For most visitors, the Inca city of Machu Picchu is the highlight of their visit. Revealed to the Western world by the American Hiram Bingham on July 24 1911, and declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1983, it is probably the most important archaeological site in South America and requires at least one day to explore fully. Buried beneath jungle vegetation for centuries, excavations revealed a myriad of staircases, terraces, temples, palaces, towers and fountains. Highlights of the site include the ceremonial baths, the Temple of the Sun, Temple of the Three Windows and the Intihuatana, or carved rock pillar used by Inca astronomers to predict the solstices. A 30-minute walk south from the main complex takes the visitor to the Inca Bridge, carved into the vertiginous cliff face. Climb the peak of Huayna Picchu that towers over the city and from the summit, it is a breathtaking experience to watch the mist roll back to reveal the architectural marvels of the Inca citadel.
(Lima, Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, Cusco)
The aroma of the dense surrounding forest hangs in the thin mountain air as you stroll among the ancient stone ruins of the famous Incan fortress at Machu Picchu and connect with a lost civilization and its millennia-old ghosts.
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