Peru
Aguas Calientes

Here you’ll find travel reports about Aguas Calientes. Discover travel destinations in Peru of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

84 travelers at this place:

  • Day22

    Aguas Calientes

    April 20 in Peru

    Nachdem wir mit dem Bus in Hidroelectrica angekommen waren, ging es weitere 2 Stunden zu Fuß an den Bahngleisen des Zuges weiter.
    Von hier aus konnte man schon Teile von Machupicchu sehen. Die Stadt wirkt mehr wie Disneyland irgendwo in der Wildnis.
    Eine warme Dusche im Hostel tat verdammt gut nach den 3 Tagen.
    Die 30km Strecke von heute merkt man trotz des überwiegend flachem Gelände sehr.

  • Day12

    Inka Trail - Tag 4

    July 17 in Peru

    Es hieß Abschied zu nehmen. Unsere sieben Chaskis und unser Koch verließen uns, nun waren wir auf uns gestellt, und unseren Guide. Kein 3-Gänge-Menü mehr, kein portables Klo. Dafür führte uns ein letzter schöner Spaziergang mit kleinen Höhen zum Sonnentor und endlich, lange ersehnt, zu Machu Picchu. Es war die Schmerzen wert.

  • Day30

    Die heutige Fahrstrecke beträgt 30 km. Wir benötigen dafür 1,5 Stunden, denn wir fahren ausnahmsweise mit dem Zug. Einem sehr schönen, sehr langsamen und sehr altmodischen Zug. Was Ihr seht: Der Wagon ist dank Panoramascheiben lichtdurchflutet. Was Ihr nicht hören könnt: Rhythmisches Rattern, unterlegt mit Panflötenmusik aus knackenden Lautsprechern ... trotz der grandiosen Umgebung kämpft der halbe Zug damit, die Augen offen zu halten. Man kann es nicht anders sagen: Der Zug ist aus der Zeit gefallen, und das ist herrlich. Nicht zu vergessen: Der Service ist beachtlich. Kleine Trittstufen erleichtern den Einstieg, im Abteil wird später Kaffee, Kokatee und Rübenkuchen gereicht.

    Unser Zielort ist Machu Pichu Pueblo, von dort starten wir morgen früh zum touristischen Mega-Highlight Perus (Südamerikas?): Machu Pichu.
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  • Day19

    Unser Inka Rail

    March 28, 2017 in Peru

    Man oh man - der Weg vom hydro electrica bis nach Agua calientes hatte es ganz schön in sich! 11 km durch den Dschungel entlang der Bahnschienen. Aber erstmal von vorne. Wir starteten heute morgen um 7 von unserem Hotel mit dem Taxi zu einem kleinen Busbahnhof. Kaum ausgestiegen wurden wir sofort vollgequatscht , dass wir doch mit dem kleinen Bus nach Santa Maria fahren sollten. Nagut, dachten wir uns und stiegen ein. Nachdem der Busfahrer nochmal eine Runde gedreht hatte, um den Bus vollzubekommen, starteten wir. 4 1/2 Stunden die Berge herauf und herunter. Zu unserem Erstaunen fuhr der Busfahrer für peruanische Verhältnisse gemäßigt - fast wie in Deutschland 😁 Kaum sind wir in Santa Maria ausgestiegen, da wurde uns schon eine Taxifahrt zum Wasserwerk - von wo aus wir dann gelaufen sind - angeboten. Der Preis war in Ordnung, also sagten wir zu. Wir wurden dann nochmal umdisponiert in ein anderes Auto und saßen dann zu 4. hinten. Passt schon. Die Fahrt ging dann auf einer geschotterten Gebirgsstraße entlang und alles war wie gewohnt - durchgeschüttelt, Kurven geschnitten und Minivans überholt. In Santa Teresa gab es nochmal einen Fahrerwechsel und wir landeten eine halbe Stunde später am Wasserwerk, von wo wir unsere 3 stündige Wanderung begannen. Sehr spannend! Zwischendurch kam uns immer mal der Zug "Peru Rail" entgegen, ansonsten war es eher eintönig. Völlig erschöpft haben wir nun im "supertramp" in einem Hostel eingecheckt und genießen ein kaltes Bier, bevor es morgen früh wieder viele hunderte Stufen aufwärts nach Machu Picchu geht.Read more

  • Day72

    Day 3 - Machu Picchu

    June 13, 2017 in Peru

    Today was our relaxed day before we tackle Machu Picchu. Breakfast wasn't until 8am so we had a lie in which would have been amazing had some marching bands not started practising at 5:30am. I mean seriously, these things follow us everywhere!

