Agues Calientes – the famous village at the bottom of Machu Picchu. Most people stay there for a night to be at Machu Picchu for sunrise. The village is small but if you have some spare time, there are still some things you can do here.
1. Visit the Museo del Sitio
The Museo del Sitio will give you background information about Machu Picchu’s discovery, you can see pottery and other things from the daily life of the Incas that were found on the site.
Machu Picchu doesn’t provide any information at all. There are no signs or explanations. That is why it is a good idea to visit this museum a day before your visit.
The museum is situated close to Machu Picchu. Follow the river to the bridge that is the entrance for the Machu Picchu ruins in the morning. Cross it and go to the right, pass the stairs leading you up to the ruins and you will get to the museum.
It is open from 9 AM to 5 PM and costs S./22.
2. Visit the Botanical Gardens
Your entrance ticket to the museum includes a ticket to the botanical garden which is right next to it. If you come during the right time of the year, you can find a lot of orchids here.
3. Walk along the river
If you want to get out of the touristy village, just walk a bit along the river to be in nature. Admire the mountains high above you, the ones that you are going to climb or go up to tomorrow morning.
4. See butterflies
On the way to the famous entrance bridge to Machu Picchu, there is a camping ground, next to it is a Mariposario – a butterfly garden. Its workers made it their mission to conserve natural heritage.
The mariposario is open from 8 AM to 6 PM. If you want more information, have a look at their website.
5. Relax in the thermal baths
About ten minutes walking up from the town, you will find small thermal springs. Especially people doing the Inca Trail or the Salkantay Trail will be there to relax their muscles after days of hiking.
The baths are open from 5 AM to 8:30 PM and the entrance is S./10.
6. Photo with Machu Picchu sign
Don’t miss to get your souvenir photo taken. You can find the Machu Picchu sign on the central square of the village.
7. Get a massage
Even though you haven’t hiked a multi-day trail to get here, you probably walked a lot in the last couple of days within Peru. Maybe you’ve been to Colca Canyon, explored the Sacred Valley or just wandered around the cities.
You deserve a massage. People are offering their services all over town, so it’s not hard to find. If you’re up for some relaxing time after an action-packed trip, that might be your thing to do.
8. Sleep early
Again, after days and days of exploring and a day ahead strolling around the Machu Picchu ruins, you might need some rest. The city is quiet and it’s the ideal place to get your energy back to 100% because tomorrow, will be an early day with a lot of hiking. Enjoy your warm bed and go to bed early.
Have you already been to the village? What have you done in Aguas Calientes apart from visiting Machu Picchu?
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