Back to Vacation Description
The ‘Holy Grail’ for lovers of Inca monuments, the enigmatic lost city of Machu Picchu is the most famous archaeological site in all of South America and possibly the world. The spectacular collection of temples, terraced hills and plazas was the mountain-top citadel of the Inca under Pachacutec and Tupac Yupanqui, until the coming of the Europeans with Pizarro.
It may have the most familiar name, but Machu Picchu has refused to reveal many of its mysteries, including the secrets of its construction, function, and demise. The overgrown ruins were discovered by US historian Hiram Bingham in 1911, and the quality of the stonework hints that it was an extremely important ceremonial site. The remains are thought to date from around 1450, built at the height of the Inca Empire, and as they escaped being plundered by the Spanish they include semi-intact icons and shrines that were defaced or removed at other sites.
Entering the site, a set of steps leads to the ruined Temple of the Sun and a series of altars and niches. Highlights include the remains of ceremonial baths, the Sacred Plaza with its tremendous view across the Urubamba River valley, a rare shrine to the sun, and a labyrinth of passage ways and cells.
A Comprehensive Video Description of the Tours available, and the Main Attractions at, Macchu Picchu one of the Seven Wonders of the World. See more....