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Aguas Calientes

4,170 bytes added, 16:10, 26 March 2013
Get in
===By train===
Until July 2010, the train will not run all the way between Aguas Calientes and Cusco, due to severe flooding from the 2010 rainy season. Instead, train services stop at Piscacucho, which is 82km from Cusco. Travelers must take either a bus or a taxi from Cusco to Piscacucho; preplanning is strongly advised, as a taxi will cost 100-200 soles and take around two hours from Cusco. Buses are much cheaper but also much much slower.
'''Peru Rail'''[http://www.perurail.com] has a monopoly on the tracks, and is at the moment the only option. Trains depart from PoroyOllantaytambo, just outside of 1hr 45min from [[Cuzco]], twice several departures daily, varying greatly in price. To get to Ollantaytambo, take a collectivo from Calle Pavitos in Cuzco, 15 soles per person. They start early, around 3am, and run every half hour. Look for a newish van with seatbelts. Ollantaytambo is a lovely town with some ruins of its own, so it is a good idea to take the bus, spend a night in Ollantaytambo, then take the train to Aguas Calientes the next morning. The scenic train journey through the [[Sacred Valley of the Incas|Sacred Valley]] takes about 4 hours1 hour 45 as well. Tickets should be bought in advance either online or at the Wanchaq train station Peru Rail office on Av Garcilaso the Plaze de Armas in [[Cuzco]]. Try to book several days in advance if possible, especially in the high season. It´s not possible to select your own seats online, so if you have a preference, buy them at the station. The fares start at US$48 each 50 one way in the 'Backpackers' cars, with decently comfortable seats and small snacks for saleprovided. The 'Vistadome' cars are the mid-range cars at US$71 each way, with more comfy chairs and meals served. If you prefer to ride in style, opt for the 'Hiram Bingham' at US$294 each way, complete with gourmet meals and an observation carriage. Some people consider this service to be obnoxious, given the poverty of the people it rolls past.
The cheapest option (short of walking) is to bus it to [[Ollantaytambo]] Inca Rail and catch Machu Picchu Rail run alternative services; their offices are also on the train from there. A minivan bus from Cusco to Ollanta costs S/10Plaza de Armas in Cuzco. Ollantaytambo Prices are service are similar; they are good alternatives if your chosen service on Peru Rail is worth staying a night in, it's a pretty little town with beautiful ruins of its ownfully booked.
===By foot===
==See==
[[* <see name="Machu Picchu]] " alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="S/. 152"> This is what most people come to see.The bus from the town Aguas Calientes up to [[Machu Picchu]] costs 45 Soles ($17.00) per person for a return trip, or $9 one-way (One way tickets are more expensive at the top, catching the tired people who thought they would walk down). You can walk to the ruins for free, but it's steep uphill and takes about an hour and a half. The toilets at the top cost 1 Sol to use. You have to buy your ticket for entering the ruins at the Cultural Centre in Aguas Calientes (if you're not doing the whole tour from Cusco; tickets are available at the Peru Rail office there). This ticket costs S/. 152 per person (including entry to Huayna Picchu) and is valid for 1 entry over a period of 3 days (so if you've only got one night in Aguas Calientes, are on a budget and arrive with the backpacker train at roughly 11:30am decide if you want to go up to Machu Picchu in the afternoon or early next morning). Be aware that the office will not sell same-day tickets after 2:30PM and that the last entry into Machu Picchu is at 4PM, with visitors herded out by 5PM. Also note that the office will ask for your official passport when buying tickets rather than a photocopy, though agents may be flexible. Aguas Calientes is overpriced and nasty, so if you can stay in Ollantaytambo and get the first train at 06:10, it's way better. You'll arrive about 8am, still way before the large tour buses (10am - 2pm). Remember to take water and snacks with you as the snacks available at the ruins are insanely expensive. Even bring water with you to Aguas Calientes, as the shops there charge about double. Best to bring a packed lunch from Cuzco, if possible.</see>
==Do==
*<do name="Ecological Centre" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Further along the tracks near the bridge to Machu Picchu you will reach an ecological centre with rainforest walks that will consume about one hour of your time. You can reach this by following the road towards Machu Picchu as to avoid walking through the railway tunnel. There is a stair case leading up to the train tracks near the bridge to Machu Picchu.</do>
*<do name="Gardens of Mandor" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" url="http://www.losjardinesdemandor.com" hours="" price="" lat="" long=""> ([http://www.losjardinesdemandor.com Gardens of Mandor]) If you continue further along the tracks towards Hydroelectric at 114.5km you will reach the gardens and waterfall of Mandor, which is private property and requires foreigners to pay S/.10.00 for entry. This is a nice walk with many orchids and some rainforest and trails to a waterfall.</do>[[File:MandorWaterfall.jpg]]  
Going up stream towards Ollantaytambo;
Following the train tracks upstream from Machu Picchu Pueblo towards Ollantaytambo you will see some other ruins and a waterfall.
 
