Posted by Vi Warkentin on
Aguas Calientes (the name was changed to Machu Picchu Town in 1998) - the small town nearest the Machu Picchu ruins which are about six kms. or a 20 minute bus ride away. If you want to see the ruins, you can either hike there on the Inca Trail (2 or 4 day option) or take a bus from Aguas Calientes dedicated solely for tourists or you can hike up from this tiny town along the switchback road and mountain paths which lead up to Machu Picchu - about a 1.5-2 hour hike, I’m told.
To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the rediscovery of the Lost City of the Incas by Hiram Bingham, Aguas Calientes is getting a facelift this year. The Peruvian Government has called 2011 the Centenary of Machu Picchu for the World and is promising assistance for the upcoming celebrations and events to take place at the Inca Ruins and nearby Machu Picchu Town’s mayor is calling for a sprucing up and embellishment of his town as they are expecting large crowds of tourists and Peruvians to be coming for this year’s celebrations (ie. new paint on store fronts, better lighting in the streets, upgrading the electricity, street cleaning etc.)
From the market below (left) I took a walk up to this bridge that I’m standing on. The train station which brings the majority of tourists to Machu Picchu Town is also to the left behind the market. This small river that runs through the town is Rio Aguas Calientes. It joins the much larger Urubamba River just past the bridge pictured in the background. Turned around on the bridge (one of a number of bridges crossing the Rio Aguas Calientes in Machu Picchu Town) to look in the opposite direction. Perhaps this construction is a result of last year’s flooding in Feb, 2010 which ripped up parts of Aguas Calientes.Had lunch here at Apu Inti Restaurant Machu PIcchu (right) - just across the bridge from the train station and market on the 2nd level.
Millions of bromeliads cover the mountain sides in this region.
Another look at a spiny whorltail lizard - this one was about 4 inches in size.
Tiny sharp claws.From the bridge by the Apu Inti Restaurant looking towards the bridge from where I took the photos earlier in this post.
Day 6 - Friendly Planet - Amazing Peru Tour