Sad to read of the decline of this amazing experience. A wonderful and spiritual place. When we visited in 1997 we were able to spend the night right next to the citadel on the mountain. There were less than 120 visitors in the ruins while we were there. Aguas Calientes was a marvelous sleepy little village with a few rooms offered for rent. A bus took us up the zigzagging mountain road to the hotel. The train from Qosqo was slow and the restroom filthy but that was part of the charm. Climbed neighboring Huayna Picchu and pondered the wonder of it all. While on top we saw representatives of the largest and smallest flying bird species at the same time. A condor and a hummingbird. We were lucky to see this magnificent place before it was ruined by tourists and big business. It is a must see as those that have been there will attest to but you have missed out on the tranquility of Machu Picchu if you did not visit during the twentieth century.