Why Machu Picchu is Famous
Machu Picchu, located in the Andes at a height of almost 7,000 feet, is the most popular tourist attraction in Peru. a representation of AD and the Inca Empire. A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1983 and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World since 2007, Machu Picchu was constructed around 1450. In the Quechua language, “Machu Picchu” is a nickname for “Old Mountain” or “Ancient Peak.” More than 150 structures, ranging from homes and baths to temples and shrines, may be seen in Machu Picchu.
There are more than 100 distinct stairs throughout the complex. A single slab of stone was used to cut out each step. Hundreds of men are thought to have pushed the massive stones up the mountain’s steep side rather than using wheels to transport them, despite the fact that many of the stones used to create the city weighed more than 50 pounds.
There are other suggestions concerning Machu Picchu’s use, including a royal realm and a hidden ceremonial center. The Incas were some of the greatest stonemasons in history. These buildings are constructed using the ashlar method, which involves cutting the stones so precisely that not even a knife blade can fit between them.
Up before 1911, Yale professor Hiram Bingham had only heard of Machu Picchu locally. Based on his discoveries, he wrote The Lost City of the Incas. The items that Bingham gathered during his site explorations are the subject of a protracted disagreement between Yale University and Peru. Peru claims they borrowed the objects, while Yale claims they own them.
The holy stone Intihuatana from the astronomical observatory Machu Picchu precisely marks the two horizons. The sun never casts a shadow on the stone because it is directly overhead twice a year.
Unfortunately, the Spanish conquest completely destroyed many of the cities that the Inca civilization erected. Machu Picchu is one of the best-preserved Inca settlements and an archaeological treasure since it is concealed, unseen from below, and difficult to locate.
Places of Interest in Machu Picchu
01. Central Plaza
The ceremonial portion of Machu Picchu is primarily divided from the urban and industrial sectors by the central plaza. You are surrounded by dark green terraces and roofless stone buildings while you are in this square. This location is another one where the local llamas graze on the grass. This is the ideal location to see Huayna Picchu if you want to get an excellent view of it.
02. Hut of the Caretaker of the Funerary Rock
One of Machu Picchu’s most picturesque locations is the caretaker’s cottage at Burial Rock, one of the city’s rebuilt structures. On the carved rock behind the house, it is said that Inca lords were mummified at this location. Views of the entire complex below are more magnificent from this vantage point. A small herd of alpacas and llamas may also be seen entering Machu Picchu at Funerary Rock to feed on the grassy terraces.
03. House of the High Priest
The House of the High Priest is a must-see while visiting Machu Picchu, despite the fact that little is known about it. The structure still has four walls and faces both the three-window temple and the main temple in the holy square. These Inca buildings are regarded as the best in the area.
04. Inca Drawbridge
From the caretaker’s cottage, go down a picturesque path to a precarious precipice that leads to the Inca drawbridge. This approach offers a distinctive view of Machu Picchu while encircling you in the rich foliage of the cloud forest. You will be astounded by the Inca builders’ expertise and their use of granite in the bridge’s construction, making the bridge’s architecture well worth viewing. Additionally, you may witness several bromeliads and epiphytic orchid species when out for a stroll.
06. Inti Punku
You can reach Intipuncu, also known as the Gate of the Sun, through the Inca Trail, which is just one of the numerous reasons travelers choose to climb Machu Picchu. It was thought to provide a method for Machu Picchu’s upper class to access the site. You shouldn’t miss the vista of Machu Picchu because it is a notable feature of this location.
A piece of granite called Intihuatana is frequently mistaken for the Sun. But it’s still not apparent why the Incas employed it specifically. Many people think that since there were no shadows at the time, Inca astronomers utilized it to forecast eclipses. This landmark, which lies at the summit of Intihuatana Mountain, is a must-see since many tourists report that the fresh air here helps them recover physically so they can continue touring Machu Picchu.
07. Principal Temple
The main temple, a superb example of sophisticated Inca stonework, takes its name from the perfection of its construction. The temple is a substantial three-sided structure composed of exquisitely carved stones that is situated at the revered site of Machu Picchu. It is said that ceremonial offerings were made at the main shrine. This is the place to go if you want to experience masonry culture at its finest.
08. Sacred Rock
The Sacred Rock, where the Incas reportedly went to meditate, take in poetry readings, or hold musical performances, is situated in the bottom portion of Machu Picchu’s town area. Some claim that the rock has Mount Putukusi behind it engraved into it. Climbing Huayna Picchu, which serves as the nearest beginning point for your journey to the sacred rock, is the ideal route to reach this location. The Sacred Rock, like many other locations in Machu Picchu, offers stunning panoramas of the region.
