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introduction

Machu Picchu (English: /ˈmɑːtʃuː ˈpiːktʃuː/ or /ˈpiːtʃuː/, Spanish: [ˈmatʃu ˈpi(k)tʃu]; Quechua: Machu Pikchu [ˈmatʃʊ ˈpɪktʃʊ]).
Is a 15th-century Inca citadel, located in the Eastern Cordillera of southern Peru, on a 2,430-metre (7,970 ft) mountain ridge. It is located in the Cusco Region, Urubamba Province, Machupicchu District, above the Sacred Valley, which is 80 kilometres (50 mi) northwest of Cuzco and through which the Urubamba River flows, cutting through the Cordillera and creating a canyon with a tropical mountain climate.

Most archaeologists believe that Machu Picchu was constructed as an estate for the Inca emperor Pachacuti (1438–1472). Often mistakenly referred to as the “Lost City of the Incas”, it is the most familiar icon of Inca civilization. The Incas built the estate around 1450 but abandoned it a century later at the time of the Spanish conquest. Although known locally, it was not known to the Spanish during the colonial period and remained unknown to the outside world until American historian Hiram Bingham brought it to international attention in 1911.

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etimology

Machu Picchu (like almost all Quechua origin names in the region) is a compound word that comes from 

machu = old
picchu = summit or mountain (in Quechua it is masculine)

Therefore Machupicchu is translated as “Summit or Old mountain”. The famous mountain that is observed in front and appears in the classic views of the place is called Wayna Picchu or “Young Mountain”. Unfortunately the names of origin of the sectors in question have been lost; Machu picchu, Wayna Picchu and other proper names found today are contemporary, apparently ascribed in the colonial era.

history

CONSTRUCTION

Machu Picchu was built starting 1450–1460. Construction appears to date from two great Inca rulers, Pachacutec Inca Yupanqui (1438–1471) and Túpac Inca Yupanqui (1472–1493). There is a consensus among archaeologists that Pachacutec ordered the construction of the royal estate for himself, most likely after a successful military campaign. Though Machu Picchu is considered to be a “royal” estate, surprisingly, it would not have been passed down in the line of succession. Rather it was used for 80 years before being abandoned, seemingly because of the Spanish Conquests in other parts of the Inca Empire. It is possible that most of its inhabitants died from smallpox introduced by travelers before the Spanish conquistadors arrived in the area.

NOWDAYS

At present, it constitutes a National Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu as a whole, protected by the Peruvian government by means of DS 001.81.AA of 1981, which tries to conserve the geological formations and archaeological remains within the Sanctuary in addition to protecting its landscape flora, fauna and beauty. It has an extension of 32,592 hectares. (80,535 acres). The Inca city is located at 13 ° 09’23 “south latitude and 72 ° 32’34” west longitude; at Km 112 of the Qosqo – Quillabamba railroad, known as “Puente Ruinas Station”, at 2000 meters high. From that station vehicles are approached to climb the steep mountain on the “Hiram Bingham” road of about 8 km. and so finally arrive at the most famous Archaeological Group of the country that is at an average height of 2450 meters above sea level. The climate in the sector of the Inkasic city of Machu picchu also has some characteristics that are found throughout the region; Here there are basically only two well-marked seasons: the rainy season between September to April and the drought from May to August. However, when Machu Picchu is found at the beginning of the Amazonian jungle of Cusco, the possibility of having rain or garua is latent at any time of the year; on the hottest days it can still be reached up to 26 ° Celsius [Celsius] (78.8 ° Fahrenheit), while in the coldest dawn of the months of June and July you can have up to -2 ° Celsius (28.4 ° F). Annually there is an average rainfall from 1571 mm. (61 inches) up to 2381 mm. (93 inches); it is obvious that the monthly relative humidity is directly related to rainfall, with an average humidity of 77% in the dry months, up to 91% in the rainy months.

The National Historic Sanctuary of Machu picchu is located on a large granite organic structure baptized by Dr. Isaiah Bowman as the “Batolito de Vilcapampa” that has about 400 km² of outcrop, whose formation dates back to the Paleozoic geological time scale or Lower Primary and would be approximately 250 million years old. The white-gray granite of the Batcaito de Vilcabamba is an intrusive igneous rock (magma cooled deep inside the earth); it is mainly composed, on average by 60% feldspar, 30% quartz, also containing 10% mica; It has an interwoven equi granular texture and it has 6 to 7 ° hardness on the MOHS scale with a resistance of 1200 kg / cm². Similarly, in the region there are other rocks also corresponding to the Lower Paleozoic such as blackboards, quartzites and metamorphic conglomerates that would be between 350 and 450 million years old.

the history of hiram bingham

It is known that who made the scientific discovery of Machu Picchu was Hiram Bingham, an American historian descendant of missionaries born in 1875 in Honolulu, Hawaii; who in 1907 ran the chair of South American History and Geography at Yale University. 

In his condition as professor of specialized history in South America he was appointed delegate of his country to the First Pan American Scientific Congress held in Chile in 1908. 

Previously, in 1906 he had started his activities as an explorer making a tour from Caracas to Bogotá, following Simón’s route Bolivar. Then he followed the old trade route of the colony from Buenos Aires to Lima, arriving in this area of the Andes in 1909; that year he was invited by the prefect of Apurimac Don Juan José Núñez to make an exploration to Choquekirao from Abancay and study what was then believed to be the last capital of the Incas. 

Since the end of the colonial era many myths had been created about the existence of the “treasures of the Incas” that according to tradition had been transported by Manco Inca in his retreat to Willkapanpa (willka = sacred, panpa = plain; its Spanish zed form is Vilcabamba), in such a way that it was common to find avid treasure hunters to reach that last abode of the Incas. That same intention motivated Bingham to study chronicles and still visit Spanish archives and later in 1911 return to Peru in order to study geography, geology and botany, and of course, also to try to find Willkapanpa.

In the Qosqo, Alberto Giesecke, his compatriot and rector of the local University told him that in January 1911 he had made a trip to the Convention Valley invited by the rich landowner Braulio Polo y la Borda, who told him that in the hills in front of Mandor there were old buildings covered by vegetation where cattle were lost. In addition, Giesecke had contacted Melchor Arteaga, a mestizo who leased land in the area that had seen the inkás constructions and promised to take him in the dry season. The information was passed to Bingham and on July 23, 1911, a police officer, Sergeant Carrasco, who accompanied him by order of the Peruvian government, and two members of his expedition, appeared in Mandor. There they found Melchor Arteaga who would be the guide to get to the Incasic city. 

-VILCABAMBA

The next day he woke up with a shower and Arteaga’s initial reluctance was overcome when Bingham offered to pay him a silver sun to climb the ruins through the area where the zigzag road is now. 

After the exhausting ascent, at noon they arrived at a hut where they found Anacleto Alvarez and Toribio Richarte, two humble farmers who, together with their families, lived there for about four years and cultivated the pre-Hispanic terraces. 

After a short break, the peasants provided Bingham with an 8-year-old boy to lead him along with his military escort to the buildings partially covered by the tangled vegetation. This is how Bingham at 35 years of age stumbled upon Machu Picchu; fortuitous event that revealed a great “discovery”. That day, the time it took to explore, take pictures, draw and describe Machu Picchu was about four hours. 

Then he continued with his trip, still reaching Rosaspata, Ñust’a Hisp’ana, Pampaconas and Espiritu Pampa, places that in the end did not impress the explorer much.

Bingham later returned to North America to organize a multidisciplinary expedition and to seek financial support that was granted by Yale University and the National Geographic Society. Back in Peru, in front of Bingham’s request to execute works in Machu Picchu, by decree of October 31, 1912, the Peruvian government authorized him to perform the projected works, also authorizing him according to his fourth article, to freely take out of the country the pieces obtained during their explorations but with the commitment to return them at the simple request of Peru. It was an authorization on behalf of the “international label” that contradicted the current law and did irreparable damage to the cultural heritage of Peru, because those objects taken out in 1912 are still maintained at Yale University. It was in 1912 when the vegetation was cleaned, extensive excavations were made and almost all the graves were found around Machu Picchu. Sometime later, due to the resounding success of Bingham’s publications in the US, it was decided to organize a new expedition for 1914-15. Nor at that time had prior permission to get jobs been obtained, there were serious complaints and strong opposition, so in August 1915 Bingham had to flee Peru. In the end, in 1916 the Peruvian government again authorized the departure of the objects found by that expedition, which were later returned to Peru in 1921.

-MANCO II

According to our history, in 1536 Manco Inca or Manco II began the war against the Spanish invasion by carrying out the famous site of the city where Manco was about to achieve victory. But, after 8 months of fierce war, he was defeated by the peninsular and his allies of ancestral tribes or enemy nations of the Incario; the withdrawal was inevitable and Manko dissolved the bulk of his army so that his soldiers could take care of their families and engage in agriculture. 

Manco Inca withdrew towards Vilcabamba (Willkapanpa) along the Chinchero route, setting that town on fire so that the conquerors that followed him through the Inca Trail would not have shelter or food; He went through Ollantaytambo where he fought a victorious battle over the Spaniards and finally entered the high jungle, establishing his new operations center. 

The bloody war between Incas and invaders continued; Manco was assassinated in 1545 by fugitive Almagristas whom he had graciously received after his defeat and his sentence to the death penalty for having eliminated Francisco Pizarro in Lima and having risen against the established colonial order. 

Manko was succeeded by his son Sayri Tupaq who was persuaded by relatives of the Qosqo City, faithful to the Spanish crown, to agree with the viceroy authority; He traveled to Lima where he met with the Viceroy who granted him some privileges and the Marquesado de Oropesa, which included land from the current districts of Yucay, Urubamba, Maras and Chinchero; apparently satisfied, he built his adobe palace in Yucay but died in 1560 according to the tradition poisoned by Quechuas opposing the pact with the invader. On the death of Sayri Tupaq, his brother Titu Kusi Yupanki assumed power, who in his redoubt of Vilcabamba also received political and religious commissions from Qosqo and Lima to agree with the Viceroy; in 1568 he was baptized christianly with the name of Diego de Castro. At that time.

Titu Kusi died of illness and was later succeeded by his stepbrother, Don Tupaq Amaru, who was quite young and inexperienced and was advised by a group of veterans who saw in the conquerors their implacable enemy and continued the war. 

The Viceroy ordered the capture of the Inca for what he sent to an army of almost 300 soldiers, headed by Martín Hurtado de Arbieto, as captain of the guard was named Martín García Oñaz de Loyola. The invaders arrived in Vilcabamba fighting various battles but the Inca and his family had fled further into the forest, but finally the last Quechua Monarch was captured and taken to the Qosqo with his followers by García Oñaz de Loyola (who later married Beatriz Qoya heiress of the Marquesado de Oropesa and niece of Tupaq Amaru). 

After a summary trial the Inca was sentenced to the death penalty and subsequently beheaded in the great square of the city before the cold gaze of Viceroy Toledo on September 24, 1572; his remains were deposited in the church of Santo Domingo and thus the last man of the Inca dynasty had been removed, after 36 years of war to recover his nation.

In 1911, Hiram Bingham believed that he had found the Vilcabamba of Manco Inca in Machupicchu, which today is false because of knowing the exact location of that city and others recorded in the chronicles. 

On the other hand; At present, he frequently wonders how 150 or 180 Spaniards, the first who arrived here, were so easily able to conquer the Inkasic civilization of 12 to 16 million inhabitants; the truth is that it was not a consequence of the physical strength of the Spaniard or his privileged wisdom, but simply because a fratricidal civil war was taking place here upon the invader’s arrival. 

The Capital of Tawantinsuyo was always the Qosqo, its legitimate monarch was Thupa Kusi Wallpaq known for tradition as Waskar Inka who had a stepbrother named Atawallpa who wanted to usurp power by moving to Tumipampa (Cuenca in present-day Ecuador). 

There Atawallpa was crowned as the new Inka with the purpose of overthrowing his stepbrother Waskar who was arrested in October 1532 after some warfare; later the Spaniards arrived at Peruvian coasts and in November they entered Cajamarca, they seized Atawallpa who, from his prison, ordered to eliminate Waskar and the cusqueños apricots, thus producing the indiscriminate and famous “slaughter of dried apricots” in the Inkasic Capital.

-When was Machu Picchu build and Why?

The Spanish connoisseurs of the facts blamed and prosecuted Atawallpa imposing the death penalty; after eliminating it they marched to the Capital where they were welcomed because they were believed to be avengers of the Qosqo since they had killed their enemy. But in addition, they were considered as gods because they were very different, they had white complexions, beards, guns, horses; and even the Quechuas believed that horse and Spanish were a single entity capable of splitting up or splitting in two. On the other hand it was also believed that they were divinities because there was an old myth that said that the gods of the Inkas should arrive by the sea, exactly as the conquerors did. For all these reasons the conquerors were very well received and welcomed in the capital of the Quechuas, whose inhabitants made them know everything they owned, their palaces, temples, towns and cities; more, at that time nobody spoke about Machu Picchu because as the indications suggest it When was Machu Picchu build and Why? Build in the 1,450 Was a very special and secret city main reason why the Incas protected from all enemies before and after Spanish conquerors arrive to Machu Picchu Peru, or in its defect it was already lost and forgotten. Archaeological evidence indicates a total Spanish absence, there are no influences in ceramics or architecture, or do the idolatry extruders destroyed their temples as it happened in each place known to the peninsular, so it is categorically demonstrated that the Spaniards did not know or arrived at Machu Picchu specially when the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu was overgrown nobody had an idea about the existence of the city.

