Have you ever been to the hidden sanctuary, a long-lost civilization in the heart of the Andes where mountains kiss the heavens with clouds weaving their magical tapestry?
Well, it’s the Machu Picchu in Cusco, where you can live the moments, you can’t express through words!
Here’s a glimpse about Machu Picchu from Ryan Gelpke’s Peruvian Days to make your heart’s GPS stick to the place;
Machu Picchu, oh, the name alone evokes a sense of mystique, a whispered secret passed down through the ages.
In another place, he says,
…In this sacred space, time becomes fluid, the boundaries between past and present dissolving. I find myself once again tracing the footsteps of the Inca, their energy palpable in every stone, every carved symbol that adorns the sacred structures.
And now this has become the most visited wonderful destination in the world. So, hop aboard to grab the latest updates from Machu Picchu to your table!
1. What Country is Machu Picchu in?
The massive empire stands amidst a tropical forest on a mountain ridge with emerald terraced gardens and precision stone buildings at 7970 feet in the Southern part of Peru on the Eastern Cordillera. Surrounding it runs the turbulent and windy Urubamba River roaring around 2000 feet below.
It is a dramatic urbanized location that resembles the epitome of power and accomplishment of the Inca empire. The striking part is that the city is architected out of cut stone tightly fitted together such that a knife blade cannot penetrate it even today. Awesome right?
Additionally, the city comprises palace and plaza complexes, temples, homes (probably as ceremonial sites), and a military stronghold (perhaps a retreat for the ruling elites).
However, with such an array of glory and might amidst the mountains, scholars still need to learn why it was abandoned in the 16th century, as the Incas had no written language to elucidate why was Machu Picchu built or the purpose, they used the site for and how did they create it.
Fun Fact: The Southeastern end of the city has a formal entrance that takes you directly to the famous Inca Trail.
Subsequently, the site’s landscape was attributed to the impressive engineering skills of the unlearned Incas without iron, steel or wheels. The walls, buildings, terraces, and ramps are constructed to blend innately with the rock escarpments.
Also, the site had over 700 terraces that preserved soil to promote agriculture and served as a comprehensive water distribution system to conserve water, thereby limiting erosion on steep slopes. Nevertheless, it was stated by experts that the place was able to sustain lesser than a thousand individuals.
Fun Fact: Did you know? The local Indians used these terraces until the arrival of Bingham!
2. What City is Machu Picchu in? Gaining deeper insights
The geographical points of 13° 9’47 “South Latitude and 72° 32′ 44” West show that this place exactly stands in the Urubamba province. The nearest city to the site is Cusco, its capital region that also served as the ancient capital of the Incas, just 130 km away.
The nearest central city is Cusco, the capital region and ancient capital of the Incas. So, if you are planning to take a day trip to visit Machu Picchu, then you can travel only in two ways:
- Train trip: It depends on which train station you depart. From Cusco, it’s 4 hours, and from the Sacred Valley, it can take up to 2 hours. See more here to get your Machu Picchu tickets!
- By Foot: Take a 4-day jungle trek down the famous Inca Trail to reach the Sun gate entrance of Machu Picchu.
3. Excavating the Machu Pichu Historia with Experts
According to history, this place was built around the 1450s and rediscovered in 1911 by Hiram Bingham, a Yale University professor. Melchor Arteaga, a regional Quechua-speaking inhabitant, led him to the ruins of this lost city.
His statement showed the presence of human existence from the mid-15th century to the 16th century. The site’s construction also revealed that it had been a palace complex of the Inca ruler, Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui.
Interestingly, in his 1912 expedition, dozens of skeletons were excavated, most of which belonged to females. And the excavation concluded that it was the monastery for the Virgins of the Sun (an Inca elite group). But in the 21st century, there were skeletal and material remains of various types that showed that Machu Picchu was a royal retreat habitat. And the excavation raised a conclusion for its abandonment as lack of water.
Fun Fact: Did you know? The Indigenous peoples knew about Machu Picchu, which the Spanish Conquerors of Peru didn’t. This aided in its isolation and preservation over centuries!
