Machu Picchu
Credit: E. Ting

On Machu Picchu, Peru

When people think of Machu Picchu, most think of the ancient ruins left by the Incas. Some who are brave enough and booked ahead long enough, do the Inca trail.

There are also fun lots of things to do around Cusco, but people often pass this up when they visit this region of Peru. The town that's at the foot of the hills of the Machu Picchu site is: Aguas Calientes. Everyone that goes through and up onto Machu Picchu would go through Aguas Calientes.  Translated from spanish it literally means "hot water". And that is exactly what you should indulge themselves in when you happen to be in town for a hour or two.


Thermal Springs at Aquas Calientes
Credit: E.Ting

At the Foot of Machu Picchu: Aguas Calientes

In "Hot Water" and "Out in the Cold"

That's right.  You got it.  It's HOT SPRINGS.

These natural thermal springs is the perfect place to park yourself and relax when going to or from the Machu Picchu site.  The landscapes at the foot of the hills makes for the best way to wind down from a dizzying train ride from Cusco or the exhausting Inca Trail.  What is also really amazing about the place is the lovely rushing sounds of water nearby when you are soaking in the nutrients from the dissolved minerals. Great way to rejuvenuate all those tired muscles!

To get to this place, you just follow the main road to the right of the Plaza.  Keep heading uphill on this road lined with restaurants and shops.  Keep head up and you'll know you're headed in the right direction when you hear some roaring waters and bridges.  Keep along this lightly wooded forest path and soon enough the entrance to the hot pools will be in front of you.  The place offers showers and towel service.   There is also a small patio on the second floor overlooking the pools there they sell beverages and beer.

One more cool part of this facility is that they have three types of pools (see picture below from top to down):

  1. Warm (large) Pool
  2. Hot Pool
  3. Cold Pool


Hot Spring Pools
Credit: E.Ting

More picture at the foot of Machu Picchu's hot spring: There is a cold pool, a hot pool and larger pool for group hang-outs.

Out in the Cold

Best of all, it doesn't cost much (10 Pervian Soles which is really just under 4 US Dollars), so it's a nice affordable, cheap way to wind down and enjoy the scenary for a lazy afternoon.

We had a great time there when we went, and it is the perfect fit for hectic and tired backpackers.  If you're headed to Machu Picchu, be sure to check out the hot water springs at Machu Picchu.  You won't regret it.

Share your experience at the wonderful hot springs by commenting below.

Lonely Planet Peru (Country Travel Guide)
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When we travelled, we relied on the Lonely Planet books. They are absolutely amazing and I would recommend these books over other guides. There are so many tips and it's very well laid out and concise that it's perfect for the traveller who wants to get some information quick and also enough for someone who wants more in-depth information.