Excerpts from the Lonely Planet – Peru:
Also known as Machu Picchu Pueblo, this town lies in a deep gorge below the ruins, enclosed by towering walls of stone cliff and cloud forest, and divided by two rushing rivers. The location is eye-poppingly gorgeous – that’s the good news.
The bad news is that all travelers to and from Machu Picchu must pass through here, so Aguas Calientes is about as touristy a town as you’ll ever come across. Come prepared for high prices and a sea of touts, keep your eyes on the hills and reflect on how rare it is to be in a town with no car access, and you’ll find a way to love Aguas Calientes.
Many choose to overnight here to avoid being engulfed by the hordes of day-trippers arriving from Cuzco by train each morning. Only those who sleep here or walk the Inca Trail get to catch sunrise at Machu Picchu.
KAPOORS ON THE ROAD