Due to its location, strategically established for its protection; for the number of temples found here and for their architectural quality; for the small number of “kanchas” or departments for extended families; and due to the multiple characteristics that Machu Picchu presents, it was originally a center of regional power dependent on the Qosqo, that is, a small political and religious capital. It surely served as an abode for the Inca or for a dignitary of the capital with a very high rank and for select nobility who had many privileges and was surrounded by hundreds of servants. Many modern archaeologists and historians state that it was commanded to build and used by the Inka Pachakuteq who was the greatest statesman of the Tawantinsuyo and ruled from 1438. For that assertion the chronological dating given by the radiocarbon or carbon 14 is taken into account, its undoubted architectural style “Inca Imperial”, the predominant pottery, and a couple of ancient chronicles found in Qosqo archives. Archaeological and architectural evidence totally reject the possibility of a pre-Inkasic occupation in this sector.

-ACLLAWASI?

According to the constructions found in this Inkasic city, it is normally estimated that its population at its peak was about a thousand people. The osteology John W. Summer establishes in a last study of the mummies found by the Bingham expedition that there was a relative balance between the male and female population, thus discarding the theory from the study of George Eaton that equivocally indicated that 80% of that population were women and that in Mach Picchu there was an important “Aqllawasi” or house of “Selected Women” among the most beautiful and virtuous, they were considered as wives of the Sun. Many contemporary scholars argue that they were also wives of the Inca, considering that this was the Son of the Sun and therefore a living God; thus, the Inca would have lived on his property, in the company of his wives.

It was normal for the Inca to have hundreds of concubines, for example, as is known according to our history, Wayna Qhapaq (the father of Waskar and Atawallpa) had more than 400 offspring. 

However, his main wife must be a sister of his, because that is how the “solar blood” they possessed according to tradition should be maintained; the heir to the throne must be a son of the Inca and his sister. John Meticulous study also shows that the population of Machu Picchu was made up of ethnically heterogeneous people and that they were not too robust and had no signs of having participated in war activities. 

Rather, its classification fits perfectly with the theory that Machu Picchu was a property of the Inca Pachacuteq, and that the bone remains correspond to the people who were to serve in that enclave. The height of adult men was on average 1.57 meters and women 1.48 m. On the other hand, Verano indicates that there is no unequivocal evidence of syphilis or other similar bacterial disease. However, there are two probable cases of tuberculosis.

-POST OF THE WATCHER

Today, the reasons that led to the depopulation of the Incasic city are unknown; however, some that are framed within a logical framework are hypothesized. It is believed that it was a very bad epidemic that forced to leave the city built in a humid area and with abundance of diverse insects; Even until the first decades of this century, different epidemics used to occur in the area, especially malaria, nowadays fumigants, insecticides and other chemicals are used that have modified health conditions. Another possibility indicates that at the death of the sovereign who ordered the construction and use of the city, it must have been abandoned and closed. The other hypothetical reason argues that once the Antis, enemy nation of the Incario that lived in the jungle arrived at the place where he carried out an indiscriminate killing, then being the abandoned city. The obvious thing is that this inkastic city was closed, abandoned and forgotten until the first years of the present century.

In a methodological way, today, Machu Picchu is divided into two main sectors: the agricultural and the urban. The Agricultural Sector is the first one that is found when entering from the tourist hotel, there are quite extensive artificial agricultural terraces being only some of those that exist in the area since most of them are covered by dense vegetation of the place There are five buildings at the eastern end of the terraces that surely served as housing for the farmers who cultivated the sector; at the upper end of these terraces there is a small room with only 3 walls known as the “Post of the Watcher” built in a strategic place, since from there you have a wide view of the Urubamba Canyon in two different courses, it is also here from where you have the views or classic photographs of Machu Picchu. 

-INTI PUNKU

In the vicinity is the so-called “Funeral Rock” which is a loose patron intentionally placed in the place, carved as an altar with some staircases and a ring, according to some authors served to perform the whole embalming process of dead people including the drying of the mummies; However, that rock also seems to have had some relationship with solar observation since in the winter solstice, sunlight shines precisely towards that rock from Sun Gate “Intipunku” or the “Puerta del Sol” which is the set of constructions towards the east, in the passage or open, at the end of the Inca Trail that is observed bordering the mountain of Machu Picchu. Further south of the “Funerary Rock”, on some terraces is the longest construction of Machu Picchu, it is a “Kallanka” that has 8 access openings in its front wall and 2 in its sides; due to its location near the roads, its dimensions and morphology, it must have been a kind of ” Tambo ” and serve as a shelter for a large group of people; some call that construction “Barracks” and others “Workshops”.

-STREET OF FOUNTAINS

To cross from the agricultural sector to the urban there is a large “Dry Pit” that was built as a barrier between the two sectors; Machu Picchu was a very exclusive city and its select population among the nobility, therefore it had a fairly effective security and protection system. 

Transposing the Dry Pit you enter the Urban Sector ; later on you reach the “Calle de las Fuentes” which contains 16 Liturgical Fountains; In the Inkario water was always considered a special deity, therefore sources and reservoirs were normally used for worship. 

The main fountain is in front of a construction of only three walls that in the Inkasic Architecture is called “Wayrana”, it is assumed that it was a ceremonial center from where the “Willaq Uma” or High Priest had to perform various ceremonies to worship the Water. 

Today, the liquid element no longer runs through the canals simply because the tourist hotel uses it; originally the water was collected from a spring located behind the mountain of Machu Picchu, the canal came to the side of the Inca Trail that leads to Inti punku or Sun Gate.

-TEMPLE OF THE SUN

In the vicinity is the “Temple of the Sun” which was a complex originally quite well protected; it should be noted that in the Inkario only the priests and the Inca could make use of the temples, therefore they remained closed and protected; The common population had mass ceremonies in open places or squares such as Machu Picchu or the Qosqo. The entrance to the Temple of the Sun is through a magnificent double jamb door, which on its inside shows its security system with a stone ring above the lintel where the wooden door should be hung, and the two lithic nails inside small trunks in the two interior jambs where the wooden doors were tied. The Temple of the Sun was built on an immense “in-situ” patron, it has a semicircular plan, its back wall is straight and it is built with stones with a rectangular face and also its joints between stones are perfect, it is of the architectural type “Imperial Inca”

-ROYAL TOMB

Under the “Temple of the Sun” is an interesting grotto that was baptized by Bingham as the “Royal Tomb”; it is argued that the mummy of an Inca or the ruler of Machu Picchu must have been found there; the relationship would be logical: the Inca buried under the Temple of his father the Sun. It is clear that this little cave must have been related to the Ukju Pacha (underground world) and the cult of the dead. Inside the cave there are two trapezoidal niches with protruding stone pegs or pins at the height of the lintels; on the floor there is a Labradors with a “staggered sign”. In the Inkario all the bodies were embalmed in a fetal position with the difference that the mummies of nobles were kept in temples while those of ordinary people buried or accommodated in cemeteries. Inside the complex of the Temple of the Sun, there is also a two-story building known by some as the “Ñusta” Precinct and by others from the “Priest”; due to its location in the complex, it must have had a close relationship with the Temple and was possibly also a dwelling place for the Willaq Uma or High Priest and advisor.

Across the street, in front of the Temple of the Sun, is the ” Royal Group “; it is a classic “kancha” (an apartment for an extended family), it is the only one in the sector and the only one that is quite solid and built with carved stones; There is no doubt that it is the abode of the Inca. The group consists of two large rooms and two small “Wayranas” around a central courtyard. The eastern room is known as the bedroom and in its interior the southern portion is divided with carved stones constituting the “bed”, in that corner the sovereign had to sleep on blankets woven in vicuna wool; At the north end of the room there is a small compartment that tradition has baptized as “hygienic services”, which is unusual because bathrooms are not normally found inside the apartments. The room opposite is known as the “study” of the sovereign; the two small “wayranas” were probably used as a kitchen and workshop. Almost in the middle of the central courtyard is a carved stone that served as a baton or mortar to grind grains and other food. Leaving the Group through its only entry (today there is another exit behind the “studio” that was opened to help the mobility of tourists), in the small and narrow passage, to the right side and about two meters high, you can see a stone with a carved false beam that has a hole in the middle, should have been used to hang ceremonial elements and perhaps an “aríbalo” (classic vessel of the pointed-based Inkario) of “chicha”.

-ROYAL GROUP

Climbing the stone steps even further, you reach the ” Quarry ” or ” Granitic Chaos “ sector where there are amorphous blocks of granite that are allegedly being exploited. It is important to emphasize that all the mountains around the Inkasic city have the same quality of rocks, that is, white-gray granite from the Batcaito de Vilcabamba, therefore the rocks were in place and were not transported from the bottom of the valley as some intended establish. There is in the sector a rock that is partially divided with holes over the natural rib of the rock, that work is not original of the Inkario but simply a sample of the technique used at that time to break rocks (it was done in 1953). When the magma cooled to form the granites there was also a crystallization process so that these rocks always have ribs, faults or natural lines on their surface, these were located by the Quechuas quarries and used to make holes that were then tapped with dry wood that was subsequently wet, thus, using the expansion or expansion of the wet wood, the rocks could be broken. At the beginning of this work, the techniques and tools used in the Inkario to work rocks are explained in detail.

Across the street, in front of the Temple of the Sun, is the ” Royal Group “; it is a classic “kancha” (an apartment for an extended family), it is the only one in the sector and the only one that is quite solid and built with carved stones; There is no doubt that it is the abode of the Inca. The group consists of two large rooms and two small “Wayranas” around a central courtyard. The eastern room is known as the bedroom and in its interior the southern portion is divided with carved stones constituting the “bed”, in that corner the sovereign had to sleep on blankets woven in vicuna wool; At the north end of the room there is a small compartment that tradition has baptized as “hygienic services”, which is unusual because bathrooms are not normally found inside the apartments. The room opposite is known as the “study” of the sovereign; the two small “wayranas” were probably used as a kitchen and workshop. Almost in the middle of the central courtyard is a carved stone that served as a baton or mortar to grind grains and other food. Leaving the Group through its only entry (today there is another exit behind the “studio” that was opened to help the mobility of tourists), in the small and narrow passage, to the right side and about two meters high, you can see a stone with a carved false beam that has a hole in the middle, should have been used to hang ceremonial elements and perhaps an “aríbalo” (classic vessel of the pointed-based Inkario) of “chicha”.

-YACHAYWASI

From the quarry you can continue along the steps to the south-east to reach the sector called the “Superior Group”, the “Main Entrance “, or the ” Yachaywasi “ (school); there are quite a few constructions with walls of the “pirka” type that apparently served the function of public buildings, noting also the presence of “Qolqas” or warehouses. In this sector is the Main Door of Machu Picchu Sanctuary, it was the only means of access by the southeast part of the city that was protected to allow the passage of only its exclusive population; Inside the bay you can also see the classic security system with the lithic ring on the lintel and the nails inside small jambs in the jambs.

To the west of the quarry is the “Sacred Group” or “Sacred Square “, where you can see the “Main Temple” which is a “Wayrana” type temple, that is to say, only three walls that are made of rectangular-faced stones and perfect unions, with the “Inca Imperial” wall type. 

This temple has seven trapezoidal niches in its central wall and five in each of the lateral ones; in front, about ten meters and very close to the “Temple of the Three Windows” is a large partially carved rock that must have been the central column of the Main Temple that supported the ceiling beams, some call that rock “sacrificial altar”. 

At present it is appreciated that the temple in question has its broken bottom wall moving towards the east; Diverse archaeological works showed that it is a displacement as a result of the rain filtration, although some geologists argue that it is the product of a geological fault that crosses the place, also indicating that there is another precisely in the sector of the Temple of the Sun. Today, it is ignored the deity worshiped in that main temple altough some historians agree that it could have been Wiracocha the invisible superior god of the Andean civilization. 

In front of the southern side wall of that temple is a small rocky bump carved in the shape of a rhombus which, in the words of some, is a representation of the Southern Cross, which is not categorically proven. At the north end of the “Sacred Square” is the so-called ” Windows “which is likewise another” Wayrana “and should have had a two-slope roof; its stones are polygonal and comparatively it must have been earlier or less important than the” Main Temple.

-MAIN TEMPLE

“Evidence indicates that that temple must have been originally designed to have five windows; everything seems to indicate that the two extreme windows were boarded up once the Temple was finished. In the central part of what would correspond to the front wall is the column that served as support for the ceiling and on the western side a stone carved with steps representing the classic “staggered sign” which in turn represents the three levels of the Andean world: the “Hanan-Pacha”, the “Kay-Pacha” and the “Ukju-Pacha”.

The existence of this Temple made Bingham believe that he had located the mythical “Tampu-T’oqo” of Pakareqtanpu and that therefore the Inkasic Civilization would have originated here, which today proves false. 

On one of the walls of this temple Bingham found in 1911 the inscription made with charcoal: “Lizárraga 1902”. In front of the “Main Temple” is a room with two entrances and rustic walls of type “pirka” that today is called the “there is a room with two entrances and rustic walls of type “pirka” that today is called the “there is a room with two entrances and rustic walls of type “pirka” that today is called the “Priest’s House “, which is likely due to the architectural contrast present; since the quality of the walls is directly related to the importance of each construction. Behind the” Main Temple “is a small enclosure of fairly well-achieved quality, that due to its location it had to keep close complementary relationship with the Temple; inside, at the bottom of the back wall is an unusual low platform as a seat or stone sofa, the two polygonal blocks on both sides are impressive of the entrance span that have more than 30 angles each. That small enclosure is known as the “Chamber of Ornaments”. 

