Salkantay + Machu Picchu trek / 7 days / April 29 to May 5, 2016 / Alpaca Expeditions
We’d booked a group trip but no one else signed up for the seven day trek so it ended up being a private trip!
ten things i learned at machu picchu
- The authorities still don’t know what this place was. Was it a university? A military fortress? A retreat for the elite? A sanctuary for virgins? A religious site? A combination of things?
- Machu Picchu is believed to have been built in the mid-15th century by the Incas. But guess what? The site was never finished! You can still see evidence of a quarry of sorts, right by the citadel.
- It’s completely surrounded by mountains and the Urubamba River runs along three sides far below in the valleys. It is a stunning setting.
- There are over 700 terraces here. These were used for agriculture and to help prevent erosion.
- The Spanish conquistadors never found Machu Picchu which explains why it is in such good condition.
- Hiram Bingham did not “discover” Machu Picchu. He is only responsible for bringing Machu Picchu to international attention in 1911. But today, there is evidence that Bingham can’t even claim that now!
- The site is divided into several sectors including agricultural, urban, and religious.
- There are many fascinating architectural features such as trapezoidal windows and doors as well as tightly fitted mortar-less stones (the tighter the fit, the more likely the structure was religious).
- Things for which to look out include Intihuatana (a sun dial for certain days), Temple of the Condor, the Sun Mirrors (water mirrors that reflect the sun), and a rather pretty garden.
- Machu Picchu is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has been designated one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
Have you been to Machu Picchu? What did you think?
Have you done the Salkantay + Inca Trail trek and if so, what was your favourite moment?