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Waterfalls of Machu Picchu
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Waterfall in Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu has many attractions that can be done at the same time. Machu Picchu Pueblo also known as Aguas Calientes, is a tourist district where you can find hotels, restaurants, and other attractions that can allow you a long stay. In this sense, after visiting Machu Picchu and making the whole tour of this incredible Inca citadel, it is possible to spend a few extra days and start new adventures. In case you decide to stay and do not know exactly what to do, an excellent option is to hike to the waterfalls that are located within the Natural Sanctuary of Machu Picchu. This alternative, at the same time, will be an excellent option to appreciate nature and hopefully get to know the flora and fauna of the place.


Machu Picchu Town

Machu Picchu Town is a district that belongs to the province of Urubamba in Cusco – Peru. It is currently one of the most visited districts by different tourists who wish to reach the archaeological site of Machu Picchu. In this sense, this district with time was called Aguas Calientes, is the main destination for those who decide to do tourism or for those who live from this activity. That is merchants, artisans, and other activities that allow tourism. Likewise, we must clarify that there are many destinations called Aguas Calientes, try to emphasize the desire you have to get to Machu Picchu.

There are different ways to get to Machu Picchu Town, the main one is by train. This is the classic and most conventional way to get to this place. However, there are other ways to get there, the other options will include trekking routes where the Inca Trail tour 4 days or some other variant of this tour regulated by the Ministry of Culture will stand out. The other trekking routes are free access, but if someone wishes to do it on their own, they must have experience and a lot of physical preparation. Doing these treks on foot with all the weight of luggage requires excellent preparation, as well as adequate acclimatization.

Whichever way you choose to get to the archaeological site of Machu Picchu, you will be guided to the district in question. This district is a nice place. The activities that can be done are many. In this blog we want to talk about some of these attractions, focusing on natural attractions. The waterfalls, which we will talk about later, require hikes that can arouse the curiosity of any person. Before that, we would like to delve into the rest of the activities that can be done. This is a way for you to get to know the district better and decide to stay a few more days in this beautiful town.


Activities to do in Machu Picchu Town

Aguas Calientes Waterfall
Aguas Calientes Waterfall
 

The attractions you will find in Machu Picchu Town are quite a few. Being a tourist district, it is possible to find everything you need to extend your stay for more days. Normally when traveling to Machu Picchu Town, people only need one day to visit the citadel and return to Cusco. However, they miss other activities, such as enjoying a peaceful place, having a beautiful climate, and especially taking different walks through the lush vegetation of Machu Picchu Town.

In this district, you will find camping sites that are cheaper than a hotel. But you will also find hotels up to 4 stars. So comfort is guaranteed. You will also find places where you can pay by credit card. In case you want or need cash, it is possible to find ATMs of some of the most prestigious national and international banks. In case you are in doubt about what to eat, you will find restaurants of different prices. Also, you can find a food market and some mini-markets.

Practically, you can stay as long as you want in Machu Picchu and get to know more about this beautiful geography. You can visit the archaeological site in just one day. After that, you can visit other destinations, such as climbing the Putucusi mountain if you are willing or enjoy rappelling. It is also possible to visit the site museum and understand more about the importance of Machu Picchu for the history of ancient Peru. There is also the butterfly farm and finally different activities, such as visiting the thermal baths and hiking through the lush vegetation until you reach the waterfalls that we will see below.


The waterfall of Aguas Calientes

This is a destination that has just opened right after the pandemic. It is a new destination, but it has a safe path that allows the visit of those who dare to have a short walk before diving or entering the hot springs. Doing this extra tour is comforting for the moment of tranquility it offers.