Today, Machu has drifted away from isolation and is a tourist hub for millions worldwide. And taking a tour of this mysterious place strikes your touring bucket list of completing 1/7 Wonders of the world!
Because the truth is that this place is one of the most significant symbols of the impressive engineering and architecture of the Inca Empire. Although its origin is still under scrutiny by archaeologists, the significance, value and imposing design it conveyed in its time have acquired it a position among the seven wonders of the contemporary world.
And don’t forget to click here to dig into inspiring information and feel the Machu Picchu empire!
4. Little Known Machu Picchu Facts You Must Know
Now it’s time to lift your spirits into the depths of the mythical Machu Picchu in Cusco to discover some Machu Picchu facts that no guide or video can explain! So put it all away and zoom in here to know everything about the Inca civilization at Machu Picchu.
4.1 Machu Picchu? What Does it Mean?
In the native tongue of the Incan language, Quencha, which didn’t have a written form, the word Machu Picchu refers to Old Mountain or Old Peak. This language was also spoken by the peasants who led American explorers to the ruins. But the evolution of the Quencha language dates earlier than the Inca civilization, and you can find this as a local language throughout Peru.
4.2 No Animal and No Machine Construction
Imagine building your own Lego castle in gigantic size. Well, that’s how Machu Picchu was built with stones half buried in the sand from its foundation without iron, steel, wheels, animal power, excavating or shifting every stone piece on top of a mountain in the Sacred Valley! Sounds cool, right?
4.3 Machu Picchu’s Stone Construction was Unique Amidst the Rolling Rocks in an Earthquake
Have you ever wondered how the site could withstand an earthquake? If the site hadn’t resisted it, Machu Picchu, built on two fault lines, would have been a heap of smouldering ruins today.
But thanks to the mortar-free construction that provided the stones with space to bounce and fall back intact into place when occasional earthquakes occur.
4.4 The Site Glistens at Higher Altitudes Over the Sea Level
Machu Picchu stands above sea level at 2,430 metres and is 1000 meters lower than Cusco. So, dip yourself at Aguas Calientes if you’ve just arrived, as the hike to Machu Picchu is strenuous, and you want to avoid catching altitude sickness. So, consult a doctor before the trip for any medication.
4.5 It is a World Heritage Site and a World Wonder
It was in 2007 when the site was listed under the New Seven Wonders of the World. And locals around the site know its existence before being catapulted to the public.
4.6 The Inca Empire had Supremacy Over Pre- Columbian America and Other Countries
As the term suggests, meaning a ‘king’ or ’emperor’, history shows that Incas had ruled over millions between the 1400s-1500s and were the backbone of the Andes and came to an end with the death of emperor Atahualpa (killed in 1533 by the Spanish conquistadors). However, even today, the name bears weight in the modern-day southern American population.
4.7 The Site was Selected to Escape Sand Flies, According to Some Archaeologists
The interrogation for the construction of the site at a higher altitude was resolved by archaeologists who stated that it was because of the sand flies that were common in South America. To escape their transition of leishmaniasis, a face-deforming disease, Machu Picchu was built at a higher altitude where the disease had a lesser chance of survival.
4.8 Were There Toilets in Machu Pichu?
You might get this weird question as this place is situated at a higher altitude. Well, the answer is yes! However, a private toilet facility was for the emperor and not for the people who had shared public accommodation.
4.9 Temples, Temples, and Temples. Why is It So?
The whole empire set up on the mountain was inspired to promote an aura of sacredness. Hence the Incas considered the site sacred and constructed countless temples. You can find one near the emperor’s home called the Sun Temple.
Then a Principal temple consisting of an altar and the Temple of Three Windows, where a large amount of ritually smashed pottery was found before the Incas abandoned Machu Picchu.
4.10 Other Developments were Happening While the Inca Empire was at Its Height
With the Inca regime at its peak in the Andes, Europe experienced a revolution in artistic and technological outcomes, and the Ming Dynasty ruled China. And it was then that Leonardo da Vinci painted the Mona Lisa (1503-1506).
4.11 Machu Picchu was Used as an Astronomical Observatory by the Incas
To know the seasonal changes concerning planting and harvesting, the buildings were built using astronomy. If you step out, you might know the power of astronomy that rules the site. The famous Intihuatana stone found at the site was used as the astrological clock and played a significant role in their ceremonies.