    Our morning activity was zip lining which we were both looking forward to. Only 4 of the group braved this though, us, Lukas and the 47 year old Chilean lady. We were very impressed especially as her son and daughter in law sat this one out!

    There were 5 zip lines in total and a bridge that you had to walk across. The first zip line was the 'practice' one as it was one of the shortest. We watched the people in front of us whizz down at super fast speeds and started to get a little nervous. It was really fun though! The second zip line was longer so you had to go across in pairs so that you didn't get stuck in the middle. I was in front so had to hold my arms out to help slow us down whilst Simon had to be the brake which meant he had to put one of his hands on the wire behind us to help slow us down (we had very thick gloves on). Now the third one was the scariest of all. People had mentioned that you had to go upside down on one of them however I hadn't really thought about what upside down actually meant until I saw someone in front of us going down looking like they were hanging from their feet! I was thinking that there is no way that I am going to do that! I manned up and did it though. The scariest bit is when they flip you in the first place before they send you down the line. When you get in the middle though you relax and enjoy it. It felt like it was really long too as you couldn't see where you were going. When I reached the other side, the guy ninja flipped me over on to my feet which was very impressive!

    Before the forth zip line we had to tackle the bridge which is Simons worst nightmare! There were huge gaps between the wooden slats and it was pretty wobbly! He manned up though and walked across. In the middle, the photographer stops you and asks you to pose for pictures, taking your hands off and sitting down. Simon politely told the man that there was no way on this planet that he was taking his hands off and clung on for dear life! The go pro footage most definitely needs to be censored!

    For the forth zip line the guide asked for someone to go first. It looked relatively short in comparison to the other ones and I was stood near him so I volunteered. I was harnessed in and ready to go when he said 'spinning' and spun me round and pushed me off! I was not expecting that!

    The fifth and final zip line was called the big daddy and the longest one yet. Our harnesses were taken off and turned around as we were doing the superman on this one so suspended from our backs! It was a bit scary to start with but was definitely my favourite.

    Our activity for the afternoon was a relatively short 3 hour hike so we jumped in the mini bus and headed off to the starting point. We only had 40 minutes of hiking (of which only 7 were uphill although it was very steep!) before we would be stopping for lunch which was good. En route we stopped off at an Incan sundial that also doubled up as a sacrifice table, of which there is apparently one exactly the same directly East on Machu Picchu. From here we could also catch our first glimpse of Machu Picchu in the distance.

    After lunch we walked alongside the train tracks which was really pretty, catching glimpses of Machu Picchu every now and then. Eventually we arrived in Aguas Calientes which would be our home for the night. For 5 soles (£1.20) you could pay for your bag to be sent to the hostel via taxi so that you didn't have to carry it which me and Si obviously did! We had to wait another hour or so for our bag to arrive so we went for a wander around the town to pick up some snacks for the next day as the tour wouldn't be providing anymore food. When our bags arrived I took what may have been the best shower ever! Unlike the rest of our Machu Picchu trip it was consistently hot and powerful! My body was feeling very sore so it was amazing!

    We went out for dinner in the evening which was very nice and JC handed out our Machu Picchu tickets and briefed us on how things were going to work for our final day.
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  • Day47

    Aguas Calientes - Inka Jungle Trail

    October 12, 2016 in Peru

    We like action and adventures, that's why we booked the "Inka Jungle Trail" to visit Machu Picchu. We made a good deal: 150$ for the whole trip including biking, river rafting and zip lining. In contrast to the best known tours "Inka Trail" and "Salkantay Trail", this trip was more about adventure than hiking:
    - 70 km biking
    - river rafting
    - zip lining
    - 21 km hiking
    - hot springs

    We started our 4 days trip at 8am with a 4h bus ride from Cusco to the mountains. Up there we catched some bikes. It was fun to ride down the mountains. But more fun was when we arrived in Santa Maria, where we went for river rafting. Our guide (15 years old!) made a lot of jokes and funny things with us while rafting. This was some of the highlights of the trip!

