Machu Picchu is the lost city of the Incas built over 700 years ago at a remote location in the Andean cordillera between two giant peaks. This city located in Peru is made of approximately 200 buildings including temples, dwellings, a central plaza and a royal palace. All are bordered by terraces aimed at farming. The most incredible fact about Machu Picchu is how The Incas built this engineering marvel without the use of mortar, the wheel or metal tool. Instead, they applied the Inca style of polished dry-stone walls.
However, so far no one knows why the Incas built Machu Picchu. Most people presume that it was a kind of religious retreat dedicated to one of the Inca Rulers. We can rule out any type of military or economic function because of its remote location and its altitude of 2500 meters.
It doesn’t matter the reason why the Incas built Machu Picchu. In any case, this marvelous construction took so much time and effort, and its people might have had it in high regard.
The Lost City of the Incas
When you encounter Machu Picchu, one of the most notable things is the way the Incas incorporated exiting rock forms into the final design. You can see the finest building techniques on sacred buildings.
Besides, if you want to see the most spectacular views, you will have to make the steep climb up to Wayna Picchu which is the mountain behind Machu Picchu. Another thing that you could try is climbing to the top of Machu Picchu peak that is less crowded and steep. This mountain gets the first rays the sun. Both peaks offer a wonderful panoramic view of the whole place. You can feel the magnificent atmosphere of this Inca construction and put it into perspective.
The stone that ties up the sun
You will find the most eagerly awaited moment of the journey at the top of an enormous terraced pyramid. There you will see the stone of Intihuanatana translated as Hitching Post of the Sun. One of the most spread myths is that just before winter; this stone was supposed to prevent the sun from disappearing.
This is the only surviving and undamaged Intihuanatana stone. Despite the fact there are others similar in other Incan places, The Spanish Conquistadores destroyed either partially or totally many of them.
Many locals believe that this stone had religious and astronomical purposes. Indeed, many experts agree that the Incas built all the temples and sacred places to indicate astronomical and solar events. The Incas admired the sun to the extent that the most important day was the summer solstice. No wonder why the Temple of the Sun was such an important building.
What else can you do?
Near the Temple of the Sun, you can find the Palace of the Princess also known as The Royal tomb. Due to its proximity to the Temple of the Sun and the complexity of construction, many people believe that an important person was buried there.
Also, another place that you can’t miss is The Temple of The Three Windows located in the Royal region. This big block stoned building has three windows that perfectly frame the three mountains in front of it.
Finally, your trip to Machu Picchu is not complete at all if you don’t go to see its terraces. In the past, the Incas used them to grow their food such as potatoes and Maize by using complex irrigation systems
How can you get there?
It doesn’t matter how you travel, all trips star at Machu Picchu and they finish in Cuzco. If you travel by train from Cuzco to Aguas Calientes (which is the town in the river valley below the Machu Picchu), that trip will take you four hours. These trains from Cuzco get mid-morning and leave late a little bit late in the afternoon. Generally, the buses run from this town to the ruins from 6 in the morning to 5:30 in the afternoon. So if you want to avoid the crowds, the best moment to visit the ruins at very early in the morning and at the end of the day.
Where can you stay?
Regarding accommodation, there is a wide range of options in Aguas Calientes Town. We highly recommend The Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge that an Orient Express Hotel with good quality and near the ruins. Actually, this is the only lodging right next to Machu Picchu. Without a doubt, staying there will be an unforgettable experience.
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