Aguas Calientes, Peru
|District Capital||1 October 1941|
|• Mayor||Darwin Baca León|
|Elevation||2,040 m (6,690 ft)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (PET)|
Machupicchu or Machupicchu Pueblo, also known as Aguas Calientes, is a location in Peru situated in the Cusco Region, Urubamba Province. It is the seat of the Machupicchu District. Machupicchu lies at the Vilcanota River. It is the closest access point to the historical site of Machu Picchu which is 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) away or about a 1.5 hours walk. There are many hotels and restaurants for tourists, as well as natural hot baths which gave the town its colloquial Spanish name. The baths were destroyed by floods several years ago,[when?] but have been rebuilt.
The village of Machupicchu did not exist until the railroad was built, as it was a center for construction workers. It took off after the railroad opened in 1931 and foreign tourists started arriving to visit the Machu Picchu ruins. It came into existence because enterprising individuals set up businesses serving the tourists, primarily restaurants and small hotels. Not luxurious, and not expensive. Those who wanted luxury and could afford it stayed at the luxury hotel up by the ruins.
Put differently, the village was totally unplanned. It was businesses in buildings on both sides of the tracks (the main line and a siding), thus creating a street of sorts. There is also a small amount of housing for the guides, minibus drivers, employees of the luxury hotel, train employees, and others who provide tourist services. Virtually everything in Machupicchu is directly or indirectly serving tourists. It has no charter, municipal government, or school.
The official name comes from Quechua Machu Pikchu from machu old, old person, pikchu pyramid; mountain; or prominence with a broad base that ends in sharp peaks. The addition of "pueblo" comes from the Spanish word for town. It was formerly called Aguas Calientes meaning "hot waters" or "hot springs".
Settled by a few farm families in 1901, the settlement was transformed into a busy railway worker's camp called Maquinachayoq (possibly from Quechua makina (a borrowing from Spanish máquina) machine / locomotive, train, -cha, -yuq suffixes, "the one with a little machine, locomotive or train", Makinachayuq) during the construction of the railroad through there in the late 1920s. The town was the central hub for worker lodging and their equipment until the railway was completed in 1931.
Machupicchu serves as a terminal for the PeruRail and Inca Rail passenger train service from Cusco. Trains serve locals and tourists arriving from Cusco and Ollantaytambo to visit Machu Picchu. A sheltered souvenir market is adjacent to the train station. Avenue Pachacutec is the main and only thoroughfare of the town, connecting the baths to the town's main square.
There are no cars in the town, as there is no road access. The only motorized transport are the minibuses that take tourists up the mountain to the ruins; they were brought in by train.
The Central Machupicchu Hydroelectric Plant (Hidroelectrica) is nearby at the Urubamba River. It generates about 90 MW for the regions of Cusco, Puno, and Apurímac . It was first constructed between 1958 and 1965 and expanded between 1981 and 1985. The plant was damaged by a landslide on 28 February 1998 and ceased operations until 13 July 2001.
- escale.minedu.gob.pe – UGEL map of the Urubamba Province (Cusco Region)
- spij.minjus.gob.pe Ley 9396 (Law 9396 1 October 1941) (in Spanish): "... El nuevo distrito que se crea por la presente ley se denominará Machupicchu y tendrá por capital la población de este nombre que se ha formado alrededor de la actual Estación de Machupicchu. ..."
- Teofilo Laime Acopa, Diccionario Bilingüe, Iskay simipi yuyay k'ancha, Quechua – Castellano, Castellano – Quechua (Quechua-Spanish dictionary): machu – adj. y s. m. Viejo. Hombre de mucha edad (Úsase también para animales). – machu – s. m. Anciano. Viejo. pikchu – s. Pirámide. Sólido puntiagudo de varias caras. machu pikchu – s. La gran ciudadela pétrea que fue quizá uno de los más grandes monumentos religiosos del incanato, entre el valle del Cusco y la selva virgen (JAL). || Monumento arqueológico situado en el departamento actual del Cusco, junto al río Urubamba, en una cumbre casi inaccesible (JL).
- Municipalidad distrital de Machupicchu, Plan de desarrollo concertado del Distrito de Machupicchu 2011–2020 (in Spanish), p. 12: "... Machupicchu Pueblo mal llamado Aguas Calientes ..." (meaning "... Machupicchu Village, misnamed Aguas Calientes ...")
- "babylon.com". Archived from the original on 10 June 2015. Retrieved 13 September 2013.
- whc.unesco.org/download.cfm?id_document=100776 Report on the reactive monitoring mission to the historic sanctuary of Machu Picchu (Peru), 22 April to 30 April 2007
- "Aguas Calientes History". Archived from the original on 20 February 2012. Retrieved 23 January 2009.
-  Inca Rail]
- (in Spanish) Central Hidroeléctrica Machupicchu Archived 26 June 2007 at the Wayback Machine Empresa de Generación Eléctrica Machupicchu S.A.
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