Machu Picchu: The Most Iconic Site of Peru

Machu Picchu: The Most Iconic Site of Peru

Machu Picchu, the ancient Incan citadel perched high in the Andes Mountains of Peru. It has captivated the world’s imagination since its rediscovery in 1911. This architectural masterpiece, dating back to the 15th century, is a testament to the skill and ingenuity of an empire that once ruled over a vast swath of South America. From the dramatic mountain peaks and lush valleys to the intricate stonework and sacred temples. It is a true marvel of human achievement. In this blog post, we explore the history behind this awe-inspiring site and uncover some of its most intriguing mysteries. Whether you’re an avid historian or simply seeking an adventure off (or on) the beaten path. It is sure to leave an indelible impression on your heart and mind.


The 15th-century Inca citadel of Machu Picchu is a world-renowned tourist destination that sits on a mountain ridge in southern Peru. This ancient city was built by the Incas around 1450 and later abandoned, only to be rediscovered by Hiram Bingham, an American explorer, in 1911. It comprises many buildings, plazas, and platforms connected by narrow lanes or paths. Historians believe it was built as a royal estate or a sacred religious site. While it is the most famous Inca ruin. There are many other sites in the region that are worth visiting. This introduction sets the stage for what to expect from this blog section on Machu Picchu, including its history, the best things to see, and tips for visiting.

History of Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu holds a special place in history as a 15th-century Inca citadel. Originally built as a royal estate for the Inca aristocracy. The Spaniards likely abandoned it after conquering the Inca Empire in the 16th century. Despite its abandonment, the early 20th century rediscovered Machu Picchu as an ancient Inca ruin. Scholars attribute the construction of Machu Picchu to Pachacutec, the first great ruler of the Inca Empire, who built it around 1450 CE as a refuge for elite members of the Inca aristocracy. Although we know the construction and purpose of Machu Picchu, modern research continues to shape the legend of this mysterious city.

The Best Thing to See

The best thing to see at Machu Picchu is the iconic viewpoint. It offers breathtaking panoramic views of the ancient citadel surrounded by the Andes mountains. Visitors can also witness the sunrise from Machu Picchu at the Sun Gate (Inti Punku) on the Inca Trail. Another must-see spot is the Central Plaza, surrounded by sacred temples, palaces, and other impressive structures. I recommend a visit to the Mandor Gardens and Waterfall for those who appreciate nature. You will find tranquil paths through lush vegetation, and at the end of the path, you will be rewarded with a stunning waterfall. It is also home to the Emblematic Temple of the Sun, a significant religious site for the Incas. Visitors can learn about the site’s history, art, and architecture and appreciate the unique Inca culture that is preserved within the ruins.

Machu Picchu
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Interesting Fact

Machu Picchu is remarkable for constructing its ancient city using the technique known as “ashlar” where they precisely cut and shaped each stone to fit next to the others without any need for mortar. The builders did not use mortar to connect the stones in the walls, resulting in an interesting fact. Additionally, Machu Picchu’s water system was cutting-edge, featuring channels, fountains, and reservoirs still visible today. Visitors can also enjoy a hike up to the summit of Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain for stunning views of the surrounding Andes Mountains.

When to Go to Machu Picchu?

When to Go to Machu Picchu largely depends on weather conditions and crowd levels. The shoulder seasons of late March through early May and late September through early November offer the best of both worlds with fewer crowds and decent weather. For those wanting to avoid the rainy season, May, June, and July are ideal months to visit. While the winter season from May to September is the driest time of the year. It can also be the busiest, especially in the city of Cusco.

It is important to note that while Machu Picchu is open year-round. The rainy season starts in October and lasts until April. So visitors should come prepared for potential rainfall at any time. Lastly, visitors planning on hiking to Machu Picchu should ideally go in the dry season. From late April to early October, for the best weather conditions. It is also crucial to take time to acclimate to the altitude before embarking on physically demanding activity.

Machu Picchu
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How to Get Acclimated?

Getting acclimated to the altitude is essential to fully enjoy a trip to Machu Picchu. At least two days of acclimatization in Cusco are necessary before starting any activity. We recommend spending a couple of days in Lima to adjust, as Lima is at sea level. However, the general rule of thumb is “walk high, sleep low”. So going to Ollantaytambo immediately after arriving in Cusco is advisable. Acclimatization leads to fluid loss, so it is crucial to drink at least 3-4 quarts of water per day. Hikers should avoid alcohol and caffeine and drink plenty of water on the days leading up to the excursion and during the hike. With proper acclimatization, visitors can enjoy the beauty and wonder of Machu Picchu fully.

Machu Picchu Treks

For the adventurous traveller, trekking to Machu Picchu can be an unforgettable experience. The Classic Inca Trail is a popular choice, taking hikers through mountain passes and valleys to archaeological sites like Patallacta/Llactapata and Runkurakay. Many hikers can achieve this challenging but moderate trek difficulty level. For those looking for a more unique experience, Machu Picchu Mountain offers stunning views of the lost city from a different perspective. Machu Picchu Reservations tours offer all-inclusive options for both treks, allowing guests to solely focus on their trekking experience. While challenging, trekking to Machu Picchu can provide a deeper understanding and appreciation of the Peruvian Andes and the history of the Incas.

Tips for Visiting

When planning a trip to Machu Picchu, it is essential to keep a few tips in mind for a successful and enjoyable visit. Firstly, it is crucial to book accommodations and train tickets in advance to avoid any last-minute headaches. Another important thing to remember is to bring appropriate clothing and protection against the intense sun and potential rain. It is also recommended to spend two days at Machu Picchu, allowing for a more leisurely experience and the chance to fully appreciate the site’s wonders. Travellers should also obtain a permit before visiting and make sure to acclimate to the high altitude before attempting any treks. By following these tips, visitors can have a memorable and safe trip to one of the world’s most incredible historical sites.

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Machu Picchu is a fascinating destination that offers visitors a glimpse into the rich history and culture of Peru. As discussed in the previous sections, it was an important royal estate for the Inca emperors. Furthermore, it is now one of the most popular tourist attractions in the world due to its stunning architecture and picturesque surroundings. Visitors can explore the ancient temples, mortarless stone walls, and other impressive structures that have stood the test of time. While the origins of Picchu may still be somewhat unclear. Experts agree that it was likely used as a retreat for the Inca and his family.

Travellers who plan to visit Machu Picchu should aim to visit during the dry season. It runs from May to September and should take the necessary precautions to acclimate to the high altitude. Additionally, there are a variety of treks available for adventurous visitors who want to explore the surrounding mountains and valleys. Overall, Anyone interested in history, archaeology, or just simply breathtaking views must visit Machu Picchu.

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