Monday, November 29, 2010

Visiting Machu Picchu

Well, let's start with the obvious, when anyone thinks about sightseeing or tourism in Peru the first thing that comes to everyone's mind is Machu Picchu, even more after it was named one of the Modern Seven Wonders of the world!

The citadel of Machu Picchu is the most important and most visited attraction in the department of Cuzco, and was discovered almost 100 years ago, in 1911, despite it was built in the time of the incas, around the 1400's. The city was built at the top of a granite mountain, and the incas, using engineering techniques, were able to transport heavy stone blocks up to the mountain side, and once there, they used their excellent masonry skills to produce amazingly polished stones that fit together perfectly.

The citadel is divided into many sectors:
  • Agricultural Sector
  • Checkpoint
  • Upper cementery and burial zones
  • Urban Sector
  • Temple of the sun
  • Ceremonial Rock
  • Main temple
  • The plazas
  • Doors

The meaning of Machu Picchu is "old mountain" in Quechua, the language of the Incas, and near to the citadel of Machu Picchu there is a smaller mountain called Wayna Picchu, which means "young mountain", and many tourists can walk over to that mountain and conquer its summit, which is really an amazing experience because along the route and at the top are sacred structures and eye catching terraces, built right against the slope’s edge.

Another atraction inside Machu Picchu is the WiƱaywayna, which means "forever young" and is perhaps the most beautiful building along the Inca Trail. On the third day of trekking is when you reach this spot, located at an altitude of 2,700 meters, with its small urban sector and must see ceremonial fountains, ten to be exact, and a tower of typical Incan stonework.

Now that I mentioned it, a lot of tourists decide to take the famous "Inca Trail" insted of going by traing to Machu Picchu, this trail is really very adventurous and really not recommended if you like to be comfy and clean all the time because is a journey of minimum 3 days into the Peru forest!! I will give more detail about the Inca trail in a future post......

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