What is Machu Picchu?

Many people wonder what is Machu Picchu and why is so popular? Well, the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, also considered as the “lost city of the Incas”, is a historical-natural sanctuary located in the region of Cusco, in the south of Peru. It was elected as one of the new 7 wonders of the world in 2007  by the foundation New7wonders in a ceremony held in Portugal.

Besides of being a highlight spot visited by tourists arriving from different parts of the world, it is also an enigmatic place since numerous archaeological investigations have not determined clearly the purpose for which it was constructed. That’s why it’s still a great mystery to many people.

For centuries Machu Picchu was buried in the jungle until the American archaeologist Hiram Bingham made the scientific discovery in 1911. Machu Picchu was the only Inca site that managed to escape from Spanish destruction, which is why it is called “the lost city of the Incas”. It’s also remarkable how the Incas chose a wilderness area near the Urubamba river slope to build Machu Picchu on top of a mountain. Why did the Incas choose this place? What was their real purpose? Also, who or who inhabited it? There are several questions and few answers.

According to the latest discoveries, it is considered that Machu Picchu was the center of an extensive Inca province. Probably a resting place built by the Inca Pachacutec in the XV century. However, the purpose of its construction is not clearly explained, since only assumptions are made.


The Temple of the Sun.

It is accessed by a double jamb cover, which remained closed (there are remnants of a security mechanism). The main building is known as “Torreon”, of finely carved blocks. It was used for ceremonies related to the solstice of June.

The Sacred Rock

The Temple of the Sun


At the top, surrounded by elite constructions, lies the Intihuatana stone (where the Sun is bound), one of the most studied objects of Machu Picchu, which has been related to a number of places considered sacred from which establish clear alignments between astronomical events and the surrounding mountains.


Intihuatana (Solar Clock)

The Sacred rock

It is called a flat stone placed on a wide pedestal. It is a landmark that marks the northern end of the city and is the starting point of the road to hike the Huayna Picchu Mountain.

The Sacred Rock

The Sacred Rock

Condor Group

It is a wide group of constructions that takes advantage of the contours of the rocks. It includes some caves with pieces of evidence of ritual use and a great carved stone in the center of a wide patio in which many believe to see the representation of a condor. To the south of the “condor” are important houses, which had the only private access to one of the Machu Picchu fountains.

The Condor group

The Condor group

If you’re looking to decrypt the mysteries of Machu Picchu, we kindly invite you to visit our site Machu Picchu Explorer and request a free quotation. We’ll be glad to hear from you and help you out with planning your travel experience in Peru!

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