If Machu Picchu is the destination of your trip to Peru, know that it is the most visited attraction in South America, world heritage site, one of the 7 wonders of the world and the bastion of what was the largest empire in the Western Hemisphere. Machu Picchu is built in the middle of two mountains between the Andes and the Amazon, almost 500 meters above the valley of the Urubamba River. It is a mysterious wonder of engineering built 500 years ago, it has 600 terraces, more than 170 buildings, hundreds of steps and roads, several temples, 16 fountains and is completely dedicated to the sun. The Incas built their city with thousands of stones, some of them really big, brought from white granite quarries more than 30 kilometers from the place.
This masterpiece is the maximum representation of the great impulse of the spirit of a very highly developed cultist, who adored the Elements and Nature, building in the Andean summits, an Offering to Humanity, in a kind of act of faith, leaving well put its mystical character. Its construction commits the stars and all terrestrial manifestations, in which the Spirit lives. It was constructive with emotion and abandoned in mystery, bequeathing stairs adhered aerially to inconstant walls of endless symmetry, with its overwhelming architecture, surrounded by an incomparable natural beauty, in which the harmony between carved stones and the lush greenness of the jungle, elevates the soul to the top, so that later it descends to the abysses, in its dazzling geography, enchanted and full of inccognitas that were left as mysterious legends. Machu Picchu is worthy of epic tales, while it is hidden in the natural labyrinths of the Andes. It is a shrine to life that resuscitates the past, giving new life to the Sacredotisas of the tenplos, with their prayers of hope, as well as wise Amautas meditating on the essence of things and the imposing forests and mountains around, for whose entrails roars Vilcanota river that further down, goes into the Amazonian plains. This Sanctuary of the Incas was one of the last constructions that served as refuge to Amutas (Sages, Spiritual Scientists) and Priestesses who, in enigmatic ceremonies and cults, left their mark in the Cosmic Memory, with their oracles, altars of offerings to gods that were they were centuries ago, leaving as their inheritance their children, staircases of hundreds of steps, purification ponds and solar watches, secret tombs and altars dedicated to lightning and thunder. In short, its construction seems to be part of the first ages of the world and then merges with the senses developed in its maximum communion with the Andes. Everything is there, infinite and eternal.
110km northwest of the city of Cusco (three and a half hours by train), is the town of Aguas Calientes or town of Machu Picchu, from which more than 8 km are traveled. (10 minutes by bus), to the Historical Sanctuary or Machu Picchu archaeological complex which is an impressive Inca citadel nestled in a mountain. Its Quechua name translated into Spanish means "Old Mountain" and was also called "the Lost City of the Incas", since it was unknown to the West until it was discovered by Hiram Bingham, in 1911. According to estimates, the construction of the Inca city will date from the 16th century and the Inca Pachacuteq is buried.
The legendary and mysterious stone work of the Incas can be seen in the most important buildings, which exhibit a precision in the adjustment of stones that almost defies logic. Such is the quality of work achieved by the Incas that even today, after 500 years, they will not be able to insert their business card between the stones.
The Incas did not know the metal, nor the carbon, nor any material that would allow them to achieve such precision when molding one of the hardest stones in the region, so how did they do it? It is still a mystery. Do not miss the temple of the sun, the temple of the condor, the temple of the three windows, the Intihuatana, etc.
In addition to the peculiar work of the rocks, another of the distinctive features of Machu Picchu is the system of terraces (platforms), which not only served to gain farmland in the mountains, but to prevent the city from slipping off the mountain , this allowed the city to remain intact, after being abandoned for 400 years under the vegetation of the jungle to prevent it, like dozens of Inca cities, from being destroyed by the invaders.
The terraces were designed to deal with 200 cm3 of rain per year, which could cause large and destructive landslides in other circumstances. Without this system, the city had to collapse hundreds of years ago. It is true that modern science and research have answered many of the questions about the Inca city, however Machu Picchu continues to disconcert all the people who visit it.