Machu Picchu Hot Springs, usually known as Agua Calientes after the town its in, is a day resort in Peru. It’s located a short walk from the town center, welcoming guests year round.
The best part about this hot springs resort is its nature setting surrounding by the lush jungle forest and tall mountains. To reach the town of Aguas Calientes, most people travel by train, starting from Cuzco or Ollantaytambo. Some hike it via guided tours, like the Inca Trail or Salkantay Trail.
The hot springs open early in the morning at 5:00am. For the most peaceful and cleanest experience visit earlier in the day. It stays open until 8:00pm daily.
Hot Springs Pools
There are 7 pools to choose from, all ranging in temperature. Most are lukewarm to cool, though they claim hotter. There is a high wall that separates the resort from the rushing river below. The upper pool closer to the vent has the hottest water.
The stone pools are lined by ceramic tile with a sandy floor. The yellowish-greenish water is murky and it’s not the cleanest. Some reviews say it may be better to avoid this hot spring altogether for health and sanitary reasons. Others claim it’s a bucket list can’t miss item while visiting Machu Picchu. You’ll have to decide. At the least, shower thoroughly after you leave the hot springs, and also before you enter the pools.
The hippie vibe is laid back during the day and turns into more of a party in the evening. There is a bar there that serves beers, cocktails and snacks. Upon entry everyone gets a free locker with attendant for storage.
What to bring:
- Bathing Suit – You can buy in town
- Towel – You can rent or buy in town
- Men’s Flip Flops or Women’s Flip Flops – For the showers and deck area.
While there are not any accommodations at this hot springs, there are plenty in the town of Machu Picchu Pueblo.
From Aguas Calientes – The resort is located just under a kilometer to the northeast of town. It’s a relatively easy uphill hike to reach it. Take the pedestrian road by the Machu Picchu ticket office. You’ll pass thru the town’s shops and restaurants until you near the edge of it when you see some towel rental places. At this point there is the ticket office where you pay an entry to get in.
It takes about 15 minutes to walk there from the town center. If you get lost just ask directions for the banos termales. You can also just follow the Rio Aguas Calientes river northeast to the hot springs.