Machu Picchu (quechua Machu Pikchu, “Old Mountain”),is a city built during 1400 and 1500 by Inca Pachacutec, the greatest statesman from Tahuantinsuyo (Inka Empire Era in Peru). It has two big areas, the agriculture formed mainly by gardens and food storage and the other is urban, where you can see the sacred area with temples, squares and royal tombs.
It is one of the most important architectonic and archaeological jewels, found intact in 1911 by Hiram Bingham. It was declared Cultural Patrimony of Humanity by UNESCO in 1983, it is the touristic destiny most important in Peru and one of the most important archaeological centers in South America.
Main Turistic Attractions
The most important constructions are.
- The Main Gate of the City, this gate was very protected and it was only permitted the entrance of the inhabitants. In this place there are many constructions pirka style that were public buildings.
- Temple of the Sun, Semicircular construction on a huge rock. In this building you can find two rectangular windows, in the era it was inhabited, there were gold and precious stones incrustations.
- Intiwatana, Place where the sun is tied, located on the sacred Mountain, conformed by different gardens and terraces. It had two purposes: time measurement (solsiticium and equinox) as an effect of light, shadow and altar stone.
- Liturgics Fountains, between the temple of the sun and the royal palace there is the fountain street, there you can find 16 liturgic fountains, water providers known like paqchas.
- The main Temple, located at the north of Sacred Square. It has 11 m long and 8 m wide. It has three walls made of stone with rectangular faces.
- The Royal Mausoleum, is a huge stone inclined to support part of the Temple of the Sun. It was a place where people worship the Inca and authorities whose mummies stay there.
- Ñusta Palace, Located inside the Temple of the Sun, construction known as the Ñusta (princess) claustrum.
- The Sacred Square, Located at the northeast and under Intihuatana. It was place where popular ceremonies where held, and maybe Inti Raymi too, or the sun Festival same as the Main Square in Cusco.
- The three windows temple, is formed by only three walls and an adobe ceiling. The stones have shapes.
- The dry hole, served to protect Machu Picchu city. It was a security element for war time.
- The Prison, there were pumas and maybe snakes in this place for punished people by some sacred animals and finally eaten by birds like condor.
- Industrial area, the architectural quality on the walls show that was considered important for the city. It was a very special place, with a double wood door.
- Identical Doors Neighborhood, constructions that apparently where only used like rooms, storages or any other purposes.
- The sacred monolite, it is located in a square room with two rooms. The sacred rock measures 3m high, 7m base and one column of 0.30 m. the shape is similar to a feline, with ritual purposes.
- Superior and Inferior cemeteries, it was buried like mummies the inhabitants who died in Machu Picchu.
Altitude and Weather
- Altitude: 2400 mts / 7872 feet over sea level.
- Weather: dry, sunny days and cool nights.
- Temperature: 78 to 50°F –26 to 10° C approx.
- Raining season: December to March.
Peru Tours: Discover Machu Picchu