100 kilometers northwest of Cuzco
Architecture to Visit:
The site ruins include an area of 5 sq miles and 172 enclosures connected by 109 staircases structures, including the Temple of the Three Windows and the Intihuatana, an astronomical observatory. Agricultural terraces festoon the steep cliff walls; and getting there the old way, along the ancient Inca Trail, is still possible if grueling.
There is a traveling exhibit of artifacts from Machu Picchu at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, many of which can be seen in the website referenced above.
See the websites listed in the side bar for information concerning the site, particularly the Walking Tour of Machu Picchu.
Excavators and Excavations:
Hiram Bingham 'rediscovered' Machu Picchu in 1911; and spent about four years conducting excavations for Yale University and the National Geographic Society.
Why You Should Go:
Machu Picchu is a magnificent edifice perched in a high valley between two mountain peaks. It is one of the world's most fabled of ancient ruins, and a trip to South America should always include a visit.