And still by some with a very Westernized or Catholic mentality as the “Sacristy” from the” Main Temple.”

-INTIHUATANA

From the “Sacred Square”, towards the north-west there are stairs that lead directly to the “Intiwatana” (or Intihuatana) sector, which seen from afar has the shape of an irregular truncated pyramid that Bingham called “Sacred Hill” “It is impressive the way in which all this sector was adapted to the shape of the” in-situ “hill, in its contours there are narrow terraces that are not necessarily agricultural but served to stop erosion and thus protect the” Intiwatana ” or Sun Dial Almost always these narrow terraces were also used as gardens, that is, for ornamental purposes and do not have irrigation systems as in other places; the agricultural terraces of Machu Picchu are in a too humid area resulting in unnecessary water channels; they are identified from this way, according to its function, three types of terraces. Before reaching the high section, on the right side of the steps is a lithic ring carved into a block embedded in the wall that possibly served to place a distinctive or sustained flag of a spear in it, as the indications suggest this was a common practice on platforms of these characteristics. The upper eastern part of the natural formation has been artificially smoothed to be used as a “Usnu”, that is, a special platform from where the dignitaries of Machu Picchu could speak loudly to their people who should be stationed in the main square which is located in the lower part and to the northeast.

The foregoing is facilitated by the location of the platform from where there is no interference and by the loudness that the human voice reaches apparently reflected and amplified when it hits the opposite terraces. In the central part of the formation there are vestiges of buildings of fine finish with the classic trapezoidal openings; here the apparently amorphous live rock also stands out, however, many authors argue that it is a vestige of a Machu Picchu model carved into the rock, since curiously the silhouette of the rock in question has many coincidences with the local geography. At the western end of the formation is the famous carved rock called today “Intiwatana” or Sun Dial its shape is irregular or polygonal and ends in a quasi-cubic polyhedron whose top has signs of having been beaten or modified. Originally, all the faces of that block should have been finely polished possibly with the same characteristics that rock polishes have in Ollantaytambo, that is to say that it had a smooth surface almost like a glass; in addition it had to have other auxiliary elements for its use.

The name of “Intiwatana” to denominate carved stones like this one was released by George Squier in 1877, since that denomination did not it is found in no ancient chronicle; the correct denomination would be “saywa” or “sukhanka” as the chroniclers indicate. “Intiwatana” is translated as “place where the sun is tied”; and today it is argued that when the winter solstice occurred on June 21 (when the Sun is at the furthest point of the earth or vice versa), the “Inti Raymi” (Feast of the Sun) should be carried out the most great celebration of the Inkario; on that date the Quechuas believed that their “Tayta Inti” or Father Sun was abandoning them in such a way that they had to carry out various rituals to ask the Sun not to go further and also symbolically they should tie the Sun in the “Intiwatana”. However, “Intiwatana” could also have another meaning, since “Inti” is “sun” and “Wata” is “year”, so it could be translated as the “place where the year is measured in relation to the sun”. 

The southern angle of the upper polyhedron has an inclination of about 13º,which is also the latitude in which Machu Picchu Peru is, what is surprising is that this inclination helped to fix the spring equinox on September 22, date at which at noon the Sun casts no shadow with the polyhedron. It is unobjectionable that it served as an efficient solar observatory through the measurement of its projected shadows; although it has been speculated enough with that rock calling it “solar clock”, and other names that are not relevant.

The Quechuas did not need to measure the day in hours or minutes, therefore, they did not know how to do it. Many scholars argue that the “Intiwatana” also served as directional milestones in whose characteristics or specific angles the magnetic north and the south can be found, which is true in Q ‘near Qosqo and here in Machu Picchu Trail where two angles of the polyhedron and its base indicate the magnetic north. Astronomers White, Dearborn and Mannheim after meticulous studies establish that from this complex it is possible to have observations of the Pleiades, very important for Andean agriculture and other constellations such as the Southern Cross, Spica – Alpha and Beta Centauro, Vega, Deneb and Altair Local scholars also indicate the relationship of Machu Picchu Sun Dial Intiwatana with a “Ceque” system, that is, an imaginary alignment of observatories and “Waqas” throughout the region, including the surrounding mountains and valleys. In the words of the Valencian archaeologists Valencia and Gibaja, “Dearborn and Mannheim after meticulous studies establish that from this complex it is possible to have observations of the Pleiades, very important for Andean agriculture and other constellations such as the Southern Cross, Spica – Alpha and Beta Centauro, Vega, Deneb and Altair. Local scholars also indicate the relationship of Machu Picchu Intiwatana with a “Ceque” system, that is, an imaginary alignment of observatories and “Waqas” throughout the region, including the surrounding mountains and valleys. In the words of the Valencian archaeologists Valencia and Gibaja, “Dearborn and Mannheim after meticulous studies establish that from this complex it is possible to have observations of the Pleiades, very important for Andean agriculture and other constellations such as the Southern Cross, Spica – Alpha and Beta Centauro, Vega, Deneb and Altair. 

Local scholars also indicate the relationship of Machu Picchu Cusco Intiwatana with a “Ceque” system, that is, an imaginary alignment of observatories and “Waqas” throughout the region, including the surrounding mountains and valleys. In the words of the Valencian archaeologists Valencia and Gibaja, “the relationship of Machu Picchu Intiwatana with a “Ceque” system, that is, an imaginary alignment of observatories and “Waqas” throughout the region, including the surrounding mountains and valleys. In the words of the Valencian archaeologists Valencia and Gibaja, “the relationship of Machu Picchu Intiwatana with a “Ceque” system, that is, an imaginary alignment of observatories and “Waqas” throughout the region, including the surrounding mountains and valleys. In the words of the Valencian archaeologists Valencia and Gibaja, “All these elements affirm the idea that the sculpted rock of the Machu Picchu Intihuatana Sun Dial is a cosmic and ritual axis of great religious and tonic significance, clearly associated with other points, which determine important ceremonial axes in the Inca period . “

-THE SACRED ROCK

Going down the steps to the northwest of the Intiwatana you reach the north end of Machu Picchu History where the whole of the ” Sacred Rock “ is located”; it is a small complex where there are two very similar” wayranas “, facing each other and with” pirka “walls that once served as temples or altars to worship the rock that stands northeast , in the middle of them The “Sacred Rock” is “in-situ” and stands on a pedestal also of stones, its surface is relatively smooth and possibly also finely polished like the Ollantaytambo blocks, plus erosion of 4 or more centuries of abandonment have made its surface polish and even the shape of its silhouette modified.In the Inkasic Religion it is believed that the mountains constitute or possess “apus” or higher spirits considered protectors of men and their peoples;Today the mountains are still the object of worship in the Andean religion. 

Many scholars believe that the “Sacred Rock” is nothing other than the representation of the mountain behind it called “Yanantin”; today the silhouettes of the rock and the mountain are almost coincidental as a result of wear and natural erosion on the rock, but originally they must have been identical. However, some argue that the rock must have had another form, possibly that of a “crouching puma” or a “guinea pig” (guinea pig).

To the north of that set, the road leading to the mountain of Wayna Picchu starts and to the south towards the Main Square of the city.Yanantin “; today the silhouettes of the rock and the mountain are almost coincidental as a result of the wear and natural erosion on the rock, but originally they must have been identical. However, some argue that the rock must have had another form, possibly that of a “puma crouched” or a “cuye” (guinea pig). 

To the north of that set part the road leading to the mountain of Wayna Picchu and south to the Main Square of the city.Yanantin “; today the silhouettes of the rock and the mountain are almost coincidental as a result of the wear and natural erosion on the rock, but originally they must have been identical. However, some argue that the rock must have had another form, possibly that of a “puma crouched” or a “cuye” (guinea pig). 

To the north of that set part the road leading to the mountain of Wayna Picchu and south to the Main Square of the city.To the north of that set, the road leading to the mountain of Wayna Picchu starts and to the south towards the Main Square of the city.Towards the north of that group, the road leading to the mountain of Wayna Picchu starts and to the south towards the Main Square of the city.

-THE MAIN SQUARE

The Main Square of the city is the largest open and flat space that exists in it; it is to the east and at the foot of the “Intiwatana”. It was the place where the popular and mass ceremonies for its population had to be carried out, perhaps also the “Inti Raymi” or Fiesta del Sol as well as in the Main Square of the Qosqo. In the vicinity of the Plaza there are platforms that had no agricultural function but simply served to smooth the land, in the completely irregular topography of Machu Picchu History that was the only way to get flat spaces.

In the eastern part of Machu Picchu Cusco, to the north-east of the Main Square there are many other constructions with walls of type “pirka” (with roughly carved stones and joined with mud mortar); the provision of constructions in the area is more or less complicated including sectors that receive various names such as ” Grupo Alto “, ” Ensemble of the Three Covers”, etc. It is basically constructions that served as departments, warehouses, and other utilitarian purposes. 

To the east of this complex are interesting constructions with diverse altars, semi-underground constructions, carved stones with diverse shapes, etc., on which still there are no deep interpretation studies. In this area there is also an interesting cave that contains a window partially carved in the solid rock called ” Intimachay “studied carefully by Dearborn who argues that from the inside of the cave you can only see 2º of horizon through the window that is aligned with the sunrise on the solstice of December or summer which is the month of “Qhapaq Raymi”. 

The margin of 2º allowed the observation of the solstice for 10 days before and after the event, a period that in the case of a foggy and rainy area such as Machu Picchu is necessary.

-THE GROUP OF MORTARS

Further to the southeast of the previous complex is the so-called “Group of Mortars”, which some call “Industrial District” and also ” Intellectual District”; the architectural quality of its walls indicates that it was of gravitational importance within the city for what Bingham called it” Group of Naivety and Private Garden Group. 

“That was a group apparently quite reserved because it had a double jamb income and inside there are still the trunks of the security system of the door with their respective stone pins. 

From the height of the floor and up to a height of about two meters the walls were manufactured with carved stones, but the upper part was made with stones cruder, this characteristic suggests perhaps a construction in two different stages. In the group there is a room that has two ” mortars “Circular, both of almost the same diameter and carved in the floor on rocks” in-situ “, according to some authors were mortars used to grind various elements for the manufacture of fabrics or ceramics in the sector that was” industrial “, others indicate that were seats for “aríbalos” or pointy-based containers that should have contained “chicha.” 

The corn beer It is even said that they were filled with water to serve as a kind of “mirrors” for astral observation during clear nights, claiming that the absence of redial is because the enclosure was not roofed, which according to the opinion of many modern astronomers seems unlikely, since it is more practical to observe the sky directly and not through mirrors. 

To the south of the previous room is a very interesting construction, these are two identical “wayranas” or rooms with only three walls, which share a single interior wall, instead of their front wall they present a column that should have supported the beams of the ceiling. In the complex there are also some other rooms with the same quality, rocks carved as altars, etc.

-TEMPLE OF THE CONDOR

One of the most fascinating and enigmatic sectors in Machu Picchu is that of the “Condor” which is located south east of the “mortars”. The ” Temple of the Condor ” forms a kind of maze where in its lower and central portion is the ssculpture in an “in-situ” rock with the shape of the head of an Andean Condor that shows its beak, the classic white collar around its neck and its entire body; in the upper part the two rocks that surround it represent its wings, giving the impression of being a condor in an attitude of landing. It is undeniable that this was a sacred place specially built to worship the “Apu Kuntur” that was one of the three sacred animals of the Inkario, as well as the puma and the snake or “Amaru”; therefore its function was strictly religious. 

The Condor was and still is a special deity in the Andes, but the ceremonies that had to be carried out in his honor at the Inkario are unknown. However, today, the Andean people of some remote towns of this part of Peru annually carry out their festivity called “Yawar Fiesta” or “Fiesta de Sangre” (see the chapter on the Andean Condor) in which a living Condor is worshiped in a very peculiar. On the other hand, some indicate that here were the “Jails “of Machu Picchu Sanctuary; according to Bingham. 

It is argued that in this place there were pumas and maybe snakes, so that those who were punished must die inexorably and that once dead the people here descended in addition to Condors other birds of prey to devour the remains of the punished It is indicated that there were two types of punishment and that niches With small holes in the jambs that are behind the left wing of the Condor, they were used for the “handling” of the punished whose hands were tied to the holes in the niches, it should be noted that these niches were covered with a roof. It is further argued that the other higher niches in the back wall that have a small backward vain served for another different punishment: the “sandwich” of the punished, who were introduced and sandwiches in the niches with their faces towards the small vain superior that served to breathe and consume food. In the Inkario, these “prisons” had a complementary function to the “Temple of the Condor”; In addition, due to its location and multiple characteristics, this complex had to fulfill a highly ritual function and not of “prisons”.

Hiram Bingham and his expeditions worked intensively in the archaeological park for a period of 5 years digging practically every square meter in Machupicchu; in its surroundings were ancient tombs and mummies of 174 people always accompanied by their usual objects including clothing, pottery, food, ornaments, etc. At the end of his work, Bingham reported that no precious metal object was found in Machu Picchu, which today is refuted by the widow’s version of Agustín Lizárraga and his descendants who claim that this intrepid young farmer settled in the area before the arrival of Bingham, in his explorations in search of arable land back in the year 1900 he arrived in the lost city using the road that connects from the San Miguel area to the “Sacred Square”. It is indicated that in his successive visits he found in some niches objects of ceramics, stone, gold and silver; objects that were sold to a well-known rich merchant of the Qosqo. Upon the death of her husband in quite “strange” circumstances in 1912, the widow of Lizárraga inherited some precious metal treasures that she donated to the convent of Santa Clara del Qosqo after she was persuaded by the priest in Catholic confession so that with that donation she could find “peace and salvation for your soul”. It is possible that no other peasant apart from Lizárraga has desecrated the place because in the Andean traditional society there is always an ancestral respect and reverence for the “Wakas” ancient and even more towards the tombs of ancestors that cannot be desecrated in the belief that they are protected and desecration brings misfortunes, diseases, death and other curses.

