Aguas Calientes and its hot springs are the biggest tourist attraction after Machu Picchu itself. Coming from natural springs these waters fluctuate their temperature between 38oC. (100.4 ° F). and 44oC. (111.2 ° F). Approximately 10 kilometers away from the wonder itself, it is usually the place of rest par excellence after the visit to Machu Picchu.
Composed of three large pools and three small pools, temperatures range from 38oC (100.4° F) to 44oC (111.2° F). Temperatures range from 38oC. (100.4 ° F). to 44oC. (111.2 ° F). In addition the facilities also offer changing rooms, showers, checkroom and bar service.
Machu Picchu pueblo, as the small town at the foot of the wonder is known, also bears the name Aguas Calientes, due to the existence of these well-known hot springs. Its waters come from a natural spring of volcanic origin that is yellowish in color due to the presence of sulfur.
Where are they located?
The facilities are located along Hermanos Ayar Avenue, one of the main avenues of Machu Picchu Pueblo, in the upper part of the city. This recreational center is located only 10 kilometers from the archaeological site of Machu Picchu, so it is usually visited after visiting the Inca wonder.
How to get there?
From the town of Aguas Calientes located 73 kilometers from the city of Cusco the only way to get to the hot springs is walking, because there is no cab service in the town, the approximate distance from the center of the city to the establishment of the hot springs is 750 meters away.
Benefits of the hot springs
The benefits offered by a bath with the hot waters of the spring are varied, among these we have:
- Precise muscular relaxation for long and exhausting walks.
- Increase of the oxygen level in the skin.
- They provide a better metabolism and digestion.
- Fantastic for the release of toxins.
- They offer relief to blood pressure.
How much do they cost?
The rates for the hot springs are as follows:
- Foreigners: 20 Peruvian soles (US$6, approximately).
- Nationals: 10 Peruvian soles (3 US dollars, approximately).
- Cusqueños: 5 Peruvian soles (approximately US$2).
Hours of operation
Open every day of the year between the hours of 5:00 am to 8:00 pm.
When is a good time to go?
It is generally recommended to visit the hot springs in the dry season (April to October) because many tourists are not able to fully enjoy the pools due to the rainy season. Although there are some tourists who like the hot springs in the rainy season (November to March). All in all, any day is good to relax in the thermal pools.
The busiest time for tourists to visit the hot springs is at night, after having visited the citadel of Machu Picchu; although it is recommended to visit in the early hours of the day to enjoy more of an environment with less influx of visitors.
Some rules you should know:
- No playing, no bathing.
- Do not spit, do not urinate.
- Do not enter with wounds.
- Do not enter with polo shirt.
Other attractions of Machu Picchu Pueblo
Other options to visit around Machu Picchu Pueblo are the following:
A 40 minute walk from the town of Aguas Calientes is an area of lush vegetation with the attraction of a waterfall of more than 30 meters, perfect for relaxing a bit and observe the varied vegetation that exists in this area of Cusco. The entrance fee is 10 Peruvian soles per tourist (approximately US$3).
This famous market offers all kinds of handicrafts to the visitor, such as: alpaca clothing, musical instruments, silver and gold jewelry, masks, ceramics, paintings, polo shirts, ornaments and much more. The market is located a few steps from the main square. Inside the market is the train station to the city of Cusco.
A 2 hour walk from the town of Aguas Calientes is one of the three mountains that surround Machu Picchu, this is called Putucusi. This mountain offers a difficult hiking route to its summit which is rewarded with a unique and rare view of the Inca citadel. This mountain is not a tourist route, so the entrance is free.
Machu Picchu Site Museum
Between the town of Aguas Calientes and the Inca citadel is the site museum ‘Manuel Chavez Ballon’ where Inca objects found in Machu Picchu are exhibited, as well as photographs, panels and infographics on the process of excavation and staging of the wonder of the world. The entrance fee is 22 Peruvian soles (approximately US$7).
The hot springs are located 200 meters from the ticket office or entry point. To get there, you must walk down a slope on whose path there are rock carvings with figures of the Andean culture. The town of Aguas Calientes also has this type of sculptures.