About Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu stands 2,430 meters above sea-level, in the middle of an extraordinary tropical mountain forest. To this day, it is probably the most amazing urban creation of the Inca Empire. Its mountainous height, giant walls, terraces and ramps seem as if they have been cut naturally into the continuous rock escarpments.
The name Machu Picchu has Quechua roots. Machu means “old or ancient,” and Picchu means “mountain.” Therefore, Machu Picchu is translated as “Old Mountain.”
Machu Picchu is one of the most popular places to visit in all of Peru. Before you take the trip, here are a few things to help you along the way.
Architecture and History of Machu Picchu
The approximately 200 structures of Machu Picchu include outstanding religious, ceremonial, astronomical and agricultural centers set on a steep ridge, crisscrossed by stone terraces.
Most modern archaeologists and historians agree that Machu Picchu was built by the Inca Pachacutec, the greatest statesman of Tahuantinsuyo, who ruled from 1438 to 1471. Archaeologists believe that the construction of the citadel dates back to the fifteenth century, approximately.
Machu Picchu is formed of buildings, plazas and platforms, connected by narrow lanes and paths. One sector is cordoned off to itself by walls, ditches, and perhaps, a moat, writes Lumbreras.
The construction of Machu Picchu began when the Inca’s territory started to expand. According to archaeologists, the last battle that defined victory over the Chancas was fought in this area. This prestigious victory gave historical power to the Incas.
In 1983, UNESCO added Machu Picchu to its list of World Heritage Sites. If you choose to visit Machu Picchu, you can see the extraordinary architecture in person.
Discovery of Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu was discovered in 1911 by Hiram Bingham, an American explorer who was searching for Vilcabamba, the last resting place of the Incas.
The ruins nestled were covered in heavy vegetation and partly looted by local residents. Because of its remote location, Machu Picchu was never discovered by the Spaniard conquerors.
The citadel was divided into two areas:
- Agricultural area consisting of the terraces
- Urban section, which served administrative purposes
How to Visit Machu Picchu
The fastest and most convenient way to visit Machu Picchu from Cusco is by a combination of train and bus. Surprisingly, there is no road that goes directly to Machu Picchu.
Peru Rail trains depart from the Poroy Train Station in Cusco. Peru Rail is the only company operating trains to Machu Picchu.
If train is not your style, you can travel to Machu Picchu with Gulliver Expeditions.
Book a Machu Picchu Tour with Gulliver Expeditions Today!
If you’re up for an adventure, feel free to contact the travel experts at Gulliver Expeditions.
Gulliver Expeditions is a leading Machu Picchu tour company.
Our Machu Picchu tours guide you through the Inca trail on expeditions ranging from 2 to 13 days. Book your dream Machu Picchu adventure today!