Bingham wrote that every object he found while working at Machu Picchu Peru was deposited at Yale University. But today (1998) a visit to observe the objects of Machu Picchu in the ” Peabody Museum of Natural History ” located in New Harvard, Connecticut is more than disappointing. The exhibition consists of 10 ceramic pieces , 10 metallurgy , 10 stone works , 3 Q’eros , very few textiles, and one of the most beautiful Qhipu that are known in the world (most of the pieces are from Machu Picchu History, but not all and the exhibition does not make any differentiation; in addition there is not a single photograph of Machu Picchu. On the other hand there are other small niches that show mainly ceramic of Pre-Inca Civilizations Peruvians have the hope that someday the artifacts enumerated by Bingham are their various publications will return to Machu Picchu Cusco because they belong to it.

-HUAYNA PICCHU

Wayna Picchu or Huayna Picchu, mountain it is the one to the north of the city and the one that appears at the bottom of all the classic views of the place; at its summit you can see narrow containment terraces whose main function was to prevent erosion as well as serve as gardens. 

It is possible to reach that summit using the path that is on the left flank of the mountain, they are basically stairways that in many sectors have been carved into the living rock of the mountain. 

The slow ascent takes about an hour; he is not dangerous, however, the one who tries it must remain alert since the road is on the edge of precipices and an oversight or a misstep could be fatal; In addition, whoever tries it should not suffer from vertigo. 

From the summit you have a panoramic and spectacular view of the Inkasic City, the Urubamba Canyon and the surrounding mountains; everything seems to indicate that there was a quite important Quechua Sanctuary.

-“WAYRANA DEL VIGILANTE” or CONTROL POST

From Machu Picchu Inca Trail it is also possible to undertake other short walks; one of them is towards the ” Inca Bridge ” for which the small “Wayrana del Vigilante” or “Control Post” located in the upper portion of the agricultural sector must be reached; from where you take the road to the southwest, after a walk of about 15 minutes to reach the place from where you can see the path carved on the face of the mountain and in the middle of it, the bases of a drawbridge. It is assumed that the structure of the bridge was made of light wood that had to be collected or stored to prevent the passage of unauthorized persons and thus facilitate the protection of Machu Picchu Temples. 
A little further down the same “Control Post” is the Inca Trail that originally linked Machu Picchu with the Qosqo, the Inca Trail is an excellent example of the Quechuas engineering and construction capacity; it still retains its original cobblestone and is quite wide. Following the path or Inca Trail, you will arrive up to the pass where Sun Gate “Inti punku” or the “Puerta del Sol” is located, and later, about seven kilometers from Machu Picchu Sanctuary, you will find the small Inca village of Wiñay wayna and on a higher level the agricultural complex of Inti pata.

-Dayli life in Machu Picchu

During its use as a royal estate, it is estimated that about 750 people lived there, with most serving as support staff (yanaconas, yana) who lived there permanently. Though the estate belonged to Pachacutec, religious specialists and temporary specialized workers (mayocs) lived there as well, most likely for the ruler’s well-being and enjoyment. During the harsher season, staff dropped down to around a hundred servants and a few religious specialists focused on maintenance alone.

Studies show that according to their skeletal remains, most people who lived there were immigrants from diverse backgrounds. They lacked the chemical markers and osteological markers they would have if they had been living there their whole lives. Instead, there was bone damage from various species of water parasites indigenous to different areas of Peru. There were also varying osteological stressors and varying chemical densities suggesting varying long-term diets characteristic of specific regions that were spaced apart. These diets are composed of varying levels of maize, potatoes, grains, legumes, and fish, but the overall most recent short-term diet for these people was composed of less fish and more corn. This suggests that several of the immigrants were from more coastal areas and moved to Machu Picchu where corn was a larger portion of food intake. The skeletal remains found at Machu Picchu are also unique in their level of natural bone damage from laborious activities. Most people found at the site had lower levels of arthritis and bone fractures than those found in most sites of the Inca Empire. Inca individuals who had arthritis and bone fractures were typically those who performed heavy physical labor (such as the Mit’a) and/or served in the Inca military.

Llama with Machu Picchu ruins in the background.
Animals are also suspected to have immigrated to Machu Picchu as there were several bones found that were not native to the area. Most animal bones found were from llamas and alpacas. These animals naturally live at altitudes of 4,000 metres (13,000 ft) rather than the 2,400 metres (7,900 ft) elevation of Machu Picchu. Most likely, these animals were brought in from the Puna region for meat consumption and for their pelts. Guinea pigs were also found at the site in special burial caves, suggesting that they were at least used for funerary rituals, as it was common throughout the Inca Empire to use them for sacrifices and meat. Six dogs were also recovered from the site. Due to their placements among the human remains, it is believed that they served as companions of the dead.

-AGRICULTURE

Much of the farming done at Machu Picchu was done on its hundreds of man-made terraces. These terraces were a work of considerable engineering, built to ensure good drainage and soil fertility while also protecting the mountain itself from erosion and landslides. However, the terraces were not perfect, as studies of the land show that there were landslides that happened during the construction of Machu Picchu. Still visible are places where the terraces were shifted by landslides and then stabilized by the Inca as they continued to build around the area.

It is estimated that the area around the site has received more than 1,800 mm (71 in) of rain per year since AD 1450, which was more than needed to support crop growth there. Because of the large amount of rainfall at Machu Picchu, it was found that irrigation was not needed for the terraces. The terraces received so much rain that they were built specifically to allow for ample drainage of the extra water. Excavation and soil analyses done by Kenneth Wright in the 90s showed that the terraces were built in layers, with a bottom layer of larger stones covered by loose gravel. On top of the gravel was a layer of mixed sand and gravel packed together, with rich topsoil covering all of that. It was shown that the topsoil was probably moved from the valley floor to the terraces because it was much better than the soil higher up the mountain.

However, it has been found that the terrace farming area makes up only about 4.9 ha (12 acres) of land, and a study of the soil around the terraces showed that what was grown there was mostly corn and potatoes, which was not enough to support the 750+ people living at Machu Picchu. This explains why when studies were done on the food that the Inca ate at Machu Picchu, it was found that most of what they ate was imported from the surrounding valleys and farther afield.

-ENCOUNTERS

Even though Machu Picchu was located only about 80 kilometers (50 mi) from the Inca capital in Cusco, the Spanish never found it and so did not plunder or destroy it, as they did many other sites. The conquistadors had notes of a place called Piccho, although no record of a Spanish visit exists. Unlike other locations, sacred rocks often defaced by the conquistadors remain untouched at Machu Picchu.

Over the centuries, the surrounding jungle overgrew the site, and few outside the immediate area knew of its existence. The site may have been discovered and plundered in 1867 by a German businessman, Augusto Berns. Some evidence indicates that the German engineer J. M. von Hassel arrived earlier. Maps show references to Machu Picchu as early as 1874.

In 1911 American historian and explorer Hiram Bingham traveled the region looking for the old Inca capital and was led to Machu Picchu by a villager, Melchor Arteaga. Bingham found the name Agustín Lizárraga and the date 1902 written in charcoal on one of the walls. Though Bingham was not the first to visit the ruins, he was considered the scientific discoverer who brought Machu Picchu to international attention. Bingham organized another expedition in 1912 to undertake major clearing and excavation.

In the variety of its charms and the power of its spell, I know of no place in the world which can compare with it. Not only has it great snow peaks looming above the clouds more than two miles overhead, gigantic precipices of many-colored granite rising sheer for thousands of feet above the foaming, glistening, roaring rapids; it has also, in striking contrast, orchids and tree ferns, the delectable beauty of luxurious vegetation, and the mysterious witchery of the jungle.

-FIRST AMERICAN EXPEDITION

Melchor Arteaga crossing the Urubamba River on 24 July 1911

Sergeant Carrasco at Machu Picchu on 24 July 1911
Bingham was a lecturer at Yale University, although not a trained archaeologist. In 1909, returning from the Pan-American Scientific Congress in Santiago, he travelled through Peru and was invited to explore the Inca ruins at Choqquequirau in the Apurímac Valley. He organized the 1911 Yale Peruvian Expedition in part to search for the Inca capital, which was thought to be the city of Vitcos. He consulted Carlos Romero, one of the chief historians in Lima who showed him helpful references and Father Antonio de la Calancha’s Chronicle of the Augustinians. In particular, Ramos thought Vitcos was “near a great white rock over a spring of fresh water.” Back in Cusco again, Bingham asked planters about the places mentioned by Calancha, particularly along the Urubamba River. According to Bingham, “one old prospector said there were interesting ruins at Machu Picchu,” though his statements “were given no importance by the leading citizens.” Only later did Bingham learn that Charles Wiener also heard of the ruins at Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu, but was unable to reach them.

Hiram Bingham III at his tent door near Machu Picchu in 1912
Armed with this information the expedition went down the Urubamba River. En route, Bingham asked local people to show them Inca ruins, especially any place described as having a white rock over a spring. 

At Mandor Pampa, Bingham asked farmer and innkeeper Melchor Arteaga if he knew of any nearby ruins. Arteaga said he knew of excellent ruins on the top of Huayna Picchu. The next day, 24 July, Arteaga led Bingham and Sergeant Carrasco across the river on a log bridge and up the Huayna Picchu mountain. At the top of the mountain, they came across a small hut occupied by a couple of Quechua, Richard and Alvarez, who were farming some of the original Machu Picchu agricultural terraces that they had cleared four years earlier. Alvarez’s 11-year-old son, Pablito, led Bingham along the ridge to the main ruins. 

The ruins were mostly covered with vegetation except for the cleared agricultural terraces and clearings used by the farmers as vegetable gardens. Because of the vegetation, Bingham was not able to observe the full extent of the site. He took preliminary notes, measurements, and photographs, noting the fine quality of Inca stonework of several principal buildings. Bingham was unclear about the original purpose of the ruins, but decided that there was no indication that it matched the description of Vitcos.

The expedition continued down the Urubamba and up the Vilcabamba Rivers examining all the ruins they could find. Guided by locals, Bingham rediscovered and correctly identified the site of the old Inca capital, Vitcos (then called Rosaspata), and the nearby temple of Chuquipalta. He then crossed a pass and into the Pampaconas Valley where he found more ruins heavily buried in the jungle undergrowth at Espíritu Pampa, which he named “Trombone Pampa”. As was the case with Machu Picchu, the site was so heavily overgrown that Bingham could only note a few of the buildings. In 1964, Gene Savoy further explored the ruins at Espiritu Pampa and revealed the full extent of the site, identifying it as Vilcabamba Viejo, where the Incas fled after the Spanish drove them from Vitcos. 

Bingham returned to Machu Picchu in 1912 under the sponsorship of Yale University and National Geographic again and with the full support of Peruvian President Leguia. The expedition undertook a four-month clearing of the site with local labour, which was expedited with the support of the Prefect of Cuzco. Excavation started in 1912 with further excavation undertaken in 1914 and 1915. Bingham focused on Machu Picchu because of its fine Inca stonework and well-preserved nature, which had lain undisturbed since the site was abandoned. None of Bingham’s several hypotheses explaining the site held up. During his studies, he carried various artifacts back to Yale. One prominent artifact was a set of 15th-century, ceremonial Incan knives made from bismuth bronze; they are the earliest known artifact containing this alloy.

Although local institutions initially welcomed the exploration, they soon accused Bingham of legal and cultural malpractice. Rumors arose that the team was stealing artifacts and smuggling them out of Peru through Bolivia. (In fact, Bingham removed many artifacts, but openly and legally; they were deposited in the Yale University Museum. Bingham was abiding by the 1852 Civil Code of Peru; the code stated that “archaeological finds generally belonged to the discoverer, except when they had been discovered on private land.” (Batievsky 100) Local press perpetuated the accusations, claiming that the excavation harmed the site and deprived local archaeologists of knowledge about their own history.  Landowners began to demand rent from the excavators. By the time Bingham and his team left Machu Picchu, locals had formed coalitions to defend their ownership of Machu Picchu and its cultural remains, while Bingham claimed the artifacts ought to be studied by experts in American institutions.

-HUMAN SACRIFICE & MYSTICISM

Little information describes human sacrifices at Machu Picchu, though many sacrifices were never given a proper burial, and their skeletal remains succumbed to the elements. However, there is evidence that retainers were sacrificed to accompany a deceased noble in the afterlife. Animal, liquid and dirt sacrifices to the gods were more common, made at the Altar of the Condor. The tradition is upheld by members of the New Age Andean religion.

geography

Machu Picchu lies in the southern hemisphere, 13.164 degrees south of the equator. It is 80 kilometres (50 miles) northwest of Cusco, on the crest of the mountain Machu Picchu, located about 2,430 metres (7,970 feet) above mean sea level, over 1,000 metres (3,300 ft) lower than Cusco, which has an elevation of 3,400 metres (11,200 ft). As such, it had a milder climate than the Inca capital. It is one of the most important archaeological sites in South America, one of the most visited tourist attractions in Latin America and the most visited in Peru.

Machu Picchu features wet humid summers and dry frosty winters, with the majority of the annual rain falling from October through to March.

