Machu Picchu

Out of all my experiences travelling around the world, nothing can beat the spectacular view of ancient ruins of the lost city of Machu Picchu! I feel so very lucky that I got to visit this site in my lifetime.

Machu Picchu is a 15th century citadel that is located on a mountain ridge that is 2,430 metres above sea level and above the Sacred Valley. It is believed that this was built as an estate for Emperor Pachacuti who ruled from 1438 to 1472 at the height of Inca ruling and represents the most familiar and popular icon for Inca civilisation. The three primary structures are Inti Watana, Temple of the Sun and Room of the Three Windows.

This spectacular sight was built in the classical Inca style, which incorporated polished dry-stone walls. The Incas were absolute masters of this technique, which is called ashlar, where blocks of stone are cut to fit tightly together without mortar, the paste required to bind building blocks such as stones, bricks and concrete masonry units.

It was abandoned one century after it was built, around the mid 16th century at the time of the Spanish Conquest. Interestingly, the site was known by the locals, but unknown to the Spanish during the colonial period. It was also unknown to the outside world until Hiram Bingham, an American historian, discovered and brought it to international attention in 1911.

This lost city was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983 and one of New Seven Wonders of the World in 2007. Many of the ruins have been reconstructed for tourism purposes. Restoration by government is on a continuous basis.

After two to three hours exploring this fascinating city, we headed back to Cusco and rested for the evening. We finished exploring Cusco the next day until late afternoon and headed to the airport to catch our flight to Lima. We will never forget our visit to Machu Picchu and the “Planes-Trains-Busses” experience to get there. What an incredible journey!