An extra night in Aguas Calientes?
Many people ask: “Should I stay an extra night in Aguas Calientes... and visit Machu Picchu for a second day? Some have dreamed their whole life of visiting Machu Picchu and plan to spend at least two days at the site. For some people its perfect, for others it is way too much…
We provide the following thoughts, comments and advice.
- With our Inca trail and Alternative treks we offer you the option to stay an extra night in Aguas Calientes. You need to advise us that you wish to take this option on booking.
- For the vast majority of people the time that we schedule for Machu Picchu (ie arrival at dawn, a guided tour of two hours followed by their own exploration, leaving mid afternoon) is usually enough.
- As you arrive at dawn at Machu Picchu, many people are also very tired by the middle of the day. (it’s a long day).
- Aguas Calientes village is not particularly inspiring, whereas Cusco city is enjoyable to spend time in.
- For budget travelers, Aguas Calientes is super expensive compared to the rest of Peru.
- If you decide to spend an extra day at Machu Picchu, you have to buy the entry ticket again and also the bus up and down . Although, if you are spending longer at the ruins you might consider walking down, which takes about 1.5 hours and is highly recommended.
- If you do the Classic Inca Trail, you might like to stay in Aguas Calientes on Night 4 of your tour, so you can visit the Hot Springs (approx $3 entry fee) and also have a look around the village.
- For those people who like to reflect, soak in the atmosphere, have a particular interest in ruins or archaeology or history, then you might consider spending the extra time. For example, the ruins are often nearly empty around 3pm as everyone will have descended to Aguas Calientes to go back to Cusco.
- Since Machu Picchu is sometimes covered in clouds it is worth having a second day to increase the chances of being there in clear weather.
- If you do decide to spend a second day at Machu Picchu we have the following suggestions:
- Hike to Inti Punku (if you did an alternative trek and did not pass through it on arrival at Machu Picchu)
- Hike up Huayna Picchu (remember that you have to buy the permits in advance)
- Climb Cerro Machu Picchu
- Visit the Inka Bridge
- Hike up, or down… from the ruins. About 1.5 hours either way.
- Visit Putu Cusi (outside the Sanctuary but provides an awesome view!)
- Have a leisurely lunch at the Tinkuy Restaurant at Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge and then return to the ruins for another view.
Should you decide to spend an extra day at Aguas Calientes, we recommend you consider our Aguas Calientes Upgrade.