Things to do in Aguas Calientes

About Aguas Calientes

The essential attractions in Aguas Calientes are the world-renowned Machu Picchu ruins, the calming Aguas Calientes Thermal Baths, and the informative Machu Picchu Museum. Additionally, the vibrant Mercado de Artesanias delivers a colorful array of local handicrafts and a true taste of the local culture.
Families with kids will enjoy visiting the Butterfly House for a delightful encounter with nature, exploring the interactive displays of the Machu Picchu Museum, and a scenic journey to the Mandor Gardens for an enjoyable trek in nature.
The most enjoyable outdoor activities include hiking to the Mandor Gardens, bathing in the scenic hot springs, and embarking on the trails of Putucusi Mountain for awe-inspiring views of the Andean landscape.
For indoor leisure, delve into the historical narratives at the Machu Picchu Museum or find respite in the tranquility of the local hot springs, which offer indoor pools to enjoy regardless of the weather outside.
Top-rated tours in Aguas Calientes include guided audio tours of Machu Picchu, cultural walking tours through the bustling streets of the market, and ecological excursions to the nearby botanical gardens and natural landmarks.
The Machu Picchu Museum stands out as the most popular museum in Aguas Calientes, where visitors can engage with the narrative of the ancient Incas through a myriad of exhibits and artifacts.
During inclement weather, visitors can partake in covered tours such as exploring the Machu Picchu Museum, indulging in culinary experiences with a food tour, or taking part in a chocolate-making workshop in one of the local cafes.
For those short on time, there are quick tours available including a brief guided journey around the central plaza highlighting key historical points and a fast-paced visit to the Orchid Pavilion known for its exotic plant collection.

Best Things to Do In Aguas Calientes

Embark on an unforgettable journey through the vibrant heart of Aguas Calientes with our immersive audio tours.

Aguas Calientes: Wiñay Wayna

What is it?
An Incan site known for its stunning agricultural terraces and proximity to the Inca Trail.
Why you should go?
Wiñay Wayna is a gem often overshadowed by its famous neighbor, Machu Picchu. Steeped in history, these ruins offer a picturesque outlook on ancient architectural brilliance. The terraces cascade down the hillside, demonstrating the Incas' mastery over their environment. An audio tour here allows visitors to absorb the tranquil atmosphere and delve into the stories and lifestyles of those who tended these lands long ago, making it a vital addition to the best Aguas Calientes tours.

Aguas Calientes: The Artisanal Market

What is it?
A vibrant marketplace showcasing the rich tapestry of local arts, crafts, and textiles.
Why you should go?
The Artisanal Market is a sensory delight, brimming with colorful stalls and unique finds. It is a place where the cultural tapestry of Aguas Calientes comes to life through handcrafted souvenirs and textiles. Visitors can enrich their knowledge of Andean artistry through audio-guided experiences, giving context to the artisanal techniques and symbolism infused in every creation. Exploring the market is one of the top Aguas Calientes activities, offering a unique opportunity to connect with local customs and support the community.

Aguas Calientes: Machu Picchu Museum and Botanical Garden

What is it?
An educational center offering insights into the local flora and the history of Machu Picchu.
Why you should go?
Situated near the base of Machu Picchu, the museum and botanical garden provide a comprehensive backdrop to the iconic ruins. The location allows for a deeper understanding of the environmental setting and the significance of the plants used by the Incas. Coupling serene botanical walks with informative exhibits, an audio-guided tour through these spaces enhances any visit with contextual knowledge—forming a vital part of Aguas Calientes excursions.

Aguas Calientes: Butterfly House

What is it?
A conservation-focused habitat dedicated to the preservation and study of native butterflies.
Why you should go?
Discover the enchanting world of butterflies within this sanctuary, nestled amongst the rich biodiversity of Aguas Calientes. The Butterfly House offers an intimate glance at the life cycles and variety of local butterflies, alongside exotic plants. The educational dimension of audio guides raises awareness about conservation efforts, making a visit here one of the enlightening things to do in Aguas Calientes for families and nature enthusiasts alike.

