Machu Picchu is located in an isolated region of the Vilcabamba Jungle 4 hours from Cusco – the nearest major city. Although the citadel can be visited in one day, many people choose to extend the trip by spending a night close to the ruins at either a hotel in Aguas Calientes or at the only hotel adjacent to the ruins – the Sanctuary Lodge Hotel.
The citadel of Machu Picchu is perched on the mountain edge, and there is limited space for hotels at the site. All hotels (except the Sanctuary Lodge Hotel) are located on the valley floor in the small town of Aguas Calientes. The rather unique village of Aguas calientes has no roads, and access to the town is made either by train or on foot. Although Machu Picchu is a world class destination, the village of Aguas Calientes is still typically Peruvian and somewhat lacking in services, quality restaurants and general appeal. Land is at a premium in the village and quality hotel developments have been slow in coming forward, creating highly inflated prices for mediocre service.
However, in 2012 we are glad to report that the choice of hotels (although still limited) has greatly improved and there are now a handful of hotels that will really enhance your tour to Peru.
The following hotels are our top recommendations:
The Sanctuary Lodge Hotel (Luxury Hotel) – The only hotel located at the citadel of Machu Picchu is the Sanctuary Lodge Hotel. A night at the luxury hotel will set you back about $1000, but this includes breakfast, lunch and dinner plus a free bar. With access to Machu Picchu in less than 3 minutes, the hotel is perfect for early risers, keen photographers and people who want to have the flexibility to come and go as they like.
The Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel (Luxury Hotel) – This large luxury hotel located in the village of Aguas Calientes is set in 11 acres of jungle and cloud forest, and offers guests a selection of high quality accommodations. There are several rooms types available: from the standard entry level room, through to the Inkaterra Owners Suite which has several bedrooms, a lounge and dining areas with a personal concierge. Guests also have the opportunity to hike the many nature trails within the grounds, take a visit to the tea and coffee plantations and also indulge in the superb onsite spa. This hotel is a must for all Machu Picchu luxury tours.
The Sumaq Hotel (First Class) – The Sumaq hotel is a relative new-comer to Aguas Calientes, and is one of the top three hotels in the village. Located on the road to Machu Picchu, the hotel is conveniently located for access to Machu Picchu, and offers guests a comfortable and first rate stay near Machu Picchu. The hotel really excels in the cuisine department, offering guests incredible fresh fusion cuisine created by some of Peru’s finest chefs.
The Hatuchay Tower Hotel (Tourist Superior) – Probably the most popular hotel in Aguas Calientes by most travel agents, the Hatuchay Tower Hotel offers guests a good hotel level of service with spacious modern accommodations at the right price. This large hotel is also located on the road to Machu Picchu, and shuttle busses to the citadel stop en-route to collect guests. A buffer dinner is included within the price of the room, so guests are sure to enjoy a good meal without having to leave the hotel.
El Mapi Hotel (Tourist Superior) – Owned by the Inkaterra Group of Hotels the El Mapi hotel is one of Aguas Calientes newest hotels (previously the Machu Picchu Inn Hotel). After extensive renovation the hotel El Mapi gave Aguas Calientes a much needed high quality tourist superior class hotel – that offers clean modern, accommodations combined with great service. For our set tours to Peru the El Mapi Hotel is our first choice for clients who are looking for a good level of accommodations, but mindful of their budget.
Andina Luxury (Entry Level) – This small hotel is probably one of the best entry level hotels in Aguas Calientes, and although at the budget end of the scale, a night at the hotel will still set you back more than US$ 100. The hotel is not particularly well located, but offers guests clean and modern accommodation, perfect for a good night’s sleep.
To summarise the choice of Machu Picchu Hotels, we would probably say that hotels are expensive for what you get, however you are visiting one of the World’s top attractions. You will probably want to dig a little deeper and pay a little extra to be guaranteed good accommodations near Machu Picchu. Make sure you book your Peru Vacation early, as hotel capacity is limited around Machu Picchu.
Totally Latin America S.A. is a specialist travel agent in tours to Peru and Latin America. From our offices in Cusco – Peru and Panama City our highly experienced travel experts arrange Peru Vacations for clients from all around the world.