Machu Picchu is situated above a bow of the Urubamba River, which surrounds the site on three sides, where cliffs drop vertically for 450 metres (1,480 ft) to the river at their base. The area is subject to morning mists rising from the river. The location of the city was a military secret, and its deep precipices and steep mountains provided natural defenses. The Inca Bridge, an Inca grass rope bridge, across the Urubamba River in the Pongo de Mainique, provided a secret entrance for the Inca army. Another Inca bridge was built to the west of Machu Picchu, the tree-trunk bridge, at a location where a gap occurs in the cliff that measures 6 metres (20 ft).

The city sits in a saddle between the two mountains Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu, with a commanding view down two valleys and a nearly impassable mountain at its back. It has a water supply from springs that cannot be blocked easily. The hillsides leading to it were terraced, to provide more farmland to grow crops and to steepen the slopes that invaders would have to ascend. The terraces reduced soil erosion and protected against landslides. Two high-altitude routes from Machu Picchu cross the mountains back to Cusco, one through the Sun Gate, and the other across the Inca bridge. Both could be blocked easily, should invaders approach along them.

the site

machu picchu MACHU PICCHU PERU ALL FACTS & QUESTIONS | QOSQO EXPEDITIONS LIMITLESS TOURS 1

Terraced fields in the upper agricultural sector

machu picchu MACHU PICCHU PERU ALL FACTS & QUESTIONS | QOSQO EXPEDITIONS LIMITLESS TOURS 2

Temple of the Sun or Torreon

The site is roughly divided into an urban sector and an agricultural sector, and into an upper town and a lower town. The temples are in the upper town, the warehouses in the lower.

The architecture is adapted to the mountains. Approximately 200 buildings are arranged on wide parallel terraces around an east-west central square. The various compounds, called kanchas, are long and narrow in order to exploit the terrain. Sophisticated channeling systems provided irrigation for the fields. Stone stairways set in the walls allowed access to the different levels across the site. The eastern section of the city was probably residential. The western, separated by the square, was for religious and ceremonial purposes. This section contains the Torreón, the massive tower which may have been used as an observatory.

Located in the first zone are the primary archaeological treasures: the Intihuatana, the Temple of the Sun and the Room of the Three Windows. These were dedicated to Inti, their sun god and greatest deity.

The Popular District, or Residential District, is the place where the lower-class people lived. It includes storage buildings and simple houses.

The royalty area, a sector for the nobility, is a group of houses located in rows over a slope; the residence of the amautas (wise persons) was characterized by its reddish walls, and the zone of the ñustas (princesses) had trapezoid-shaped rooms. The Monumental Mausoleum is a carved statue with a vaulted interior and carved drawings. It was used for rites or sacrifices.

The Guardhouse is a three-sided building, with one of its long sides opening onto the Terrace of the Ceremonial Rock. The three-sided style of Inca architecture is known as the wayrona style.

In 2005 and 2009, the University of Arkansas made detailed laser scans of the entire site and of the ruins at the top of the adjacent Huayna Picchu mountain. The scan data is available online for research purposes.

Temple of the Sun or Torreon

This semicircular temple is built on the same rock overlying Bingham’s “Royal Mausoleum”, and is similar to the Temple of the Sun found in Cusco and the Temple of the Sun found in Pisac, in having what Bingham described as a “parabolic enclosure wall”. The stonework is of ashlar quality. Within the temple is a 1.2 m by 2.7 m rock platform, smooth on top except for a small platform on its southwest quadrant. A “Serpent’s Door” faces 340°, or just west of north, opening onto a series of 16 pools, and affording a view of Huana Picchu. The temple also has two trapezoidal windows, one facing 65°, called the “Solstice Window”, and the other facing 132°, called the “Qullqa Window”. The northwest edge of the rock platform points out the Solstice Window to within 2’ of the 15th century June solstice rising Sun. For comparison, the angular diameter of the Sun is 32′. The Inca constellation Qullca, storehouse, can be viewed out the Qullqa Window at sunset during the 15th-century June Solstice, hence the window’s name. At the same time, the Pleaides are at the opposite end of the sky. Also seen through this window on this night are the constellations Llamacnawin, Llama, Unallamacha, Machacuay, and the star Pachapacariq Chaska (Canopus).

Intihuatana stone

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Intihuatana is believed to have been designed as an astronomic clock or calendar by the Incas

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The sculpture carved from the rock bottom of the sun temple is interpreted as “Water mirrors for observing the sky”.

The Intihuatana stone is one of many ritual stones in South America. These stones are arranged to point directly at the sun during the winter solstice. The name of the stone (perhaps coined by Bingham) derives from Quechua language: inti means “sun”, and wata-, “to tie, hitch (up)”. The suffix -na derives nouns for tools or places. Hence Intihuatana is literally an instrument or place to “tie up the sun”, often expressed in English as “The Hitching Post of the Sun”. The Inca believed the stone held the sun in its place along its annual path in the sky. The stone is situated at 13°9’48” S. At midday on 11 November and 30 January, the sun stands almost exactly above the pillar, casting no shadow. On 21 June, the stone casts the longest shadow on its southern side, and on 21 December a much shorter shadow on its northern side.

Inti Mach’ay and the Royal Feast of the Sun

Inti Mach’ay is a special cave used to observe the Royal Feast of the Sun. This festival was celebrated during the Incan month of Qhapaq Raymi. It began earlier in the month and concluded on the December solstice. On this day, noble boys were initiated into manhood by an ear-piercing ritual as they stood inside the cave and watched the sunrise.

Architecturally, Inti Mach’ay is the most significant structure at Machu Picchu. Its entrances, walls, steps, and windows are some of the finest masonry in the Incan Empire. The cave also includes a tunnel-like window unique among Incan structures, which was constructed to allow sunlight into the cave only during several days around the December solstice. For this reason, the cave was inaccessible for much of the year. Inti Mach’ay is located on the eastern side of Machu Picchu, just north of the “Condor Stone.” Many of the caves surrounding this area were prehistorically used as tombs, yet there is no evidence that Mach’ay was a burial ground.

Construction

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View of the residential section of Machu Picchu

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Interior of an Inca building, featuring trapezoidal windows

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Funerary Stone in upper cemetery

The central buildings use the classical Inca architectural style of polished dry-stone walls of regular shape. The Incas were masters of this technique, called ashlar, in which blocks of stone are cut to fit together tightly without mortar.

The site itself may have been intentionally built on fault lines to afford better drainage and a ready supply of fractured stone. “Machu Picchu clearly shows us that the Incan civilization was an empire of fractured rocks”.

The section of the mountain where Machu Picchu was built provided various challenges that the Incas solved with local materials. One issue was the seismic activity due to two fault lines. It made mortar and similar building methods nearly useless. Instead, the Inca mined stones from the quarry at the site, lined them up and shaped them to fit together perfectly, stabilizing the structures. Inca walls have many stabilizing features: doors and windows are trapezoidal, narrowing from bottom to top; corners usually are rounded; inside corners often incline slightly into the rooms, and outside corners were often tied together by “L”-shaped blocks; walls are offset slightly from row to row rather than rising straight from bottom to top.

Heavy rainfall required terraces and stone chips to drain rain water and prevent mudslides, landslides, erosion, and flooding. Terraces were layered with stone chips, sand, dirt, and topsoil, to absorb water and prevent it from running down the mountain. Similar layering protected the large city center from flooding. Multiple canals and reserves throughout the city provided water that could be supplied to the terraces for irrigation and to prevent erosion and flooding.

The Incas never used wheels in a practical way, although their use in toys shows that they knew the principle. The use of wheels in engineering may have been limited due to the lack of strong draft animals, combined with steep terrain and dense vegetation. The approach to moving and placing the enormous stones remains uncertain, probably involving hundreds of men to push the stones up inclines. A few stones have knobs that could have been used to lever them into position; the knobs were generally sanded away, with a few overlooked.

Roads and transportation

The Inca road system included a route to the Machu Picchu region. The people of Machu Picchu were connected to long-distance trade, as shown by non-local artifacts found at the site. For example, Bingham found unmodified obsidian nodules at the entrance gateway. In the 1970s, Burger and Asaro determined that these obsidian samples were from the Titicaca or Chivay obsidian source, and that the samples from Machu Picchu showed long-distance transport of this obsidian type in pre-Hispanic Peru.

Thousands of tourists walk the Inca Trail to visit Machu Picchu each year. They congregate at Cusco before starting on the one-, two-, four- or five-day journey on foot from kilometer 82 (or 77 or 85, four/five-day trip) or kilometer 104 (one/two-day trip) near the town of Ollantaytambo in the Urubamba valley, walking up through the Andes to the isolated city.

Tourism

Machu Picchu is both a cultural and natural UNESCO World Heritage Site. Since its discovery in 1911, growing numbers of tourists have visited the site each year, including 1,411,279 in 2017. As Peru’s most visited tourist attraction and major revenue generator, it is continually exposed to economic and commercial forces. In the late 1990s, the Peruvian government granted concessions to allow the construction of a cable car and a luxury hotel, including a tourist complex with boutiques and restaurants and a bridge to the site. Many people protested the plans, including Peruvians and foreign scientists, saying that more visitors would pose a physical burden on the ruins. In 2018, plans were restarted to again construct a cable car to encourage Peruvians to visit Machu Picchu and boost domestic tourism. A no-fly zone exists above the area. UNESCO is considering putting Machu Picchu on its List of World Heritage in Danger.

During the 1980s a large rock from Machu Picchu’s central plaza was moved to a different location to create a helicopter landing zone. In the 1990s, the government prohibited helicopter landings. In 2006, a Cusco-based company, Helicusco, sought approval for tourist flights over Machu Picchu. The resulting license was soon rescinded.

Tourist deaths have been linked to altitude sickness, floods and hiking accidents. UNESCO received criticism for allowing tourists at the location given high risks of landslides, earthquakes and injury due to decaying structures.

In 2014 nude tourism was a trend at Machu Picchu and Peru’s Ministry of Culture denounced the activity. Cusco’s Regional Director of Culture increased surveillance to end the practice.

January 2010 evacuation

Entrance restrictions

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Artifact collected on Bingham’s 1912 expedition, on display at the Museo Machu Picchu

In July 2011, the Dirección Regional de Cultura Cusco (DRC) introduced new entrance rules to the citadel of Machu Picchu. The tougher entrance rules attempted to reduce the effect of tourism. The entrance was limited to 2,500 visitors per day, and the entrance to Huayna Picchu (within the citadel) was further restricted to 400 visitors per day. In 2018, additional restrictions were placed on the entrance. Three entrance phases will be implemented, increased from two phases previously, to further help the flow of traffic and reduce degradation of the site due to tourism.

In May 2012, a team of UNESCO conservation experts called upon Peruvian authorities to take “emergency measures” to further stabilize the site’s buffer zone and protect it from damage, particularly in the nearby town of Aguas Calientes, which had grown rapidly.

Cultural artifacts: Dispute between Peru and Yale University

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Artifact collected on Bingham’s 1912 expedition, on display at the Museo Macchu Picchu

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Silver tupus collected on Bingham’s 1912 expedition, on display at the Museo Macchu Picchu

In 1912, 1914 and 1915, Bingham removed thousands of artifacts from Machu Picchu—ceramic vessels, silver statues, jewelry, and human bones—and took them to Yale University for further study, supposedly for 18 months. Yale instead kept the artifacts until 2012, arguing that Peru lacked the infrastructure and systems to care for them. Eliane Karp, an anthropologist and wife of former Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo, accused Yale of profiting from Peru’s cultural heritage. Many of the articles were exhibited at Yale’s Peabody Museum.

In 2006, Yale returned some pieces but kept the rest, claiming this was supported by federal case law of Peruvian antiquities. In 2007, Peru and Yale had agreed on a joint traveling exhibition and construction of a new museum and research center in Cusco advised by Yale. Yale acknowledged Peru’s title to all the objects, but would share rights with Peru in the research collection, part of which would remain at Yale for continuing study. In November 2010, Yale agreed to return the disputed artifacts. The third and final batch of artifacts was delivered November 2012. The artifacts are permanently exhibited at the Museo Machu Picchu, La Casa Concha (“The Shell House”), close to Cusco’s colonial center. Owned by the National University of San Antonio Abad del Cusco, La Casa Concha also features a study area for local and foreign students.

MACHU PICCHU FREQUENT QUESTIONS

The mystery of the origin of Machu Picchu, the most representative and determined city of ancient Peru, has been clarified thanks to the carbon 14 test, which is the date of its edition in the year 1450 of the Christian era, during the reign of the Inca Pachacutec. With these new investigations, the theories that attributed Machu Picchu an antiquity of 1,000 years will be shown or appear as a fortress built for the defense of the Spanish conquerors. The Machu Picchu is located at the top of the mountain of the same name, 2,400 meters high, in a subtropical area, between the Andes and the Amazon rainforest, 112 kilometers north of Cuzco, the Inca capital.

The director of the Peruvian National Institute of Culture, Felix Pallardell, declared that Machu Picchu was built to house a thousand people in an area that belongs to King Pachacutec, the great builder, considered the great founder of the Inca empire. Other vestiges dating from this same reign are the Temple of the Sun, Cuzco, the Korinkancha, of which only a tower and some remains of walls are preserved.

It was built with granite, very abundant material in the area. Its central part, semi-circular, is occupied by a temple dedicated to the Sun.

Hiram Bingham.

Officially, the discoverer of Machu Picchu for the western world was the American Hiram Bingham, who on July 24, 1911 arrived in these lands thanks to the comments he had heard in Cusco about a hidden Inca citadel. That is, many inhabitants of Cusco, knew in advance the existence of this Inca citadel, moreover, it is said that when Bingham arrived at Machu Picchu, he met two families who lived there: the Recharte and the Álvarez, who continued sowing and harvesting in the Inca terraces.

