Aguas Calientes … I do not have a title!

I wanted to start my article with the headline the “Agua Calientes, tips” or something like that, but it’s impossible.

Tourism is so varied, there is everything for everyone! This makes it difficult to issue a single notice. Here rather my experience with my low budget and my backpack!

Aguas Calientes et le Machu Picchu

The small parenthesis!

Before leaving for Aguas Calientes, second name of “Machu Picchu”, I read a lot of backpacker article indicating that it was a horrible city, etc. I did not feel this! Although this is THE city of Machu Picchu and therefore more a tourist with hostals and restaurants displaying exorbitant prices everywhere, it is also a lovely town!

Aguas Calientes Rio Urubamba

The Rio Urubamba breaks in the middle of the city. Its strength is impressive and the night is rocked to the sound of the stream. The city is on several floors and terraces add relief to the color of the buildings. We do not forget the huge green mountains surrounding the village and dizzying. Finally, the tracks through the city and when the pace of the train Orient Express arrives in station, it is like back to the past.

Au coeur de Aguas Calientes

How I went to Aguas Calientes?

Again, I could tell you all the ways to get there but we could spend the night. Machu Picchu is one of the seven wonders of the world, we imagine the possibilities. Unlimited budget than the smallest, everything is possible!

I was sure not to choose the train, with prices to spook you. It is certainly the fastest and experience shall also be worth, but outside the budget for me!

Train Peru Rail ralliant Cusco à Aguas Calientes

There remained two options, the alternative route via Santa Terresa on my own (3 bus + taxi + hotel in Santa Terresa) or go through a tour for the transport and / or accommodation in Aguas Calientes.

After several searches, it turns out that going through a tour, and negotiating, is cheaper than making the path by yourself. We do not forget that I’ve been to Machu Picchu late March, ie not peak tourist season.

So I took a combi (via an organized tour) that transported us from Cusco Hydroelectrica in 6 hours. We then follow the train tracks to Aguas Calientes by walking for 2 hours and half.

Hydroelectrica à Aguas Calientes 2h de marche

It’s definitely worth the ride is flat and beautiful. We walk in the mountains, the Rio Urubamba follows us almost all the way. We cross wooden bridges, rusty iron. The train passes several times during the trip. We make cuckoos passengers glued to the windows.

sur la route d'Aguas Calientes Rio Urubamba

sur la route d'Aguas Calientes

Arrival in Aguas Calientes

Typically, this is achieved at nightfall. The question then is to search for the nest to spend the shortest night. This is not an easy task! Displayed prices are very expensive for Peru. I have not managed to go below 30 soles for a single room.

In hindsight, I should have taken the package with night inclusive hotel. This is the same and avoids the headache of looking for hostel, not so simple for the budget! I even met the travelers who spent the night outdoors for not paying a room (knowing, everyone gets up at 5 am to be the first on the site at sunrise)!

On the return (after half past two in the opposite direction along the rails), combis Hydroelectrica await you at the beginning of the afternoon to take you to Cusco in the late evening.

Combi à Hydroelectrica

And you, what path to Machu Picchu?

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