A Quaint Town at the Base of Machu Picchu
Aguas Calientes is a nice small town for you to call home for a night while you are visiting Machu Picchu. It is located at the base of the site and is the stomping ground where you will find all that you need to visit Machu Picchu. This is the town where you will buy passes to visit Machu Picchu, where you will buy bus tickets to visit the site, and where the train will drop you off at to get to the site. It is also the place where you will find food and relaxation before and after you visit the historic site. I strongly recommend staying here overnight when you decide to visit Machu Picchu. It is a very nice town with great people and is worth the one night visit. This way you won't feel rushed while visiting the site, as well as you will have a nice place to rest at before making the long journey back via train to Cusco.
There's not a lot to say about Machu Piccu since it is such a famous site.
Arriving from the Inca Trail is quite an experience (mostly because you are really pleased to finally arrive).
The first view you have ofthe site is from the Intipunka, or su gate, which is where hundreds of people get to for sunrise to watch the sun appear in the site below.
The architecture is quite amazing, since the Inca stonework is quite well known. the blocks were quarried on the site of Machu Piccu, but the fact that the walls have stood up to earthquakes far better than later colonial buildings show the quailty of the work.
Not all buildings have the quality of stonework as the one in the photo, only those that would have been used for ceremonial purposes
The site is huge, and unfortunately after alking for 4 days you are usually too tired to appreciate it.
If you are really masochistic you can hike down to Aguas Calientes at the end of the day instead of taking the bus, but be careful, it's all by stairs and my knees nearly gave out half way down.