The Top 10 Things to See and Do in Aguas Calientes, Peru

Machu Picchu from Putucusi Mountain | © Dimitry B. / Flickr
Machu Picchu from Putucusi Mountain | © Dimitry B. / Flickr
Photo of Harry Stewart
13 December 2017

Pretty much everyone comes to Aguas Calientes for one reason only: to visit the incredible Inca citadel of Machu Picchu. And while this ancient world wonder certainly does take center stage, there are a number of other nearby attractions that are more than worthy of consideration. Here are the top 10 things to see and do here.

Marvel at Machu Picchu

Of course, no trip to Peru would be complete without a visit to this incredible archeological site, so it stands to reason that if you’ve made it to Aguas Calientes, you should probably go check out Machu Picchu.

Machu Picchu, Perú

Climb Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain

Energetic travelers should definitely consider scaling either of these two adjacent hills, both of which provide unparalleled views of the citadel and the surrounding region. Huayna Picchu is the more demanding of the two, requiring an almost vertical climb up an incredibly steep set of stairs. Both are ticketed and have limited availability, so be sure to book in advance.

Huayna Picchu, Perú

Have a great meal and a drink

Again, the quality-to-price ratio is much worse here than in the rest of Peru. Having said that, those willing to splash some cash will find a few excellent restaurants and watering holes around town. The reasonably priced Mapacho Craft Beer & Peruvian Cuisine establishment ticks all the boxes.

Restaurant in Agua Caliente Casino Resort | © Tracie Hall / Flickr

Los Jardines de Mandor

A pleasant three-hour return hike leads to the seldom-visited Los Jardines de Mandor, a beautifully manicured garden with picturesque waterfalls and a swimming hole. With a bit of luck, visitors may even spot the elusive cock of the rock, Peru’s national bird.

Los Jardines de Mandor | © Rodrigo.Argenton / WikiCommons

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