There are very few massive tourist destinations that live up to their hype. They are usually ruined by their own fame. The Great Wall of China, the Louvre, Disney World and many more are usually far too crowded to be enjoyable. Thanks to Peru’s tireless efforts at controlling and limiting the amount of tourists that are allowed up each day, the ruins at Machu Picchu remain an incredible and pleasant destination to see.
The ancient city of Machu Picchu, which lies at 2,430 metres (7,970 feet) above sea level is a marvel of architecture. It sits perched on the top of a mountain that towers over the surrounding jungle. The vertical drops surrounding the city are frightening and awe inspiring. The steep ascent either by road or the legendary Inca Trail is a terrifying ordeal.
Machu Picchu was constructed around 1450 AD, but was later abandoned to hide it from the Spanish. Over the centuries, the jungle began to reclaim what the Incas had so carefully carved out of the mountain top. It was always known locally, but was not seen by an outsider until 1911 when Hiram Bingham was lead up by a local. Ever since then, travelers have been flocking to this impressive city.
Restoration work continue to this day, but enough of the city has been restored to appreciate how ingenious the design of the city was. There was a very elaborate irrigation and sewer system. The area is prone to earth quakes and to combat this, the architects designed the stone buildings to be able to sway with the moving mountain.
The history and design of the city is quite impressive, but nothing compares to the view. The most breathtaking thing to do is to sit on a hill overlooking the city and just gazing at it’s wonder. Early in the morning the whole country side is shrouded in an eerie mist giving the whole destination an other worldly feel. As the day progresses, the mist gently rises revealing more facets of the city. People get lost in thought and wonder and end up gazing for hours. It is like nothing you have ever seen and well worth the arduous journey to arrive at one of the wonders of the world.