Machu Picchu

Perhaps placed first on most traveler’s bucket list, is Machu Picchu.  Having visited this 15th century Inca citadel recently, I can see why this is so.

This UNESCO World Heritage Site, built on a mountain ridge 8,000 ft. above sea level, is an amazing  sight to behold.

About 200 buildings are arranged on wide parallel terraces around an east-west central square, while stone stairways set in the walls allowed access to the different levels across the site.  Most archeologists believe that Machu Picchu was built as an estate for the Inca emperor Pachacuti around 1450 but abandoned it a century later at the time of the Spanish Conquest.  It was not known to the outside world until 1911, when the American historian Hiram Bingham brought it to international attention.

Though altitude sickness and tough terrain  may deter some visitors, it is certainly worth the effort!

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