It is quite difficult to explain the emotion that you can feel when you are doing a tour to Machu Picchu. This magical wonder is one of the biggest Peru tourist attractions that receives thousands of tourists from different parts of the world every year. However, do you know how and whom this wonder was discovered? We invite you to learn more about this story on Cusco Peru Travel Blog.
Hiram Bingham was born on November 19th, 1875 in Hawaii. He was a professor and son of the first protestant groups in Hawaii. He was Alfreda Mitchell´s husband and father of 3 children, also known for his passion and love for Latin American History, in addition to having a political career in Connecticut. His wife was heir to a great fortune, which in time was invested in his great expeditions.
In his first journey to South America, Yale University professor Hiram Bingham longed to explore the hidden lands that extend beyond the Andes mountain range, legend had it that “VILCABAMBA, THE LOST CITY OF THE INCAS” lay there. Bingham was determined to discover it. So in 1910, he organized the Peruvian Yale expedition formed by a group of 7 people with whom he leaves from the United States to start a new adventure.
On July 1911, Hiram Bingham and his team arrive in Peru. They meet Carrasco Sergeant who knows histories about the impressive archaeological remains that were in Cusco, so he joined the team and was taken as an interpreter. Upon arriving in Cusco city, they took pack mules and what is required to start with their long journey. Being on the road with many difficulties, they know Ollantaytambo and Urubamba places that are part of the Sacred Valley.
On July 23, the team of explorers arrived at Mandor Pampa where they meet to Mr. Melchor Arteaga, a very friendly local who spoke about many archeological ruins that his ancestors had built in a nearby place. It was Machu Picchu, which translated from Quechua would mean “Old Mountain”
At dawn, on July 24, the Yale expedition begins the trek to Machu Picchu. After some difficulties and the presence of a rain, the Yale team decides to stop, however, Hiram Bingham, who was determined to achieve his goal, continued moving along with the Carrasco Sergeant and Mr. Melchor Arteaga, coming to meet on the way with the cabin of a humble family that sheltered from the rain, they commented that they were engaged in agriculture and that many of the platforms were then used by them.
After a conversation between a local family and the Bingham group, in which the explorers obtained more Machu Picchu Information, the family decides that their little son can accompany the group of explorers on their excursion to Machu Picchu. It is then that little boy Pablo Racharte starts the journey with the group. After a long walk, Hiram Bingham said that he came to appreciate something unexpected, it was archaeological remains built with stone, carved in the finest and most precise way. He says that the walls were of great height, that they were in front of something impressive. It was then that Hiram Bingham knew he had discovered a place of great historical importance and the last citadel inhabited by the Incas.
After Hiram Bingham discovered Machu Picchu, he went to search resources to carry out research in the area, managing to capture the interest and help of the Peruvian government, Yale University, and San Antonio Abad University. In the following months to discovery, The National Geographic launches an article that launches the new discovery in Cusco, which generates much interest in the public.
In the following years, it was doubted that the first to discover Machu Picchu was Hiram Bingham, because 9 years before his arrival, Mr. Agustín Lizárraga had visited the place with his travel partners. Proof of this, they left their names carved on a rock. Hiram Bingham acknowledges this fact, but his arrival remains of great relevance since it was due that excavations and investigations in the area were initiated.
In the years after the discovery, different investigations were carried out. However, it was known that Machu Picchu was not the last refuge that Manco II used before facing the invaders. Anyway, Hiram Bingham died believing his theory. Studies show that Machu Picchu was a resting place of the IX Inca ruler Pachacuteq, a place that was unknown to the invaders, probably because of the difficult geography.
If you want to meet this wonderful place with historical, cultural and archeological wealth, by taking Machu Picchu excursions, we invite you to see the different options that Cusco Peru Travel has for you.
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