Costs for visiting Aguas Calientes from Cuzco: Current train ticket prices are at Peru Rail's website[http://www.perurail.com/web/tper/jdm_interface.php]. The bus from the town Aguas Calientes up to Machu Picchu costs $14.00 per person for a return trip, or $7 one-way. You can walk to the ruins for free, but it's steep uphill and takes about an hour and a half. You have to buy your ticket for entering the ruins at the Cultural Centre in Aguas Calientes (if you're not doing the whole tour from Cusco with a guide). This ticket costs S/126 per person and is valid for 1 entry over a period of 3 days (so if you've only got one night in Aguas Calientes, are on a budget and arrive with the backpacker train at roughly 11:30am decide if you want to go up to Machu Picchu in the afternoon or early morning). Remember to take water and snacks with you as the snacks available at the ruins are insanely expensive.
==Buy==
==Eat==
 
Warning: Aguas Calientes is in the nastiest tradition of tourist towns. Be prepared for inflated prices, incorrectly calculated bills, and all the rest. A common ploy is to have a 15 sol menu del dia. When your bill is brought, suddenly it is 10-15% more than advertised due to the "tax" and "servicio". This is fairly easy to avoid if you are aware of it - when the tout is inviting you into the restaurant, he or she will name a price. Agree the price with them, and say, "No tax, no servicio, no nada mas." When they bring the bill, you often have to remind them of this agreement, but there is usually no problem if it is agreed up front. The waiter will tell you he earns no wages, and the service charge is his only pay. It is a lie. Only ever pay what is advertised.
The town is full of pizza restaurants, which are a safe option. Menu Hoy or Todays Menu is usually S/.10.00 - S/.15.00 and depending on where you go will be something along the lines of -
Indio Feliz (Happy Indian) is a nice French restaurant for those willing to spend a bit more than at the other places. Meals will cost about 30 soles here plus drinks but the food is outstanding. There is a also a 50-soles prix fixe menu that provides three courses is good value. The restaurant is owned by a Frenchman and his Peruvian wife, who are both very friendly.
Every restaurant has an advertising guy whom will give you a business card and their name - it can get quite annoying as there are many restaurants whom who will try to lure you into their establishment. The ad man will take you to the bar/restaurant and seat you and for this they'll get a 10% tax added to your final bill and then if the service was good you'll want to tip the normal 10% of the bill. You'll end up tipping 20%. One could see it as creating jobs... yet annoying.(See solution for it above - agree "no tax, no servicio, no nada mas" when the price is quoted, before sitting down.)
There are Chifas, the Peruvian version of Chinese restaurants, everywhere and make good options after a day of hiking.
 
There are two cafes outside the entrance to Machu Picchu that have decent cafe-style food and are surprisingly reasonable.
*<eat name="La Boulangerie de Paris" alt="" address="Jr Sinchi Roca" directions="" phone="00 51 (0)84 797 798" url="http://www.laboulangeriedeparis.net" hours="7am-9pm" price="1 to 6 US$" lat="" long="">La Boulangerie de Paris is a french bakery / pastry that offers sandwiches baguette (starting at 2 US$), croissants, chocolate croissant, pastries (apple pie, lemon pie, carrot cake...) and cuisine dishes (lasagnas, vegetables quiche...). Run by 3 french guys, it's a lovely place where one can enjoy an excellent pastry before taking the train (good cofee and home made chocolate) or choose a typical french breaded sandwich to take to Machu Picchu (put it in your backpack before entering the site)
Everything is home made and cooked by a french Chef and his team in Aguas Calientes.</eat>
 
