Machu Picchu is a 15th-century Inca citadel situated on a mountain ridge 7,970 ft above sea level. It is located in the Cusco Region, Urubamba Province, Machupicchu District in Peru above the Sacred Valley. The Sacred Valley is 50 miles northwest of Cusco and the Urubamaba River flows through the valley.
The Incas built the estate around 1450 but abandoned it a century later at the time of the Spanish Conquest. Although known locally, it was not known to the Spanish during the colonial period and remained unknown to the outside world until American historian Hiram Bingham brought it to international attention in 1911.
Machu Picchu was built in the classical Inca style, with polished dry-stone walls. Its three primary structures are the Intihuatana, the Temple of the Sun, and the Room of the Three Windows. Most of the outlying buildings have been reconstructed in order to give tourists a better idea of how they originally appeared. By 1976, thirty percent of Machu Picchu had been restored and restoration continues.
Machu Picchu was declared a Peruvian Historic Sanctuary in 1981 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. In 2007, Machu Picchu was voted one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in a worldwide Internet poll.
It was only used for approximately 80 years before being abandoned seemingly due to destruction of the Spanish Conquests in other parts of the Inca Empire. It is possible that most of its inhabitants died from smallpox introduced by travellers before the Spanish conquistadors arrived in the area.
In the Quechua language, machu means "old" or "old person", while pikchu means "peak; mountain or prominence with a broad base that ends in sharp peaks", hence the name of the site means "old peak".
Want to visit Machu Picchu in person? Learn more, but don't delay as registration for my small group trip of adventurers closes 1/15/18!
With over ten years of teaching experience, Hannah Pinkerton helps students of all ages and skill levels gain the confidence and language abilities to speak Spanish with native speakers, through online personalized sessions and adventure immersion trips to Spanish speaking countries. Hannah teaches Spanish with patience and passion. As a native English speaker, she understands the difficulties faced by English speakers learning Spanish. With personalized Spanish sessions over video chat, Hannah can pinpoint areas of difficulty and tweak lessons to your learning style, background, and goals. She can help form and fine tune your Spanish abilities, regardless of your age or level of previous Spanish knowledge. Hannah is a Spanish teacher and digital nomad based in Alabama.