Aguas Calientes: Intiwatana Stone

What is it?
An ancient astronomical observatory engineered by the Incas for ceremonial and calendar purposes.
Why you should go?
The Intiwatana Stone is a testament to the sophisticated celestial understanding of the Incas. Situated at a high point within the area, it offers both a spiritual insight and spectacular views. Through an audio tour, visitors can appreciate the subtleties of Incan astronomy and how these insights were pivotal to agricultural success. Including Intiwatana Stone on the list of things to see in Aguas Calientes allows for a holistic experience of Incan wisdom and its relationship with nature.

Aguas Calientes: Machu Picchu

What is it?
An ancient Incan city renowned for its archaeological significance and majestic beauty.
Why you should go?
Machu Picchu stands as the pinnacle of Incan civilization, offering a window into a bygone era. This UNESCO World Heritage site, perched high in the Andes mountains, promises awe-inspiring views and a deep historical connection for visitors. Audio guides complement the visual spectacle with rich narratives, making it one of the best things to do in Aguas Calientes for travelers seeking to uncover the mysteries of the Incas.

Aguas Calientes: Thermal Baths

What is it?
Natural hot springs offering a chance for relaxation and a taste of local tradition.
Why you should go?
The Thermal Baths, often cited when asking what to do in Aguas Calientes, are a sanctuary of wellness. Nestled in the scenic town, these soothing waters are perfect for easing sore muscles after a day of exploration. The experience is not only rejuvenative but also offers insight into the leisure activities of the Andean people, forming part of some of the most authentic Aguas Calientes excursions.

Aguas Calientes: Museum of Manuel Chávez Ballón

What is it?
A museum dedicated to the history and culture of Machu Picchu and the surrounding region.
Why you should go?
For those pondering what to see in Aguas Calientes, the Manuel Chávez Ballón museum is a treasure trove. It offers an in-depth look into the Incan culture and the natural history of the area. Audio tours provide rich commentary on the artifacts on display, ensuring that visitors gain a comprehensive understanding of the historical narrative surrounding Machu Picchu.

Aguas Calientes: Putucusi Mountain

What is it?
A challenging hike offering panoramic views across the Urubamba River valley.
Why you should go?
Putucusi Mountain offers an alternative adventure for thrill-seekers. One of the fun things to do in Aguas Calientes, it rewards those who conquer its steep paths with unparalleled vistas of Machu Picchu and the surrounding peaks. The climb not only tests endurance but also reflects the perseverance of the ancient Incan trailblazers who once roamed these mountains.

Aguas Calientes: Los Jardines de Mandor

What is it?
A sanctuary of biodiversity, with lush gardens and a variety of native flora and fauna.
Why you should go?
Los Jardines de Mandor are perfect for nature lovers and those looking for tranquility. As part of the best Aguas Calientes tours, the Gardens provide a serene setting where travelers can wander through a vibrant ecosystem, observe exotic birds, and listen to informative audio commentary that enhances the natural beauty with educational content about local plant and animal species.

TOP-5 Tours in Aguas Calientes for First Time Visitors

  • Explore the mysterious ruins and learn about the cultural heritage enveloping this iconic site with an audio tour delving into the things to see in Aguas Calientes.
  • Delve into the bustling local markets, a perfect place to visit in Aguas Calientes. An audio guide provides context to the colorful crafts and local cuisine.
  • Immerse in the natural wonders through an insightful ecological trail guide, highlighting fun things to do in Aguas Calientes, including visits to the Mandor Gardens.
  • Discover the tranquil hot springs with a historical audio narrative explaining what to do in Aguas Calientes for relaxation and rejuvenation.
  • Engage with the town's storied past with an audio tour that includes the best Aguas Calientes activities, ensuring a comprehensive understanding of this unique location.

Fun things to do in Aguas Calientes with kids

Aguas Calientes, known as the gateway to the legendary Machu Picchu, also offers a variety of engaging activities for younger travelers. First among the attractions is the playful and educational Butterfly House 'Mariposario', where children can marvel at the bright colors and delicate movements of numerous butterfly species. Interactive exhibits allow kids to learn about the life cycle of these insects and the importance of conservation. Next, the town's Thermal Baths promise a delightful and relaxing soak for the whole family. The natural, warm waters provide a perfect setting for parents and children to unwind after a day of exploration. Finally, no visit with kids is complete without a tour of the Machu Picchu Museum and Botanical Garden. Here, through interactive audio guides, families can uncover the mysteries of the Incan empire and learn about the local flora, enhancing their understanding of the environment surrounding the historical site of Machu Picchu.

