Machu Picchu is one of the most stunning and awe-inspiring archaeological sites in the world. Located in the Andes Mountains in Peru, it attracts thousands of visitors each year who come to explore the ruins of this ancient Incan city.
With its breathtaking views, fascinating history, and remarkable architecture, Machu Picchu is a must-see destination for anyone traveling to South America.
In this article, we will explore the wonders of Machu Picchu and share some tips for making the most of your visit. Whether you are an adventure seeker or a history buff, Machu Picchu has something to offer everyone.
History of Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu was built by the Incas in the 15th century and was abandoned just over a century later during the Spanish conquest of Peru. It was rediscovered in 1911 by Hiram Bingham, an American explorer, and has since become one of the world’s most famous archaeological sites.
The city was built on a mountain ridge at an altitude of 2,430 meters (7,970 feet) above sea level, and its architecture is a testament to the ingenuity and skill of the Incan people. The site is divided into two main sections: the agricultural area and the urban area.
The agricultural area consists of terraces and fields that were used to grow crops, while the urban area includes temples, palaces, and residential buildings.
Exploring Machu Picchu
The best way to explore Machu Picchu is on foot. There are several hiking trails that lead to the site, including the famous Inca Trail, which takes four days to complete. However, if you prefer a more relaxed experience, you can also take a train to the nearby town of Aguas Calientes and then take a bus up to the site.
Once you arrive at Machu Picchu, you can explore the ruins on your own or hire a guide to take you on a tour. A guide can provide you with valuable insights into the history and culture of the site, as well as point out specific architectural features that you may have missed on your own.
One of the most popular features of Machu Picchu is the Temple of the Sun. This temple is believed to have been used for astronomical observations and is constructed from massive blocks of granite that were quarried from the nearby mountains.
Another must-see feature of Machu Picchu is the Intihuatana Stone. This stone is believed to have been used for religious ceremonies and is carved in such a way that it points directly at the sun during the winter solstice.
Tips for Visiting Machu Picchu
To make the most of your visit to Machu Picchu, it’s important to plan ahead. Here are a few tips to help you prepare for your trip:
1- Book your tickets in advance: Machu Picchu is a popular destination, and tickets can sell out quickly, especially during peak travel season. Be sure to book your tickets well in advance to avoid disappointment.
2- Pack for the weather: The weather in Machu Picchu can be unpredictable, so it’s important to pack for all eventualities. Be sure to bring layers, a waterproof jacket, and comfortable shoes.
3- Stay hydrated: The high altitude can make it easy to become dehydrated, so be sure to drink plenty of water during your visit.
4- Respect the site: Machu Picchu is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it’s important to treat it with respect. Avoid climbing on the ruins or littering, and be sure to follow any instructions given by your guide.