Posted by Vi Warkentin on
I’ll admit - there will be several upcoming posts on Machu Picchu. So many photos and I’m having difficulties trying to decide which ones to post! (If you have some time, I’d recommend checking out a Google Earth’s 3-D video of Machu Picchu - gives a great overall look at this amazing site.)
Machu Picchu, also often referred to as The Lost City of the Incas - there are few archaeological sites around the world that can match the amazingly spectacular natural setting of Peru’s Machu Picchu. As the Urubamba River snakes its way between the Andes Mountains, we rode the bus up the narrow switchback road to reach the remote ridgetop, where we hiked a few hundred meters higher to get our first views of this incredible UNESCO World Heritage Site. Great mystery remains surrounding its abandonment and rediscovery. Check out this fascinating B/W photo of Machu Picchu taken in 1911.
A bright sunny day greeted us as we made our way up and around the final bend of a steep path to our first incredible view of Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu in the background.
Machu Picchu is divided into two main areas separated by a large grassy area, known as the Main Square. On the west (left) side are the royal and sacred areas (the Inca ruler would have lived here) while the east (right side of the photo) is the secular area where the workers lived.
A closer look at the Main Square (Central Plaza).A closer look at the secular area which housed (from rear to foreground) factories, industrial zone and the prisoners area.Llama next to the House of the Guardians, aka the Watchman’s House.A small herd of llamas met us at the southern edge of Machu Picchu overlooking the eastern edge with Huayna Picchu in background. I suspect with the amount of tourists visiting Machu Picchu, it has ‘tamed’ them to some degree making it quite easy to walk up to them.
The Lost City of the Incas is located in the saddle between two mountains with the mountain called Machu Picchu in the background (left) located in the southeast region of these ruins and Huayna Picchu which is the mountain appearing in most Machu Picchu photos.
We did not arrive in time to get a chance to climb Huayna Picchu (below, right, background) - limited number of visitors allowed daily to make the trek) however I’ve seen photos taken from that vantage point and they’re spectacular. If you’re not afraid of heights and narrow, steep stairs with no railings, I’d recommend climbing Huayna Picchu, if you get the opportunity.
The gorgeous terraces on the west side of Machu Picchu high above the Urubamba River snaking its way through the valley.
Panorama of the inca terraces - I find terraces so beautiful wherever I travel in the world.
Looking east at another view of the terraces and the Watchman’s House
Day 6 - Friendly Planet - Amazing Peru Tour