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Machu Picchu

Discovered in 1911 by the North American explorer Hiram Bingham, this citadel is considered one of the most extraordinary examples of landscape architecture in the world.

Machu Picchu (in Quechua, old mountain is located on a mountain of granite structure. Using ingenious techniques, the Incas managed to transport heavy blocks of stone, as well as carving and polishing them with surprising neatness.

It is located at 2,360 meters above sea level and about 112 km by rail north of the city of Cusco.

The site was known as Picchu, Piccho, or Picho, during the colonial era and consisted of two parts: old Machu and young Wayna. Picchu means “hill or mountain” and, therefore, the name is simply descriptive. In the citadel of Machu Picchu few people lived – probably no more than 200 or 300 – and, if the suspicion is true, all of them were of high rank and were linked to the lineage of the Inca; that is, they were descendants of the founder of Tawantinsuyo.

According to the traditions gathered by the Spaniards, Machu Picchu must have been erected under the direction of Pachakuteq. The sequence of the process of its construction is not known, but it seems to have been the work of a single project equivalent to a sanctuary or a “urbanization” where spaces, levels and forms were previously established, even though in the course of their existence corrected entries or added enclosures.


Rainy during all summer months (from December to March). Sunny between May and September, with some unexpected rain. Maximum temperatures reach 80 ° F (27 ° C), while minimum temperatures rarely fall below 11 ° C (51 ° F).


It is located 4 hours by train from the city, can also be reached on foot (approximately 4 days by the Inca Trail.

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