Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

This popular historic destination is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Here we are greeted by the ancient remnants of an Inca civilization deep in the mountains of Peru, about 50 miles northwest of Cuzco.


Nestled between two mountains (Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu) at an altitude of nearly 8,000 feet, it was built around the year 1450.  There are numerous speculations as to why it was built, but it is known that after about 100 years the area was abandoned.


Many speculations also exist as to the purpose of it and the people who lived there.  It was a lost civilization for many centuries, invisible under jungle overgrowth; so hidden it escaped destruction in the wave of Pizarro’s Spanish Conquest.  In 1911 Hiram Bingham re-discovered the site and led an archaeological excavation, which resulted in the unearthing of this ancient world.


You can read more about Machu Picchu here.


For perspective you can see two people in the bottom left hand corner


Waiting for the train, that's me with the backpack

Waiting for the train, that’s me with the backpack

There are several ways to get to Machu Picchu, I happened to go by train.  It was a wonderful experience which included an animated albeit unusual fashion show.  Passing through the Sacred Valley of the Incas and paralleling the beautiful Urubamba River, we arrived in Machu Picchu thoroughly entertained.  As it was its own adventure, I will write about it in a future post.


The Inca Trail is also a popular route to the Site, though it is only for the heartiest of hikers and requires strict advanced booking.  Tour operators offer alternative routes as well.


View from the train, Urubamba River

View from the train, Urubamba River

Tourism is heavy at this celebrated attraction, but the government has made restrictions which have helped to preserve the area.  I tend to avoid touristy places but I was fortunate that our travel group arranged an overnight up there in the mountains.  This way we could visit the site toward the end of one day and then again first thing in the morning before tourist buses arrived.  That’s why the site photos are relatively peopleless.


I was enlightened and moved by this mystical, sacred place.  Fascinating history, remarkable stonework and terracing craftsmanship, and the natural features were breathtaking (literally and figuratively).  It is easy to see why ancient Peruvians mastered the weather extremes and lived in peace on this mountaintop…it’s a step closer to heaven.



Photo credit:  Athena Alexander



10 thoughts on “Machu Picchu

  1. I’ve been to Machu Picchu twice and the second time I climbed to Wayna Picchu and shot some pictures from there. If you’re afraid of hights or shear drops then don’t go there. The citadel is magnificent in beauty as much as engineering! Thanks for reminding me of such wonder Jet! 🙂

  2. Outstanding place with so much history and culture behind !!!
    You have so handsomely presented it,dear Jet ! Added on my bucket list,already,you were lucky you experienced the spirit of such an ancient civilisation !!! Love and warm wishes, Doda 🙂 xxx

    • Thanks so much, Doda. MP goes back so many centuries, it was tricky integrating the past and present in a short, readable post. So I’m glad you liked it and I appreciate the warm feedback. 🙂

    • I hope you do get to visit, Amelia. You might want to try the overnight stay, it is so quiet in the mornings for those like us who aren’t big on tourist destinations. Great to hear from you. 😀

  3. How interesting post. I love it. Cuzco and Machu Picchu are places where I want to visit someday. When I was young, I visited nearly in every state in South America. I visited Lima, Peru for the first time in the 70s. In Lima, I bought with me about 20 LP with music style Cumbia. I noticed in a record shop when listening Cumbias that children on the street started to dance when hearing those happy, danceable, tropical music rhythms.

    Yet today after more than 40 years, Cumbias and Cumbias Andinas from Peru are my favorite music. Few years ago, my wife and I decided to have a goddaughter from Peru. She lives near to Cuzco. It has been a great joy to help one family in Peru. Bigger joy has been, when comparing photos form my goddaughter during years. Now she seems to be happy! It has great importance to us.

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