09. Royal Tomb
In the heart of Machu Picchu, beneath the Temple of the Sun, is where you may find the Royal Tomb, which is largely concealed. The cave was expertly chiseled out of the natural rock by Inca masons, and its purpose is still up for discussion. The massive, two-tiered altar and the stone stairs that have been chiseled into the rock are this tomb’s standout characteristics. Additionally, the finely carved Inca cross wall sculptures, ceremonial niches, and stone walls will astound you.
10. Temple of the Sun
The tapering, curving Temple of the Sun is the sole round structure at Machu Picchu. Since the actual structure is unsafe for people to enter, the best way to observe this location is from above. One of the most revered temples in the Inca citadel is the Temple of the Sun. You will be in awe at the temple’s structure, which had rounded walls and a trapezoidal window to allow for a variety of purposes, such as a solar observatory and offerings to the deities.
11. Temple of the Condor
The enormous sculpture of a condor head that gives the Temple of the Condor its name is a remarkable example of Inca stone building. This location is magnificent, and the expanded wings of the condor statue are formed of rocky earth. The head is said to have used as a sacrifice altar. The temple also has a tiny cave underneath it that was utilized for ceremonies. A building behind the temple is said to be a prison complex with a labyrinth of underground dungeons. It is best to see the Condor Temple in person to fully comprehend its majesty.
12. Temple of the Three Windows
The three conspicuous trapezoidal windows that give the Temple of the Three Windows its name are positioned close to Machu Picchu’s main square. The reason and origin of the temple and its windows are hotly contested. Some have proposed that the windows represent the underworld, heaven, and earth, three separate realms of life. You shouldn’t skip this location, notably its structure and rock carvings, regardless of its intended use. The Temple of Tree Windows is typically the first place you visit and explore on walks.
13. Temple of the Moon
The Temple of the Moon is a well-kept secret sanctuary tucked away from the main Huana Picchu ruin complex amid a collection of exquisitely carved caverns. The building is interesting to visit and has significant religious significance for the neighborhood. Even though Huayna Picchu hikers don’t frequently go there, those who go in the additional time can see some of Machu Picchu’s greatest rocks.
Things to do in Machu Pichu for visitors
01. Hike Up to Machu Picchu
Wake up early and wait in line for the bus if you’re staying in Aguas Calientes, especially if you want to purchase tickets to Huayna Picchu. You can trek up to Machu Picchu if you’re feeling really active or want to avoid the throng. It will take you between one and three hours to complete the journey, which is more direct than riding the bus.
02. See the Sunrise from Machu Picchu
Catching the sunrise at Machu Picchu is another reason to visit; doing so is also feasible if you ride the first bus. You may see the ruins before the tour groups do, which is an added benefit.
03. See the Inca bridge
The little trip is worthwhile to see the bridge that formerly functioned as Machu Picchu’s covert entrance. Although the bridge is currently unusable for safety concerns, it is nevertheless a striking sight. In the past, people traversed this narrow wooden plank to prevent intruders from reaching Machu Picchu. The bridge crosses a gap in the cliff with a 600-meter plunge below. From the well-known Machu Picchu viewpoint, the short walk leads to the Inca Bridge, which can be reached on foot in 15 minutes.
04. Find the Intihuatana
The Intihuatana, a carved stone with sacred significance that the Incas employed as an astronomical device, is another attraction in Machu Picchu. The English translation of the Quechua phrase Intihuatana, which means “hitching post of the sun,” reflects the Incas’ conviction that the stone held the sun steady as it moved through the sky.
05. Climb Up to The Sun Gate
After a strenuous four-day journey, if you’re fortunate enough to land a position on the Inca Trail, you’ll get your first glimpse of Machu Picchu through the Sun Gate, Intipunku. It’s a beautiful opportunity to receive your first look of the enigmatic lost city of the Incas and a reward for all the effort you put into reaching the location. But if you’re traveling from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu, it’s worthwhile to climb the Sun Gate to see the ruins from above. A little over an hour is needed to go to Intipunku.
06. See the Temple of The Sun
One of the most significant structures of Machu Picchu and one of the finest displays of Inca masonry is the Torreón. The Sun Temple may have formerly used as a location for astronomical observations.
07. Climb Huayna Picchu
Everybody appears to shoot the same iconic shot of Machu Picchu, which invariably has a massive rock structure towering in the distance. Huayna Picchu is this rock, which may be climbed to the top for some of the greatest views of the archaeological site and the mountains nearby. Only 400 people are permitted to ascend it each day, therefore you must purchase your tickets in advance. You might still be able to get one of the final tickets if you go to Machu Picchu extremely early, but don’t depend on it!
08. Visit the Principal Temple
The main temple is the activity that is recommended at Machu Picchu. Being one of the highest structures, it is a location that demands to be visited. This structure, which is close to the Sacred Plaza, is another illustration of the intricate Inca brickwork.