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.