08 September 2008

Most Archaeological Jewels

Location :

Machu Picchu is located at 120 kilometers (75 miles) North-West of Cusco city, at 2,400 meters (7,900 ft.) above sea level. The only ways to get there is by train (4 hours) or walking. It isn't a road from Cusco to Machu Pichu only a railroad along the narrow Vilcanota canyon. The topography is amazing, steep mountains covered by tropical forests, it's incredible how the Incas built temples and trails on the slopes of these mountains.

Climate :

It's tropical, warm
and sunny days and cool nights. It's very rainy between December and March, but it's still wonderful. Bring a rain-jacket or umbrella, and you will be fine.

Landscapes :

Machu Picchu is 1,000 meters (3,300 ft.) lower than Cusco city, that's why the environment here is different. The cloud-forest that covers the steep mountains around the citadel is habitat of an interesting wildlife that includes the Andean bear and the cock-of the rock bird. The ruins and the surroundings are part of a national park to protect the archaeological remains and the environment.

History :

The Inca citadel of Machu Pichu is one of the world’s archaeological jewels and the main tourist destination in Peru. Since it was found by the North American explorer Hiram Bingham in 1911, it has not stopped to surprise the world. The archeologists believe it was built in the second half of the 15th century, but the function of it is still a mystery. It has been proved that many
people lived there, but only important people as noblemen, priests and nuns. After the Spanish conquest, the Incas fled and abandoned the citadel, and nobody else heard about it, not even the Spaniards who never got there. The citadel is divided in 3 areas, two neighborhoods, and an agricultural sector, that is a vast network of terraces and channels for its irrigation. The urban sector is divided in 2 neighborhoods, in one of it are many temples, ritual chambers and also the royal bedroom. In the second one are many houses for the noblemen and their servants. Between both neighborhoods is a big plaza. The sceneries are outstanding, the citadel was built on top of a hill and it's surrounded by big mountains. At feet of the mountains flows the Urubamba river, and the sound of its water can be hear all around the citadel. Perhaps the main attraction of the citadel is the degree of technology that its builders achieved in stone work. The joins between the stones in some of its buildings are so snug that it’s impossible to insert even the tip of a needle between them. The most fascinating stone is the "Intihuatana" (hitching post of the sun), which served as an astronomical calendar. Nevertheless, more interesting is the energy and peace you feel when you get in this mysterious place.