you choose the 6:30 A.M. start time, visit Chinchero, Maras-Moray, and Ollantaytambo. Choose the 7:50 A.M. start to visit Pisaq and Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley. Stop to enjoy lunch in the town of Urubamba (included) before taking the train to Aguas Calientes. Upon arrival in Aguas Calientes, head to your accommodation. Choose the accommodation add-on when booking to enjoy an included comfortable hotel room. Enjoy an afternoon of leisure in Aguas Calientes. At night, the guide will contact you at your hotel to provide all the instructions for the tour to Machu Picchu the next day. Day 2Wake up early for a 7:00 AM departure from Aguas Calientes to the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu by bus. Upon your arrival, enjoy a 2-hour guided tour of Machu Picchu. Walk with your guide and learn about this ancient Inca city. Visit gardens, shrines, water channels, and prisons. After the guided tour, enjoy some free time to explore the Inca citadel on your own. Increase your adventure by adding an optional Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu climb to your trip. Following directions from your guide, climb to the summit on your to enjoy panoramic views of the area. Head back to the town of Aguas Calientes and enjoy some free time for lunch (not included) before taking the train back to Ollantaytambo. Finally, return to Cusco city by bus.

From Cusco: 2-Day Trip to the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu

6. From Cusco: 2-Day Trip to the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu

DAY 1: We will start this great adventure with the pick up from your hotel at 8:00 am to go to the Sacred Valley of the Incas, Pisac, Colonial Inca, discover one of the Inca archaeological sites, on top of the mountain with impressive stone walls, agricultural terraces, irrigation systems and the largest cemetery of the Inca Empire. Time to shop at the craft market, where artisans sell their ceramics, textiles, jewelry, Andean instruments, alpaca products, and souvenirs. We will continue our trip of approximately 1 hour through the Sacred Valley to Urubamba where we will have time to have lunch in one of the local restaurants that offers several traditional dishes, made with fresh products. In the afternoon, visit the archaeological complex of Ollantaytambo, where you can appreciate the technique with which the Incas worked the stone, the last Inca citadel standing. The city is built on ancient Inca buildings. Explore the archaeological site of the city that has temples, terraces, warehouses and a large Inca monolith. Next, we will depart by train from the Ollantaytambo station, we will arrive at the Aguas Calientes station, where our staff will assist you to stay in one of the hotels in Aguas Calientes. (Select between a tour with or without accommodation). DAY 2: In the morning the guide will pick you up at the hotel to board the transport that will ascend an intricate path giving us a spectacular view of the Urubamba River that shapes the famous canyon. The Lost City of the Incas, Machu Picchu, will welcome you with its incredible terraces, stairways, ceremonial precincts and urban areas where energy emanates from all over the place. After a guided tour, you will have the opportunity to have lunch in one of the restaurants in the area. At the coordinated time, we will return by train and we will be transferred to the hotel in Cusco, ending with a great experience.

Machu Picchu: 2-Day Group Tour of the Inca Trail

7. Machu Picchu: 2-Day Group Tour of the Inca Trail

Day 1: Cusco to Machu Picchu Pueblo Start your adventure bright and early and meet your guide at your accommodation. After a short drive to Ollantaytambo, you will set off on a 1.5-hour train ride to Chachabamba, taking in the scenery of the Urubamba river along the way. From the checkpoint at Chachabamba, you will start your trekking experience. Visit the archaeological sites of Chachabamba and Wiñay Huayna and take in the variety of flora and fauna.  Enter Machu Picchu through the Sun Gate, and from here, you can take in one of the most spectacular views of the Lost City of the Incas. Arrive in Machu Picchu late in the afternoon and have the unique opportunity to see the city almost empty. After a short bus ride to your hotel, you can enjoy a relaxed end to the day with dinner and a night of comfortable sleep.   Day 2: Machu Picchu to Cusco After another early start, you will prepare to visit Machu Picchu, the tour's highlight. Board your bus just as the sun rises. Your guide will take you on a 2 to 3-hour comprehensive tour of the city before leaving you in Machu Picchu to explore independently. You also have the option to climb either Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain.  Your guide will explain how to take the bus from Machu Picchu back to Aguas Calientes and then take the train and bus back to Cusco. After a full day of sightseeing, you will be conveniently shuttled back to your accommodation for a relaxing end to your Inca exploring adventure. 

Machu Picchu Small-Group Combo: Entrance Ticket, Bus & Guide

8. Machu Picchu Small-Group Combo: Entrance Ticket, Bus & Guide

After arriving in Aguas Calientes, head to Consettur Bus Station to start your Machu Picchu adventure. Easily hand over your printed ticket, hop on, and enjoy the breathtaking drive up through the clouds to Machu Picchu. Ignore the long lines with your pre-purchased entrance ticket in hand, and join your tour group. Be led through the front gates and follow your guide on a 2-hour journey through the ancient citadel. Listen as your guide answers every and any question you might have. After your tour, you will have free time to explore, take photographs, and maybe even make friends with a llama.

