Machu Picchu: Inca Jewel in the Heart of Latin America
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A Tour through INCA History (MACHU PICCHU)
Machu Picchu, the lost Inca citadel in the heart of the Peruvian Andes, is one of the most emblematic tourist destinations in Latin America. Known as the “Lost City of the Incas”, this architectural jewel represents an obligatory stop for any traveler entering the Latin American continent.
The importance of Machu Picchu lies in its historical value. Built during the height of the Inca Empire, around the 15th century, it was a nerve center for this powerful civilization. Surprisingly, Machu Picchu was rediscovered for the western world only a little more than a century ago, in 1911, thanks to the expedition of the American archaeologist Hiram Bingham.
Location and Access to Machu Picchu
The location of Machu Picchu is as mysterious as it is fascinating. Situated on a mountaintop in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, the citadel rises more than 2,400 meters above sea level. Surrounded by cliffs and crags, the citadel offers breathtaking panoramic views of the Andean landscape.
Getting to Machu Picchu is an adventure in itself. Many travelers opt for the famous Inca Trail, a hiking route that travels along ancient roads paved by the Incas, traversing an impressive variety of ecosystems. Others prefer the comfort of the train from Cusco to Aguas Calientes, the closest town to the citadel.
Architecture and Design of Machu Picchu
The architecture of Machu Picchu is a testament to sophisticated Inca engineering. Despite the lack of modern technology, the Incas managed to build a stone citadel that has stood the test of time. Each building, terrace and staircase has been built with precision, fitting perfectly with the adjoining stones.
Among the most significant constructions at Machu Picchu are the Temple of the Sun, the Main Plaza and the Intihuatana, a ceremonial object that is believed to have served as a solar calendar. The citadel’s design reveals the Incas’ deep understanding of nature and their interaction with it.
Machu Picchu Today: Tourism and Conservation
Today, Machu Picchu attracts thousands of tourists from all over the world, who come to marvel at its beauty and connect with its historical past. The site is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and was chosen as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in 2007.
However, with tourism comes the responsibility of conservation. Peruvian authorities and international organizations are working together to protect Machu Picchu and ensure that future generations will be able to visit the site.
Fascinating Traditions and Cultures of the Incas
Indeed, one of the most attractive aspects of Machu Picchu is the impressive testimony it provides about the traditions and cultures of the Incas. As the epicenter of the Inca Empire, Machu Picchu was a place full of activity and life, with hundreds of people working, living and worshipping in this mountain city.
The Inca Empire had a very structured social organization. Machu Picchu, in its splendor, was a microcosm of this organization. There were clearly defined areas for the religious and political elite, evidenced in the larger and more ornately detailed structures, while the residential areas for the working class were more modestly designed. In addition, the presence of several temples and religious structures indicates that spirituality played a fundamental role in Inca life. Rituals and ceremonies were an integral part of their daily life, many of which are directly related to the respect and veneration of nature.
The Natural Beauty of Machu Picchu
The location of Machu Picchu was not a random choice. The Incas selected this site with great care, integrating the citadel with the stunning natural beauty of its surroundings. This respect for nature is deeply rooted in Inca culture, and is evident in the way they built Machu Picchu.
The Andes provide a spectacular backdrop for the citadel, with its high peaks and deep overgrown valleys. The Urubamba River meanders through the valley, providing a vital source of water. The biodiversity in and around Machu Picchu is impressive, with a variety of flora and fauna contributing to the beauty of the site. It is common to see llamas, the sacred animal of the Incas, roaming freely on the terraces of the citadel.
The Need for Conservation and the Responsibility of Tourism
As one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, Machu Picchu faces the challenge of balancing the need for preservation with the constant flow of visitors. Preservation of the site is essential to ensure that future generations can appreciate and learn from this incredible piece of history.
Responsible tourism is therefore of utmost importance. Visitors must follow the rules and regulations established for the protection of the site, such as limiting the use of drones, not climbing the structures or touching the stones, and not leaving trash. Authorities have also limited the number of daily visitors to Machu Picchu to minimize environmental impact.
In short, Machu Picchu is much more than just a tourist attraction. It is a tangible link to our past, a testament to human ingenuity and an opportunity to reflect on our relationship with the natural world. Traveling to Machu Picchu is not simply a physical journey, but also a journey.
Types of tours to Machupicchu
If you are planning to visit the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, there are many types of tours to get to Machu Picchu by train, hiking, car and many others. As we are going to mention in this article:
Machupicchu 1 day by train:
This tour consists of a journey that starts from the city of Cusco by a luxury train with the best views of the journey to the town of Machu Picchu or also called (Aguas Calientes), arriving at the town of Machu Picchu or Aguas Calientes climb to the great citadel of Machu Picchu by vehicle or you can also go up on foot, Being in the citadel only give you about 2 hours approximate so you can know the Inca citadel, also you will return to the city of Cusco in the same way as they arrived at the citadel by bus and train to the city of Cusco.
You can book a day trip to Machu Picchu by train with our travel agency.
Machu Picchu by car 2 days
This tour is for travelers who want to know the Inca ruins with more time. Your trip begins in the city of Cusco, going by bus to the tourist places called Chincheros, Pisac and Ollantaytambo.
From Ollantaytambo you will go by train to the town of Machu Picchu or Aguas Calientes where you will spend the night. You can visit or enter the medicinal bath of the place and its fantastic local places like meals, bars and short time activities.
The next day you will climb the mountain of Machu Picchu with a beautiful sunrise of the great monument left by the Incas, finishing the half day you will be transferred to the city of Cusco in the same way by bus and train (if you booked the train).
You can see our complete itinerary for Machupicchu 2 days.
Machupicchu trekking tour
One of the most popular treks for visitors from around the world are extreme hikes or short hikes.
One of the most popular treks is the Inca Trail where there are 2 types of treks, the 2 day and the 4 day trekking through mountains, visiting incredible landscapes.
One of the alternative treks to Machupicchu is through the Salkantay Mountains where you will trek between 4 days to 10 days depending on the trek you choose, this trek combines landscapes, snow capped mountains and climbing.
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