At the top of the mountain and between the Andes and the Amazon, large and impressive blocks of stone assembled without any amalgam constitute one of the most important religious, political and cultural centers of the VX century built by the Inca Empire: Machupicchu.
Discovered by the North American professor Hiram Bingham in 1911; This Inca citadel is divided into two large sectors: the Agricultural Sector, with a vast network of platforms or artificial terraces; and the Urban Sector, with beautiful buildings such as the Temple of the Sun and the Intihuatana or Sundial.
Its grandiose platforms of intense green and the imposing mountain range of the Andes that surround it make up a magnificent landscape that exceeds all the expectations of any demanding traveler.
Machu Picchu is today a “Cultural Heritage of Humanity” and the pride of Peru. On December 9, 1983, Machupicchu was declared a «World Heritage Site» by UNESCO, recognition in which places of natural or cultural significance are located for the common heritage of Humanity.
Historical Account of Machupicchu.
The Inca citadel of Machupicchu is located in the center of the Peruvian Andes and on an igneous erosion rocky Mountain at 2,400 meters above sea level; The sacred Inca citadel built around 1450 by the Inca “Pachacutec” and discovered in 1911, still hides enigmas and mysteries about its true purpose, which remain hidden to this day and which arouse the interest of both visitors and archaeologists from around the world.
Due to its strategic location on top of a mountain that belongs to the “Vilcabamba” mountain range, there are several theories about what this could mean for the Incas. Some argue that it was built as a large private residence for the Inca “Pachacutec”, while others claim that it was an important administrative and agricultural center located in the “Antisuyu” one of the four region of the Inca empire. However, it is also believed to be used as a necessary link between the Andes and the Amazon or as a resting residence for the Inca governor.
The truth is that Machupicchu is one of the greatest symbols of the impressive architecture and engineering of the Inca Empire in the 15th and 16th centuries. Although its origin is still under study, the value and importance it represented in its time, as well as its imposing design, have earned it its recognition as one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World.
The highlights of Machupicchu to visit.
Machupicchu is an exposed Museum. During the visit to the historic sanctuary of Machupicchu, we witness the most fascinating and incredible attractions. Each one with its own history and meaning, but all with great architectural and scenic beauty.
In total, there are around 186 sites of interest to visit within the citadel among archaeological complexes, squares, temples, warehouses, gardens, greenhouses, water sources, monuments and residences; all intertwined with each other and with the natural environment.
When visiting Machu Picchu, you can see two well-marked sectors separated by a wall of about 400 meters long: one oriented to agricultural purposes and the other more urban. The agricultural area is characterized by the presence of platforms or platforms that were used for the cultivation of various foods. Very close to this area, there are some little houses that could have been the farmers’ houses and also warehouses to store the harvested products.
On the other hand, in the urban area is the Royal Residence, which was and is the most beautiful, most extensive and best distributed construction in the place; the Sacred Square: main ceremonial site of the Inca citadel of Machupicchu; the Intihuatana pyramid, where the great solar clock is located; the Group of Three Portals: a group of buildings made up of three large portals; and the Temple of the Condor: which includes temples for ceremonial use.
Not everything is history and culture in this sanctuary. Machupicchu is home to a varied and exotic biodiversity. This thanks to its geographical location: between the Andes and the Peruvian Amazon, which allows the development of various species. In addition, it has the Urubamba River that crosses it from east to west.
THE FLORA AND FAUNA OF MACHU PICCHU
Wildlife in Machupicchu.
This environment is also home to one of the most amazing butterfly «collections» on the planet. Machupicchu is home to more than 500 species of butterflies, many of which cannot be seen anywhere else in the world.
The llamas, which are home to this magnificent sanctuary, cannot be left out, the llamas can comfortably live-in places of great height.
Flora in Machupicchu
The Historic Sanctuary of Machupicchu, is considered a privileged place for orchids, as it is home to a large number of species, it is estimated that around 300 species of orchids are distributed in the different ecological niches existing in the Machupicchu National Park, all this thanks to the climate and the presence of a great diversity of ecological niches.
There is a great diversity of plants over five meters high, whose flower is more than eight to 20 centimeters long, such as «Sobralia dichotoma», with fleshy flowers and also one of the smallest orchids in the world, a «Stelis» whose flower is barely two millimeters wide.
The visit to Machupicchu will allow you to contemplate the flora and fauna, as well as being one of the most remarkable architectural jewels of beautiful Peru, which is why Machupicchu receives thousands of visitors each year.
This natural space is home to species such as the Andean fox, the puma, the vizcacha, the spectacle bear, the white-tailed deer, among others. In addition to more than 420 species of birds, including the rooster of the rocks and the Andean condor. In addition, in Machu Picchu there are around 377 species of butterflies, 15 amphibians and 25 reptiles, including 9 types of lizards and 16 types of snakes.
The Machupicchu National Park has 38,958 hectares in which are forested areas, rugged mountains, peaks and mountains covered with snow. As well as tree species such as alder, white cedar, pod, yanay and laurel; in addition to the forests of Unca, Queñua and T’asta.