Machu Picchu, an ancient city of the Incas, is one of the most visited sites in the world and for a good reason. It’s absolutely breathing! This site should be on your bucket list and here are 20 photos that will inspire you to visit Machu Picchu.
One way to visit Machu Picchu is by hiking the Inca trail, which takes a few days but you will explore the countryside like the ancient tribes did. Plus you will meet friends along the way. You will be walking on paved stone paths through the mountains and you will see other ruins like the citadel Runturakay, before you reach Machu Picchu.
If hiking isn’t the right way for you, don’t worry because you can take the train from Ollantaytambo, and then a bus from Aguas Calientes that will drop you off at Machu Picchu.
When you finally arrive at the site you will be able to walk on the designated paths where you will explore and learn history about this site.
Still to this day historians are unsure what was the purpose of this site, and why it was abandoned. Many scholars speculate that is was a place for the ancient Incas to worship gods, study astrology, and a home of Inca emperors and nobles. One thing is for sure, the site is well hidden in the mountains at 2,300 meters above sea level, and often covered in clouds, which is why when the Spanish invaded Peru they were never able find it. The city was abandoned and left for nature to take over and it was rediscovered by Hiram Bingham, an American explorer and archeologist, in 1911.
Incas were very skilled craftsmen. The entire city was built of massive stones, which had to be transported to the site from the mountain they were chiseled. Like the Great Pyramids, it remains a mystery how the Incas were able to accomplish this. The blocks stacked on top of each other, fit perfectly together without any mortar. They were cut so precisely that in some places you can’t even fit a toothpick between the blocks.
The Incas worshipped the sun, moon, earth, and mountains. They built temples to worship these deities, with the Sun being the most important. The Temple of the Sun at Machu Picchu has the most intricate stonework, but this temple was not only used as a place of worship. The Incas used it to observe the sun and its rotation, which gave them the knowledge to become excellent farmers. Knowledge is power!
The city is surrounded by terraces, where food was grown for the entire community.
Fresh water from the mountains was brought into the city through intricate canals, and was collected at the base of a series of fountains. No other civilization in the world at that time had the knowledge to build anything this great.
The genius of the Inca engineers is used in many modern technologies.
In you want to read more about Peru check out our next article here.