Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Machu Picchu, Peru

For this blog, I thought I’d try somewhere a little different from the other places we’ve been visiting together so far. On a mountain range above Peru’s Urubamba Valley, Machu Picchu is a jewel admired by visitors all over the world.

Machu Picchu is widely known to represent the Inca Empire. It was built around 1450 at the peak of the empire and was quickly deserted 100 years after that. This was due to the Spanish Conquest in the 16th century and it’s believed that most of those who lived at the site died from smallpox. Many historians and scholars have theorized that the site was the home of the Incan Emperor Pachacuti and the traditional birthplace of the “Virgins of the Suns.” Peru has declared the area as a historical sanctuary since it is located in a mountain range and it is most likely that there were religious rituals happening at the site. Machu Picchu is separated into three sections: Agricultural, Urban and Religious. These are easily distinguishable from the structure of each section.

The site itself is very secluded and therefore takes a while to actually get to the site through the Andes Mountains. However, it’s totally worth it for its serene view! There are hiking tours available through the Incan Trail starting from a nearby city, Cuzco (does anybody remember New Emperor’s Groove? Hahaha).

If you’re not up for a hiking challenge through the Andes, don’t worry: there are beautiful hotel lodges where you can stay inside and enjoy the view from afar. They also offer meditation sessions and delicious cuisine you can enjoy during your stay.

Peru embraces the beauty of Machu Picchu and is proud of its historical significance to the Ancient World. It is declared, by some, as one of the Ancient Wonders of the World and is most definitely a unique place to visit!

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