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, 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.