Machu Picchu was made public in 1911 once the explorer Hiram Bingham arrived there. Machu Picchu was never found by the Spaniards, but some natives of the area used some of the terraces to cultivate their harvests. Since 1911, Machu Picchu has been the reason of many studies, articles, and books. In 2007, Machu Picchu was chosen as one of the new wonders of the new world.
Machu Picchu is located on top of the Machu Picchu Mountain at 7,800 feet above sea level. Machu Picchu is surrounded by several mountains. The closest one is the Huayna Picchu Mountain and hiking to the top provides a spectacular view of Machu Picchu. Only 400 people are able to hike to the top of the Huayna Pichu Mountain per day. The peak of the Huayna Picchu Mountain is about 350 feet higher than Machu Picchu.
Machu Picchu has several terraces, rooms, temples, and chambers. It is believed that the Incas left Machu Picchu to go further towards the jungle to hide from the Spaniards. There is not a definite answer about its purpose. One theory says that Machu Picchu was an observatory because during the winter solstice at dawn the sun shines through the “Torreón” located at the Sun Temple. This is only one of mysteries of Machu Picchu. Also, it is believed that Machu Picchu is full of energy.
There are two ways to arrive to Machu Pichu. One is by taking the train and the other one by hiking the Inca Trail or an alternative trek. Definitely, the most spectacular one by far is by hiking the Inca Trail. Arriving to Machu Picchu after three days of hiking is just one of those things that you will never forget for the rest of your life. If you would like to get more facts about the Inca Trail trek, please click here.
The train can be taken from Cusco or Ollantaytambo towards Aguas Calientes. Aguas Calientes is the nearest town to Machu Picchu. It is recommended to stay one extra night in Aguas Calientes. By staying one extra night, you will be able to come back to Machu Picchu the next day or visit the town of Santa Teresa and enjoy the hot springs of the town.
You will be able to go from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu by taking a bus or hiking to the top of the Machu Picchu Mountain. At the top of the Machu Picchu the Sancatuary Lodge is located. Spending a night at the Sanctuary Lodge will provide you a magical experience, however, it is a pricy hotel because of its location.
Whenever you decide to go to Machu Picchu, please make sure that you choose a company that you can trust in and takes care of the environment.
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