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the first contact

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Historical Sanctuary of Machu Picchu
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Andean Culture will be
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    Biodiversity
Machu Picchu Engineering and Architecture
    Description of the
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    Sectors in Machu
Picchu

     - Agricultural Sector
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    Machu Picchu
Architectural features

Attractions in Machu Picchu Surroundings
    Huayna Picchu
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   Mandor Waterfalls
   Hot Springs
Machu Picchu
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History of the Inca Empire or Tahuantinsuyo
    Ayar Brothers
Empire Creation Myth

    The Legend of the
Chanka attack on
Cusco

    The first Conquest
of Pachacutec

    The Planning of the
new Cusco

    The Conquests of
Capac Yupanqui

    The Conquests of
Tupac Yupanqui

    Government of
Huayna Capac

    Huascar's Government
    The Inca Empire Fall
    Manco Inca and
Tupac Amaru Rebellions
XVI Century

    The Great Rebellion
of the 18th Century

Machu Picchu
Adventure Travel
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MACHU PICCHU MACHU PICCHU MACHU PICCHU

It is evident that the Machu Picchu was a carefully planned construction, meticulously designed to harmonize with its natural surroundings. This site is the result of a blend of unique experiences, where the work of human beings marvelously integrates with the work of nature.

The uneven topography was cleverly transformed into terraces with agricultural and urban functions. The landscape embraces at least two dozen rocks forming a big "mock-up" representing the surrounding landscape.

To the north, opposite the citadel, lies Huayna Picchu hill, also called Huaynapicchu or Waynapicchu; to the south, we find the Cutija; the Putucusi is located towards the east, and the Ccollipani valley, to the west. The mighty Urubamba river flows east, closely flanked by Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu. The citadel stands 400 m above the river. The breathtaking beauty of Machu Picchu enhances its archaeological importance.

With the Huayna Picchu in the background, the ruins are divided into four sectors:

- To the north, we find what probably constituted the main religious area, comprising what Hiram Bingham, its re-discoverer, called "Plaza Sagrada" (Holy Square), the "Templo de las Tres Ventanas" (Three-windowed Temple), the "Templo Sagrado" (Holy Temple), the "Mansión Sacerdotal" (Priests' Mansion), and the "Intihuatana", a typical Inca carved stone building, which had religious significance. The "Intihuatana" ("place where the sun is tied up") is a solar observatory, enabling people to calculate the seasons and the passage of time by means of shadows cast.

- To the north-east, we come across most of the residences, which are truly spacious.

- To the south-west, we find perfectly built dwellings and the "Torreón" (Tower) - this cluster could probably be considered the center of city life.

- The lower section of Machu Picchu, located on the south-east, consists of humble residences separated from each other by narrow alleys and numerous terraces or platforms used for farming, which are connected by a complex system of artificial canals for irrigation. The stairways in this area have a perfect finish. In the lower section of the platforms, we can find the cemetery. The Monumental Mausoleum comprises a stone building with a vaulted interior and carved walls, which was used for rites and sacrifices.

Inside the citadel, there was a section used as a prison, in which severely harsh punishments were meted out to prisoners trapped inside niches in the stone.

In the room section, there was an area destined for the nobility, which consisted of houses located in series on top of a slope. The Amautas' rooms (sages) had reddish walls, whereas the Ñustas (princesses) slept in rooms with a trapeze shape.

During Inca times, people could enter Machu Picchu along a pathway, currently known as the Inca Trail, which connects Cusco with Machu Picchu and where the localities of Patallacta, Huallabamba, Runku Rakay, Sayacmarca, Phuyu Pata Marca and Huiñay Huayna lie. In the area, travelers can appreciate the still-existing typically Inca ruins.

From Machu Picchu, tourists can go for an exciting walk to the top of the Huayna Picchu along a horseshoe-shaped path on the edge of a precipice. The Huayna Picchu, located to the north-west of the citadel, offers a view of dazzling beauty, giving the impression of being close to the Gods and Goddesses that accompanied the Incas in the past. On the way, visitors will find pleasure in the natural caves, carved caverns, terraces and steep stairways, which were carved in stone by the Incas.

The stone carvings, the tombstones and the mausoleum at the side of the path further enhance the beauty of the whole picture. On top, there are some semi-circular walls and platforms.




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