Short mountain road between Aguas Calientes (Spanish for "hot water" or "hot springs"), sometimes referred to as Machupicchu Town, located in Peru on the Urubamba (Vilcanota) River and Machu Picchu, a 15th-century Incasite located at an elevation of 2,430 metres (7,970 ft) above sea level.
The road is 8,9km long. This infamous road is tightly hairpinned and bumped, an exquisite winding mountain drive with sharp and blind curves and hairpin switchbacks leading the traveler over the mountains. The road includes some steep sections, without market central lines, is very narrow, barely wide enough for 2 cars at the same time and it has not protections or guardrails. The surface of the road is asphalt and gravel, and chains or snow tyres can be required anytime.
This road is usually open all year, but during winter months, it can be closed when the access is not cleared of snow. In winter, avalanches and heavy snowfalls can sometimes block some sections of the road and can be extremely dangerous in winter due to frequent patches of ice. Conditions can change quickly and be harsh, particularly during winter.
There are many hotels and restaurants for tourists, as well as natural hot baths, which give the town its name. The baths were destroyed by floods several years ago, but have been rebuilt. The zigzag road, which carries tourist buses to the site from the Urubamba River, is only authorized for allowed vehicles. Hiram Bingham Highway is extremely narrow and made up entirely of switchbacks. Not for the faint of heart. At some points, when 2 buses meet, they have to stop and reverse partway up the hill (on the ‘outside lane’ to get to a spot wide enough for the two buses to pass (barely) one another. The road is dedicated to Hiram Bingham (November 19, 1875 – June 6, 1956), who was an academic, explorer, treasure hunter and politician from the United States.