Have you planned your dream vacation to Peru? Booked all your airline tickets and your tours, you will want to see many parts of this of this wonderful country, considered one of the most bio diverse on the planet. You will arrive into Peru in Lima the capital on the coast; you should take the time to spend a few days in the capital and experience all the amazing cuisine that Lima is famous for. Take in some of the museums and get a good knowledge of all the cultures that have lived in Peru. Go to the jungle of Peru for all the natural beauty one could ever want in a vacation. You cannot go to Peru and not visit the highlands of the Andes Mountain range. Home to the great Inca Empire, the city of Cusco was the heartland of these intelligent people. One Inca ruin that you cannot miss is the Inca Citadel of Machu Picchu. In this article, we are going to give you some Machu Picchu facts, things that will be of interest for your journey to Machu Picchu.
Now let us go through some facts that you may or may not know about Machu Picchu..
In the Quechua language, which is one of the ancient languages of Peru, Machu Picchu means Old Peak or Old Mountain, Huayna Picchu which is the peak in front of Machu Picchu mean Young Mountain or Peak.
The Incas were some of the best masons in the world, the structures they built without technology need to be seen to be believed, they used a technique called ashlar, and this means that the stones were cut to fit together without mortar.
Unfortunately, most of the Inca temples were lost when the Spanish conquered Peru, but Machu Picchu survived as it was hidden for centuries by lush jungle. This makes Machu Picchu the best example of Inca architecture we are able to visit today.
Machu Picchu is made up of 150 buildings featuring baths, houses, temples and sanctuaries. The compound contains more than 100 separate flights of stairs most made from a single piece of stone.
There are two ways to reach the site, one is a four-day hike following some of the ancient Inca pathways before arriving into Machu Picchu, July in the summer is the best month to hike Machu Picchu, but the crowds are bigger. The other way to get to Machu Picchu is by train, there are different styles of train from tourist to the ultimate in luxury depending on your budget.
Machu Picchu was thought to be an astronomical observatory and the sacred Intihuatana stone indicates this. Twice a year, the sun sits directly over the stone creating a shadow.
Apart from taking a tour, there are many things to do in Machu Picchu. You can hike to Huayna Picchu, which is the peak in front of the ruin, a great place for taking photos of Machu Picchu. You can also hike to Machu Picchu Mountain for some really spectacular views. There are also some shorter hikes to take, the interesting Inca Bridge and also you can walk up to the Sun Gate.
The location of Machu Picchu is located on the eastern Andes Mountains in a tropical mountain forest; the site is 7970 feet above sea level and looks like it has been cut into the side of the mountain.
The Incas arrived at Machu Picchu by a great network of roads and pathways. Today you can use some of these to visit other sites in the area like Winay Wayna.
Thought to be the first white man to see Machu Picchu, Hiram Bingham discovered the site in 1911, the Yale professor was looking for another famous site, when a local boy lead him to the site. Some believe that he was not the first but a German businessman discovered Machu Picchu in 1874, it is thought that the German took many artifacts from the site, but this has never been proven.
There are many theories as to why the Inca abandoned Machu Picchu, like that there was no water and that it had to be carried from the river below, or there was an outbreak of disease but as there were nearly no corpses found at the site this seems unlikely. We may never know why it was deserted so it remains a mystery.
Today there remains a long-standing dispute between Peru and Yale University over the artifacts collected by Bingham during his exploration of the site. Yale maintains that they own the collection, while Peru insist they were given on loan.
The fact remains that you must visit Machu Picchu when you travel to Peru; there are many luxury Machu Picchu hotels to stay on your visit. Take a luxury train and travel in style, do not miss the opportunity to experience this Wonder of the World. We hope you enjoy Machu Picchu facts and we have given you some information about the site you might not have known.