The Machu Picchu is situated in Peru, 80km northwest of Cusco and stands 2430 metres above sea level in the middle of a tropical mountain forest. Machu Picchu was declared a Peruvian Historical Sanctuary and also recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1983 and was voted as one of the new seven wonders of the world in a worldwide internet poll. Today, it is the main archaelogical site in America and the integration of the architecture into the surroundings had many consider it one of the most beautiful places in the world. The Machu Picchu covers some 325 square km / 32500ha in a scenic mountainous forest of the Peruvian part of the Andes mountain range.
A scenic view of the Machu Pichu with the surrounding mountains of forest
A closer view into the ancient city
Resident buildings in the site
Machu Picchu was built around 1450 during the peak of the Incan Empire by Emperor Inca Pachakuteq who ruled the empire from 1438 to 1471. It was abandoned by the Incans over 100 years later as a result of the Spanish conquest around the area. Research have shown that there is a possibility most of the inhabitants died from smallpox just before the Spanish army arrived. American explorer Hiram Bingham made public the existance of the Machu Picchu to the outside in 1911 lead by Melchor Arteaga during the Yale Peruvian Expedition.
The Temple of Three Windows
The Temple of the Sun
Close up view of Intihuatana(The Hitching Post of the Sun)
Getting there :
The nearest international airport to Machu Picchu is the Cusco airport(CUZ). Please take note there is no roads leading to Machu Picchu. Reaching there by train or trekking the old Inca trail which is around 39.6 km and begins from Q’oriwayrachina.