Surely you have heard of Machu Picchu, that unique wonder of the world located in Peru, a destination that every traveler wants to explore and, of course, appreciate. But have you ever wondered what secrets this destination hides, what curious things happened there? Well, don’t worry, in this post, we will provide you with some interesting facts about Machu Picchu that you probably didn’t know and could never have imagined. So, join us to discover the mysteries that Machu Picchu holds.
Interesting Facts About Machu Picchu
History of Machu Picchu
One of the questions that many people ask themselves and can’t seem to answer is regarding the origin of this wonder. Of course, there are many myths and legends surrounding this mysterious citadel that have not yet been revealed. Over time, various popular theories have spread. It is said that Machu Picchu was built by the Incas in the mid-15th century by order of Emperor Pachacútec, the first great ruler of the Tahuantinsuyo. It housed a large number of inhabitants, ranging from 300 to 1000 people, belonging to an elite (possibly members of Pachacutec’s panaca) and acllas (virgins of the sun). Agriculture, the main activity during Inca times, was practiced in the area, as evidenced by Machu Picchu’s division into three sectors: the agricultural zone, the urban zone, and the quarry zones. After Pachacútec’s death, these areas passed into the administration of his panacas (sons). It is presumed that this situation continued during the governments of Túpac Yupanqui and Huayna Cápac. In this exciting story, Peru Grand Travel takes you on a tour of Machu Picchu, where you can learn all about this history.
The Untold Discovery
One of the enigmas of this wonderful Inca citadel, still under discussion, is who discovered Machu Picchu. There are many hypotheses on this topic, and here are some:
The first signs and visits to this sanctuary date back to 1902. They indicate that Agustín Lizárraga, a Cusco land tenant, arrived at the site guiding fellow Cusco residents Gabino Sánchez, Enrique Palma, and Justo Ochoa. The visitors left graffiti with their names on one of the walls of the Temple of the Sun. For this reason, they are also credited with this discovery.
Hiram Bingham’s Discovery
On the other hand, the discovery that stands out is undoubtedly the discovery by American professor Hiram Bingham in 1911. According to history, Hiram Bingham was interested in finding the last Inca redoubts of Vilcabamba. After a long period of tedious research and several years of failed expeditions in the area, thanks to the local indigenous population, he found Machu Picchu by chance. When Bingham found this marvel, he was so impressed that he made it public a year later.
Purpose of Machu Picchu’s Construction
This information is also a mystery. Many describe Machu Picchu as having been built as a rest residence for Emperor Pachacútec and royalty. However, when touring Machu Picchu and its surroundings, you can observe ceremonial constructions, suggesting that it could have been a religious sanctuary praising their gods. Many also say that Machu Picchu was an Inca fortress due to its strategic location atop a mountain.
Machu Picchu awakens different types of admiration, and one of them is undoubtedly its location. It is currently unthinkable to construct similar structures to Machu Picchu because this marvel is located amidst steep mountains at 2,360 meters above sea level. It is precisely northeast of the city of Cusco in the Urubamba province. There are several ways to access the Machu Picchu sanctuary, such as by train, a very common means of transportation among tourists, by completing the famous Inca Trail, or by choosing an alternative route, such as the Salkantay Trek or Inca Jungle, etc.
Important Constructions in Machu Picchu
You might wonder about the attractions this destination possesses and why it’s called one of the 7 wonders of the world. Well, Machu Picchu is undoubtedly an icon of architecture and engineering, not only because of its location, which is a symbol of admiration but also because within this majestic citadel, there are numerous buildings worthy of admiration. Here are the most important ones:
- Condor Temple
- Sun Temple
- Temple of the Three Windows
- Sacred Plaza
- Royal Residence
An almost obligatory visit when in Machu Picchu is undoubtedly the climb to Huayna Picchu, an archaeological site located north of the Machu Picchu citadel, with an altitude of 2750 meters above sea level. The path to this mountain is somewhat dangerous, steep, and very narrow—not suitable for the faint of heart, as it involves a climb to the top. However, the main attraction is the view from the top, where you can observe Machu Picchu itself in all its glory, the Urubamba River, Mount Salkantay, and other mountains. Some archaeological remains, such as terraces, the famous Temple of the Moon, and other minor constructions, also stand out.
An important thing to consider if you want to climb Huayna Picchu is that access to this mountain is regulated in terms of the number of spaces and schedules. Local authorities only allow a maximum of 400 people per day, with entries in two shifts of 200 people each. Therefore, if you wish to visit Huayna Picchu, take this suggestion into account, and most importantly, make a reservation months in advance.
Due to the high demand for access to Waynapicchu Mountain, Machu Picchu Mountain was also opened. This mountain has its particular charm, with a height of 3100 meters. To reach the highest part, a walk of approximately 2 hours is required, offering a grand view from the top. To secure a spot on this mountain, it must also be purchased well in advance, and similarly, only 400 spots are available daily, divided into 2 schedules.
One very important thing to consider when visiting such an important destination like Machu Picchu is its restrictions. Therefore, here are some data to consider when deciding to visit Machu Picchu.
In the middle of this year, without a doubt, it was crucial for Machu Picchu because a new entry regulation began to be enforced. The regulation stipulates that:
Entry to the Machu Picchu Sanctuary will be in different shifts: starting from 06:00 hours until 14:00 hours. This means you won’t be able to spend an entire day in this wonder.
It also stipulates that entry to Machu Picchu will only be authorized with a guide. This means that a tourist will only be allowed entry accompanied by a tour guide. If you don’t have one, entry will not be permitted. If you want more information, you can visit this post “New rules for visiting Machu Picchu,” which provides all the information on this topic.
There is no doubt that Machu Picchu has a lot of history ahead, much mystery within its walls, and a lot of magic in its location. If you think you have more to tell about this destination, I invite you to comment and share your impressions with us. Safe travels!
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