Machu Picchu

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Today the site is a popular tourist spot, especially after it was named a World Heritage Site and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.

Today the site is a popular tourist spot, especially after it was named a World Heritage Site and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.

In the 16th century plagues and Spanish conquistadors wiped out the Incans and Machu Picchu became the lost city of the Incas.

In the 16th century plagues and Spanish conquistadors wiped out the Incans and Machu Picchu became the lost city of the Incas.

In 1911 Hiram Bingham III, a Yale professor, was searching for another lost city when he found Machu Picchu. He and others began excavating the site thereafter and the world became aware of this sacred place when National Geographic devoted a full issue to Machu Picchu in 1913.

In 1911 Hiram Bingham III, a Yale professor, was searching for another lost city when he found Machu Picchu. He and others began excavating the site thereafter and the world became aware of this sacred place when National Geographic devoted a full issue to Machu Picchu in 1913.

Visiting Machu Picchu was a meaningful experience for me. How was it built and what was life like there over 500 years ago? I'll not forget my visit to this special place!

Visiting Machu Picchu was a meaningful experience for me. How was it built and what was life like there over 500 years ago? I'll not forget my visit to this special place!

How the Incans built Machu Picchu remains mostly a mystery. Although they were aware of the wheel, they did not use the wheel to move the stones. It appears they used hundreds of workers to move each stone into place.

How the Incans built Machu Picchu remains mostly a mystery. Although they were aware of the wheel, they did not use the wheel to move the stones. It appears they used hundreds of workers to move each stone into place.

The terraced fields were used to grow maize and potatoes

The terraced fields were used to grow maize and potatoes

Machu Picchu is believed to have been a royal estate and religious place for the rulers of the Incans,

Machu Picchu is believed to have been a royal estate and religious place for the rulers of the Incans,

The next day we traveled by bus, then train, and another bus ride to reach the gates of Machu Picchu. We were fortunate to stay in the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge located just outside the entrance gate. That afternoon we got our first view of this amazing place.

The next day we traveled by bus, then train, and another bus ride to reach the gates of Machu Picchu. We were fortunate to stay in the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge located just outside the entrance gate. That afternoon we got our first view of this amazing place.

We climbed to the highest point on Machu Picchu, struggling for air at 8000 feet elevation, to take this photo in which the mountain was bathed in sun.

We climbed to the highest point on Machu Picchu, struggling for air at 8000 feet elevation, to take this photo in which the mountain was bathed in sun.

The stones to build the walls were excavated and hauled up the mountain. The stones on the right were ground by other stones to perfectly straight edges and exact dimensions so they fit without the need for mortar. And those walls still stand 500 years later.

The stones to build the walls were excavated and hauled up the mountain. The stones on the right were ground by other stones to perfectly straight edges and exact dimensions so they fit without the need for mortar. And those walls still stand 500 years later.

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