This town is a hub for tourists bound to Machu Picchu. Trains from Ollantaytambo and Cusco ends here and this is where you catch the bus, a 30 minute ride to Machu Picchu.
The streets are lined with hotels and restaurants. But there is nothing much to do here, unless you want to take a dip in the hot springs.
We quickly got lost trying to find our hotel. The google map printout looked wrong. Found our guide in the streets and he led us through a maze of streets to find our hotel at the other end of the town near the rail station. At the hotel, we dropped off our backpacks and cleaned up a bit. Hotels in Aguas Calientes are very expensive and do not necessarily give good value for money. This is a basic hotel, but finding a clean toilet with seats made me really happy that I had to stop myself from taking a photo 🙂
The porters dropped off our duffle bags at a local restaurant where we are to meet our guide to pick up our stuff, get our train tickets and give tips to our guides (not obligatory of course, but the going rate was 100 soles per guide).
We found the rest of our group there and ended up trading our final stories and having lunch. We left early as we are to stay in town for 1 night. Showers and what was supposed to be a nap before dinner extended into the mornings.
We walked by the riverside, explored the markets, walked in the Inkaterra resort grounds (now if you’re staying longer and don’t mind the expense, Inkaterra is the place to stay in Aguas Calientes), and had lunch by the riverside restaurant.