August berns

Indeed, the American researcher Paolo Greer, conducted a study in which he revealed the discovery of Machu Picchu was not carried out in 1911 by Hiram Bingham, but this was 44 years earlier, in 1867, and by a German businessman named Augusto Berns. According to Greer, Augusto Berns arrived in Cusco in 1867 to carry out various excavation work for a new railway project in the country. This German businessman will receive to buy about 45 kilometers of land in front of Machu Picchu, with the purpose of sleeping vendors, which are the timbers used then to join the rails of the train tracks. And it was precisely in this deforestation that he ran into the Inca citadel.

Agustín Lizárraga

Inscription made by Agustin Lizarraga. Photograph taken by Hiram Bingham.

Away from all the stories of exploitation for the discovery of Machu Picchu and subsequent looting, whether due to scientific or financial ambitions that this finding provoked, it is worth highlighting at this point the figure of Agustín Lizárraga, a farmer from Cusco, who is said to be the First discoverer of this Inca citadel.

It is said that Lizárraga discovered the Inca citadel on July 14, 1902, accompanied by the also Cusqueños Gabino Sánchez, Enrique Palma and Justo Ochoa. Moreover, as proof of this, there is the inscription of their names and the date of the discovery on one of the walls of the Temple of the Three Windows, a fact that was recovered by Bingham himself in a photograph. Lizárraga did not hide his find and was always willing to guide people who wanted to know this Inca citadel, moreover, I know that it was the stories of Lizárraga himself by which Hiram Bingham was able to reach Machu Picchu. Lizárraga died drowned in the Vilcanota River in February 1912, and without universities, magazines, or presidents to support them, he died without being able to recover the discovery of Machu Picchu, as his own.

While I could not find any digital reconstruction of Machu Picchu in high definition, the city originally looked very similar to how it looks now. The walls were made of stone as we can see now. And from afar there was not much more to see.

But I can remember some things that looked different in the times of the Incas:

The houses had pitched roofs made of straw.

The terraced platforms were used to grow crops such as potatoes and corn.

Open areas were not covered by green grass (grass did not exist in America until a few centuries ago) but with Ichu, a similar but more yellowish grass that can grow in highlands.

Some temples had ornaments on their walls made of gold. There are some legends that say that the Incas covered the temple walls with gold, but actually only small parts were covered. Many of the artifacts that were inside the temples were also made of gold.

Machu Picchu, must have had incredible reasons to build a city with such fantastic details in such an inaccessible place like Machu Picchu Mountain; many of the details of its construction are still unsolved mysteries that attract not only the scholars but to visitors from around the world.

There are many speculations and theories about the construction and function fulfilled this city during its heyday. But most scholars agree that Machu Picchu was a sacred place, where its inhabitants worshiped the four elements, and other entities, animals and stars, which also were considered gods, especially to the sun.

construccion de machu picchu
View from the Main Plaza of Machu Picchu

Sacred place and refuge of Inca Pachacutec
It is known that Machu Picchu was a sacred place where the Incas worshiped their gods, but that would not have been the only use that gave the Inca City; it is known that was also used as a kind of retreat for the Inca Pachacutec and his family. A city that due to its location, possessed an ideal climate to grow a huge variety of plants; among which are the coca leaf and grass that emblandece rocks.

Place of study of the weather
The whole territory of Machu Picchu is flooded of rivers, rock formations (boulders), springs and mountains, which were sacred to the Incas; in this place, the priests, besides the worship the Inti (Sun God), observed its position with respect to the four cardinal points, can determine the climatic seasons of the territory. Presumably this observation, should greatly influence when deciding the location of the city and the location of each of the buildings present in this city Inca. Understanding the culture and religion of this civilization, will help you understand better, most mysteries of this amazing and mystical cit y of stone.

Source of exotic products
The proximity to the forest, make it possessing amazing ecosystems, which serve as habitat to countless species of animals and plants. The jungle was the main source of rare items, which were highly prized in the symbolism of the Incas, as colorful feathers, butterflies, birds, exotic fruits and vegetables; as well as, coca leaf and other healing and hallucinogenic plants. Most of which enter here, to the opposite side of the empire; to be used in religious ceremonies and to be distributed to other territories (suyos) of the empire.

Astronomical Observatory
Machu Picchu is also known as the city in the clouds; located between the Andes mountains and the Amazon jungle, provides an unrestricted view of most astronomical events known hitherto. The Sun Temple, the Temple of the Three Windows and the Intihuatana, are just some of the structures that the Incas built in order to observe the cosmos, and are dedicated to the empire of the Incas greatest deity, the God Inti or Sun. Its positioning and design of the structures have to observe astronomical phenomena governing the Inca society, its timetable and agricultural seasons.

Main urban center
Machu Picchu enjoyed of full autonomy; the residents of this city had their main decks needs exceedingly; the terraces produced enough food to keep to the Inca, his family, his court, priests, virgins of the sun, and all the people who were at your service. Machu Picchu had an uninterrupted supply of water from natural sources (springs and rivers from glaciers) around Machu Picchu.

The house of the Virgins of the Sun
In this house lived the virgin girls of great beauty, consecrated to the sun god; these were chosen to be priests to serve the Inca and the gods of the empire. Not all of them face the same fate, some were chosen to be the concubines of the Inca, while others were sacrificed for the favor and mercy of the gods. In Machu Picchu about 170 skeletons, of which 150 belonged to women were discovered.

Agricultural function
The Inca City had excellent hydraulic engineers, who were able to use natural water sources, to supply the entire Inca city by underground channels, which served both for human consumption and agriculture. At the southern end of the Inca city known as the agricultural area, you will find numerous artificial terraces (andenerias) in which local agriculture development.

Fortress
Machu Picchu was designed to be inaccessible, in order to protect the Inca and his family from possible invaders. In its heyday Machu Picchu was surrounded by a wall of 6 meters high by 1.80 wide, although its greater protection had to do with his position on the mountain.

Abandonment of Machu Picchu
Until today, it is unknown the real reason why the Incas abandoned Machu Picchu; because as we know, the Spaniards never found it. Perhaps the civil war waged between the brothers Huascar and Atahualpa, will end up undermining the supply food to the city.

Another theory being handled, is that the city was hit by an epidemic that killed much of the population, forcing others to retreat to other cities.

It is not known exactly why they abandoned Machu Picchu, what we do know is that Machu Picchu was abandoned before the Spaniards could reach it; what I keep virtually untouched and in forgotten for over 400 years until Hiram Bingham rediscovered in 1911.

By Ticket Machu Picchu – Last updated, March 26, 2019

Many archaeologists believe that Machu Picchu was constructed as a royal estate of sorts, the presence of elite residences in the northeast sector of the site backing that idea up. It would have been used by the emperor and his family as a temporary respite, the site supporting a small number of year-round caretakers. Other examples of Inca royal estates are known in Peru.

Interestingly, the dwelling of the emperor himself appears to be in the southwest part of the site, away from the other elite residences. A building known today as the “Temple of the Sun” is adjacent to it.

A staircase running beside the royal compound leads to a plaza below, and the emperor was afforded a garden, a private bath and even a private toilet area — the only private one on site.

Although Machu Picchu has a wall, modest gateway and dry moat (likely used for collecting rainwater) it doesn’t appear to have been set up with military purposes in mind, and there is no evidence that a battle of any sort was fought there.

Temple of the Sun
Machu Picchu has a number of structures that would have enhanced the spiritual significance of the site.

One of them, the “Temple of the Sun,” or Torreón, has an elliptical design similar to a sun temple found at the Inca capital of Cuzco. It is located near where the Inca emperor is believed to have resided at Machu Picchu.

A rock inside the temple could have served as an altar. During the June solstice the rising sun shines directly into one of the temple’s windows, and this indicates an alignment between the window, rock and solstice sun.

Beneath the temple lies a cave, naturally formed, which the explorer Bingham referred to as a “royal mausoleum,” although there’s little evidence that it was used as such. A boulder carved into a stairway lies near the cave entrance and the underground chamber likely served a religious function of some form.

Principal temple & Intihuatana
A series of religious structures is located on the northwest of the site, bordering the plaza.

One of the buildings, dubbed the “Principal Temple,” contains a carved stone altar. When it was excavated by Bingham he found that it has a layer of white sand, something seen in temples at Cuzco, the Incan capital. [Images: Top 10 Ancient Capitals]

A building adjacent to the “Principal Temple” is known as the “Temple of the Three Windows” and contains a large amount of broken pottery, ritually smashed it appears.

But perhaps the biggest puzzle at Machu Picchu is a giant rock, named “the Intihuatana” by Bingham, after other carved stones found in the Incan empire. The stone at Machu Picchu is situated on a raised platform that towers above the plaza. Its purpose is a mystery, with recent research disproving the idea that it acted as a sundial. It may have been used for astronomical observations of some form. It may also be connected with the mountains that surround Machu Picchu.

Abandonment of Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu did not survive the collapse of the Inca.

In the 16th century the Spanish appeared in South America, plagues afflicting the Inca along with military campaigns waged by conquistadors. In 1572, with the fall of the last Incan capital, their line of rulers came to end. Machu Picchu, a royal estate once visited by great emperors, fell into ruin. Today, the site is on the United Nations’ list of World Heritage sites.

No matter how physically fit you are, this UNESCO world-historic site is located at an altitude of 7,972 feet (2,430 meters) above sea level. Cusco, the entry city before your trek to Machu Picchu, is located at an elevation of 11,152 feet (3,399m) above sea level. This is significantly higher than the Incan citadel. Acute mountain altitude sickness typically occurs at heights of 8,000 feet (2,500m) and above, so if you plan on going to Cusco and Machu Picchu, you can be at risk of getting altitude sickness.

To reduce your risk of getting altitude sickness, the best thing you can do before traveling around Cusco or Machu Picchu is spending the extra time allowing your body to acclimate to your new altitude before any serious sightseeing. When you are at higher altitudes, the air pressure drops, and there is less oxygen available.

Arrival in Cusco
When you arrive in Cusco, particularly if you have flown in directly from Lima, you should try to set aside at least 24 hours to acclimate to the new altitude, during which time you should take things easy. Lima is located at sea level, so flying directly from Lima to Cusco involves a significant altitude increase in very little time, giving your body no chance to adapt during the journey.

Also, new visitors arriving by plane have the option of visiting nearby towns to Cusco in the Sacred Valley. These towns are at slightly lower altitudes, providing a more gentle form of acclimation before heading back to Cusco.

If you take a bus from Lima to Cusco, which is about 22 hours, your body will have a more gradual period of adjustment, and you should be able to handle the altitude in Cusco once you arrive.

Acclimating to Machu Picchu
Huayna Picchu, the peak that looms over the archeological site, rises to a height of 8,920 feet (2,720 meters) above sea level. Once you have acclimated properly in Cusco or in the Sacred Valley, you should have no serious problems with the altitude at Machu Picchu itself.

You may still feel breathless while walking around the site, but the risk of altitude sickness will be minimal. If you feel winded while walking up the numerous stone steps at Machu Picchu, do not worry; it’s perfectly normal.

Usually, you can spend hours freely roaming around most of the site. Wardens may make you move along in certain areas, but there is no need to rush. Machu Picchu is open from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m., so you should have plenty of time to explore at your leisure. If you are with a tour group, they should give you at least an hour for independent exploration after the guided tour.

Symptoms of Altitude Sickness
If you do start to feel symptoms of altitude sickness while at the site, tell your guide or seek medical attention immediately. These symptoms include a headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, shortness of breath, sleep problems, or a decrease in appetite. Symptoms usually come on within 12 to 24 hours of reaching a higher elevation and then get better within a day or two as your body adjusts to the change in altitude.

Go Prepared
Do not forget to take a bottle of water, a hat, sunscreen, and a waterproof jacket or poncho with you to Machu Picchu. While Machu Picchu’s elevation can leave you slightly breathless, preparing for the capricious weather at the site is arguably just as important.

On July 24, 1911, American historian Hiram Bingham discovered Machu Picchu, an ancient Inca settlement in Peru. Bingham was fascinated by the “lost” history of the Inca Empire, and intrigued by the ruins he explored near the city of Cusco. A farmer told Bingham and his team that there were more ruins on top of a nearby mountain. The farmer called the mountain Machu Picchu, an indigenous phrase for “old peak.” Bingham and his team walked and rode mules to the top of the mountain, where they saw the stone entrance to the old city.

Machu Picchu has enormous significance as an archaeological site, largely because it remained untouched during Peru’s Spanish colonial period. Archaeologists consider pre-Columbian sites like Machu Picchu “intact.” Machu Picchu, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is also one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.

Machu Picchu was built starting 1450–1460.[21] Construction appears to date from two great Inca rulers, Pachacutec Inca Yupanqui (1438–1471) and Túpac Inca Yupanqui (1472–1493). There is a consensus among archaeologists that Pachacutec ordered the construction of the royal estate for himself, most likely after a successful military campaign. Though Machu Picchu is considered to be a “royal” estate, surprisingly, it would not have been passed down in the line of succession. Rather it was used for 80 years before being abandoned, seemingly because of the Spanish Conquests in other parts of the Inca Empire. It is possible that most of its inhabitants died from smallpox introduced by travelers before the Spanish conquistadors arrived in the area.

