Machu Picchu is located in northwest of Cuzco, Peru. It is an Inca city that is part of the rocky countryside, atop the Andes Mountains. The wet season is October through April, and May through September is Peru’s dry season; the dry season is a popular season with tourists. Machu Picchu stretches over 5 miles, and is almost 8,000 ft. above sea-level. Machu Picchu was built without mortar; the stones are precisely wedged together. Machu Picchu was built in the 15th century. Machu Picchu is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The brilliance of the engineering of Machu Picchu cannot be overstated; the walls, terraces, stairways and ramps were fit perfectly into the Andes. Machu Picchu had an extraordinary irrigation system. Machu Picchu remains a phenomenal example of art, engineering, architecture, and planning.
The Museo de Sitio Manuel Chávez Ballón is located near the base of Machu Picchu, and fills in the gaps of how and why Machu Picchu was built. Machu Picchu remains a largely unsolved mystery, and discoveries are still being made. Machu Picchu is comprised of about 200 buildings, which includes the Temple of the Sun and the Intihuatana stone. Remarkable sites to visit: the Funerary Rock Hut, the Royal Tomb, the Sacred Plaza, the Sacred Rock (at the base of the Huayna Picchu), the Central Plaza, the Intihuatana stone (the “hitching post of the sun’), and the Temple of the Condor.
While in Peru, you will encounter the native wildlife— Alpacas, which were important to the Incas for their wool, and over 420 species of birds prevalent only in this area.
The Inca Trail ends at Machu Picchu and begins at the Sacred Valley of the Urubamba River, the altitude of the trail rises in excess of 12,000 feet! It takes a couple of days to acclimate, if you are planning to hike the 55 mile trail. Due to fear from erosion, a limited number of hikers are allowed to hike on the trail daily, and hikers must book the trail well in advance. The trail is composed of three overlapping trails: Mollepata, Classic, and One Day. The trail passes through specific Andean environments, and many ruins are located along the way. It is an enchanted, numinous experience to follow the Inca Trail.
Machu Picchu is one of the Wonders of the New World to behold!