Museo de Sitio Manuel Chávez Ballón

Aguas Calientes

This museum has superb information in Spanish and English on the archaeological excavations of Machu Picchu and Inca building methods. Stop here before or after the ruins to get a sense of context (and to enjoy the air-conditioning and soothing music if you’re walking back from the ruins after hours in the sun).

There’s a small botanical garden with orchids outside, down a cool if nerve-testing set of Inca stairs. It’s by Puente Ruinas, at the base of the footpath to Machu Picchu.

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Nearby Aguas Calientes attractions

1. Temple of the Condor

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This ‘temple’ is named for a carving of the head of a condor with rock outcrops as outstretched wings. It is considered the centerpiece of the Prison…

2. Prison Group


At the lower end of this area is the Prison Group, a labyrinthine complex of cells, niches and passageways, positioned both under and above the ground.

3. Ceremonial Baths

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If you head straight into the ruins from the main entry gate, you pass through extensive terracing to a beautiful series of 16 connected ceremonial baths…

4. Royal Tomb

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Below the Temple of the Sun, this almost hidden, natural rock cave was carefully carved by Inca stonemasons. Its use is highly debated; though known as…

5. Temple of the Sun

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Just above and to the left of the ceremonial baths is Machu Picchu’s only round building, a curved and tapering tower of exceptional stonework. This…

6. Central Plaza

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The plaza separates the ceremonial sector from the residential and industrial areas.

7. Machu Picchu Historical Sanctuary

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For many travelers to Peru, a visit to the lost Inca city of Machu Picchu is the whole purpose of their trip. With its awe-inspiring location, it is the…