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Machu Picchu: One Of The Wonders Of The World

Inca walls, colorful costumes, churches built on top of palaces, citadels lost in the Andean heights, legendary roads-all the beauty of a glorious past that enfolds the visitors who arrives in Cuzco, the sacred city of the Incas and archaeological capital of the Americas. Ever since US archaeologist Hiram Bingham discovered the citadel of Machu Picchu for the world, Cusco has fired the imagination of millions of travelers from all over the world who venture down the Inca Trail every year, headed for the summit of one of the world’s most extraordinary monuments.

The city of Cuzco, however, features many other attractions which by themselves would be enough to attract visitors. The main square, which the Incas called Huacaypata, the artisans quarter of San Blas, the Convent of Santo Domingo, built on top of the Temple of the Sun or Korikancha and the palaces of the Inca and his court are part of a long list of archaeological wonders.

The ancient Inca citadel of Machu Picchu is the star attraction of Cuzco. The citadel is deemed one of the world’s finest examples of landscape architecture and was discovered in 1911 by US explorer Hiram Bingham.

Machu Picchu (“old mountain” in Quechua, the ancient language of the Incas) nestles on top of a mountain saddle high above the Urubamba River in the middle of the cloud forest. It was both a center of worship and astronomic observatory as well as the private retreat of the family of Inca ruler Pachacutec. It is split into two major areas: the agriculture zone, made up of terracing and food storehouses; and the urban zone, featuring the sacred sector, with temples, squares and royal tombs which have been carved to an extraordinary degree of perfection. The stone staircases and canals are found throughout this unique archaeological site.

Huayna Picchu (Young Mountain in Quechua) looms over the citadel and its steep stone pave trail can be climbed by any visitor.

In 2007 Machu Picchu was elected one of the new seven wonders of the world along with the Chinese Great Wall, Rome’s Coliseum and Taj Mahal.


Located in the department of Cuzco, the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is Peru`s most popular trekking route and possibly one of the most spectacular walks in the Americas.It forms part of the more than 23,000 Km (14,260 miles) of roads built by the Incas across South America. Each year, some 25,000 hikers from all over the world walk the 43 km (27 miles) stone-paved trail, built by the Incas to get to the impregnable citadel of Machu Picchu, deep in the Cuzco cloud forest.

The trail sets out from Qorihuayrachina, at Kilometer 88 the Cuzco-Quillabamba railway, and takes three to four days of tough hiking. The route runs through an impressive range of altitudes, where climates and eco-systems range from the high Andean plain down to the cloud forests. The trail climbs up through two highland passes (the higher of the two, Warmiwañuska, lies at 4,200 masl {13776 feet}) before reaching Machu Picchu through the Inti Punku or Gateway of the Sun. One of the attractions of the trail is the past carved granite Inca settlements (Wiñay Wayna, Phuyupatamarca), surrounded by breath-taking natural scenery. The forests abound in hundreds of species of orchids, brightly-colored birds and dream-like landscapes which are the ideal complement to this amazing hikers’ route.

Source: visitperu