The standard Inca Trail trip takes four days, though it’s probably better to do it in five. Travelers who want to see two of the greatest hits of the famous hike but who are short on time can opt for this truncated version, which begins at KM 104 of the Machu Picchu train line. A three-hour uphill hike leads to Wiñay Wayna, a spectacular site of stone ruins and curved agricultural terraces that cling to a steep ridge high above the Urubamba River. Hikers can choose between walking ahead the same day to Machu Picchu, or spending one night on the trail, so as to be able to enter the lost city at dawn via the Sun Gate, the dramatic entrance that provides Inca Trail trekkers with their first glimpse of the site. Note: The one-day Inca Trail requires one of the 500 daily Inca Trail permits, and therefore must be booked far in advance.

Trip Length: 1 day (2 if you camp overnight)

Difficulty Level: Medium

The houses had pitched roofs made of straw. The terraced platforms were used to grow crops such as potatoes and corn. Open areas were not covered by green grass (grass did not exist in America until a few centuries ago) but with Ichu, a similar but more yellowish grass that can grow in highlands.

People are often asking how far is machu picchu from lima? In order to be able to respond correctly several factors have to be taken into account, all the international flights land in Lima, at the airport Jorge Chavez, which is now the only International Airport in Peru. It is located 10 km (6 miles) from the historical center of Lima in the district of Callao.

The distance from Lima to Machu Picchu is approximately 503 km  (312.5 miles).

As of 2019, the Machu Picchu entrance fee is still 152 Peruvian Nuevo Soles (about $45 USD). Now, if you plan on hiking the Inca trail, you’re going to be adding significantly more costs. You also have to factor in plane tickets to Lima and Cusco from wherever you are in the world.

If pronounced correctly, Machu Picchu means “old mountain”; if it’s not, you might inadvertently be providing the locals with much entertainment. If you’ve been calling it mah-choo peeK-choo all these years, you’re safe.

You can get to Machu Picchu by bus, train or walking. Traveling from Lima to Cusco by bus is the best way to discover Peru and avoid altitude sickness. Once in Cusco, you would have to make your way by train or bus to Aguas Calientes Town, where you finally can take a public bus to the Citadel.

No matter how physically fit you are, this UNESCO world-historic site is located at an altitude of 7,972 feet (2,430 meters) above sea level.

No matter how physically fit you are, this UNESCO world-historic site is located at an altitude of 7,972 feet (2,430 meters) above sea level.

The wet season begins in November and gets into full swing over the months of December, January and February. The Inca Trail is closed every year in February for restoration. … November and March are risky months for trekking (not for visiting Machu Picchu by train) but it is still possible to encounter limited rain.

January is one of the rainiest times of year to visit Machu Picchu (after February, the height of rainy season, and tied for second-wettest with March)—but it is also one of the warmest months in the Peruvian highlands, with highs around 66°F (19°C) and lows around 45°F (7°C).

October turns the seasonal cycle in Machu Picchu from the dry and cool to wet and warm conditions. The temperatures register mostly in the 12.2°C (54°F) to 25°C (77°F) range, with the humidity above 80%. The skies are partly clear as white clouds regularly appear in the sky.

Machu Picchu is an Incan citadel set high in the Andes Mountains in Peru, above the Urubamba River valley. Built in the 15th century and later abandoned, it’s renowned for its sophisticated dry-stone walls that fuse huge blocks without the use of mortar, intriguing buildings that play on astronomical alignments and panoramic views. Its exact former use remains a mystery.

To access the one-day Inca Trail hike, you take the Peru Rail Vistadome train (see below) from Cusco heading towards Aguas Calientes, the town that Machu Picchu is located in. However, you will disembark the train around 30 minutes before Aguas Calientes at what will appear to be the middle of nowhere, the stop KM 104.

While I could not find any digital reconstruction of Machu Picchu in high definition, the city originally looked very similar to how it looks now. The walls were made of stone as we can see now. And from afar there was not much more to see.

machu picchu MACHU PICCHU PERU ALL FACTS & QUESTIONS | QOSQO EXPEDITIONS LIMITLESS TOURS 11

But I can remember some things that looked different in the times of the Incas:

The houses had pitched roofs made of straw.

machu picchu MACHU PICCHU PERU ALL FACTS & QUESTIONS | QOSQO EXPEDITIONS LIMITLESS TOURS 12

The terraced platforms were used to grow crops such as potatoes and corn.

machu picchu MACHU PICCHU PERU ALL FACTS & QUESTIONS | QOSQO EXPEDITIONS LIMITLESS TOURS 13

Open areas were not covered by green grass (grass did not exist in America until a few centuries ago) but with Ichu, a similar but more yellowish grass that can grow in highlands.

machu picchu MACHU PICCHU PERU ALL FACTS & QUESTIONS | QOSQO EXPEDITIONS LIMITLESS TOURS 14

Some temples had ornaments on their walls made of gold. There are some legends that say that the Incas covered the temple walls with gold, but actually only small parts were covered. Many of the artifacts that were inside the temples were also made of gold.

machu picchu MACHU PICCHU PERU ALL FACTS & QUESTIONS | QOSQO EXPEDITIONS LIMITLESS TOURS 15

Machu Picchu is a Quechua word that comes from “Machu” that means old or ancient, and “Picchu” meaning mountain. Therefore, Machu Picchu translates as “Old Mountain.”

In the Quechua languagemachu means “old” or “old person”, while pikchu means either “portion of coca being chewed” or “pyramid, pointed multi-sided solid; cone”.[18] Thus the name of the site is sometimes interpreted as “old mountain”.

The llaqta (city) of Machupicchu is an Inka political, religious and administrative center, which includes temples, platforms, houses and water channels.

Ticket Machu Picchu is the easiest and fastest way to get your entrance ticket to the wonder of the world Machu Picchu.
Do you dream of visiting Machu Picchu? Do you want to know how, when and where to buy Machu Picchu tickets? We have everything you need to know about the trip to Machu Picchu and the purchase of tickets. Live any of the 3 different experiences that Machu Picchu offers you. Choose the ticket of your choice! You will be able to know the incredible Inca city, live the maximum adventure of climbing the Wayna Picchu, or tour the beautiful trails of the Machu Picchu Mountain, and if you want to know more about its history, the Site Museum will be the perfect complement. Knowing Machu Picchu has never been so easy.

Machu Picchu is an Incan citadel set high in the Andes Mountains in Peru, above the Urubamba River valley. Built in the 15th century and later abandoned, it’s renowned for its sophisticated dry-stone walls that fuse huge blocks without the use of mortar, intriguing buildings that play on astronomical alignments and panoramic views. Its exact former use remains a mystery.

Sacred place and refuge of Inca Pachacutec

It is known that Machu Picchu was a sacred place where the Incas worshiped their gods, but that would not have been the only use that gave the Inca City; it is known that was also used as a kind of retreat for the Inca Pachacutec and his family

Machu Picchu was built in the classical Inca style, with polished dry-stone walls. Its three primary structures are the Intihuatana, the Temple of the Sun, and the Room of the Three Windows. Most of the outlying buildings have been reconstructed in order to give tourists a better idea of how they originally appeared.

On July 24, 1911, American historian Hiram Bingham discovered Machu Picchu, an ancient Inca settlement in Peru. … The farmer called the mountain Machu Picchu, an indigenous phrase for “old peak.” Bingham and his team walked and rode mules to the top of the mountain, where they saw the stone entrance to the old city.

The most popular trek to Machu Picchu is the classic Inca Trail, which follows original trails that the Inca’s would have taken from the Sacred Valley to Machu Picchu.

Ticket Machu Picchu is the easiest and fastest way to get your entrance ticket to the wonder of the world Machu Picchu.
Do you dream of visiting Machu Picchu? Do you want to know how, when and where to buy Machu Picchu tickets? We have everything you need to know about the trip to Machu Picchu and the purchase of tickets. Live any of the 3 different experiences that Machu Picchu offers you. Choose the ticket of your choice! You will be able to know the incredible Inca city, live the maximum adventure of climbing the Wayna Picchu, or tour the beautiful trails of the Machu Picchu Mountain, and if you want to know more about its history, the Site Museum will be the perfect complement. Knowing Machu Picchu has never been so easy.

The most popular trek to Machu Picchu is the classic Inca Trail, which follows original trails that the Inca’s would have taken from the Sacred Valley to Machu Picchu.

Machu Picchu Trail QOSQO EXPEDITIONS

Machu Picchu is a Quechua word that comes from “Machu” that means old or ancient, and “Picchu” meaning mountain. Therefore, Machu Picchu translates as “Old Mountain.”

On July 24, 1911, American historian Hiram Bingham discovered Machu Picchu, an ancient Inca settlement in Peru. Bingham was fascinated by the “lost” history of the Inca Empire, and intrigued by the ruins he explored near the city of Cusco.

When the explorer Hiram Bingham III encountered Machu Picchu in 1911, he was looking for a different city, known as Vilcabamba. This was a hidden capital to which the Inca had escaped after the Spanish conquistadors arrived in 1532. Over time it became famous as the legendary Lost City of the Inca.

While I could not find any digital reconstruction of Machu Picchu in high definition, the city originally looked very similar to how it looks now. The walls were made of stone as we can see now. And from afar there was not much more to see.

But I can remember some things that looked different in the times of the Incas:

The houses had pitched roofs made of straw.

The terraced platforms were used to grow crops such as potatoes and corn.

Open areas were not covered by green grass (grass did not exist in America until a few centuries ago) but with Ichu, a similar but more yellowish grass that can grow in highlands.

Some temples had ornaments on their walls made of gold. There are some legends that say that the Incas covered the temple walls with gold, but actually only small parts were covered. Many of the artifacts that were inside the temples were also made of gold.

Machu Picchu is an Incan citadel set high in the Andes Mountains in Peru, above the Urubamba River valley. Built in the 15th century and later abandoned, it’s renowned for its sophisticated dry-stone walls that fuse huge blocks without the use of mortar, intriguing buildings that play on astronomical alignments and panoramic views. Its exact former use remains a mystery.

In the Quechua languagemachu means “old” or “old person”, while pikchu means either “portion of coca being chewed” or “pyramid, pointed multi-sided solid; cone”. Thus the name of the site is sometimes interpreted as “old mountain”.

क्वेशुआ भाषा में, माचू का अर्थ “पुराना” या “वृद्ध व्यक्ति” होता है, जबकि पिकचू का अर्थ है “कोका का हिस्सा जिसे चबाया जा रहा है” या “पिरामिड, ठोस नुकीला बहु-पक्षीय, शंकु”। इस प्रकार, साइट का नाम कभी-कभी “पुराने पर्वत” के रूप में व्याख्या किया जाता है।

माचू पिच्चू पेरू में देखने के लिए स्थान इस शहर में देखने के लिए कई स्थान हैं, जो समुद्र तल से 2,430 मीटर की ऊंचाई पर एक पर्वत रिज पर स्थित है। माचू पिचू या माचू पिचू पेरू में सबसे लोकप्रिय पर्यटक आकर्षण है। इस यूनेस्को विश्व विरासत स्थल को दुनिया भर में ऑनलाइन सर्वेक्षण में दुनिया के नए सात अजूबों में से एक द्वारा वोट दिया गया है। पेरू का यह ऐतिहासिक शहर माचू पिचू किसी अजूबे से कम नहीं है। माचू पिचू को हिंदी में पढ़ें और इस अनोखे पर्यटन स्थल का आनंद लें।

Machu Picchu (English: /ˈmɑːtʃuː ˈpiːktʃuː/ or /ˈpiːtʃuː/, Spanish: [ˈmatʃu ˈpi(k)tʃu]; Quechua: Machu Pikchu[10] [ˈmatʃʊ ˈpɪktʃʊ]) is a 15th-century Inca citadel, located in the Eastern Cordillera of southern Peru, on a 2,430-metre (7,970 ft) mountain ridge. It is located in the Cusco Region, Urubamba Province, Machupicchu District, above the Sacred Valley, which is 80 kilometres (50 mi) northwest of Cuzco and through which the Urubamba River flows, cutting through the Cordillera and creating a canyon with a tropical mountain climate.

Most archaeologists believe that Machu Picchu was constructed as an estate for the Inca emperor Pachacuti (1438–1472). Often mistakenly referred to as the “Lost City of the Incas”, it is the most familiar icon of Inca civilization. The Incas built the estate around 1450 but abandoned it a century later at the time of the Spanish conquest. Although known locally, it was not known to the Spanish during the colonial period and remained unknown to the outside world until American historian Hiram Bingham brought it to international attention in 1911.

With Machu Picchu, No matter how physically fit you are, this UNESCO world-historic site is located at an altitude of 7,972 feet (2,430 meters) above sea level. Cusco, the entry city before your trek to Machu Picchu, is located at an elevation of 11,152 feet (3,399m) above sea level.

Machu Picchu was built starting 1450–1460. Construction appears to date from two great Inca rulers, Pachacutec Inca Yupanqui (1438–1471) and Túpac Inca Yupanqui (1472–1493).

Machu Picchu. The remains of the ancient Incan city of Machu Picchu, Peru, were discovered in 1912 by Hiram Bingham. On July 24, 1911, American historian Hiram Bingham discovered Machu Picchu, an ancient Inca settlement in Peru.

Is Machu Picchu closing? This is a rumor that is strangely persistent lately.

The short answer to all of these questions is NO. Machu Picchu is currently open to the public, and it will remains open throughout the year. The closure of Machu Picchu responds to the fact that at some point a natural event occurs that threatens its infrastructure. It is only the Inca Trail that will be temporarily closed in February 2020

Nevertheless, in 2019 Machu Picchu is going through a lot of changes. For example, did you know that the schedules to visit this beautiful citadel changed from 2019? In total 5,940 people will be able to purchase Machu Picchu tickets 2019 every day, into 3 schedules (from 6 a.m at 9 a.m.; from 9 a.m at 12 p.m.; and from 12 p.m at 2 p.m.). These New Machu Picchu Restrictions 2019 have changed the way people get to visit Machu Picchu forcing tour operators to change the way they used to operate tours.

