The continent’s best known and most beautiful archaeological park, Machu Picchu was designated as an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Machu Picchu was discovered in 1911 by Hiram Bingham and it is widely believed that such amazing discovery was made by chance, since it was Vilcabamba city, the last Inca refugee, what this man was really looking for.
Formerly known as Picchu o Piccho, since colonial times this legendary place has been divided into two main parts: the old part, "Machu" and the young part, "Wayna". Picchu means “hill” and form the combination of the two terms results the name “old hill”.
Only a few people lived in the citadel of Machu Picchu, probably no more than 200 or 300, and, if what we suspect is true, all of them were of high rank and were linked to the lineage of the Inca.
It is a well known fact that all this construction consisted of a kind of sanctuary where a vast number of riches were kept and, therefore, this place, erected in the surroundings of Cusco was of the utmost importance at the time.
Machu Picchu’s Historic Sanctuary covers an area of 32,592 hectares and is located at a height of 2490 meters above sea level, taking the Main Square of the archaeological site as a reference. Temperature ranges from 8ºC to 22ºC and from December to April is the time when it rains most.
The way to access Machu Picchu is taking the tourist train which takes 4 hours to travel 112.5 kilometers from the San Pedro station in Cusco to the Aguas Calientes Station. Once there, buses will take tourists up to Machu Picchu’s Historic Sanctuary.
Adventure lovers who enjoy long walks may hike the Inca Trail in order to access Machu Picchu.