Discover 10 Secrets of Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu is an ancient Incan city located high in the Andes Mountains of Peru. It is a popular tourist destination known for its stunning architecture and breathtaking views. But there is much more to this ancient city than meets the eye. Here are 10 secrets of Machu Picchu that you might not know about.

1. Machu Picchu was not discovered by the outside world until 1911

The Inca civilization built Machu Picchu in the 15th century. The city was abandoned just a few hundred years later. It was not rediscovered until American historian Hiram Bingham stumbled upon it while searching for the lost city of the Incas.

Prior to Bingham’s discovery, only a few local farmers knew about the existence of Machu Picchu. However, Machu Picchu was not widely recognized or understood. Bingham’s discovery brought the city to the attention of the world and sparked a renewed interest in the Inca Empire and its history.

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2. It was not a secret city

Despite its reputation, Machu Picchu was not a hidden or secret city. In fact, it was a major religious and political center for the Inca Empire. Many people visited Machu Picchu during its heyday. The Inca Emperor Pachacuti ordered the construction of the city in the 15th century. Probably, Machu Picchu was used as a royal retreat and a center of governance for the Inca empire.

Machu Picchu was not intended to be a secret or hidden place, but rather a visible and important center of Inca society. The name “Machu Picchu ” means “old mountain” in Quechua, the language of the Incas. This name refers to the location of the city on a mountain ridge high in the Andes.

3. It was built using advanced engineering techniques

The Incas were master builders and used a variety of advanced techniques to construct the city. These techniques included fitting together massive stone blocks without the use of mortar. The stones used to build the city were cut with such precision that they fit together perfectly. This allowed the structures to stand for hundreds of years without the need for additional support.

The Incas also used a variety of other techniques, such as constructing walls in a zigzag pattern to make them more resistant to earthquakes, and building canals to divert water and prevent erosion. These advanced building techniques allowed the Incas to create a city that has stood the test of time and continues to impress visitors today.

Discover 10 Secrets of Machu Picchu

4. Machu Picchu was likely a royal retreat

Many historians believe that Machu Picchu was built as a retreat for the Inca elite, including the ruler Pachacuti and his family. The city is located high in the Andes Mountains, in a remote and isolated location. Machu Picchu was likely a place where the ruling class could escape the stresses of daily life and connect with the natural world.

The city features a number of luxurious amenities, including baths and gardens. The use of these structures would have been reserved for the use of the ruling class. In addition to being a retreat, the city may also have served as a ceremonial center, where the Inca elite could participate in religious rituals and ceremonies.

5. It was abandoned during the Spanish conquest

The city was abandoned around the time of the Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire in the 16th century. Historians believe that the inhabitants fled to avoid being captured by the conquistadors. The Inca Empire was at the height of its power when the Spanish arrived, but the conquest was swift and brutal, and the Inca Empire was quickly defeated.

Many of the Inca elite, including the ruler Atahualpa, were captured and killed by the Spanish. Many others fled to avoid capture. Probably, the inhabitants of Machu Picchu abandoned the city in order to escape the violence and turmoil of the conquest.

Discover 10 Secrets of Machu Picchu

6. Machu Picchu was not discovered by the Spanish

Despite their extensive exploration of the region, the Spanish never discovered the city of Machu Picchu. It was rediscovered by outsiders more than 300 years later. The city was abandoned during the Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire in the 16th century. Then, it remained hidden for centuries.

It was not until 1911 that the city was rediscovered by American historian Hiram Bingham, who was searching for the lost city of the Incas. The city’s location, high in the Andes Mountains and hidden by dense jungle, made it difficult to find and contributed to its long period of obscurity.

7. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site

In 1983, Machu Picchu was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, recognizing its cultural and historical significance. UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) is an international organization that works to protect and promote the world’s cultural and natural heritage.

The World Heritage Program seeks to identify and protect sites that are of outstanding universal value and to ensure that they are preserved for future generations. The designation of Machu Picchu as a World Heritage Site recognizes its importance as a unique and significant cultural and historical site.

Discover 10 Secrets of Machu Picchu

8. Machu Picchu is home to many species of plants and animals.

The area surrounding Machu Picchu is home to a diverse range of plants and animals, including hundreds of species of birds, as well as llamas, alpacas, and even pumas. The region is located in the Andes Mountains, which have a variety of ecosystems and climates. This diversity is reflected in the local flora and fauna.

The city of Machu Picchu itself is located on a mountain ridge, and the surrounding area includes forests, grasslands, and streams. These areas provide habitat for a wide range of species. The city is also located in the midst of a biodiversity hotspot, an area with a high concentration of species that are found nowhere else in the world.

9. It is a popular spot for adventure sports

In addition to touring the ancient city, visitors can also participate in a variety of outdoor activities. These include hiking, rock climbing, and white water rafting. The city is located in the Andes Mountains, which provide a stunning backdrop for outdoor adventures.

There are several hiking trails in the area, including the famous Inca Trail, which leads to the city and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. The region is also popular for rock climbing, and there are several routes suitable for both beginners and experienced climbers. The nearby Urubamba River is also a popular spot for white water rafting. Also, there are several companies that offer guided trips.

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10. Machu Picchu is threatened by over-tourism

In recent years, the city has seen a surge in tourism, which has led to concerns about the impact on the site and the local environment. Efforts are underway to manage tourism and protect the city for future generations.

Machu Picchu is a popular tourist destination and attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. The increase in tourism has put pressure on the site. There are concerns about the impact on the ancient city and the local environment.

To address these concerns, the government of Peru has implemented a number of measures to manage tourism. These policies include limiting the number of daily visitors and requiring visitors to book tours in advance. These measures are intended to protect the city and ensure that it is preserved for future generations.

Visiting Machu Picchu is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn about the history and culture of the Inca Empire and marvel at the beauty of this ancient city. Be sure to keep these secrets in mind as you explore this amazing place.

Check out our top tours to Machu Picchu from Cusco:

  1. Inca Jungle Trek to Machu Picchu
  2. Machu Picchu Full Day Trip
  3. Machu Picchu 2 Day Trip
  4. Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu tour

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