Machu Picchu, Peru
More than 7,000 feet above sea level in the Andes Mountains, Machu Picchu is the most visited tourist destination in Peru. An emblem of the Incan Empire and built approx 1450AD, It was labeled as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983 and was named one of the new 7 Wonders of the World in 2007.
Table of Contents
Machu Picchu is an Incan fortress set high in the Andes Mountains in Peru. It is above the Urubamba River valley. It was built in the 15th century and later abandoned, It is known for its sophisticated dry-stone walls that fuse huge blocks without the use of mortar, intriguing buildings that play astronomical alignments, and panoramic views. Its exact formation remains as a mystery.
When the explorer Hiram Bingham III came across Machu Picchu in 1911, he was searching for a different city, known as Vilcabamba. This was a hidden capital that the Inca had evaded after the Spanish conquistadors arrived in 1532. Over time it became popular as the legendary Lost City of the Inca.
Some Unkown Facts
- Machu Picchu stands for “Old Peak” or “Old Mountain.”
- It is made of more than 150 buildings.
- A compound contains more than 100 separate flights of stairs. Most of the staircases were carved from one slab of stone.
- Many of the stones that were used to build the city were more than 50 pounds, it is believed that no wheels were used to transport these rocks up the mountain. Rather, it is thought that 100’s of men pushed those heavy rocks up the steep mountainside.
- Different theories exist about its purpose—a royal estate and a secret ceremonial center among them.
- The Incas were some of the best architecture in the world. The structures were so well built with a technique called ashlar that not even a knife blade can fit in between stones.
- Machu Picchu was only known locally until Yale Professor Hiram Bingham discovered the site in 1911. His book, The Lost City of the Incas, was based on his findings.
- A long-standing dispute between Peru and Yale University has existed over the artifacts collected by Bingham during his exploration of the site.
- Machu Picchu was an astronomical observatory, and its sacred Intihuatana stone accurately indicates the 2 equinoxes. Twice a year, the sun sets directly over the stone creating no shadow.
- Unfortunately, most cities built by the Inca civilization were destroyed by the Spanish conquest. Machu Picchu was in a hidden location and not found, making it one of the most well-preserved Inca cities and an archeological gem.
- It is not the Lost City of the Inca.
- It’s no stranger to earthquakes.
- Much of the most beautiful stuff is invisible.
- You can walk up to the ruins.
- There is a great, hidden museum that no one goes to.
- There’s more than one peak to climb.
- There’s a secret temple.
- It may have been the end of a pilgrimage.
Best Time to Visit
Temperatures in Machu Picchu in September begin to warm up again. They range between 21˚C/70F during the day and 12˚C/54˚F at night. With much fewer crowds hiking the trails and climbing the mountains, October is considered one of the best months to visit Machu Picchu.
Location Map for Machu Picchu
Activities to Do There
- Hike up to Machu Picchu. …
- See the sunrise from Machu Picchu. …
- See the Temple of the Sun. …
- Find the Intihuatana. …
- Visit Principal Temple. …
- Climb up to the Sun Gate. …
- Climb Huayna Picchu. …
- Visit the Temple of the Moon and the Great Cavern.
Some Nearby Good Hotels With a View
- Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel
- Gringo Bill’s Hotel – Machupicchu
- Hotel Vista Machu Picchu
- Casa del Sol Machupicchu – Boutique Hotel
- Belmond Sanctuary Lodge