Sarah Slocomb, a Senior Tailomade Regional Specialist at Explore, describes the pleasures of tarrying for a while in some of Peru’s less well-known places.
Aguas Calientes is a small town nestled in a deep gorge, cut off from the rest of the country and only accessible by train from Cusco or via the infamous Inca trail. For this reason, it’s often overlooked as many people use it just as a gateway for visiting Machu Picchu; it’s a shame as, if you have the time to spend even one night there, there are a few hidden gems to discover.
When I visited Peru I had the pleasure of accompanying my guide on a hike to Mandor Falls, which is located around four kilometres along the railway tracks outside of Aguas Calientes. It’s in an area known as Los Jardins de Mandor, home to a variety of birds, butterflies, banana trees and coffee plants as well as some spectacular cloud forest scenery. The falls themselves stand 12 metres high and are a peaceful spot at the end of the trail.
The hike followed a gentle pace on flat terrain and took me around four hours in all there and back; it was the perfect way to spend the morning before catching my train back to Cusco that afternoon and was a great opportunity to see some of the flora and fauna.
Aguas Calientes has a small market if you haven’t had time to visit Pisac market in the Sacred Valley and want to pick up a few souvenirs. There are also several nice restaurants including the Café Inkaterra, which offers a set menu and boasts a riverside location.
Whether you reach Aguas Calientes by train or enter Machu Picchu via the Sun Gate from the Inca Trail, if you would prefer some R&R then I’d highly recommend spending a night at the Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, located in a secluded area on the edge of town. The hotel has beautiful grounds and is set out in the style of an Andean village, making it an ideal place to relax. There’s also a spa and an outdoor swimming pool where you can soak away those aches and pains.
Call me today on 01252 883 184 to arrange your Peru adventure.