Machu Picchu – Trip of a Life Time
Machu Picchu looms above the Sacred Valley in Peru, a sprawling collection of stone structures, shrouded by mist, and blending harmoniously with the surrounding mountain ridge. Machu Picchu is one of the most familiar symbols of the Incan Empire and also one of the most famous and spectacular sets of ruins in the world. Frequently, though inaccurately, described as “The Lost City of the Incas,” Machu Picchu is a favorite among travelers to Peru. A visit to Peru would not be complete without seeing it.
These days, Machu Picchu is visited by hundreds of thousands of tourists each year. It is now one of Peru’s major revenue generators, though it still has managed to retain a certain level of adventure and a rustic feel. For those considering visiting Machu Picchu, here are highlights of places to visit:
In Inca times, the Sun Gate was used to mark the entrance to Machu Picchu. These days, it serves as a starting off point for exploring the ancient citadel.
Walk Through the Sacred Plaza
One of the most famous parts of Machu Picchu, and undoubtedly one of the most photographed, the Sacred Plaza comprises of three buildings: the Main Temple, the Temple of Three Windows, and the Priest’s House.
Explore the Royal Tomb
Thought to be the final resting place of many Inca leaders, the Royal Tomb boasts some of the best masonry in Machu Picchu.
Marvel at The Temple of The Sun
The Temple of the Sun is a semi-circular building, the only one of its kind at Machu Picchu that consists of a large stone altar used for spiritual worship and sacrifice.
Hike along the Lower or Upper Routes
Hiking is by far one of the most popular activities to do at Machu Picchu. There are two main trails to choose from the lower route and the upper route, and both offer you a nice challenge while you explore Machu Picchu at your own pace.
Cross the Inca Bridge
Located just 15 minutes away from Machu Picchu is the Inca Draw Bridge, which goes along the original Inca Trail. Though the structure itself is fairly simple and uninteresting, the best part about visiting the draw bridge is the fantastic view of the Andean mountains.
Take in the Views at the Guardhouse
Another great place to take in views is at the Guardhouse, which offers panoramic views of all of Machu Picchu.