At the foot of the mighty mountain that hosts the renowned Machu Picchu ruins is Machu Picchu Pueblo (formerly known as "Aguas Calientes"). The bustling town is packed with hostels, hotels, and restaurants for spending the night before or after your visit to Machu Picchu. If you've got the energy & the stamina, then depart early in the morning to hike from town to the ruins high above, otherwise, head up in one of the hourly buses that shuttle travelers from all corners of the world to the entrance of the ancient Inca metropolis. The Machu Picchu train station is at Aguas Calientes transporting travelers between Cusco & Machu Picchu via Ollantaytambo. We've selected the top Machu Picchu hotels to assure a comfortable trip. Contact us for help planning the perfect trip to Machu Picchu.
Watch the sunrise over the peaks of the Sacred Valley of the Andes. This is one of the most popular ways to experience the true majesty of Machu Picchu and why the Inca chose this site as one of their most important cities.
Explore the ruins of Machu Picchu: On a guided tour or on your own, you can see the foundations of temples and houses, markets, and storage areas, and the iconic terraces that made this a self-sustaining mountain sanctuary.
Hike Huayna Picchu, the neighboring peak that overlooks Machu Picchu (permit required); here, you can also check out the Temple of the Moon!
Hike to the Sun Gate (Inti Punku) overlooking the ruins: Originally the gate of Machu Picchu, it is now an alternative and somewhat challenging way to get to the "lost city."
How to Get to Aguas Calientes & Machu Picchu
There are just two ways to get to the town of Aguas Calientes at the base of iconic Machu Picchu: by train or by foot. Deep in the heart of the Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu was an Inca sanctuary.
By foot: The most immersive way to experience Machu Picchu is by hiking the Inca Trail to the town of Aguas Calientes and then rising bright and early to hike up to Machu Picchu. The treks are generally very active and take anywhere from 4-8 days.
By train: There is also a scenic train that goes from Cusco straight to Aguas Calientes with several trips daily which take from 2-3 hours. This train also has destinations in Urubamba and Ollantaytambo.
Getting to the top of Machu Picchu: You can either hike up to the top, in which case we recommend waking very early to hike before the crowds overwhelm the ruins, or you can take a bus up, which is a much less physically taxing option. Buses leave regularly throughout the day.
How to Get to Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu Pueblo) by Train
We take care of booking your tickets for you in advance to secure your spot on the train.
The trains to Machu Picchu depart from three different stations: Poroy, Urubamba, and Ollantaytambo. Each station has its unique characteristics. We will help you choose the one that best suits your travel plans.
Be punctual and arrive at the chosen train station at least 30 minutes before the scheduled departure time. This ensures a smooth boarding process and avoids any last-minute stress.
All train services have Aguas Calientes as their final destination. Enjoy the scenic train ride through the Andean region until you arrive at the town of Aguas Calientes.
For one-way trips, you can board the train at Ollantaytambo, Poroy, or Urubamba stations. However, the return trip is only available from Aguas Calientes station.
From Poroy station (Cusco): Approximately 3 hours and 15 minutes.
From Urubamba station: Around 2 hours and 30 minutes.
From Ollantaytambo station: Slightly less than 2 hours.
Once in Aguas Calientes:
A short bus ride that will take you up to the entrance of Machu Picchu. The journey lasts around 30 minutes and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes.
Vistadome: A train with panoramic windows for picturesque views during the journey.
Expedition: Covered wagons with onboard service, snacks, and Peruvian cuisine.
Sacred Valley: A luxurious train linking Urubamba to Machu Picchu with lunch or dinner included.
Belmond Hiram Bingham: One of the world's most luxurious trains with gourmet dining and exclusive services.
The Voyager: Comfortable seating, panoramic windows, and on-board service with Andean drinks.
The 360º: Large panoramic windows, on-board service, and the option to purchase handcrafted products.
The First Class: Ambient music, gourmet meals, and premium service available during high tourist season.
The Private: A high-end, exclusive train with personalized service for a group of up to 8 people, available upon request.
Where to Stay in Machu Picchu/ Aguas Calientes
No matter which itinerary you choose- even if you are doing a trek on which you will be camping most nights - you have the option to stay in one of these comfortable hotels in "Pueblo Machu Picchu" to give you prime access to the mountain & ruins.