Sunday Special – Machu Picchu, Peru

Situated in a mountaintop 50 km / 50 mi northwest of the Peruvian city of Cusco is an old Incan citadel that has captivated tourists and travellers alike since it was re-discovered by Hiram Bingham in July 1911.What he though was the “Lost City of the Incas” was in fact Machu Picchu. Considered by many to the archaeological find of the 20th century it is still not known why it was constructed, though current a current theory is that it was a retreat, a getaway for the rich built by Incan ruler Pachacuti. What is known that it was constructed around 1450 CE and was abandoned a century later, when the Spanish Conquest occurred. 

In 1981 this grand complex was named a Peruvian Historic Sanctuary. Two years later in 1983 UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Site. It continues to this day to be one of the top tourism sites in the world. So much so that the daily visitors have been capped at 2,500 per day and there is concern of damage and wear with the demand from tourists. 

Machu Picchu, PeruMachu Picchu at sunrise, Peru – Photo credit: http://Allard Schmidt, Peru Machu Picchu Sunrise, CC BY-SA 3.0

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