Stunning Archaeological Find

Attractions & Activities In Machu Picchu


At first glance, Machu Picchu appears to be carved right into the mountainside. Though the graded stone ramps, terraces and immense stone walls are all man-made, they seem to almost blend into the natural surrounds.

Theories surrounding the purpose of these ruins abound and – because of the lack of written records – they remain something of a mystery. However, it is generally accepted that the citadel, which comprises around 200 structures, served religious, residential, astronomical and agricultural purposes.

A great deal of earth and stone had to be moved in order to make a level area for the citadel to stand upon. Engineers think that over half of the construction done here was underground, including the deep building foundations and crushed rocks used for drainage.

Although Hiram Bingham’s “discovery” of Machu Picchu brought it to the attention of the world, the locals had known about it all along. In fact, it was a local farmer who first led Bingham to the site. Since being brought to public attention, and following its declaration as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, Machu Picchu’s popularity has snowballed. It is now the most visited attraction in South America.

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