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Who doesn’t know about the famous Inca citadel of Machu Picchu? It is the most iconic and unforgettable historical landmark in the country. The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Machu Picchu is a classical colonial settlement in the Andean region of Peru.
It is also the highest city of the Inca civilization, as it is one of the great citadels of the Incas. It has remained nearly intact through the centuries and is a well-preserved example of a city built by the Incas.
A visit to this historical citadel is an unforgettable experience that will leave you with a plethora of memories. It is located in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, an hour’s drive from Cusco, the gateway to Machu Picchu.
THE CITY OF THE INCAS
Machu Picchu is one of the finest examples of a city built by the Incas. This citadel was not only their home but also the center of their empire. It is a well-preserved example of an Inca citadel and is recognized as a World Heritage Site. The Incan people, who were farmers and warriors, created this citadel in order to be safe from any invading army.
The citadel was originally built in 1450 AD with 10 stories high. As time went on, it became evident that it had been neglected during construction so they added more floors to make it even stronger.
The Inca civilization occupied the territory until 1533 AD when Pizarro invaded Peru and conquered the Incas. It wasn’t until 1884 that Machu Picchu was discovered by Hiram Bingham III and its history was finally revealed to the world.
HOW TO REACH MACHU PICCHU
Machu Picchu is not accessible by public transportation. If you want to visit this historical citadel, you must take a tour from Cusco. Inca Trail is the most popular way of getting to Machu Picchu in Peru. The hike takes up to six hours and requires an overnight stay at the mountain shelter of Aguas Calientes before reaching Machu Picchu.
To get to Machu Picchu, it is necessary to cross the Urubamba River on foot via a bridge called Puente del Inca. This bridge consists of two stone arches and has been restored for an easier passage for pedestrians and cyclists.
Another option if you don’t want to endure the trek is hiring a private guide or helicopter service from Cusco (approximately US$600). You can also use buses that go directly from Cusco or Ollantaytambo (about US$20 one way)
This is one of the most ancient Inca citadels of Peru. The citadel has a very well-preserved history, which you can see by its architecture. It is recognized as a world heritage site by UNESCO and the government hosts many different activities and events related to Machu Picchu in Machu Picchu Pueblo, a village near the city that was created around the citadel.
Machu Picchu is also mentioned in “The Lost City of Z” by David Grann and many other books about archaeology and history.
Machu Picchu does have 2 entrances:
The main entrance, or Puerta de Inti Raymi, where you will find signs for hikers from Cusco;
And the steep trail to get there at Huayna Picchu, which leads to Machu Picchu Mountain.
INCAN LEGENDS ABOUT MACHU PICCHU
The Incas believed that Machu Picchu was a sacred place, a temple to the sun god, Inti. The site is also said to be a sacred center for the four winds of the world.
According to legend, Huayna Capac was returning from one of his battles when he died and his army discovered the citadel. When they came upon it, they were too afraid to enter and built a funeral pyre around him. He told them that if they chose not to enter he would return from the dead and punish them for their transgressions.
When Pachacuti saw the flames, he made up his mind that he would build another city at Machu Picchu and when he did, that became Cusco’s capital instead of Machu Picchu.
The historic site of Machu Picchu is one of the most beautiful and impressive ruins in the world. The mountain city has a unique history as well as an aura that captivates people from around the world.
The site is a testament to the Incas and their architectural accomplishments. With its intricate design and grandeur, it is impossible not to feel humbled by the culture that created this city.