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Sacred Valley Highlights: Machu Picchu

Relive the Inca’s glory days in Machu Picchu

A trip to Peru is never complete without visiting the awe-inspiring ancient ruins of Machu Picchu. Perched dramatically on a mountain ledge, the ancient city overlooks the dizzying Andean slopes that plunge into a curve in the Río Urubamba. The Inca’s exploitation of the 250-million-year-old rocks of grey-white granite and construction of a secret elegant citadel accompanied by a mystical background continually stuns travelers from all over the world. As one of the only sites that was not plundered and pillaged by the Spanish, Machu Picchu holds much cultural and historical value for the Peruvians and is now considered a sacred place. The untouched and forgotten citadel earned the nickname of “Lost City of the Incas”. More than a hundred flights of steep stone steps interconnect its palaces, temples, storehouses and terraces, and the astonishing views are not limited to the valley below but extend to the snowy peaks around Salkantay. The UNESCO World Heritage site was rediscovered by US explorer Hiram Bingham in July 1911, Bingham was led to the ancient citadel by locals who spoke of an extensive system of terraces where they had found fertile soil for their crops. Bingham subsequently theorized that Machu Picchu might be the lost city of Vilcabamba, however later research claimed that the city, conceived by Emperor Pachacuti, was most likely an agricultural center that served Cusco in its prime. Wherever you are standing in the ruins, the spectacular terraces are seen slicing across the steep cliffs, transforming the mountain into a suspended garden. Number 1 on everyone’s list, Machu Picchu is guaranteed to take your breath away. See more of our favorite experiences in Peru’s Sacred Valley…

Machu Picchu

Gaze upon the stunning Inca architecture and breathtaking Andean summits at Machu Picchu

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