Machu Picchu

Andes Mountains, Peru. rel=
Andes Mountains, Peru.
© WWF-Canon / Kevin SCHAFER

The Lost City Of the Incas

What & Where?
Machu Picchu is an enigmatic ancient city located high in the Andes Mountains in Peru. It is one of Peru's most significant tourist attractions but also one of the world's most impressive archaeological sites. This legendary city was built by the Incas in the 15th century, and was only rediscovered in 1911 by archaeologist Hiram Bingham in 1911.

Why?
Machu Picchu is a site of extraordinary beauty. It sits 2,430 m above sea level, in the middle of a tropical mountain forest. It is barely visible from below and is tucked away between two Andean peaks. It was the Incas' best kept secret and was built when the empire was at its height.

The city was a retreat town for Inca nobility and has a large palace and several temples dedicated to Inca deities. It was mysteriously abandoned just before the Spanish conquest, and lay buried under dense vegetation until its rediscovery.

Machu Picchu is one of the most protected sanctuaries of Peru, providing a home for a number of species, including the Alpaca. The site was inscribed in UNESCO's World Heritage List in 1983.

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