  • It is located on the road to the thermal baths. When you get to the hot springs you have to continue on the road for about 10 to 15 minutes more.
  • On the way to these places, you can find a series of carved stones with allusions to Andean mythology.
  • The carved stones are of large dimensions. Some of them reach 3 meters.
  • The hike is easy.
  • This waterfall has a very calm environment ideal for a moment of reflection.
  • It is named Aguas Calientes after the river that also bears that name.
  • The height of this waterfall exceeds 20 meters.
  • You can enter with the same entrance ticket for the thermal baths.
  • You can visit this waterfall before entering the hot springs.
  • On the way and just before reaching the access area, you can rent bathing clothes that will be useful in the thermal baths.


The Allcamayo waterfall

Allcamayo waterfall
This is the Allcamayo waterfall, the highest waterfall in Machu Picchu.
 

It is formed from the flow of the river from which it receives its name. This river descends parallel to the district of Machu Picchu Town. Although the way to get there may seem complicated by the small streets of this district, you will not regret knowing one of the highest waterfalls in the place. In addition to learning more about the work of a plastic artist that will surprise you. Here are the details.

  • It is only 1 kilometer away from the Main Square of Machu Picchu Town.
  • The way to be guided is following the Alcamayo River. Unlike the Aguas Calientes River, it runs parallel to Machu Picchu Town.
  • The road is ascending, but it has some really interesting attractions.
  • The hike is easy to do and does not take long.
  • It is possible to get there in 50 minutes at a regular pace.
  • Once we get into the mountain, if we are lucky we can find a variety of local fauna, such as the famous cock of the rock.
  • An entrance fee is required to enter this lagoon.
  • This ticket is priced at 10 soles, as of the time of this blog.
  • Prices may vary between Peruvians and foreigners.
  • Before reaching the falls, you have to cross the Kamayoq House.
  • This site is owned by the artist Edwin Escalante.
  • In the Kamayoq House, you can find different miniature sculptures that resemble the main Inca constructions.
  • For example, you can find some Machu Picchu temples, some chullpas, and other miniature temples that explore the creativity of the artist.
  • Those who wish may take pictures before continuing. It is also a place where you can rest.
  • Passing this place, we will be a little more than halfway, and from there, we have to walk for 20 minutes more.
  • The waterfall reaches an altitude of 30 meters high. On the way, you can see several waterfalls that descend to shape the Allcamayo River.
  • Arriving at the Alcamayo waterfall we will enjoy the tranquility of the place.


The Mandor waterfall

It is one of the most visited destinations, although, at the same time, it is more distance from the Plaza de Armas of Machu Picchu Town. It also has a natural area that allows you to take a tour and appreciate more of the geography, flora, and fauna of the place. If you have enough time to make the tour you will be lucky to see the emblematic bird of this region and the country, the cock of the rock.

  • The way to get there is by following the trail to reach the archaeological site of Machu Picchu by bus or on foot.
  • That is, you have to follow the Hiram Bingham road.
  • It is located 2.5 kilometers away.
  • The hike is on a flat trail. The only problem you will encounter will be the presence of mosquitoes, so don’t forget your mosquito repellent.
  • You have to continue the hike until you reach the bridge to ascend to the archaeological site.
  • In this case, it will not be necessary to cross the bridge, to reach Mandor you have to follow the train tracks.
  • These rails are the ones that allow the transit of trains from Hidroeléctrica to Machu Picchu Town.
  • It is also the road that connects those who decide to do the route through Hydroelectric but on foot.
  • The entrance fee will vary for locals, nationals, and foreign visitors. The maximum cost is 20 soles.
  • Once at the access gate to Mandor and before reaching the waterfalls, we will cross the gardens.
  • There it will be possible to find a great variety of flora, where orchids and other plants will stand out.
  • Hiking time to the access area is more than an hour.
  • The tour through the gardens can take you up to an hour and thirty minutes. You can contemplate in detail the plants and other attractions.
  • If you are very lucky it is possible to find some birds flying freely through the trees.
  • The waterfall has a height of more than 25 meters, but a fairly strong flow.
  • As in the previous ones, it is possible to bathe, but always with the corresponding care.

 

By Inca Trail Machu Picchu - Last updated, 26-02-2024


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