Machu Picchu Citadel

31 de January de 2024

From the heights of the majestic mountains of the Peruvian Andes rises one of the most fascinating archaeological wonders in the world: Machu Picchu. This ancient Inca city, hidden amidst the lush jungle, has captivated the imagination of travelers and explorers for centuries. In this article, we will delve into the history and ancient mysteries of this magical place.

History of Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu was built in the 15th century during the reign of Inca Pachacutec, with the purpose of serving as a religious, political, and cultural center. It not only fulfilled that role but also left us with significant constructions such as Inca houses, a sacred plaza, terraces, canals, and more.

Machu Picchu in the Inca period: This site was one of the most important Inca centers during the rule of Inca Pachacutec, functioning as a worship center and religious sanctuary. Ceremonial halls and ritual spaces were discovered here.

The Inca city of Machu Picchu was divided into two sectors: the upper part for the nobility, priests, and those closest to the Inca; and the lower part for the common people, along with agricultural terraces, thus managing social organization.

Machu Picchu during the conquest period: During this period, the Spanish invaded Peruvian territory, subjecting the inhabitants to conflicts among the societies that inhabited the region. Some inhabitants fought in favor of their people, while others allied with the Spanish. The Spanish looted all the gold riches and began the evangelization of their religion. The Incas revered everything around them; their god was the Sun (Wiracocha), and they worshiped the moon, stars, sea, rivers. The Catholic religion imposed its beliefs.

Soon after, the citadel was abandoned by its inhabitants. However, the Inca city remained undiscovered by the Spanish as it was far from the city, and the only access to reach it was by walking the Inca Trail (nowadays trekking), preventing the Spanish from destroying it.

Who Discovered Machu Picchu?

Machu Picchu was rediscovered by the American explorer Hiram Bingham in 1911 during an expedition funded by Yale University. This architectural treasure had been hidden under natural vegetation for four centuries. Bingham's rediscovery marked the revival of the lost Inca culture.

Before Bingham arrived, a local resident, historians, and an Englishman had noticed the existence of this magnificent city. Bingham is credited with giving due importance to this archaeological site.

Who Built Machu Picchu?

Machu Picchu was built by the Inca people during the rule of Pachacutec. It is likely that the city was constructed in two stages and took at least 20 years to complete. What is truly remarkable is that it was built between two geological faults, and the Inca city remains intact to this day.

What is Machu Picchu?

Machu Picchu is an ancient Inca city that served as a religious, political, and cultural center, and it is considered one of the 7 archaeological wonders of the modern world.

Characteristics of Machu Picchu

The citadel features agricultural terraces, plazas, temples, and sophisticated architecture that demonstrates the Inca's knowledge in construction.

Altitude of Machu Picchu

The altitude of Machu Picchu is approximately 2,450 meters above sea level, belonging to the Machu Picchu district and Cusco department.

Flora and Fauna

Machu Picchu is located in an area of great biological diversity, showcasing a variety of flora, including the important orchid species along the path. Regarding fauna, llamas, alpacas, bears, and other species can be observed.


The architecture of Machu Picchu stands out as the entire city was built using stone, with precision in the placement of stones for each site, the layout of buildings, and harmonious integration with the natural surroundings.


Machu Picchu is located in the Andes mountain range, traversing two mountain chains. It is surrounded by Mount Machu Picchu, Putucusi, the famous Huayna Picchu, and bordered by the Vilcanota River.

Where is Machu Picchu Located?

Machu Picchu is northeast of the city of Cusco, belonging to the Aguas Calientes district, in the Urubamba province, Cusco.

How to Reach Machu Picchu?

To reach Machu Picchu, one can take a train from Cusco to Aguas Calientes, followed by a bus that takes visitors to the entrance of the citadel.

How to get to Machu Picchu from Cusco?

From Cusco, there are three alternatives to reach the wonder of the world:

Take a train to Aguas Calientes: From the city of Cusco, you can take a direct train to Aguas Calientes. To do this, you must purchase your train ticket in advance and depart from Poroy. From there, you travel directly to the town of Aguas Calientes and then take a bus to the entrance of the impressive Machu Picchu city.

Take a bus to Machu Picchu: From Cusco, travel by bus to Ollantaytambo. From there, take the train to the town of Aguas Calientes and then ascend by bus to the entrance of the impressive Machu Picchu city.

Trek the entire Inca Trail: This is one of the oldest ways to reach Machu Picchu. To undertake this journey, you must purchase your entrance ticket to both the Inca Trail and the archaeological site months in advance. The journey along this route takes between 4 to 5 days, depending on the tour you choose, and the beauty lies in the fact that along the way, you can visit various archaeological remains that the Spanish invaders did not destroy.

What to see and do in Machu Picchu?

Some notable places include the Guardian's House, the Temple of the Sun, the Inca Palace, the Condor Temple, and the Intihuatana, which is an intriguing astronomical observatory.

Guardian's House

The Guardian's House, located in the upper part of the agricultural sector of Machu Picchu, is one of the most visited and photographed places in the Inca citadel. Functioning as a surveillance post, this simple enclosure is built with small stones and adobe, with a roof made of beams and ichu, which has endured to this day.

Inside, there are three gridded windows that offer a panoramic view of Machu Picchu. Its strategic position supports the belief that it served a surveillance function.

It is the most visited Inca site in Machu Picchu, as it provides the opportunity to capture the iconic image of the Inca city in the background. Tourists often ascend here first to get the classic postcard photo.

Temple of the Sun in Machu Picchu:

The Temple of the Sun, located in the religious sector of Machu Picchu, is a mysterious and crucial construction dedicated to the worship of the Inca solar deity. Unlike other buildings, this temple is circular and precisely built over an enigmatic cave.

It is characterized by windows and niches where the Incas placed offerings of gold and silver. Currently, access is not allowed for preservation, but it can be viewed from a nearby viewpoint.

Inca Palace in Machu Picchu:

The Royal Residence is located in the religious sector, known as the 'Palace of the Inca.' It stands out for its detailed stonework and is believed to have been the residence of the Inca ruler Pachacutec. The structure has 10 niches inside, and it is speculated that it could have been the room of the Inca ruler Pachacutec. The structure features a small staircase leading to a 2-level space at the rear, with lintels in the doors and stone rings on the walls.

Condor Temple:

The Condor Temple is located in the sacred sector, presenting irregular buildings adapted to form the figure of a condor, near the Temple of the Sun and the Royal Tomb. The head of the condor is carved into the ground, while the body and wings are represented in the structure.

Intihuatana of Machu Picchu:

It is a carved stone that served as a sundial and ceremonial site, marking solstices and equinoxes. Associated with astronomical observation and Inca spirituality, it is located at the top of an Inca pyramid, surrounded by other enclosures. Its name means "where the sun is tied," and although the Peruvian government has prohibited touching it, tourists can still feel its energy by bringing their hands close to it (if touching is allowed, as it is currently restricted)

Best travel packages to Machu Picchu

Are you ready to experience an unforgettable journey in one of the world's most fascinating destinations? Discover the majesty of Machu Picchu with our incredible tour packages that will take you up close to Inca culture.

Cusco Machu Picchu Tour:

Déjanos tu respuesta o si tienes alguna pregunta, consultenos.
form contacto
Our partners
Our certifications