“For the variety of it’s charms and the power of it’s spell, I do not know another place in the world that compares to it”, is what Hiram Bingham, the American explorer who rediscovered the citadel of Machu Picchu in 1911, said. And now this Wonder of the Modern World is one of the most visited destinations in America.”
What is this magical feeling of your dreams coming true? If you ask any world traveler, it is one thing to see a travel destination through travel blogs, photography, tv shows and movies, and a completely different feeling to see and experience it yourself.
Literally translated as an “old mountain” from Quechua, it is hard to believe that it was known among locals and “rediscovered” by travelers only a century ago, or more specifically by Hiram Bingham, an American professor and anthropologist, who promoted this location through his connections among academic and National Geographic circles.
In 1911, a professor from Yale University visited Machu Picchu archaeological site, and was so impressed by it, that a following year he returned with a team of his colleagues in order to properly research this mysterious Inca city and it’s artifacts. By even eventually publishing a book “The lost city of the Incas”.
Of course, there is knowledge of other explorers and gold hunters reaching this area before him, however, Bingham is the main person credited with making Machu Picchu known worldwide.
Depending on the sources, sometimes Machu Picchu is referenced as the “Settlement of the Incas” or “Lost City of the Incas”, since it was abandoned in the 16th century, besides occupation and visits by local farmers, of course, coinciding with the Spaniards arrival to Latin America and Peru.
Fast forward a century, Machu Picchu is one of the new wonders of the world, UNESCO cultural and archaeological site and one of the most important visited sites in the world. Located in the most remote parts of the country, it is no wonder this “lost and found” nature and archaeological treasure captivates locals and travelers alike from all over the world. So much so, that some travelers even opt out for 4-5 day hiking trails through high altitudes, mountains and lowlands of the Peruvian Andes in order to experience this Inca wonder of ancient history and culture. The same way it was experienced and tracked through many centuries and decades ago. And there is even an Inca Rail option for those travelers accustomed to a modern way of travels or those who are on a tight time schedule, which usually takes only about a few hours.
Nowadays, this is a whole new and quite modern travel experience, in a “tucked away” village somewhere in the Peruvian Andes
Sunrise hours at Machu Picchu among majestic beauty of the mountains
Many travelers get here as early as possible, as soon as the first buses start departing from the bus station in Machu Picchu village, or even earlier, deciding to hike up on their own, to be among the first travelers during these magical sunrise hours in the mountains and experience quiet morning beauty of this “lost and found” ancient Inca city
Among many cultural and archaeological destinations in Peru, Machu Picchu stands out for a reason or even many. There is an ancient Inca City to explore, with it’s own residential area, a royal district, a farming zone and a sacred area
Plus, there is Temple of the Sun, and even a solar clock, or calendar, to spend hours and hours marveling at and wandering around
Temple of the Sun is dedicated to the Sun God, and was previously accessible only to the elites and priests of the Inca civilization. Nowadays, travelers can roam freely around and enjoy architecture and beauty of this ancient Inca City
And did I mention Main Gate, House of the Inca and water fountains?
Besides famous Inca hiking trails, there are two mountains (Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu) at the archaeological site to choose from for a day hike
And citizens of Peru, Bolivia, Colombia and Ecuador can enjoy special low ticket pricing
as well as the Sun Gate, to enjoy an immersive experience of Inca history and culture
Plus, amazing nature and panoramic views of the mountains, as a bonus
This is what sky walking to the top of Machu Picchu mountain feels and looks like
almost on the eye level with the sky and floating clouds, which definitely makes all the hiking very scenic and worthwhile
And this is what first selfies and glimpses of “You’ve made it” look like )
Welcome to Machu Picchu Mountain
Elevation: 3,061 m above sea level
Besides an amazing dream-come-true travel experience, there are picturesque photo-opts locations with panoramic sky and mountain views
and this ancient Inca city, which seems tiny from the top of Machu Picchu mountain
Have you heard of “lost and found” Machu Picchu in Peru?
Enjoy your travels,
All opinions and experiences are, as always, my own.
For traveler related information, planning and ticket purchases visit official Machu Picchu web siteby