    The next day we had to do a 7h walk which was quite exhausting. In the morning the weather was as beautiful as the sun was shining. In the afternoon we weren’t that lucky again, suddenly the weather turned to heavy rain and the whole group was wet all over. The more we appreciated to recover in the hot springs of Santa Teresa. In the evening we took part of the celebration of the 59th anniversary of this town. The whole town was drunken dancing and some of our group too.

    The third day started with zip lining which was quite scary because of the height. After this adventure we had again to walk for several hours along the train track until we finally arrived in Aguas Calientes, our last destination before climbing the Machu Picchu. It is a really nice town where we could spend more than one night, but unfortunately the trip included just one… Last but not least we would like to thank all people of the group which made this trip unforgetable. It was great with you chicos!
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  • Day265

    Machu Picchu, Peru

    July 9, 2017 in Peru

    Lies, waits, crowds and nonsense - my Machu Picchu experience.

    Aguas Calientes is a strange town. It's the closest town to MP and exists solely to serve the tourist (as with every other place along the way). It is surprisingly upmarket; paved streets, concrete footpaths, glass facades, flashy restaurants and boutique hotels fall oddly into place in this isolated riverside town. They even chill their beers which is a testament to how un-peruvian the town has become. Obviously, along with that comes the hustle; hoards of locals with relentless and agressive sales attempts - probably the worst all trip.

    Our guide spent the best part of half an hour trying to find our accommodation. When he finally figured it out, it was at the expense of his sweaty shirt and brow - he had run most of the city trying to find it. It was a stroke of luck that we got a big room with a comfy bed and a hot shower - all much to our delight given the previous night's experience. Of course, just moments before, I was panicking because the hotel staff physically couldn't find our room. Lost it like a set of car keys. But a whole room. In a three storey hotel. With six rooms per floor. Unbelievable.

    Dinner that night was an atrocious display of rice and something followed by a fruit salad which, given it's 95% banana content, has redefined the fruit salad. The company however was great and given that almost the entire group had brought their own dinner prior to this one, it wasn't such an issue. Dinner was followed by a briefing for the next day, with which we were provided tomorrow's box-breakfast - only for Cat and I to have ours taken away again as we weren't officially part of that group (even though we ate the last five meals with them). Following that, power went out in the whole town so we packed up shop and went to bed. I did take a moment (a lengthy moment at that - ask the German kid who was holding the torch) to fill out a tour feedback form with some colourful words which probably shouldn't be repeated.

    Three forty-five triggered a blaring alarm which was quickly snoozed at the expense of a shower. Four am had me at the hostel table awaiting my promised breakfast. I waited five minutes with no activity before leaving to finish preparing for our 4.15 departure. When it finally did come it was bread, jam and tea - a far cry from the colourful box-breakfast prised from my hands the night before.

    Running only a smidgen late we stormed down the hill to join the line at the bridge to the park. At 5am the bridge opened. We streamed across in single file and began ascending the 2000 odd steps to the gate of MP. Under some specific and very heavily emphasised instructions not to be late, Cat and I bolted up the steps in forty-five minutes arriving at the top in a borderline liquid state - at 6am on the dot. We were in the first hundred of the five thousand visitors the UNESCO World Heritage site sees per day. But we couldn't enter without our guide, who arrived a tardy thirty minutes later, at least ten minutes after the last people in our group. When he finally arrived the queue to get through the gates was in full roar and he'd casually picked up another group (an entire group!) to ensure that the process would include as much palava as possible. I was livid and just a camel's straw from ditching the group altogether.

    Fortunately he split the groups into English and Spanish and began what could be described as an average tour of quite an incredible place. But I'll bite my tongue for a moment, pause the rant and let you know why Machu Picchu is frequently beheld as the Holy Grail of Peru.

