Located at the Machupicchu district of Peru at an altitude of 8,000 ft above sea level is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Machu Picchu, which means “old peak” in native South American languages, is perhaps the most familiar symbol we relate with the mysterious Inca civilization. You might find it hard to believe, but this site was unknown to the world outside Peru until US historian Hiran Bingham brought it to international attention in 1911.
Although not much is known about the role of Machu Picchu in the life of the Incas, modern researchers are of the opinion that it was used as a country resort for the elite Incas. It was hard for an entire civilization to live at Machu Picchu as it had the capacity to house no more than 750 people at once (and even fewer in the rainy seasons).
The most remarkable feature of this site is its location. I have hardly seen any place in the planet so well-protected and well-hidden. This is perhaps the reason why Spanish invaders were unable to find this site when they invaded Peru in mid-16th century. Moreover, the watch towers and checkpoints littered between the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu made it nearly inaccessible to invasions.
Machu Picchu was constructed around mid-15th century with polished dry-stone walls in the mould of the classical Inca style. There are three distinct buildings in the area – the Room of the Three Windows, the Sun Temple, and the Intihuatana. The air of this place has got something mystic imbued in it – it instantly teleports you to the ancient days amidst the Incas. And the ruins of the building will be enough to give you the idea of what this place was in its full glamor and glory.
If you take my advice, hiking the Inca Trail is the best route to get into Machu Picchu. The first view of the site through the Sun Gate is absolutely spell-binding. There are both 2-days and 4-days hikes controlled by the Peru government. However, you must take your physical fitness into consideration. After all, everyone cannot relate with the idea of walking for days and sleeping in tents, isn’t it? You also need to make sure that you contact a tour agency, as the government doesn’t allow tourists to pay independent visits to the site.
So what do you think? Won’t you pay a visit to Machu Pichhu? Don’t just stick to the idea of visiting a Wonder of the World or a UNESCO World Heritage Site… also consider the breath-taking views from the mountain top. Trust me, that’s something you should never miss!