Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Machu Picchu

Executive summary by darmansjah

Almost 8,000 feet (2,438 m) above sea level

PERU On a drizzly July morning in 1911, Peruvian guides led American explorer Hiram Bingham through dense mountain vegetation and into a wonder. “We found ourselves in the midst of a tropical forest, beneath the shade of whose trees we could make out a maze of ancient walls,” he wrote. Soon to be famous to the wider world as Machu Picchu, the pre-Columbian Inca site-with its dry-stone walls, terraces, and ramps-has since been partially cleared and restored.

The Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu extends out from the ruins themselves to include the remarkable, lush plants that swathe the 7,970-foot-high (2,430 m) site. In the humid forest, ferns, palms, begonias, and hundreds of species of orchids abound. The sanctuary, which is almost surrounded by the Rio Urubamba, also provides a home for animals including ocelots, otters, spectacled bears, and Andean condors.

Sacred City of Stone

Machu Piccu as it appears today, on a ridge above the Urubamba Valley; expertly crafted drystone houses and steps; typical trapezoidal windows; a view of the site in 1911. Archaeologist believe the setting was sacred to the Inca.

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