By Allie Almario
This 15th-century citadel perched nearly 8,000 feet above the Sacred Valley is known as the Lost City of the Incas. Until American Hiram Bingham “discovered” the ruins in 1911, Machu Picchu was virtually unknown to outsiders. The city is divided into three distinct sections for agricultural, religious and urban use. Close to 200 structures still remain, and the site is often visited by wandering llamas.
2. YOU LOVE TO HIKE.
With over 3,000 steps and dozens of trails that wander through nearly five miles within the ruins, there are many options of routes to choose from. Hiking permits are required for the two most popular mountains, the most photographed mountain called Huayna (young) Picchu and of course, Machu Picchu itself. Both hikes can be done within a few hours. There are also longer hikes, the most famous of these is the legendary Inca Trail Trek which means hiking for four days and camping nightly. The short but steep Inca Trail Express takes 6-8 hours of challenging uphill climbing. Permits for these two hikes are highly in demand and very limited, so we recommend booking these up as far as eight months in advance if possible.
3. YOU LOVE WORLD HERITAGE SITES.
According to UNESCO, “Embedded within a dramatic landscape at the meeting point between the Peruvian Andes and the Amazon Basin, the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu is among the greatest artistic, architectural and land use achievements anywhere and the most significant tangible legacy of the Inca civilization.”