Free Walking Tour Machu Picchu | Self-Guided Tour in Machu Picchu

Free Walking Tour Machu Picchu Pueblo – Self -Guided Tour on Foot

What to do in Machu Picchu Pueblo? This town is known officially as Machu Picchu Pueblo and colloquially called by many locals and tourists as Aguas Calientes sprung up as a base for visitors to Machu Picchu Archeological Complex or the Inca citadel. It’s a vibrant and colourful one-street town firmly ensconced on the ‘Gringo Trail’ and set in an overwhelmingly beautiful natural environment. You can do your own Free Walking Tour Machu Picchu or Self-Guided Tour in Machu Picchu Pueblo(Not the Inca Citadel), below we mention must-do things at the village and outskirts.

Note: The Official name of the small town is Machu Picchu Pueblo and colloquially known by many locals and tourists as Aguas Calientes or Hot Springs due to the existence of natural hot springs which considered an attraction!

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Visit Manuel Chavez Ballon Museum

This museum is located very close to Machu Picchu Pueblo, at the base of the path that leads you to Machu Picchu (The Inca Citadel), about 15 minutes walk from Machu Picchu Pueblo, often unnoticed by many tourists because of its location.

Manuel Chavez Ballon Museum

Note that Professor Manuel Chávez Ballón is the founder of Local Archaeology and is also one of the precursors to establish the college of archaeology at San Antonio Abad University of Cusco.

The museum has a very didactic content through maps and videos, which facilitate a better understanding of how Machu Picchu was built? What was the purpose? How was it built? Who built it, etc.

Manuel Chavez did archaeological studies of this Inca citadel for approximately 30 years, he made many excavations and all he´s found (ceramics, metallurgy and textiles) are nowadays displayed in this museum. Don´t miss it! Visit this place before exploring the Inca city of Machu Picchu so you will have a better understating of Machu Picchu the Inca citadel.

Details about this Museum:


Adults pay 7 USD approx.  | Students pay 4 USD approx., bring your ID | Please bring local currency


On the road taking to macho Picchu

Opening Hours:

Every day from10am to 4pm, to assure the opening hours and holiday operations please call +511 958194475

Explore “El Jardin Botanico” Museum

Next to this Museum of Manuel Chavez Ballon, there is a botanical garden has been implemented where you can see an average of 100 out of the 420 species of orchids found at the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu.


Nevertheless, you won´t only see orchids at this botanical museum but also different varieties of plants displayed in 1600 square meters.


Take a look to the most exotic orchids like Waqanki(the is Quechua language and means “you will cry”), don´t take it literally, locals call it so because they are tear-shaped flowers, therefore these orchids are considered as the most beautiful ones in the world!

Details of this Museum


This botanical museum is part of Manuel Chavez Museum, therefore you don´t pay any extra money for this botanical garden.


On the road taking to Machu Picchu, next to Manuel Chavez Museum

Opening Hours:

Every day from10am to 4pm, to assure the opening hours and holiday operations please call +511 958194475

Visit “Wasi Pillpi” or the Butterfly House

The Butterfly farm is located on the road out to the Manuel Chavez Ballon Museum just before the Municipal campground and a 20min walk from Machu Picchu Pueblo. It is definitely not a high-end, super-slick tourist operation but if you want to add a social sense to your travel, you help the small projects like this Butterfly House.

Butterfly Farm

Run by local Machu Picchu resident Leonardo Serrano Gutierrez with the help of volunteers, the project was set up to investigate and conserve 8 species of butterfly found in the area. A butterfly reproduction programme has been put in place and butterflies are released back into nature once they reach maturity so that local butterfly populations increase.

House of Butterfly

The project is clearly under-funded with a shabby and very basic interpretation centre but the main reason for a visit is to see butterflies up close in their various stages of reproduction from larvae to butterfly.  It is a fascinating lesson in nature particularly for kids who will see first-hand where butterflies come from and will learn interesting facts like how dark-coloured butterflies are darker to attract the sun and raise their body temperatures.

