At the upper end, hotels in and around Machu Picchu Pueblo have suddenly gotten very expensive -- more costly than anything comparable in all of Peru. And it's usually only the very fortunate -- those who not only plan far ahead, but who also have very healthy bank accounts -- who have the option of staying at the one upscale hotel next to the ruins. For the rest of us, below the ruins in Aguas Calientes, there are scores of hostales (inns) aimed at the grungy backpacker crowd, a couple of midrange options, and a couple of self-styled ecolodges (one quite upscale, the other more adventurous).
Although a few new hotels have popped up to take advantage of Machu Picchu's ever-expanding popularity, there are growing concerns about the environmental impact of new construction. Indeed, UNESCO, which named the whole Machu Picchu Historical Sanctuary as a World Heritage Site, has threatened to withdraw the honor if Peru doesn't address growth and environmental concerns.
More Places to Crash in Aguas Calientes
Aguas Calientes fits the classic definition of a tourist town: It basically exists to accommodate gringos on their way up to or down from Machu Picchu. The town is little more than two main streets crammed with basic hostels, restaurants, and bars. But in the winter months (June-Aug), it gets very crowded, and finding accommodations can be a little complicated if you're the backpacker type arriving on the fly. In addition to the choices reviewed in this section, you might want to check out the following, which are all pretty decent, clean, and moderately priced (ranging from $10-$35 per person) for a double room with a private bathroom).
- Hostal Don Guiller, Av. Pachacútec 136 (tel. 084/211-128)
- Hostal Ima Sumac, Av. Pachacútec 173 (tel. 084/211-021)
- Hostal La Cabaña, Av. Pachacútec 20 (tel. 084/211-048)
- Hostal Pachacútec, Av. Pachacútec s/n (tel. 084/211-061)
- Hospedaje El Mirador, Av. Pachacútec 135 (tel. 084/211-194)
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.