Some people have misunderstood these changes which have led to a bunch of misleading information on the web. So, it is essential to understand why this is the case and what to do about it.

Here are a few examples:

The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is closed during February 2020. Since 2001, The new Machu Picchu restrictions 2019 regarding the management and preservation of the Inca Trail demand its temporary closure for the whole month of  February due to safety matters and harsh weather conditions. Heavy rains and landslides occur during this time while park officials carry out works of  maintenance of trails, reconstruction of bridges and improvement of toilets and campsites.

Inca-Trail-to-Machu-Picchu-landscape

However, the closure of the Inca trail on February 2020 does not mean that Machu Picchu will be closed too. Machu Picchu has a calendar of attention to the public, which is from Monday to Sunday from 06:00 to 17:00, including holidays. Only the Inca trail closes temporarily while Machu Picchu remains open year round.We do not recommend anyone to hike to Machu Picchu by any of the alternative treks  due to safety issues.

Sometimes, unexpected changes can occur, but they do not mean that Machu Picchu is closing forever. The last prolonged closure occurred at the end of January 2010. The landslides damaged the railway that connects Aguas Calientes (the city of Machu Picchu) with the rest of the country, being the only access road. Without trains to Machu Picchu, you will not be able to access the Inca city.

Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui
 
Machu Picchu is believed to have been built by Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui, the ninth ruler of the Inca, in the mid-1400s. An empire builder, Pachacuti initiated a series of conquests that would eventually see the Inca grow into a South American realm that stretched from Ecuador to Chile.

Machu Picchu. The remains of the ancient Incan city of Machu Picchu, Peru, were discovered in 1912 by Hiram Bingham. On July 24, 1911, American historian Hiram Bingham discovered Machu Picchu, an ancient Inca settlement in Peru.

In the 16th century the Spanish appeared in South America, plagues afflicting the Inca along with military campaigns waged by conquistadors. In 1572, with the fall of the last Incan capital, their line of rulers came to end. Machu Picchu, a royal estate once visited by great emperors, fell into ruin. Today, the site is on the United Nations’ list of World Heritage sites.

If you have already decided but still do not know when is the best time to go to Machu Picchu, know that there are two seasons in Cusco: dry season and rainy season. While every day is a good time to visit the Inca City, each month has its peculiarities.

How is the weather in Machu Picchu?

  • Due to its location in the middle of the Amazon jungle brow and the Andes mountain range; Machu Picchu enjoys a very peculiar climate.
  • In Machu Picchu there are 2 very marked weather stations: the dry season and the rainy season.

The dry season in Machu Picchu

  • The dry season occurs between April and October. According to many people, it is the best time to visit Machu Picchu.
  • During those months the sun shines all day and there are almost no rains allowing the tourist to make a pleasant tour of the Inca City.
  • In June and July temperatures during the day can reach 25ºC. In the early hours, the lowest temperatures can reach 0ºC.
  • During the dry season there is also the ‘high season of tourism’ in which Machu Picchu supports the highest number of visitors in the year.

The rainy season in Machu Picchu

  • The rainy season occurs between November and March. Unlike what many people think, it does not rain throughout the day. In most cases, the rains occur only in the afternoon.
  • During those months the Inca City can dawn covered with haze. However, with the passing of the morning it will disappear.
  • In February and March the rains are more frequent than in the rest of the year. The maximum temperatures can reach 22ºC. The minimum temperatures, 8ºC.
  • During the rainy season there is also the ‘tourist low season’. In those months you can get lower prices in hotels, tours and other services.

What is the best time to visit Machu Picchu?


What is the best time to explore the mountains of Machu Picchu?

  • In the Inca City, the visitor can make incredible hiking routes such as treks to the tops of the Machu Picchu mountain or the Huayna Picchu.
  • May, June and July are the best months to do these walks. The chances of rain are few and, at the top, the views are spectacular.
  • February, however, is not a good time to go hiking in Machu Picchu. This month has a greater amount of rain, which also restricts the entrance of visitors to the Inca Trail.
  • In the rainy season, the trails of the mountain are narrow and vertigo. During those days, it can be scary for some visitors to feel that the roads are wet.

How is the high season in Machu Picchu?

  • The high season of tourism occurs between May and August. This season coincides with the dry season but also with the vacations in Europe and the United States.
  • If you plan to come to Machu Picchu during the high season, know that you must book admission tickets in advance.
  • The Machu Picchu Only ticket is purchased 2 weeks in advance. The entrance to the mountain Huayna Picchu needs to be acquired with up to 3 months in advance.
  • In the high season, you will have to make long lines to get on the bus that will take you from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu.
  • During those months the prices of most tourist services rise in price. Therefore, it is advisable to book them in advance online.

How is the low season in Machu Picchu?

  • The low season of tourism coincides with the rainy season of Machu Picchu. It runs from November to March and is characterized because in those months when fewer tourists visit the Inca City.
  • Despite the rains, according to some tourists, the low season is the best time to visit Machu Picchu. Is that in those months the Inca City presents its most intense green.
  • Also, during those days it is possible to be in Machu Picchu with the least amount of people possible. Thus, tourists can tour the archaeological site more peacefully.
  • Finally, during the low season of tourism the prices are lower. It is possible to buy tours, hotels and other services at low cost.
 
Machu Picchu and its natural verdure of rainy season
Machu Picchu and its natural verdure of rainy season
 
 

This is Machu Picchu month by month

Each month in Machu Picchu is special. The climate varies in rainy season and dry season. In addition, the number of tourists increases or decreases. It is believed that the best months are May, June and July.

  • Machu Picchu in january

    January presents rain but not every day. It is possible to visit the Inca City with a radiant sun. There are not many tourists touring the archaeological site. It is recommended to bring poncho for rain as well as sunscreen.

  • Machu Picchu in February

    February is the rainiest month in Machu Picchu. The Inca Trail is closed for maintenance. Rains can happen at any time, especially in the afternoons. However, with luck, there may be sunny days. Despite the rains, the Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu mountains are still open.

  • Machu Picchu in March

    In March the rains diminish although it can still happen in the afternoons. The Inca City shines its most intense green. In the mornings fog can rise and cover the landscape. However, with the passing of the day, it will disappear. The Inca Trail reopens its hiking trail then remain closed in February.

  • Machu Picchu in April

    April opening the so-called ‘dry season in Machu Picchu’. The rains decrease substantially. The sun is warm but the heat does not reach its highest temperatures. You can still enjoy the Wonder of the World tinged with an intense green. According to some experts, this intermediate month is a good opportunity to visit Machu Picchu.

  • Machu Picchu in may

    May is one of the best times to visit Machu Picchu. The sun illuminates the Inca City early on. Tourists from Europe and the United States begin to visit the archaeological site in large numbers. It is a good month to go on hikes such as Huayna Picchu, the Inca Trail or the Salkantay Trek.

  • Machu Picchu in June

    June is also a good time to visit Machu Picchu. The sun is intense during the day and rains rarely occur. The Inca City supports its highest number of visits per day. It is a good opportunity to climb the mountain Huayna Picchu. It is recommended to wear a hat, sunscreen and mosquito repellent.

  • Machu Picchu in July

    July is a good month to visit not only Machu Picchu but also the city of Cusco. At the end of that month the Inti Raymi (Sun Festival) is celebrated. The climate reaches its highest temperature. Sunscreen and mosquito protection should be worn. Admission tickets must be purchased online well in advance.

  • Machu Picchu in August

    August is a good opportunity to visit Machu Picchu with sun, little chance of rain and with a decrease in the number of tourists. August is considered an intermediate month because the weather is pleasant. Just do not forget to bring a rain poncho, hat, sunscreen and mosquito repellent.

  • Machu Picchu in September

    September is a good month to go to Machu Picchu as well as hiking trails such as the Inca Trail, the Salkantay Trek or climb the Huayna Picchu mountain. The weather is nice: not much sun or much cold. However, the rains can happen from one moment to the next, so you should bring a rain poncho.

  • Machu Picchu in October

    October is the last month of the dry season. The weather is still nice. The days are sunny and there is little chance of rain. The amount of tourists visiting the archaeological site decreases. It is also a good month to tour the Huayna Picchu, the Inca Trail or the Machu Picchu mountain.

  • Machu Picchu in November

    November marks the beginning of the so-called ‘rainy season in Machu Picchu’. As its name indicates, the rains become more frequent although they are still scarce. It is a good time to visit the Inca City with few people around since the number of daily visits decreases. Rain poncho should be worn as well as appropriate clothing for sunny days.

  • Machu Picchu in December

    In December the number of visits to Machu Picchu increases due to the Christmas and New Year holidays. The weather is warm. Rains occur more frequently, especially in the afternoons. Mornings are usually sunny. You must bring a rain poncho.

Rainy Season & Dry Season From November to March is the rainy season in Machu Picchu.

The Inca Trail is in fact closed for restoration in February. The best time to trek to Mach Picchu, if you are trying to avoid crowds and rain, is on the shoulder months of the dry season, April-May and Late September, October and early November.

The dry season occurs between April and October. According to many people, it is the best time to visit Machu Picchu. During those months the sun shines all day and there are almost no rains allowing the tourist to make a pleasant tour of the Inca City. In June and July temperatures during the day can reach 25ºC.

Best Time To Hike To Machu Picchu
  1. May – September. Dry, most popular time to trek (busiest months June, July and August)
  2. October – December. Wet, but quieter than the busy season and worth considering as months to trek.
  3. January – February. Wettest months, Inca Trail closed in February. …
  4. March – April.

The dry season occurs between April and October. According to many people, it is the best time to visit Machu Picchu. During those months the sun shines all day and there are almost no rains allowing the tourist to make a pleasant tour of the Inca City. In June and July temperatures during the day can reach 25ºC.

While you can buy Machu Picchu entrance tickets in-person in Cusco, Aguas Calientes, or any major city with a Banco de Nacíon, it’s strongly advised to purchase ahead in the high season (June to September), as tickets can sell out.

The best time to visit Machu Picchu is during the dry season. The days are sunny and radiant. May, June and July are the best months to tour the Inca City. In those days, the Inca City has a beautiful landscape.

Best Time To Hike To Machu Picchu
  • May – September. Dry, most popular time to trek (busiest months June, July and August)
  • October – December. Wet, but quieter than the busy season and worth considering as months to trek.
  • January – February. Wettest months, Inca Trail closed in February. …
  • March – April.
The Best Time to Visit Machu Picchu

The rainy season runs from November through March or early April, with downpours (and muddy trails) at their peak between January and March. The Inca Trail is closed each February for maintenance.

The best time to visit Machu Picchu is during the dry season. The days are sunny and radiant. May, June and July are the best months to tour the Inca City. In those days, the Inca City has a beautiful landscape.

La ubicación de Machu Picchu es de 70 millas (112.5 km) al noreste de la ciudad de Cusco, a 7,890 pies (2,400 m) sobre el nivel del mar, dentro del Parque Arqueológico de Machu Picchu, que comprende una gran área de la provincia de Urubamba en el Cusco Departamento. Está rodeado por un enorme bosque de majestuosas montañas.

It is located in the Cusco Region, Urubamba Province, Machupicchu District, above the Sacred Valley, which is 80 kilometres (50 mi) northwest of Cuzco and through which the Urubamba River flows, cutting through the Cordillera and creating a canyon with a tropical mountain climate.

Machu Picchu is located at coordinates 13 ° 09′48 ″ S 72 ° 32′44 ″ W

machu picchu MACHU PICCHU PERU ALL FACTS & QUESTIONS | QOSQO EXPEDITIONS LIMITLESS TOURS 16

Located to the south-west of Machu Picchu citadel and towering 3,050 meters (10,007 feet) above sea level, the mountain trek offers unparalleled views of the famous Inca sanctuary and panoramic vistas of the surrounding mountain scenery.
 
 

Machu Picchu was an Incan retreat for its emperor. Machu Picchu is a 15th-century Inca site located on a ridge between the Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu mountains in Peru. It sits 7,970 feet (2,430 meters) above sea level on the eastern slope of the Andes and overlooks the Urubamba River hundreds of feet below.

Peru Travel information

When to travel to Peru? Considering that Peru is categorized as one of the 17 megadiverse countries on earth, you have a variety of climates and seasons to consider. That being said, you can visit Peru year-round depending on where you would like to visit. However, if you are looking to explore the Amazonian rainforest or traverse through the Andes Mountains, many travelers choose to avoid the rainy season which runs from November to March with its peak between January and February. Visiting from April through October lands you in the generally dry winter season, which is an excellent time to visit Machu Picchu, experience a world-class trek, traverse the exotic Amazon Rain forest not to mention the other amazing destinations Peru has to offer. Speak with a Qosqo Expeditions Designer today to discover the best time for you to experience a luxury tour of Peru.

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CUSCO - PERU: Procuradores Street 394 ( Main Square of Cusco )
USA: 2617 Willow Creek TR Cool CALIFORNIA ( Zip code 95614 )

WHERE YOU FIND US

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12 pensamientos sobre “MACHU PICCHU PERU ALL FACTS & QUESTIONS | QOSQO EXPEDITIONS LIMITLESS TOURS”

  1. Cusco is the main access point for Machu Picchu. From Cusco, you need to reach Aguas Calientes. Aguas Calientes can be reached via train, trek, or else a combination of bus and walking. Once you get to Aguas Calientes, Machu Picchu lies at the top of the mountain above the small town.

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