Machupicchu Pueblo or Aguas Calientes is one of the most touristic towns in all of Peru. The reason is that this small town is only 10 kilometers from the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu. So, to improve the quality of visits for its many tourists, the town authorities created a circuit of stone sculptures on Inca and Andean themes. Learn more about the ‘Crónicas de piedra’ tourist circuit of Aguas Calientes.
- The closest town to Machu Picchu archaeological site
- Its most important tourist attractions
- The stone sculptures in Machu Picchu Pueblo
- Price of the visit
- Schedule of the visit
- Gallery of images
- Recommendations for the visit
- What else to visit in the town of Aguas Calientes?
- Questions and answers about the stone sculptures of Machupicchu Pueblo
Sculpture in Machu Picchu Pueblo
Aguas Calientes is located only 10 kilometers from Machu Picchu (that is why it is also called ‘Machu Picchu pueblo’). This small but beautiful town receives hundreds of tourists every day. For this reason, the authorities arranged the beautification of the place with stone sculptures with Andean themes. Today it is free for everyone to appreciate these 37 stone sculptures created by the best artists of Cusco.
The closest town to Machu Picchu archaeological site
- Machupicchu Pueblo is the closest locality to the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu (just 10 kilometers by roadway).
- Actually the town is called Aguas Calientes. The reason? In the upper part of the town there are some thermal baths that are its greatest tourist attraction (after Machupicchu, of course).
- In Aguas Calientes, about two thousand visitors from different parts of the world arrive every day. Given this, the settlers created hotels, cafes, restaurants, bars and more.
Its most important tourist attractions
These are the most popular tourist attractions in the town of Aguas Calientes:
- Aguas Calientes Thermal Baths – The thermal baths are located in the upper part of town. They have four hot water wells whose temperatures vary from 38ºC. up to 42ºC. The place also includes changing rooms, showers, a bar and a wardrobe. The entrance ticket costs 20 soles for foreigners and 10 soles for Peruvians.
- Machu Picchu Museum – The site museum of Machupicchu ‘Manuel Chávez Ballón’ is located between the town of Aguas Calientes and the archaeological site of Machu Picchu (in the middle of the Hiram Bingham highway). It exhibits ceramic pieces, lithic tools and different objects found in the first excavations in the place at the beginning of the 20th century. From 12 pm to 4 pm, it is free showing the entrance to Machu Picchu.
- The Mandor Waterfalls – About 4 kilometers from the town of Aguas Calientes are the Mandor Gardens, a natural area full of vegetation, flora and fauna from the high jungle of Cusco. In the upper part of the gardens there is a waterfall whose 15-meter waterfall is visited by locals and foreigners. Admission costs 20 soles for foreigners and 10 soles for Peruvians.
- The stone sculptures of Aguas Calientes – To beautify the town of Aguas Calientes, the authorities ordered the construction of 37 stone sculptures that make up the so-called Stone Chronicles circuit. The sculptures were made by artists from Cusco. They all have an Andean theme that attracts the attention of visitors. The tour of the sculptures is free for all.
The stone sculptures in Machu Picchu Pueblo
The stone sculptures of Machupicchu Pueblo were created by Cusco artists as part of a contest in 2017 commemorating the village’s anniversary.
The result was the creation of 37 local granite stone sculptures, all with themes of the Inca worldview.
The most striking sculptures in Aguas Calientes are:
- Mama cocha.
- Lovely heart.
- Ecstasy of Cusi Star.
- Hope for humanity.
- Sculpture couple.
- Sculpture encounters.
- Capacious gift.
- Holy cross.
- Ayllu family.
- Sculpture maternal wisdom.
- Sun disk.
- Kisses of the gods.
- Purification of the Inca.
- Spectacled bear sculpture.
- Siwar was.
- The Lord.
Price of the visit
- The stone sculptures of Machupicchu Pueblo are free for all visitors.
- Most of the sculptures are in the square and main streets of the town.
- Some sculptures are inside the thermal baths of Aguas Calientes (admission 20 soles for tourists foreigners and 10 soles for Peruvian tourists).
Schedule of the visit
- The stone sculptures of Machupicchu Pueblo can be visited at any time of the day as they are part of the main streets and squares of the place.
Recommendations for the visit
Follow the following recommendations if you visit the stone sculptures of Machupicchu Pueblo:
- You can visit the stone sculptures 24 hours a day. The town is very safe. There is surveillance throughout the day.
- The best time to appreciate the stone sculptures is at night. The night lighting with yellow lights provides a spectacular view of the sculptural works.
- Take a camera with you and get the best possible photo of the stone sculptures.
- Do not damage stone sculptures or do graffiti. The authorities of the town can sanction these acts with police reports.
What else to visit in the town of Aguas Calientes?
During your visit to Machupicchu Pueblo (or Aguas Calientes) you can also visit these tourist attractions:
- Aguas Calientes Craft Market – The town’s craft market is located next to the train station. Tourists usually take a souvenir after visiting Machu Picchu.
- Aguas Calientes Waterfalls – The Aguas Calientes waterfalls are inside the town’s thermal baths (20 soles income for foreigners and 10 soles for Peruvians). It offers a waterfall of approximately 10 meters.
- Aguas Calientes Botanical Garden – The Aguas Calientes Botanical Garden is located next to the ‘Manuel Chávez Ballón’ museum. It offers a sample of the diversity of flora in the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu. Admission is free from 12 pm to 4 pm showing the entrance ticket to Machupicchu.
Questions and answers about the stone sculptures of Machupicchu Pueblo
1 What is the ‘Stone Chronicles Circuit’ of Machupicchu?
This circuit is a set of stone sculptures created by local artists to beautify the town of Aguas Calientes. The sculptures have themes of the Andean worldview that are very striking for visitors.
2. How many stone sculptures are there in the town of Aguas Calientes?
In total there are 37 stone sculptures distributed in the main streets and squares of Machupicchu Pueblo.
3. How much does it cost to visit the stone sculptures in Aguas Calientes?
Visiting the ‘Circuito Crónicas de Piedra’ in the town of Aguas Calientes is free for everyone.
4. Where are the stone sculptures?
The stone sculptures are distributed in the main streets and squares of Machupicchu Pueblo. Only a few sculptures are inside the thermal baths of Aguas Calientes.
5. Who created the stone sculptures in Aguas Calientes?
The stone sculptures of Aguas Calientes were created by Peruvian and Cusco artists. The creation was given in 2017 as part of the village anniversary.
6. When is the best time to visit the stone sculptures?
The stone sculptures of Aguas Calientes can be visited at night, when the yellow light beautifully illuminates the artistic works.
7. Is it safe to visit the stone sculptures in Aguas Calientes?
Yes, all the streets and squares of the town of Aguas Calientes are safe. There is also surveillance 24 hours a day. Everything is very safe!
8. What are the most famous stone sculptures of Machupicchu?
The most famous stone sculptures are: ‘Forbidden love’, ‘Pachamama’, ‘Protection of the Apus’ and ‘Taita Inti and God Killa’. All can be freely visited.
9. What are the visiting hours for the stone sculptures?
Because it is located in the streets and squares of Aguas Calientes, the visit to the stone sculptures of the town is free 24 hours a day.
10. What else to see in Aguas Calientes besides the stone sculptures?
In addition to the stone sculptures, in Aguas Calientes you can visit: the thermal baths, the Machupicchu site museum, the Mandor waterfalls and more. Take advantage of your visit!
By Ticket Machu Picchu – Last updated, December 13, 2022