Machu Picchu pueblo, also known as Aguas Calientes, is a small town located at the foot of Machu Picchu, one of the world’s most famous archaeological sites. While many tourists use Machu Picchu pueblo as a base for exploring the ruins, the town itself has plenty to offer and is worth exploring in its own right.
One of the main attractions in Machu Picchu pueblo is the thermal baths, which give the town its name (“aguas calientes” means “hot waters” in Spanish). These natural hot springs are located in the town center and are a great place to relax after a day of exploring the ruins.
The town also has a thriving artisan market, where you can find local crafts and souvenirs such as textiles, jewelry, and ceramics. There are also several small museums and cultural centers that showcase the history and culture of the region.
Foodies will love Machu Picchu pueblo’s culinary scene, which features a mix of traditional Peruvian dishes and international cuisine. Be sure to try some of the local specialties, such as trout from the nearby river or coca tea, which is said to help with altitude sickness.
For those interested in outdoor activities, there are several hiking trails in and around the town that offer stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. One popular hike is to the Mandor Waterfall, a beautiful natural waterfall located just outside the town.
Overall, Machu Picchu pueblo is a destination that shouldn’t be overlooked. While it may be most famous for its proximity to Machu Picchu, the town itself has a unique charm and plenty of attractions to discover.
What to do in Machu Picchu Pueblo
Machu Picchu Pueblo, also known as Aguas Calientes, is the town located at the base of the iconic Machu Picchu ruins. While many visitors use this town as a starting point to explore the ruins, there are plenty of things to do in Machu Picchu Pueblo itself. Here are some activities to consider:
- Visit the thermal baths: Aguas Calientes is famous for its hot springs. Take a dip in the natural thermal baths, which are believed to have healing properties.
- Explore the town’s artisan markets: The town is filled with shops and markets selling traditional Peruvian handicrafts such as textiles, jewelry, and pottery.
- Visit the Machu Picchu Museum: This small museum showcases artifacts discovered at Machu Picchu and offers insight into the Incan culture and history of the region.
- Hike to the Mandor Waterfall: This beautiful waterfall is located just outside of town and is accessed via a scenic hike through the lush vegetation of the area.
- Try the local cuisine: Aguas Calientes has a wide range of restaurants and cafes, serving both local and international cuisine. Be sure to try some of the local specialties, such as fresh trout from the nearby river.
- Take a cooking class: Learn to make traditional Peruvian dishes such as ceviche, lomo saltado, and causa at one of the cooking classes offered in town.
- Visit the butterfly sanctuary: This small sanctuary houses a variety of colorful butterflies native to the region and is a great place to learn about the local ecosystem.
- Take a stroll along the river: The town is situated alongside the Urubamba River, which offers beautiful views and a tranquil atmosphere for a leisurely walk.
With plenty of activities to keep you busy, Machu Picchu Pueblo is more than just a gateway to the iconic ruins. Take some time to explore and enjoy everything this charming town has to offer.
How are the hot springs of Cocalmayo?
The Cocalmayo hot springs are located in the town of Santa Teresa, a few hours away from Machu Picchu. The hot springs are known for their crystal-clear waters and natural setting, surrounded by lush vegetation and the rushing waters of the nearby river.
The hot springs are divided into several pools of varying temperatures, ranging from around 38°C (100°F) to 44°C (111°F). The pools are fed by a natural hot spring and are believed to have therapeutic properties, particularly for those suffering from muscle pain and other ailments.
The hot springs are set up with basic facilities such as changing rooms, showers, and toilets. There are also several restaurants and vendors selling snacks and drinks nearby, making it easy to spend the whole day relaxing in the hot springs.
Overall, the Cocalmayo hot springs are a beautiful and relaxing place to visit, surrounded by stunning natural scenery and offering a unique and enjoyable experience for visitors to Peru.