Exploring the Historic Ruins of Machu Picchu, Peru
Machu Picchu is a 15th-century Inca city located in the Cusco Region of Peru. It was built by the Inca Pachacuti as a royal estate for the Inca emperor Pachacuti and his family. The site has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, one of only 30 sites so designated in South America.
The site was discovered in 1911 by Yale archaeologist Hiram Bingham, who led an expedition there to explore it further. He returned again in 1912 with photographer Edward Barnard and artist Harry Foote Ritter who documented their discoveries on film and photographs respectively. Bingham published an account of his findings in 1913 entitled “The Lost City of the Incas”, which sold over 100,000 copies within two years and introduced Machu Picchu to international attention.
To get to Machu Picchu, you’ll need to travel to Cusco. The city is located in Peru and has several options for transportation. If you are traveling by plane or bus, the airport is about an hour away from the city center; if you choose to drive yourself there, it will take about three hours on average (though this can vary depending on traffic).
Once in Cusco, there are plenty of accommodations available including hostels and hotels–some even offer tours that include transportation directly from their location!
Exploring the Ruins
The ruins are open to the public and can be explored on your own or with a guide. If you choose to go it alone, there are some tips that will help you get the most out of your experience:
- Bring water and sunscreen as it can get hot in the afternoon sun
- Wear comfortable shoes as there are many stairs and uneven surfaces throughout the site
- Pack light! You don’t want to lug around unnecessary items while exploring this amazing place
History of Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu was built by the Incan Empire and is situated on a mountain ridge above the Urubamba River in Peru. The city was built around 1450 CE, during the height of Inca power. It was abandoned only about 50 years later when Spanish conquistadors invaded Peru and conquered much of its territory.
The exact purpose of Machu Picchu remains unknown; however, many archaeologists believe that it served as an estate for Incan royalty or as an administrative center for religious ceremonies involving human sacrifice (which would explain why so many bodies have been found at its base).
Others have suggested that Machu Picchu might have been used as a retreat for high priests or even as an astronomical observatory due to its location near several mountains with peaks shaped like triangles–a shape associated with deities in ancient Andean cultures such as those found in modern-day Bolivia and Chile.
A Step-by-Step Guide to Planning the Perfect Machu Picchu Vacation
Planning the perfect Machu Picchu vacation can be overwhelming, especially if you’re not familiar with the area. In this guide, we’ll take you through the step-by-step process of planning your dream trip to this UNESCO World Heritage Site in Peru.
Step 1: Decide When to Go
The best time to visit Machu Picchu is during the dry season, which runs from May to September. During this time, you’ll experience clear skies and comfortable temperatures. However, it’s also the most crowded time to visit, so be prepared to book your accommodations and tours well in advance.
Step 2: Book Your Flights and Accommodations
Once you’ve decided on your travel dates, it’s time to book your flights and accommodations. Flights to Cusco, the nearest city to Machu Picchu, can be expensive, so it’s best to book well in advance to save money. As for accommodations, there are plenty of options in Cusco, Aguas Calientes (the town at the base of Machu Picchu), and even within the Machu Picchu complex itself. Choose the one that suits your budget and travel style.
Step 3: Choose Your Tour
There are several ways to experience Machu Picchu, from hiking the Inca Trail to taking a train to Aguas Calientes and then a bus up to the ruins. Choose the tour that suits your interests and fitness level. If you’re planning to hike, make sure to book your permit well in advance, as they sell out quickly.
Step 4: Plan Your Itinerary
Once you’ve chosen your tour, it’s time to plan your itinerary. Decide how much time you want to spend at Machu Picchu and what other activities you want to do in the area. Some popular options include visiting other Inca sites, exploring Cusco, and hiking in the Andes.
Step 5: Pack for Your Trip
Make sure to pack appropriately for your Machu Picchu vacation. The weather can be unpredictable, so bring layers and rain gear. Also, don’t forget to pack comfortable shoes for walking around the ruins.
Step 6: Get Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is essential for any international trip, and Machu Picchu is no exception. Make sure to purchase travel insurance that covers medical emergencies, trip cancellations, and lost or stolen belongings.
Step 7: Enjoy Your Trip!
Finally, it’s time to enjoy your Machu Picchu vacation! Take in the stunning views, learn about the history and culture of the area, and make memories that will last a lifetime. Don’t forget to try some of the delicious Peruvian cuisine while you’re there, too!