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Aguas Calientes, Peru


Vistadome 205 to Machu Picchu ( Aguas Caliente...

Image by ShashiBellamkonda via Flickr

Aguas Calientes is the colloquial name for Machupicchu Pueblo, a town in Peru on the Urubamba (Vilcanota) River. It is best known as the closest access point to the sacred Incan city of Machu Picchu (in Quechua: old mountain), which is 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) away, about 1.5 hours walk. It has many hotels and restaurants for tourists, as well as natural hot baths, which give the town its name (“hot waters” in Spanish). The baths were destroyed by floods several years ago, but have been rebuilt.

Originally settled by a few farm families in 1901, the tiny settlement was transformed into a busy railway worker’s camp, called Camp Maquinachayoq, during the construction of the railroad through there in the late 1920s. The town was the central hub for worker lodging and their equipment up until the railway was finished in 1931

Aguas Calientes serves as a terminal for the PeruRail passenger train service fromCusco. Trains serve locals and tourists arriving from Cusco and Ollantaytambo to visit Machu Picchu. A sheltered souvenir market is adjacent to the train station. Avenue Pachacutec is the town’s main and only thoroughfare, connecting the baths to the town’s main square.

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