The ancient city of Machu Picchu is one of the wonders of the ancient world. Built high atop the Peruvian Andes Mountains, it was said to be the kingdom that was half sky and half earth. Machu Picchu is a city of the ancient Incans, built deep into the wilderness to cloak their people from Spanish Invaders who had conquered and destroyed their previous homes. If you’re planning on traveling there, then there are some pieces of it that you absolutely should not miss.
The “Must-See” Parts of Machu Picchu
Before being invaded by the Spanish, the Inca lived in stunning temples that were covered in gold to reflect sunlight. These people worked the Sun God Inti and they believed gold was sweat of the sun and silver were tears of the moon. They created stunning works of art from precious metals, all of which somehow honored their religious beliefs.
The architecture of Machu Picchu still excites and puzzles archeologists and scientists today. Constructed using an ancient earthquake-proof method, the stones of Machu Picchu’s temples “dance” during an earthquake and then slide back into place when it’s done. The innovation and technology of the Inca and the knowledge that went into building these temples are astounding. These buildings are a treasure of the earth. Sadly, much of the knowledge required to build them has been lost in time, so today, we can only marvel at their accomplishments.
The locals are accommodating, but they do not like to give away information about Machu Picchu. In fact, there are almost no informational signs around the ruins. The site is as clean and uncluttered today as it was in the early 1900’s when it was exploited by those early explorers. As a result, if tourists want information about the site, it’s best to get it from the local Museo de Sitio Manuel Chávez Ballón. However, keep in mind that it’s a 30-minute walk down a dirt road at the base of the peak.
Getting to the top of the peak on foot is very difficult. Only 400 people are allowed up the mountain daily, so the line to climb begins very early in the morning. Not only is it difficult to be one of the 400, but also, the climb is physically very strenuous.
To enjoy Machu Picchu the most, explore out-of-the-way pathways and trails. Go off the beaten path as much as possible and don’t take the bus like everyone else. Slow down and really look for hidden treasures. Remember that these people were hiding and their most beautiful and amazing assets for their own safety and you have to look hard to find the best sites. Explore deeply and you will have a tour that no one else gets!
To plan your Peru adventure and to learn more about the hike to Machu Picchu, get in touch with Alpaca Expeditions. Alpaca Expeditions is a Peruvian travel operator with a main office in located in Cusco, Peru, and we are the top-rated tour operators of the Inca Trail.