Things to do in Aguas Calientes with family

Aguas Calientes, nestled below the awe-inspiring Machu Picchu, boasts a range of family-friendly activities. For an educational experience, families can visit the Machu Picchu Museum, where interactive displays recount the story of the ancient Inca site against the backdrop of the majestic Andes. Children and adults alike will be captivated by the rich history and artifacts, made even more engaging by enthralling audio narratives. Adventure-seeking clans can embark on a gentle hike to the lush Mandor Gardens, a place that invites exploration amongst a diverse array of plant life and fluttering butterflies. The path, suitable for all ages, leads to a tranquil waterfall, creating a picturesque setting for family memories. No family trip to Aguas Calientes would be complete without experiencing the renowned thermal baths. These natural hot springs offer therapeutic relaxation and a moment of respite for parents, while children delight in the warm waters, all surrounded by the beauty of the Peruvian landscape.

Free things to do in Aguas Calientes

For those seeking to enjoy Aguas Calientes without the expense, there are still plentiful activities to partake in that offer both cultural enrichment and natural beauty. Embark on a self-guided walking tour through the town's charming streets; immerse in the local atmosphere as you discover vibrant markets and quaint plazas, all at no cost. This is an opportunity to appreciate the local architecture and perhaps enjoy impromptu cultural encounters. Next, indulge in the splendor of nature by following the scenic walking paths along the Urubamba River. These routes offer breathtaking views of the river against the backdrop of the towering Andes and are perfect for a leisurely family stroll or a peaceful solo venture. Lastly, take your exploration to the artistic side with a visit to the elaborate wall of mosaic art located near the central square. This public artwork is a colorful expression of Andean culture and creativity, making it a perfect spot for exploration and photography, all accessible for free.

Cheap things to do in Aguas Calientes

Travelers on a budget will find Aguas Calientes a welcoming destination with several inexpensive attractions to enrich their Peruvian adventure. A must-visit is the town's bustling Mercado de Artesanias, where one can immerse in local culture and shop for souvenirs without splurging. The market provides an affordable and colorful experience, perfect for those seeking to capture a piece of the local artistry. Another economical option is to enjoy a picnic by the serene Vilcanota River, where families and friends can gather for a meal with the soothing sounds of nature and splendid views of the Andean landscape. This activity allows for a cost-effective way to relax and bond in the heart of Aguas Calientes. Additionally, history enthusiasts can engage in a self-guided exploration of the town's historical monuments, such as the Iglesia de Aguas Calientes or the Plaza de Armas. These landmarks offer a glimpse into the area’s history and present an opportunity for reflective exploration at minimal expense.

Things to do in Aguas Calientes for couples

Aguas Calientes sets the scene for romance with its enchanting landscape and intimate activities that couples can enjoy. One of the most romantic things to do is to bask in the soothing waters of the local hot springs. The balmy thermal baths are the perfect setting for relaxation and spending quality time together amidst the natural beauty of the Andean mountains. For an authentic cultural date, couples can wander through the artisan markets. These vibrant bazaars offer a bounty of handcrafted goods and local artwork, allowing duos to search for a special keepsake that will remind them of their journey together. To cap off a day of exploration, couples can take a tranquil stroll along the scenic paths that line the Urubamba River. The gentle sounds of the flowing water and the panoramic mountain views combine to create a picturesque and romantic ambiance. As dusk sets in, they can find a cozy spot to watch the sunset, wrapping up a day of shared experiences in this captivating town.

Things to do in Aguas Calientes at night

As the sun sets over the Andes, Aguas Calientes transforms with a charm of its own, offering nocturnal delights for night owls and evening adventurers. One of the prime nighttime activities is to enjoy the vibrant culinary scene at the local restaurants, where couples and families alike can savor traditional Peruvian dishes. The town's eateries become lively hubs of activity, often featuring live Andean music that resonates with the spirit of the highlands. For those seeking tranquility after dark, an evening walk through Aguas Calientes offers a serene experience. The gentle illumination from the shopfronts and street lamps casts a romantic glow on the town's architecture, inviting leisurely exploration. Lastly, indulging in a soak at the hot springs under the starry sky is a unique experience. The cooler night air paired with the warm thermal waters make for a sublime retreat, allowing visitors to unwind and reflect on their day's adventures amidst the peaceful backdrop of the Peruvian night.