Bienvenidos A Machu Picchu Pueblo – Aguas Calientes
We arrived in Aguas Calientes which is one step closer to Machu Picchu. Everything in Aguas Calientes is within walking distance. There are no vehicles except the train and the buses that take visitors up to the ruins. It’s a very small town nestled in the mountains. The elevation level is lower than the Sacred Valley and I could instantly feel the difference. The heaviness in the air lightened substantially. The weather was tricky. One minute it was cold and within the next minute I was removing layers of clothes immediately. Sunblock was a must because of the elevation. It would rain (sprinkle) in spurts but nothing to be concerned about and even then everything was perfect. This place smelled of delicious vegetation which is not something I’m used to living in a big city.
Next, I felt like I was cattle being herded to the hotel but that was ok. We were a big group and trying to keep all 60+ of us together without stopping to shop was a little difficult; quite comical actually. There were rows and rows of vendors immediately exiting the train station and we had to walk through this market to get to our hotel. The Inka Terra hotel was at the opposite end of the main plaza. After walking through the vendors and down a sidewalk I found myself on a small bridge overlooking a stream of water rushing through beautiful landscape on one side and the train on the other. The sound of the water alone was loud but so therapeutic. Then you add the birds and it’s like tiny piece of paradise. The hotel grounds were lush and the pathways near the front were lined with running water. The rooms were bungalow style with no TV which was great since I never watch TV anyway and why would anyone want to out here. The restaurant at the top of the grounds has outside balcony seating. Eating quinoa pancakes and eggs outside while admiring the beauty of the Andes was precious.
Next stop: Machu Picchu!
I want to also say that some of these photos from this trip are from a collective source of individuals.