Aguas Calientes


Photo of Aguas Calientes

About Aguas Calientes

Only a short trip from Cusco, Aguas Calientes (Hot Springs) plays host to one of the most spectacular wonders of the world. Machu Picchu, the ancient Incan citadel, sits high above the town on the forest clad mountains and is a stunning representation of architectural ingenuity. Abandoned around the time of the Spanish Conquest, the area fell into ruin. However over recent years Peru has been reconstructing some parts of the citadel to give a better representation of how it would have originally stood.

The site does get very crowded once the sun comes up. So, for the best experience we recommend waking up about an hour before sunrise and walking up the mountain before the buses start shuttling in the masses. There are well-trodden paths leading from the town up to the site but bring a head-torch as it’s not lit.

The town itself also holds a wealth of things to do, from hot springs to zoos. Also don't miss Mariposario de Machupicchu, a butterfly garden featuring numerous species of beautiful butterflies. Below, we’ve selected the best places to stay in Aguas Calientes to use as base camp and relax in afterwards!

Machu Picchu draws visitors globally year round ensuring that the best places to stay in Aguas Calientes are extremely popular so book early to avoid disappointment!

The best places to stay in Aguas Calientes

To Skip the queues!

  • Belmond Sanctuary Lodge is an incredibly luxurious way to experience Machu Picchu. Located just outside the site’s entrance the hotel offers great views and fantastic food in a place like no other.

For Affordable comfort

  • Enjoy Peruvian hospitality in the heart of the town at the Casa del Sol. Rooms and terraces overlook the Vilcanota River, the sounds of which lull you to sleep when it is in spate. Traditional Peruvian textiles add to the cosy style of this good value hotel.

  • El Mapi is another stylish and good value place to stay. The rooms are comfortable and the food is fantastic. Also a great place for a massage at the end of a long day’s walking!

For River views

  • Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel, like Cas del Sol above, is located next to the river that runs through Aguas Calientes, but if it's views you are after, this hotel fits the bill. Traditional decoration within contemporary architecture the hotel offers luxurious accommodation and an Andean-Asian fusion restaurant.

For Peruvian luxury

  • Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel sits at the edge of the town and is a great example of the best of Peruvian architecture. Traditional buildings house cosy areas to relax in, beautifully decorated rooms with working fireplaces and a renowned restaurant.

Travel Information

  • Fly to Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport in Cusco, approximately 4 hours by rail from Aguas Calientes with both domestic and international connections.
  • One of the most popular ways to reach Aguas Calientes is by rail, and from Cusco, visitors must travel to either Poroy or Ollantaytambo Train Station to get an onward connection to the town.
  • If you want to rent a car, for prices visit our online partner Rentalcars
  • Best time to visit - the temperature is relatively stable year round and hovers around 30 degrees. Being a tropical environment, rain is quite common but for the least chance of it, aim to visit between May and August. Note that rainclouds will also obscure views from Machu Picchu. Also note that February is when the most rainfall occurs, and during this month the Inca Trail is closed for maintenance.

Still not sure?


Monthly Weather in Aguas Calientes

Best Hotels in Aguas Calientes

  • El MaPi Aguas Calientes (Pachacutec 109) 130 rooms from £172

    Sights nearby  -  Don't miss out on the chance to see the archeological site generally considered one of the 7 New Wonders of the World
    Great walks  -  Head out on excursions led by the hotel or explore on your own as you romp around the mountains
    Restaurant  -  Recommended.

    This stylish contemporary hotel is situated in the heart of Machu Picchu town. It boasts smart rooms with large windows and black out curtains whilst the food on offer is simply excellent. Treat yourself to a massage after an afternoon outside hiking for the perfect end to the day! A top-notch spot. See More

    Check Availability
  • Casa del Sol Aguas Calientes 28 rooms from £226

    Local exploring  -  Set in close proximity to the renowned Incan site Machu Picchu, this hotel is perfectly placed for local exploring
    Back to Nature  -  With an idyllic location on the banks of the Vilcanota River, this hotel makes a charming back-to-nature retreat
    Spa breaks  -  Book into the hotel spa, where ancient Incan philosophy about this sacred region informs treatments
    Sights nearby  -  Visit Machu Picchu, the ancient Incan citadel which the region is famous for. Book through the hotel for great deals
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantGardenDisabled accessViewsNo pets

    This hotel boasts a privileged location in the village of Machu Pichu. Fall asleep to the sound of the Vilcanota River beyond your private terrace in a suite dressed with traditional Andean textiles, or choose a room with Machu Pichu views. Book into the Inca-inspired spa after a tour; a cosy stay. See More

    Check Availability
  • Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu,) 59 rooms from £359

    Sights nearby  -  Inca ruins, The sun temple and The temple of the three windows.
    Views  -  Fabulous views not only of the Andean mountains but also of ancient ruins.
    Restaurant  -  Qunung Restaurant serves Peruvian cuisine with Eastern & Andean influence.
    Great walks  -  Amazing views, make sure you are acclimatized.
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantViewsNo pets

    A beautiful setting at the foot of the sanctuary of Machu Picchu, close to the Vilcanota River. Rich Peruvian colours create a welcoming interior echoed in the rooms giving a sumptuous feeling of luxury. Delicate Andean & Asian flavours influence the cuisine to great effect. A memorable stay. See More

    Check Availability
  • Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel Aguas Calientes 83 rooms from £654

    Active Holiday  -  One of the best hotel's in the town closest to Machu Picchu complete with excellent guides.
    Sights nearby  -  The knowledgeable guides give the best experience of Machu Picchu Historical Sanctuary.
    Birdwatching  -  Up to 214 bird species including the golden-headed quetzal.
    Restaurant  -  Cafe Inkaterra - Andean cuisine.
    SpaRestaurantGardenNo pets

    A charming lodge located just half an hour to Machu Picchu. Atmospheric rooms are complete with working fireplaces, exposed beams, tartan fabrics and warm lighting. A cosy lounge is the ideal spot to unwind with an evening tipple. Gorge on regional dishes and sip Peruvian wines. Superb. See More

    Check Availability
  • Belmond Sanctuary Lodge Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu) 32 rooms from £937

    Active Holiday  -  The only hotel at the entrance of Machu Picchu.
    Local markets  -  Search for artefacts at the lively central market in Cusco.
    Sights nearby  -  Take a guided tour of the Inca citadel.
    Outstanding location
    RestaurantGardenViewsNo pets

    A chic boutique property with an unbeatable location right at the entrance to Machu Picchu. Charming rooms are simply styled with contemporary artwork contrasting against the white washed background and pretty terraces boast spectacular views. The cuisine is fantastic too. A winning combination. See More

    Check Availability