Details of this Butterfly Farm


Adults pay 3 USD approx.  | Entry for Kids is Free | Please bring local currency


On the road taking to Machu Picchu, next to Manuel Chavez Museum

Opening Hours:

Every day from8am to 5pm, to assure the opening hours and holiday operations please call +511 973 621 266

Mandor Gardens and Waterfalls

The Gardens of Mandor

If you have a spare morning or afternoon in Aguas Calientes, a visit to the Mandor gardens and waterfalls is an enjoyable way to spend it. Walk for about an hour or so down the railway tracks in the direction of the hydroelectric plant admiring the views of the river and mountains along the way and you will come to a little house where you pay a fee to enter the gardens. From there, it is a 40-minute walk among exotic flora and fauna-including butterflies and rare birds-to the waterfalls. Plan to be gone for around three to four hours; take water and snacks.

Walk to the Mandor Gardens and Waterfall

The trek is easy, safe, and flat and lots of natural oxygen, meaning that it is not like Cusco located at 3400 meters above sea level, the Mandor Gardens and Waterfalls are located at 2400 meters above sea level.

Waterfall of Mador

Details of Gardens and Waterfalls


5 USD approx.  | Please bring local currency


On the road taking to Machu Picchu, next to Manuel Chavez Museum

Opening Hours:

Every day from8am to 5pm, to assure the opening hours and holiday operations please call +511 940 188 155

The Handicraft Market:

Handicraft Market

Next to the train station, you can find the handicraft market of Aguas Calientes; Here you can find souvenirs, jumpers, hats, cardigans and more of all kinds of art typical of this city and region, the prices in most cases are always negotiable!

Baños Termales or Hot Springs

This spot is a must-visit place, especially if you will have overnight, it is also the reason the town became known colloquially as “Aguas Calientes” or Hot springs in English. We recommend this natural hot springs also to all tourists who just arrived at Machu Picchu by taking a trekking tour of 4 or 5days.

Natural Hot Springs

Locals believe that the hot springs have medicinal properties because of the sulphurous mineral content, which comes from the rocky subsoil.

The pools vary between approx. 37 and 45 degrees Celsius, bring swimsuits, sandals, and towels, but if you forgot yours, no problem, you can also rent them at the same place.

Details of Hot Springs


Foreigners pay 7 USD approx.  | Peruvians pay 4 USD approx. | Please bring local currency


It is located at approx.  10 min walk from the town!

Opening Hours:

Every day from 5am to 8pm

Putucusi or the Happy Mountain

It is one of the mountains that surround Machu Picchu citadel, the highest point of the mountain is located at 2,560 meters above sea level, the access to it is very steep so it requires great physical condition, and once you are at the top you can appreciate from distance all the landscape beauty that surrounds Machu Picchu

Putucusi, The Happy Mountain

Along the trek that leads to the top of the mountain, there are many species of birds, insects and, above all, abundant flora such as pisonae trees, alders, ferns and around a hundred species of orchids.

Getting there!

It will take approx. 4 hours trek in total (back and forth), the walk starts in Aguas Calientes town; just follow the train rail towards the ‘Hidroeléctrica’.

Climbing The Happy Mountain

After around 10min walk, you will see a sign indicating the trek to Putucusi, as you climb the mountain you will pass and use a vertical wooden ladder pin on the rocky wall, and next to the ladder, there is a metal rope for you to climb the mountain.

Please Bring:

  • Hiking boots
  • Anti-slip gloves
  • Jacket or poncho for the rain
  • Sunscreen
  • Hat or cap
  • Insect repellent
  • Food and snacks

Details of Putucusi Mountain




Close to Aguas Calientes city

Opening Hours:

All-day long

To Consider:

No need tour guide however we strongly to get one because of SAFETY reasons and if you happen to climb the mountain it is entirely your responsibility.