Or Aguas Calientes, as it’s previously known by, is a small village at the foot of the mountain which Machu Picchu lies on. If you want the earliest of starts getting to the ruins in the morning, staying here would be the best choice, and in my opinion the only reason to spend time here. The village is nothing more than a tourist area built to cater to the million+ visitors that descend each year. There are hotels, restaurants and shops, and quite expensive I thought, compared to the price level elsewhere in Peru. There’s also a huge market next to the train station. Nothing of this particularly appealing to me. My highlights were playing with a kitten and its siblings at a store next to the train tracks running through town, and a food market that came into being at the main square.
Getting to Aguas Calientes started with climbing onboard some sort of covered motorbike taxi, from my hostel to the train station in Ollantaytamo, picking up a random person on the way. From there I went on Perurail’s (perurail.com) glass-roofed train to the Machu Picchu village.
Other things to do: Machu Picchu/Aguas Calientes tips