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Machu Picchu

Basis Data:
Unesco World heritage since: 1983
Size of heritage: 38,161 ha

Longitude: -71,417°
Latitude: -12,883°


Machu Picchu stands 2,430 m above sea-level, in the middle of a tropical mountain forest, in an extraordinarily beautiful setting. It was probably the most amazing urban creation of the Inca Empire at its height; its giant walls, terraces and ramps seem as if they have been cut naturally in the continuous rock escarpments. The natural setting, on the eastern slopes of the Andes, encompasses the upper Amazon basin with its rich diversity of flora and fauna.

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Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu: A Marvel of Ancient Inca Civilization

The Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu, located in the Cusco region of Peru, is a UNESCO World Heritage site that showcases the remarkable architectural and cultural achievements of the ancient Inca civilization. Situated at an altitude of 2,430 meters (7,970 feet) in the Andes Mountains, this awe-inspiring site attracts millions of visitors each year.


Machu Picchu was built by the Inca Empire in the 15th century, during the reign of Emperor Pachacuti. It served as a royal estate and religious sanctuary, hidden away from the outside world. However, the site was abandoned and forgotten after the Spanish conquest of Peru in the 16th century, remaining hidden for centuries.

In 1911, the American explorer Hiram Bingham rediscovered Machu Picchu, bringing it to the attention of the world. The site was remarkably well-preserved, with its intricate stone structures and terraces still intact. Bingham's findings sparked immense interest in Inca civilization and led to extensive research and restoration efforts.

Architectural Marvels

Machu Picchu is renowned for its exceptional architectural design, blending harmoniously with the natural landscape. The site is divided into two main areas: the agricultural sector, featuring terraces and farming structures, and the urban sector, consisting of temples, palaces, and residential buildings.

The Temple of the Sun, one of the most significant structures, showcases the Inca's advanced knowledge of astronomy and their reverence for the sun. The Intihuatana Stone, a ritual stone used to track the sun's movements, is another remarkable feature.

The agricultural terraces, built with precision and ingenuity, demonstrate the Inca's mastery of engineering. These terraces allowed for efficient farming on the steep slopes of the mountains, ensuring the sustenance of the inhabitants.

Current State

Today, Machu Picchu remains an iconic symbol of Inca civilization and a testament to their architectural brilliance. The site attracts tourists from all over the world, who come to marvel at its beauty and immerse themselves in its rich history.

However, the increasing number of visitors poses challenges to the preservation of Machu Picchu. To protect the site, the Peruvian government has implemented measures to limit the number of daily visitors and regulate their access to certain areas. Additionally, ongoing conservation efforts focus on maintaining the integrity of the structures and preventing further deterioration.

Visitors can explore Machu Picchu through guided tours, following designated paths to minimize impact on the fragile ruins. The site also offers breathtaking hiking trails, such as the famous Inca Trail, which provides a unique and immersive experience of the surrounding Andean landscape.

The Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu stands as a testament to the ingenuity and cultural significance of the Inca civilization. Its awe-inspiring architecture, breathtaking setting, and rich history continue to captivate visitors, ensuring its place as one of the world's most treasured UNESCO World Heritage sites.