We boarded the train for Machu Picchu at Ollantaytambo. The one hour train ride included views of hikers starting the Inka Trail and some ruins.
Aguas Calientes is the town at the base of the Mount Machu Picchu; the alternate name for the town is Machu Picchu Pueblo. The vast majority of tourists to Machu Picchu arrive in this town via train from Cuzco on a single day trip. The town is named for the mineral baths that are in one of the tributary valleys.
We hiked the mountain Putucusi. It was amazing to watch the vegetation change as we climbed. The hike has several ladders; Kami didn't make it beyond the second ladder. Mark, Kira and Chase climbed 6 more ladders and made it to the saddle. Much to the dismay of Kira and Chase, Mark had some knee trouble and called a halt before reaching the summit and Machu Pichuu overlook.
Aguas Calientes overnighters spend the night at one of several hotels or hostels in the town. There are numerous restaurants - we heard that all but one of them serves Pizza. We spent one night in Aguas Calientes before we headed up the mountain to Machu Picchu. Hatchutay Tower is the mustard yellow building on the river; it had incredible views and was quite peaceful.