Breathtaking view of Machu Picchu, ancient Inca city in Peru. Breathtaking view of Machu Picchu, ancient Inca city in Peru.

The Machu Picchu in Cusco, Peru: The Best You Need to Know!

Okay, so you love traveling! Then, I am sure you have already visited many popular destinations, and a lot more will still be there in your bucket list. Right? I want to ask you one thing. Have you ever experienced a heaven-like destination? A place where you can see mountains kissing the clouds, a long-lasting civilization, scenic beauty, and simplicity at its best. Ah! Doesn’t it sound magical? I can tell you about one such amazing place. If you have not yet visited there, I am sure you will rush to book your tickets after reading this article.

Adding to your excitement the place I am talking about is Machu Picchu in Cusco, Peru. Just visit there once to live the best moments of your life. In fact, this has now become the most visited wonderful destination in the world.

Machu Picchu, oh, the name alone evokes a sense of mystique, a whispered secret passed down through the ages. 

Ryan Gelpke, Peruvian Days

Let’s Explore This Wonder Together!

Do you know the massive empire stands amidst a tropical forest on a mountain ridge? There are 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. 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). This means we get a lot to explore and enjoy.

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 Machu Picchu was built and how did they create it?

…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.

Ryan Gelpke, Peruvian Days

I’ll tell you something interesting. 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. Nevertheless, it was stated by experts that the place was able to sustain less than a thousand individuals.

HOW TO GET TO MACHU PICCHU | The Ultimate Travel Guide - Everything You Need to Know Before Visiting

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.  
The 4 day Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu, Peru

These are some places that you must watch and experience on your tour:

  1. Sun Gate
  2. Huayna Picchu
  3. Rainbow Mountain
  4. Machu Picchu Mountain
  5. Temple of the Sun
  6. Intihuatana 
  7. Sacred Rock
  8. Temple of the Condor
  9. Stairway of Fountains

I’ll Tell You Some Interesting Things About Its Rediscovery

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. 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. The excavation raised a conclusion for its abandonment as a lack of water.

Today, Machu has drifted away from isolation and is a tourist hub for millions worldwide. Taking a tour of this mysterious place strikes your touring bucket list of completing 1/7 Wonders of the World!

And Here Are Some Interesting Facts About Machu Picchu

There is so much to tell you about this unique place. So, I thought to summarize all the related facts here.

1. Machu Picchu– The Meaning and the Language

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. However, the evolution of the Quencha language dates earlier than the Inca civilization, and you can find this as a local language throughout Peru.

2. No Construction Material Used Other Than Stone

Well, that’s how Machu Picchu was built with stones half buried in the sand from its foundation without iron, steel, wheels, or animal power. Sounds cool, right? 

3. The Site Glistens at Higher Altitudes Over the Sea Level

Machu Picchu stands above sea level at 2,430 meters 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. To avoid altitude sickness, I suggest you consult a doctor before the trip for any medication. 

4. 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. 

5. 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 ruled over millions between the 1400s-1500s. They 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.  

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. A Land of Unique Boi-Diversity

 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.

Wasn’t that a breathtaking read into the depths of the Machu Picchu expanse? Now it’s time for you to experience a view that doesn’t compare to any of the pictures! 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.

Hiram Bingham

Last Updated on April 29, 2024 by Pragya

Authors

Hephzibah
Pragya
  1. Nature is truly astonishing. Visiting every place of earth is my dream now. And you helped a lot in this regard. I must say that all the necessary information provided for the first time visitor is impressive.
    I love so many things about this piece. It’s thought-provoking, hit the nail on the head and kept me engaged throughout. Thanks for writing this.

  2. I found this article on Machu Picchu truly captivating. Exploring the majestic landscape and ingenious engineering of the Incas is awe-inspiring. The mystery surrounding its abandonment in the 16th century and the lack of a written language to explain its purpose add an intriguing layer to the site’s history. The incorporation of over 700 terraces for agriculture and a sophisticated water distribution system showcases the Incas’ remarkable skills despite limited resources. The formal entrance leading to the famous Inca Trail adds another fascinating dimension to this ancient wonder.

  3. I really enjoyed this detailed article on Machu Pichu. It takes the reader from fun and popular facts, like did it had toilets or not, to Machu Pichu’s history and the lush biodiversity around it. This article is a must-read for tourists planning to visit this ancient wonder with its complex history and breathtaking views.

  4. The details and history explained about this world heritage site is really interesting. It gives a broad idea about this far away place in South America. Author did not forget to mention the current situation in Peru and such information will useful to those who are interested in exploring such sites.

  5. The detailed information about Machu Picchu is fascinating, providing insights into its history, construction, and recent updates. The closure due to civil unrest and subsequent reopening with new regulations reflects the challenges faced in balancing tourism and conservation. The inclusion of FAQs is helpful for anyone planning a visit, offering valuable tips and recommendations. Overall, it’s a comprehensive guide that captures the mystique and wonder of Machu Picchu.

  6. Having read this blog post, I now know the best time to visit Machu Picchu fully. It turns out I should visit it between July and August. Now I know better as I plan my visit to this intriguing place.

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