Salkantay Trek 5-Day Hike to Machu Picchu

9. Salkantay Trek 5-Day Hike to Machu Picchu

Follow in the footsteps of the ancient Incas and hike along the same paths they used to trek through the mountains centuries ago. Get back to nature and experience amazing views of the snow-capped mountain peaks of the Andes. Day 1: Cusco - Mollepata - Markhuq’asa - Soraypampa - Humantay Lake - Salkantaypampa (L, D) Depart Cusco and journey to Markhuq’asa for the start of your trek to Soraypampa, 3,850 meters above sea level. Stop for lunch at the base camp and then go on a round-trip hike to Humantay Lake. Then continue to the Salkantaypampa base camp to spend the night. Day 2: Salkantaypampa - Salkantay Pass - Collpapampa (B, L, D) Hike to the highest point of the trail at Salkantay Pass and get spectacular views of the snow-capped mountains before a 2-hour downhill hike to the camp for lunch. Then, enter the upper part of the Amazon jungle on a hike through what is know as the cloud forest. Look for native wildlife on the way to the village of Collpapampa, where you will spend the night. Day 3: Collpapampa - La Playa (B, L, D) After breakfast, take an easy hike to La Playa through the Santa Teresa valley and marvel at the waterfalls and wild orchids. Encounter coffee, banana, and avocado plantations, and get the chance to sample the local coffee at an organic coffee farm. After a typical lunch in La Playa, here you will have the option (at an extra cost payable onsite) to visit the hot thermal springs and abundant birdlife. Return to the campsite for an overnight stay. Day 4: Santa Teresa - Hidroelectrica - Aguas Calientes (B, L, D) On this day, in Santa Teresa, you can choose to visit the zipline, rafting, or canopy at an extra cost payable directly on-site. Then, you will head to Hidroelectrica, passing through waterfalls coming from the glaciers and fields of cocoa and coffee. After a nourishing lunch, begin a 2-hour walk to Machu Picchu Pueblo, known as Aguas Calientes. Once in Aguas Calientes, you can go to your hotel to shower and relax before dinner. After dinner, get some rest before the early morning climb up to Machu Picchu the following morning. Day 5: Machu Picchu (B) Explore Machu Picchu in the early morning before the crowds arrive. You can choose to hike uphill to the ruins or take the bus for an additional charge. Benefit from a 2-hour guided tour on arrival and learn more about the temples, palaces, priest houses, and more. Take the train to Ollantaytambo in the afternoon and then catch the bus back to Cusco for drop-off at your hotel or hostel on arrival.

Machu Picchu: Full-Day Tour from Cusco with Optional Lunch

10. Machu Picchu: Full-Day Tour from Cusco with Optional Lunch

Discover the magic of the Andes and Machu Picchu on a full-day trip from Cusco. Marvel at mountain views on a train to Aguas Calientes. Hop on a comfortable bus to Machu Picchu and begin a guided tour. Upgrade your experience with the option to include an authentic Peruvian lunch. Start with pickup from your hotel in Cusco and travel to Ollantaytambo Station to board the train to Aguas Calientes. This is the nearest town to Machu Picchu. Enjoy a scenic train journey through dramatic Andean landscapes. The train has ample seats with large windows allowing for grand views of the surrounding jungle and mountains.  Board a coach for a 25-minute ride to Machu Picchu. The city of Machu Pichu is believed to have been built in the 1450s by the Inca emperor Pachacuti as a holiday retreat. Within a century the city would be abandoned following the Spanish conquest. The Spaniards never found it, so it was spared the destruction they brought on other Inca sites. Instead, it was slowly swallowed up by the jungle and hidden from harm. Take a guided tour of the site which explains the origins behind this awe-inspiring citadel and its most prominent landmarks such as the monumental Main Square, the Royal Quarters, the Temple of the Three Windows, the Circular Towers, the Sacred Sun Dial, and the Burial Grounds. After the tour, be returned to Aguas Calientes where you can take some free time to explore the city, or enjoy an optional lunch.  After some time in the town, return to Aguas Calientes station to take the train back to the Ollantaytambo Station, from there you will be taken back to your hotel.

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What people are saying about Aguas Calientes

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 1,321 reviews

The experience of using a guide that has a long family lineage and experience growing up in the Sacred Valley/Machu Picchu area brought the tour in Machu Picchu alive for us … he was extremely knowledgeable and communicated with us in both Spanish and English … and fielded all kinds of questions from us

Uriel was an excellent and informative guide. He spoke very clear English and was very fun, helpful and considerate to all of us in the group. You can tell that he is very passionate about his culture and really loves his job

It is a superb view. I went in early January, but it was OK with light clothes. It is a well-maintained tourist destination.

Everything about this trip and the organization was amazing. 100% recommend it.

Fantastic experience, guide Muriel is excellent, as is everyone in Peru!