A trip in Peru would not be complete without a trek to Machu Picchu, the site of an ancient Inca city located in the Andes mountains. Situated at 2,430 meters above sea level, it is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The Incas started building the site at around 1430, but it was abandoned about a hundred years later during the Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire (even though the Spanish conquistadors never reached the place). These ruins were only discovered in 1911 by an American archaeologist and until now, no one knows exactly about Machu Picchu’s significance in Inca life. It is currently believed to be a country resort for the elite Incas.
However, one this is for sure: Machu Picchu is remarkably a well-hidden and well-protected place. It is considered by the descendents of Incas as both a cultural site and a sacred place.
Machu Picchu has buildings built in classical Inca style, with polished dry-stone walls. The site consists of the Intihuatana, the Temple of the Sun, Room of the Three Windows, and other lesser-known buildings.
Visitors to Machu Picchu usually leave from Cuzco, either on a day trip or staying overnight in Aguas Calientes. They have to travel through long valleys littered with Inca check points and watch towers for several days just to reach the site. Since it is most likely very sunny when you visit the site, sunblock should be an essential.