A brief overview
Machu Picchu is a pre-Columbian, 7,000 feet above sea level and nestled on a small hilltop between the Andean Mountain Range, the majestic city soars above the Urabamba Valleybelow. The Incan built structure has been deemed the “Lost Cities”, unknown until its relatively recent discovery in 1911. Archaeologists estimate that approximately 1200 people could have lived in thearea, though many theorize it was most likely a retreat for Incan rulers. Due to it’s isolation from the rest of Peru, living in the area full time would require traveling great distances just to reachthe nearest village.
Separated into three areas - agricultural, urban, and religious - the structures are arranged so that the function of the buildings matches the form of their surroundings. Theagricultural terracing and aqueducts take advantage of the natural slopes; the lower areas contain buildings occupied by farmers and teachers, and the most important religious areas are located at thecrest of the hill, overlooking the lush Urubamba Valley thousands of feet below.
Hikers, tourists, and the early explorers describe similar emotions as they climb their way through the Inca Trail. Manycall the experience magical. Glancing out from the Funerary Rock Hut on all the temples, fields, terraces, and baths seems to take you to another time. Blending in with the hillside itself, many saythe area creates a seamless and elegant green paradise, making it a must for anyone who travels to Peru.
The Incas started building the "estate" around AD 1400, but abandoned it as an official sitefor the Inca rulers a century later at the time of the Spanish Conquest. Although known locally, it was unknown to the outside world before being brought to international attention in 1911 by theAmerican historian Hiram Bingham. Since then, Machu Picchu has become an important tourist attraction. Most of the outlying buildings have been reconstructed in order to give tourists a better idea of...
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