Aguas Calientes otherwise known as ‘Machu Picchu Town’ is the social hub below the great ruins. With the Urubamba river cascading directly through the middle of the city and statues of great Incas placed everywhere it has a powerful effect on many a traveler. There are variety shops, restaurants, hostels/ hotels and bars alongside a mass market which sells gorgeous artisan products specialised to Peru. Although there are all these amenities it does come at a higher price from that of Cusco due to its location and reputation
Although it was built after the reign of the Incan civilisation, Aguas Calientes is home to many artifacts and remnants of the era. One includes a sacred sculpture used for worship of natural deities which was found under the river and only rediscovered when modern day workers went to clean the river banks.
Things to do in Aguas Calientes
As well as visiting Machu Picchu, whilst you are here and the Artisan Market which spreads across half of the town places to visit include the butterfly house and research center just outside of the town (on the route back and to Machu Picchu) located on the side closest to the river. Also, the Hot springs to recover from your treks and travels. Not to be missed but often forgotten is the free Machu Picchu Museum which is also just outside the town on the route to the city. It holds some valuable information , explanations and artifacts which must be of interest to anyone visiting the reason for this museum.