machu picchu gateway logo
Toll Free
1-512-692-6131
Personalize your Peru Package, starting at USD$1,399

Peru Travel Planner, vacations and holidays
PERU TRAVEL PLANNER

 




CALL US

North America
Toll Free

1-512-692-6131
 

Home > Travel Information > Peru Facts > Machu Picchu Facts

Machu Picchu Facts

FLAG


CAPITAL:
Machu Picchu town

DEPARTMENT:
Cuzco

PROVINCE:
Urubamba

SURFACE AREA:
The surface area is 271,44 km2. The District of Machu Picchu is located in the south-eastern Peru, 110 km away by train from the city of Cusco. It is located at the confluence of the rivers Vilcanota and Alccamayu and Aguas Calientes. The territory covers several ecological districts, from the jungle region to the region of Puna. The district is part of the 32,592 hectares of Sanctuary of Machu Picchu.

ALTITUD
2 400 meters above the sea level

WEATHER
It is warm and humid, with sunny days and cool nights. The rainy season starts in December and ends in March. The dry season goes from April to November.

POPULATION:
The district population is estimated at 5 286 inhabitants, of which 4 229 inhabitants belong to the urban sector that is Machu Picchu town, and 1 057 inhabitants belong to the rural sector, that is the twelve rural communities.

LANGUAGE:
Official: Spanish
Co-official: Quechua

FESTIVITIES:
Holy Cross
Virgen del Carmen
Our Lady of the Assumption

ROUTES:
By train: 4 hours from Cusco city
Trekking: Inca Trail

SURROUNDINGS
Machu Picchu was integrated into the network of Inca roads of the Empire. Using these pathways you can, until now, access to other nearby Inca sites that are of great interest. The north by the forks in the road of Huayna Picchu you can reach the called Temple of the Moon or the top of the mountain where there are Inca constructions.

To the west is the road to Intipata and passes through the famous "removable bridge".

To the south is the best known and most important route, which is the most popular trekking route in Peru. The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is a trip of 3 to 4 days going through what the late fifteenth century was the main access route to Machu Picchu, which began in Llactapata Complex and passed through the ceremonial centers of Sayacmarca Phuyupatamarca and Wiñaywayna, ending in the "tambo" of Intipunku, the "gated" entrance to Machu Picchu domains and final point.

HISTORY:
It was discovered by American archaeologist Hiram Bingham in 1911. Archaeologists believe it was built during the fifteenth century AD by the Incas, but their function remains a mystery. We also know that was populated by a large number of inhabitants, but only by nobles, priests and "aqllas" (virgins of the sun). There was also a population of peasants who worked the fields but did not live inside the citadel.

The city is divided into 3 areas: 2-populated areas and the agricultural sector, which is a vast system of terraces and irrigation canals The urban sector was divided into two districts, one of them are the most important temples like the Sun, and the royal room In another neighborhood are located the homes of the nobles and the convent of the "virgins of the sun." Between the two neighborhoods is a huge open as a square. The surroundings are stunning, the citadel is built on top of a hill surrounded by the Urubamba river and a mountain range, it seems the center of a ring of mountains.

Perhaps the biggest attraction of Machu Picchu is the level of technological development achieved by the builders in architecture and stonework. The joints of the stones in some environments are so narrow that even a pin could be inserted. The most significant stone is the "Intihuatana" or solar calendar, which allowed the Incas to know precisely the seasons and the weather throughout the year. However, many found in Machu Picchu more than history and old technologies, but also energy and peace that surrounds all who come and visit so mysterious place.

INTERESTING THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT MACHU PICCHU

In Quechua Machu Picchu means “Old Peak” or “Old Mountain.”

Machu Picchu was only known locally until Hiram Bingham re-discovered it in 1911.

On July 7, 2007, Machu Picchu was chosen as one of the new seven wonders of the modern world

Hiram Bingham took 5,000 archaeological pieces to Yale University as a result of excavations in Machu Picchu. For a long time they were claimed by the Peruvian government. Yale University recently confirmed the return of the pieces in 2011, to commemorate the centenary of the rediscovery of Machu Picchu by Bingham.

It is believed that no wheel was used to transport heavy rocks for the construction of the city.

Machu Picchu is made up of more than 150 buildings ranging from baths, temples and sanctuaries.

There are many theories about the purpose of Machu Picchu, such as real property and a secret ceremonial center.

The structures were built with a technique called “ashlar”, stones that are cut to fit together without mortar that not even a knife blade can fit in between the stones.

Machu Picchu was an astronomical observatory.

The sacred Intihuatana stone indicates the two equinoxes. Twice a year, the sun sits directly over the stone creating no shadow.



Contact us for a Personalized and Comfortable itinerary to Peru

Extended Form






Budget

Three stars

Four stars

Five stars



Have you contacted us before?

yes

no



*For a highly personalized itinerary, please consider filling out the extended form.