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Last updated: 10 February, 2023
Expert travel writer: Alex Robinson

Blending nature (the hotel sits at the base of a rainforest-covered cliff), with modern nurture, this is the Aguas Calientes hotel to base yourself at for that 5.30am bus – guaranteed to get you to Machu Picchu before the crowds. The departure point is minutes from the lobby. So are the town’s best bars and restaurants.

Rooms are decorated in modish off-whites with wall-high glass overlooking the lush surrounds. Public areas covered with living walls of moss and ferns, screened from each other by faux-Inca wattle partitions. There’s a beautiful spa with a heated indoor pool and valley views for tired post-Machu Picchu legs. The bar serves great cocktails.

Surrounding area

Machu Picchu village/Aguas Calientes sits at the base of the mountain where the Machu Picchu ruins are situated. The only way up is by bus (30 minutes) or hike (around 2 hours). The village is tiny, with only a few streets. You could walk across it in ten minutes.

El Mapi sits in the heart of Aguas Calientes. A clear-water mountain river rushes through the village a few metres from the lobby. Restaurants overlook its flow. Slopes covered in wild rainforest rise behind the hotel.

The Machu Picchu ruins bus stop – for that pre-dawn ride to the ruins is less than five minutes’ walk.

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Key facilities

Airport transfers: Not available
Beach: None
Fitness centre
Fitness classes
Golf course
Hot tub
Parking: Not available
Pool (adults only)
Pool (indoor)
Pool (outdoor)
Pool (kids)
Tennis courts
WiFi: Free

Food & drink

All inclusive
Kids menu
Restaurant on-site
Self catering
Additional charge

Room types


Room facilities

Air conditioning
Flat screen TV
Jacuzzi (private)
Pool (private)
Tea & coffee making facilities

Bedding options

2+ bedrooms
3+ beds
Connecting rooms
Rollaway/sofa bed

Bucket list experiences our writer says you must do in this destination, closest first

Hiram Bingham Train

Cusco, Cusco Region, Peru[0.3 miles]

One of the world’s most spectacular train rides, the journey between Cusco and Machu Picchu via the Sacred Valley combines dramatic landscapes and absolute luxury.

Best for ages: 18+ | £550 | 3 hours

Machu Picchu

Aguas Calientes, Cusco Region, Peru[0.3 miles]

The Incas’ magnificent 15th-century mountaintop citadel sprawls across ten hectares of Peruvian cloud forest. Its elaborate architecture comprises ceremonial centres, residential areas and agricultural terraces. Wayna Picchu, the cone-shaped mountain, rises imperiously behind.

Best for ages: 8+ | £28

Hike the Inca Trail

Cusco, Cusco Region, Peru[17 miles]

A once-in-a-lifetime, 4- to 5-day hike through the Andes, retracing ancient trails, combines mountain vistas, cloud forest and subtropical jungle. The finale is incredible – the lost Inca city of Machu Picchu, rising from the misty mountains.

Best for ages: 18+ | £377 | 4-5 days

Destination guides including or relevant to this place to stay



A land of spectacular deserts, high mountains and rainforests that teem with wildlife, Peru is also home to an array of dramatically situated pre-Colombian ruins, including Machu Picchu.

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