4.12 Not everything at Machu Picchu is History
Apart from history, there is a plethora of unique biodiversity as the site houses over 420 species of birds, 377 species of butterflies, 15 amphibians, and 25 reptiles.
Also, there are over 30 thousand hectares of wooded areas and 370 types of registered flowers thanks to its location between the Andes and the Amazon with the Urubamba River flowing along that has made this possible. Check out here to know more!
Now with such a plethora of rich history, power, and authority, you might ask, ‘Why was Machu Picchu abandoned’? There has not been a clear answer, as Machu Picchu was abandoned even before the Spanish conquistadors ended the Inca empire. Scholars have suggested the conception of a smallpox epidemic without ample evidence. However, the real reason remains mysterious to date.
5.Machu Picchu News Updates 2023
5.1 Machu Picchu Closes…
On January 21, due to the Civil unrest happening in Peru, Machu Picchu was temporarily closed. Violent protests were happening nationwide, leaving many killed and injured.
The protestors even interrupted the train services that transported cargo and people from Cusco to Machu Picchu town. This resulted in the foreclosure of this renowned historical site. Nevertheless, the stranded tourists along Lake Titicaca, the Inca Trail, and Aguas Calientes were rescued and evacuated safely.
The site’s reopening has been under interrogation, with th protests spreading to other parts of Cusco and Lima, frequently blocking roads, disrupting train service, and causing airports to stop service.
So, the Government of Peru has issued warnings to tourists and has its own Tourist Protection Network for national and foreign tourists to travel safely. For days the site has been left lifeless. So, check out the entire news here…
5.2 Machu Picchu is Back Again in February…
From February 14, Machu Picchu is open for tourism with a new set of rules and changes. The primary motive now is to balance tourism and conservation.
So, there are narrower rules and regulations to preserve this sanctuary for future generations and limit the number of tourists to avoid over-tourism. This is to enhance the tourist experience with less crowded trails to organize the incoming tourist groups better.
So, click here to get a glimpse of the changes!
Wasn’t that a breathtaking read into the depths of the Machu Picchu expanse? So, here’s what the first explorer of Machu Picchu Hiram Bingham, says to sum up the place for you;
Few romances can ever surpass that of the granite citadel on top of the beetling precipices of Machu Picchu, the crown of Inca Land.
Now it’s time for you to experience a view that doesn’t compare to any of the pictures!
Which Country Can You Find Machu Picchu?
Machu Picchu is in Peru, situated in the Southern part of America.
What is the Current Age of Machu Picchu?
According to researchers, the Machu Picchu construction likely began around 1450 AD under Inca king Pachacutec’s reign, which makes the archaeological site around 570 years old today.
Why is Machu Picchu famous, and What Was Its Purpose?
It is a new wonder of the world and a UNESCO heritage site in the Andes at 7000 feet above sea level, built by the Incas as a sacred religious site or a royal estate for the Inca elites around the 15th century.
How is the Climate of Machu Picchu?
Located at the Amazon and the Andes intersection, Machu Picchu has a temperate, subtropical climate with warmer days and chillier nights with humidity higher than Cusco and the Sacred Valley.
Which is the Best Time to Visit Machu Picchu?
July to August is the peak season to tour Machu Picchu with advanced reservations. However, if you wish to visit it when the crowds are less, take a rainy season tour between December and February.
What are the Things- To- Do at Machu Picchu?
These are some places that you must watch and experience on your tour:
- Sun Gate
- Huayna Picchu
- Rainbow Mountain
- Machu Picchu Mountain
- Temple of the Sun
- Sacred Rock
- Temple of the Condor
- Stairway of Fountains
How Much Time is Required to Explore Machu Picchu?
Being a mountainous terrain, you should take at least 2 days to take a guided day tour over the site, refresh yourself overnight at Aguas Calientes, and return to Machu Picchu for the trip. This lets you enjoy and even take a hike over the terrain. However, if you plan to reach here on a rainy day, a two-day training is required, especially if it’s stormy on one day.
Don’t forget to follow us here to get some fresh news about the world around you!