The Inca citadel of Machu Picchu is, like ancient, pre-Hispanic Andes, a place full of amazing history. Here on this article we are going to illustrate you more about this wonderful archaeological site, one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World and Latin America’s top, main touristic destination, with around half-million visitors each year and counting.
1.- Historical review
High in the Peruvian Andes, on the way to the western Amazon jungle, in the middle of a stunning green valley, stands Machu Picchu, one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World, once called the lost city of the Incas. Research has found that, after the Spanish invasion in 16th century, the last Inca on the line of succession fled from Cusco city -which was the center of the vast empire- to a town called Vilcabamba, and stayed there for 35 years resisting the Spanish and trying to keep a steady army to defeat and ban the invaders, and finally get the Incas to rule again over the lands. Nonetheless, the Inca resistance in Vilcabamba was defeated by the Spanish in a final, terrible battle, which marked the end of the Inca civilization. However, in time the city of Vilcabamba sank into legend and became known as the lost city of the Incas, for it could not be found.
Early in the 20th century, American explorer and professor Hiram Bingham found a city in the Andean heights, covered with vegetation because it had been abandoned for centuries, and thought he had finally found the lost city of Vilcabamba; however, in time growing evidence pointed to Bingham being wrong about it. First, the city in the clouds that Bingham found had not been attacked by the Spanish, and also, the human remains he found there did not correspond to his theory that they were predominantly adult females in Vilcabamba, they were indeed male, female and also children of both genders. The case against the city being Vilcabamba gained much more support. Finally, some written records found in Cusco city in Spanish colonial times, attested the construction of a city called Picchu (Quechua for mountain) by the Inca who started the empire, Pachacutec, who preceded the Vilcabamba royals for nearly 100 years. What Hiram Bingham had really discovered was the city of Machu Picchu, built by decision of Inca Pachacutec. Today’s one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World.
There was also some disagreement as to what it was built for: military fortress, luxury retreat or sanctuary? This subject became source of much debate, but recently archaeological and anthropological evidence have established that Machu Picchu was both a luxury retreat for Inca leaders and also a sanctuary. The reason why it is not a military fortress, is because most of its temples and buildings carry a religious meaning; the Inca leaders came from Cusco city to Machu Picchu in order to absorb the reviving energy of nature, to get their minds clear of everyday worldly cares, to discuss about the ruling of the empire and public affairs and, perhaps the main reason, to conduct mystical ceremonies. Machu Picchu was originally and mainly conceived as a mystical site. This is why it is located between the clouds, in elevation, in a place filled with peace and beauty, like Heaven brought down to Earth, but that also required really advanced, difficult engineering: it had to be there.
2.- Machu Picchu Today
Nowadays, the sanctuary of Machu Picchu is one of the world’s premier destinations, one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World, visited and praised by travelers from many countries; Peruvian tourism companies have designed and conducted many wonderful packages for the citadel, and have also attained a top, international level of service quality.
Here at TOUR IN PERU we offer a wide range of Machu Picchu packages, which combine adventure, comfort, history and culture, amazing site-touring, efficiency and personal care for our customers, at the most convenient, affordable prices.
We have available on a daily basis a wonderful set of tours for one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World:
- Direct short tours to Machu Picchu which begin in Cusco city, either on bus or elegant trains like the Vistadome or the Hiram Bingham (both have panoramic windows and ceiling, so you can enjoy the majestic beauty of Andean nature, while riding on trains which offer all conveniences modern travelers demand), or sometimes both by bus and train.
- Our world-famous set of Inca Trails, which are packages that include hiking and camping along the Andean highlands, reaching the highest altitudes, mixing with the free animals of the region like alpacas and llamas, magnificent landscapes, challenging and enjoying nature until the triumphant arrival at the Machu Picchu citadel.
- Extended packages that include Machu Picchu, one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World, but cover another amazing Inca archaeological sites, as well as other attractions in the Cusco region and wonderful different destinations around Peru, like the Nazca lines, the volcano mountains in Arequipa and the Titicaca Lake. These extended packages can be fully personalized to meet all your requirements, for example schedule organization, specific places to visit, lodging preferences and so on.
All our packages to one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World include professional guides, our top office staff support, experienced helpers and porters, the best logistical service and online resources and our efficient and caring customer attention, all of which have earned TOUR IN PERU the Peruvian Company of the Year 2016 award in tourism services.
You can check our website for complete, detailed information on all Machu Picchu travel options, and also contact our team who will immediately answer all your inquiries. Give yourself a chance to have the wonderful Machu Picchu experience on your next vacation! Contact TOUR IN PERU for booking our excellent packages to one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World!