==Drink==
Many bars try to lure in customers with 4 for 1 happy hours lasting the whole evening. Beware that the price is fourfold of the normal prices in Cuzco. These "four" cocktails are also each about the size of one normal-priced cocktail. It is often not a terrible deal, but it is not truly four for one.
Signs warn that it is not allowed to sell and/or consume alcoholic beverages after 11pm. However, it's not too hard to find a place to drink some beers after this time.
==Sleep==
There are many sleeping options in Aguas Calientes. There is one very expensive hotel right next to the [[Machu Picchu]] entrance.
 {{sleeppricerange|budget|midrange|splurge}}===Budget===* '''<sleep name="Hostel Amaru''' " alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="">has a large Anaconda skin on the wall in the cafe downstairs, there is also a bar, a billiard table and internet access downstairs, the staff are very friendly and helpful, this hostel is great if your you're on a budget and is just meters from the hot springs.</sleep> * <see name="Hotel Los Caminantes" alt="" address="Avenida Imperio de los Incas 140" directions="" phone="+51 84 21-1007" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="">Has 28 rooms, doesn'''Hostal John''' charges 10 soles ppt accept credit cards. - but there are a couple </see> * <sleep name="Camping Municipal" alt="" address="" directions="next to the bridge on the road to Machu Picchu" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="S/15 per tent"></sleep> * <sleep name="Hostel Continental" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="">A nice hostel near the end of the train tracks on the far side of hotels at this pricethe hot springs. Very reasonably priced and quite well kept.</sleep> * '''<sleep name="Hostal Joe''' " alt="" address="" directions="across the street from Hostal John, has friendly staff and " phone="+51 84 38-3512" email="" fax="" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="double/treble rooms for S/35-50 soles">has friendly staff. The street is quiet without bars or major foot traffic. They will keep your bags securely until you take the train at night.Pickup from the train station</sleep> * <sleep name="Hostal John" alt="" address="Calle Chaska T'''ika C-7 Urb. Las Orquideas." directions="" phone="+51 84 78-5065, +51 84 974-711-092" email="" fax="" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="S/10 per person">there are a couple of hotels at this price.</sleep> * <sleep name="Hostal Sol de Oro" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="S/35 for a double room">More of a hotel than a hostal. Quiet and clean. Private bathrooms with hot showers and good water pressure.</sleep> * <sleep name="Supertramp Hostel''' " alt="" address="" directions="" phone="+51 84 79- 1224" email="[email protected]" fax="" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="dorms start at $10">A welcoming new hostel with comfortable dorms and private rooms. They will meet you at the train station upon arrival. You can hang out in the common areas and use the facilities while you wait for your train, and they will provide early morning wake up calls and breakfasts. Dorms start at $10. reservations: ''[email protected], phone 51-84-791224.''</sleep>* '''Hotel Los Caminantes''' - Avenida Imperio de los Incas 140. +51 8421-1007. Has 28 rooms, doesn't accept credit cards.* '''Hostal Sol de Oro''' - Calle Chaska T'ika C-7 Urb. Las Orquideas. 084-785065, 084-974711092. More of a hotel than a hostal. Quiet and clean. Private bathrooms with hot showers and good water pressure. 35S/night for a double room===Midrange===* '''<sleep name="Gringo Bill's''' - " alt="" address="Colla Raymi 104 (" directions="on the Plaza de Armas). " phone="+ 51 84 21 -1046 (+51 842484 24-1545 for reservations) * '''Wiracocha Inn''' - Calle Wiracocha S" email="" fax="" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price=""></N 084-211088 [email protected]ú.com. Clean rooms, friendly owners, fair prices, and the river will lull you to sleep every night. You can also leave bags here while exploring the ruins.> * '''Camping Municipal''' charges 15 soles per tent. It's next to <sleep name="Hotel El Tumi" alt="" address="" directions="a block or two up the bridge on the road to Machu Picchu.*'''Hostel Continental''' A hill from Chez Maggy restaurant" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="">nice hostel near the end of the train tracks on the far side of the rooms, good hot springsshowers, friendly staff. Very reasonably priced and quite well kept. *'''Inka Terra''' (1-800-442-5042 from USA; +1 511-610-0410 from Peru A bit pricey during high season, [mailto:[email protected]]) is but a more expensive hotel, prices from $300 to $700 per night. It is the money-making branch of the bargain if it'''Inkaterra Foundation''' [http://wwws low season.ita-peru.org</], a nature and culture preservation organization working since 1975. It is like a small Andean town built into the mountainside and has one of the largest and most varied orchid collections in the world. There are all kinds of small birds. In a very private location, only for registered guests, and has received several international awards.sleep> *<sleep name="Hostal Varayoc" alt="" address="Imperio de los Incas 114" directions="above an internet cafe" phone="" urlemail="[email protected]" checkin="" checkout="" price="From $20 USD for a single to $45 USD for a triple" lat="" long="">basic, clean rooms with hot showers on main drag across bridge from train station. From $20 USD for a single to $45 USD for a triple, Price includes simple breakfast. Friendly staff.</sleep>* '''Hotel El Tumi''' a block or two up the hill from Chez Maggy restaurant, nice rooms, good hot showers, friendly staff. A bit pricey during high season, but a bargain if it's low season.*<sleep name="Rupa Wasi" alt="Treehouse" address="Huanacaure 180" directions="one block from main plaza" phone="+51-84-242760" email="[email protected]" fax="" url="http://www.rupawasi.net/ingles/index.html" checkin="" checkout="" price="$69" lat="" long="">Beautiful place on the hill done in tasteful modern woods. Opt for the upper rooms for a nice view. Restaurant truly has best food in townon premises serves a fusion of different cuisine styles - Italian, Asian, Andean and Peruvian - using organic ingredients, and offers fun cooking lessons with Bruno, the head chef.</sleep> * <sleep name="Wiracocha Inn" alt="" address="Calle Wiracocha s/n" directions="" phone="+51 84 21-1088" email="[email protected]ú.com" fax="" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="">Clean rooms, friendly owners, fair prices, and the river will lull you to sleep every night. You can also leave bags here while exploring the ruins.</sleep> ===Splurge===* <sleep name="Inka Terra" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="+51 1 610-0410 (+1 800 442-5042 from USA)" email="[email protected]" fax="" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="$300 to $700 per night">It is the money-making branch of the '''Inkaterra Foundation''' [http://www.ita-peru.org/], a nature and culture preservation organization working since 1975. It is like a small Andean town built into the mountainside and has one of the largest and most varied orchid collections in the world. There are all kinds of small birds. In a very private location, only for registered guests, and has received several international awards.</sleep>
==Contact==
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