Why should you go to Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu is one of the most revered archaeological sites in the Americas, if not the world. As a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the Seven Wonders of the World, there are plenty of reasons to travel to Machu Picchu, but in case not, here is why we feel you should visit Machu Picchu:
- It is a masterpiece of architectural and landscape art
- The dramatic mountain-top setting will take your breath away in both senses of the phrase
- The lush cloud forest that surrounds the site, with its bromeliads, exquisite orchids and colourful humming birds
- The journey to Machu Picchu, whether on foot or by rail, is spectacular in its own right
Our Expert's suggestions
Climb Huayna Picchu for outstanding panoramic views over the ruins or venture up to the Sun Gate and experience the descent on foot by the original Inca Trail. Head away from the crowds to the outskirts of the ruins to wander alone into Inca houses and for those budding photographers, a photo through the doorways of Huayna Picchu make for a different perspective to the iconic shots one always sees.
Most spend about half a day at the site. Ideally you stay should overnight in order to return for a second visit, to see some of the less heavily visited sections and to soak up more of the history and atmosphere. We hope that you will visit such a breathtaking site again but the reality is it might just be the once, so make it all the more worthwhile. Machu Picchu is often shrouded in cloud, so this is another reason for overnighting.
A little more about Machu Picchu
For a site that is so well known, not much is known about it. The architectural style suggests it was commissioned by Inca Pachacutec and thus thought to have been built around the early or mid-1400s. It was a ceremonial and administrative centre for a population of just under 1,000. It was not found by the Spanish, abandoned at some stage, and then hidden from the eyes of the world until Hiram Bingham brought it back to life on the 24th July 1911
Aside from visiting the citadel and Huayna Picchu, activities in Machu Picchu include:
- Hiking up an exhilarating mountain, Putukusi, which culminates with a spectacular view of Machu Picchu from the far side of Vilcanota Valley.
- Heading up to the Mandor Valley to bathe under a secluded waterfall.
- Spotting varied wildlife including the cock-of-the-rock, green jays, speckle-faced parrots and spectacled bears.