Sacred City Of The Incas…
Set high in the mountains above the fast-flowing Rio Urubamba, Machu Picchu is undoubtedly Peru’s most visited attraction and South America’s best known archaeological site. With its stunning location and mystical past, much has been written and pondered about the Inca ‘lost’ city that the conquering Spaniards never found./p>
Brought to the attention of the world in the early 20th century by American historian Hiram Bingham, Machu Picchu was remarkably well preserved, despite being looted by previous finders and buried in jungle. With buildings constructed without mortar, using only carved pieces of stone that are fitted tightly together, the city is regarded as an incredible example of Inca architecture.
Visiting ‘Machu Picchu’ for the first time.
Today, historians are still discovering more about the ancient ruins and adapting their theories in terms of the purpose of the city and why it was built in such a remote location. But one thing is for certain, Machu Picchu is now one of the most photographed and recognisable images in the world.
A Magnet For Every Visitor
Visiting the archaeological site was top of the list on our South American adventure and we are pleased to say it lived up to our expectations.
From taking the famous Inca Rail train through lush, green valleys to Aguas Calientes, the gateway town leading to Machu Picchu, to climbing to the top of Huayna Picchu to look down on the green jungle peaks hiding the ‘lost’ city, here is our collection of photographs of the breathtaking UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The famous Peru Rail train for our journey from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes.
A guide from our hotel waiting for our arrival at the train station in Aguas Calientes.
Heading across the bridge from the station into Aguas Calientes.
The next morning at sunrise, queueing at the ticket office to enter the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Our entry ticket also included access to the sacred mountain Huayna Picchu, meaning ‘Young Mountain’.
Amazing stonework! No mortar in sight.
The clouds and mist add to the mystical sunrise scene.
Our first panorama with Huayna Picchu on the left hand side.
Beautiful shrubs and flowers, in particular orchids, surround the site.
A little wet at the start of the day.
Panorama taken from one of the terraces.
An example of the terracing that surrounds the city.
Pointing to Huayna Picchu. Our scheduled climb was between 10:00-11:00am. Only 400 visitors per day are allowed access to the mountain.
The weather improves as the morning continues.
Our favourite shot in front of the sacred city.
One of the most recognisable shots that is used on postcards.
A panorama from the most popular viewpoint.
Looking back onto the city as we headed for Huayna Picchu.
At the ticket office for the start of Huayna Picchu.
Setting off to the top of the ‘Young Mountain’.
Beautiful flowers along the trail.
Looking down onto Rio Urubamba as we make our way up.
Looking across to the ‘lost’ city from Huayna Picchu. No wonder the Spaniards never found it!
Panorama from part way up Huayna Picchu.
Still going up…
Enjoying the view!
The switchback is actually the road that leads to the entrance of Machu Picchu. Only tourist buses are allowed to travel on the road as there are no cars in Aguas Calientes.
Reaching the summit of Huayna Picchu which is 2,693m.
Heading back down the very steep steps!
It’s a long way back down!
Slightly different angle!
In One Word: ‘Awesome’
Machu Picchu truly is an inspirational place. We could have taken hundreds of photographs from different angles and perspectives! We didn’t have the best weather, but it didn’t affect our experience in the slightest. It lived up to our expectations and is certainly a place to remember. In our opinion, Machu Picchu is a must-do for every visitor to Peru!