    For me there are three things that make MP so spectacular: the setting, the scale and the craftsmanship. You could throw in the friendly llamas, dynamic microclimates, and pristine lawns but they're just the icing. MP was constructed on top of a mountain with near vertical 600m drops on most sides amongst a plethora of other peaks in every direction (some more snow capped than others). The views are fantastic and landscape dramatic! MP itself is said to once have been home to 600 Incas in 120 odd buildings (don't quote me on that). But that's just housing. Then there are the temples, the stores, the ceremonial areas and so on. That's inside the city walls. Outside the walls are a myriad of terraces for farming complete with stores, lookouts and a variety of other buildings. And that is just on the hill. Then there's the lookouts which were constructed on the adjacent (and not so adjacent) hills, the Sun Gate and, of course hundreds of kilometres of Inca trail that lead to and from all that, as well as all the way back to Cusco and in numerous other directions which geographically elude me. Bear in mind the Incas don't make trails from mud - these things are entirely made of stone and navigate some incredibly treacherous and inhospitable stretches of cliff. Finally, the craftsmanship at it's best (the temple buildings) is jaw dropping. Solid granite stones are carved and fitted so precisely that the walls could well have been monolithic with the joints drawn on in pen. Not a crack or pinhole in sight, with perfect vertical walls and symmetry that would put even the most obsessive compulsive at ease. With proper understanding, there's so much to appreciate.

    And therein lay the problem. Proper understanding is hard to get when your first language differs from that of your guide. Or when your guide gives you a brief overview then shows you the gate. We did a small loop of just a few important places before being driven out the exit. MP has two one-way circuits which both force you to exit the park. You then get one opportunity to queue up again and re-enter to complete the second loop. If you take a wrong turn or need the bathroom, tough you had your chance. I can understand a one way system but the forced exit has to be the biggest waste of time since airport security. There is also something very un-Inca-like about the pre-selfie hair brush at a world heritage site - as entertaining as that may have been (on more than one occasion). People these days.

    We did take a side trip to the 'Inca bridge' which was really cool. It's suspended off a cliff and was a secret escape for the Incas in an emergency. They had a mechanism to collapse the bridge behind them and prevent the enemy from following. I managed to overhear the blurb on the bridge from a guide who was apparently far more qualified than ours. Oh what it could have been.

    At the end of the day we did enjoy Machu Picchu itself, despite the average guide and vast quantities of tourists. Our day digressed from there however, as we had come to expect. We had a three hour walk back to the van, interrupted only by a 45 minute wait for a burger. We raced to the vans where we ended up waiting another hour in a hot, dusty, mosquito-infested car park for our van. There were about 200 other tourists in the same scenario, witnessing a system so disorganised it was difficult to believe. Finally after a Spanish girl threw her toys out of the cot and gave the head 'organiser' what for (much to our delight) we were on our way. It was the third van we were instructed to board and disembark. The van ride took the best part of seven hours on windy gravel roads and we got to Cusco at 10pm, heavily fatigued. The tour had been a right faff from start to finish and I wouldn't recommend it in a hurry. I especially wouldn't believe a word a tour salesman tells you - ever. Not a single word. The best part? We had a 3am wake up for our Amazon tour the next day. Ugh.

    Rant over.
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  • Day64

    Awake in the early morning (you cannot avoid it if the streets are all cobble stones and people roll carriages up and down in front of your window :-)), Anna re-took to doing yoga. We then ate a fast breakfast in order to still hike up the other ruins at Ollantaytambo. Again, very impressive how the Inca made their corn and grain storage houses cling to the cliffs where usually only falcons sit :-)

    We then took a half-full train (hallelujah to off-season travel ;-)) to Aguas Calientes and spent some time hiking along the river to get away from the busy and touristy town and find a place to pitch Natascha’s and Karl’s tent. The camp ground is actually very conveniently located just by the Urubamba river and at the base of the steps that we need to climb tomorrow morning at 5:00 am...

    The on-site restaurant was unfortunately closed (disadvantages of off-season travel ;-)) but we found good dinner in town and will soon be going to bed so as to be ready for Machu Picchu!
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Aguas Calientes

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