Peru, the land of the Incas, The ruins of Machu Picchu are located in the Urubamba province. Nested on the eastern slopes of the Vilcanota mountain range, a chain of mountains stopped by the Apurimac and Urubamba Rivers, it stands at an altitude of 2,350 meters above sea level.
Machu Picchu’s climate is subtropical with dense rainforests. The temperature is mild, warm and damp. The heaviest rainfalls are from the months of November through March, the months from April through October bring drier with hot temperatures. Typical plant life includes plaonayes, qientas, alisos, puya palm trees, ferns and more than 90 species of orchids.
The ruins are located in a lush jungle and are believed to have been built in the mid-15th century by Inca Pachacutec. Lost in history, the ruins were not discovered until 1911 by the American explorer, Hiram Bingham.
This famous citadel combines the visual and spiritual force of magnificent natural scenery with the natural diversity of a historic sanctuary recognized as a Cultural and Natural Patrimony of the World. Only the Inca and his noblemen, priests, priestesses and chosen women (Akllas) had free access to the premises of the Machu Picchu sanctuary.
The ruins are situated on the eastern slope of Machu Picchu in two separate areas - agricultural and urban. The latter includes the civil sector (dwellings and canalisations) and the sacred sector (temples, mausoleums, squares and royal houses).
Although the constructions show different levels of architecture, the religious buildings exhibit a high degree of perfection. The construction was generally in stone and the roofs were built of tree trunks and thatched with ichu or straw.
The walls lean slightly inward to protect against earthquakes. From the peak of the Huayna Picchu, situated opposite Machu Picchu, there is a panoramic view of the imposing spread of ruins and the Urubamba Valley. The breathtaking views from this mountain top citadel and its well-preserved ruins are a photographer's dream.
The subtropical climate means generally mild weather, the average year-round temperature during the day is 13ºC. There are two distinct seasons - the rainy season is from November to March and brings heavy rains, visitors are advised to dress accordingly during this season. The dry season from April to October brings higher temperatures.
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Machu Picchu is a city located high in the Andes Mountains in modern Peru. It lies 43 miles northwest of Cuzco at the top of a ridge, hiding it from the Urabamba gorge below. The ridge is between a block of highland and the massive Huaynac Picchu, around which the Urubamba River takes a sharp bend. The surrounding area is covered in dense bush, some of it covering Pre-Colombian cultivation terraces.
Machu Picchu (which means "manly peak") was most likely a royal estate and religious retreat. It was built between 1460 and 1470 AD by Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui, an Incan ruler. The city has an altitude of 8,000 feet, and is high above the Urubamba River canyon cloud forest, so it likely did not have any administrative, military or commercial use. After Pachacuti’s death, Machu Picchu became the property of his allus, or kinship group, which was responsible for it’s maintenance, administration, and any new construction.
Machu Picchu is comprised of approximately 200 buildings, most being residences, although there are temples, storage structures and other public buildings. It has polygonal masonry, characteristic of the late Inca period.
About 1,200 people lived in and around Machu Picchu, most of them women, children, and priests. The buildings are thought to have been planned and built under the supervision of professional Inca architects. Most of the structures are built of granite blocks cut with bronze or stone tools, and smoothed with sand. The blocks fit together perfectly without mortar, although none of the blocks are the same size and have many faces; some have as many as 30 corners. The joints are so tight that even the thinnest of knife blades can't be forced between the stones. Another unique thing about Machu Picchu is the integration of the architecture into the landscape. Existing stone formations were used in the construction of structures, sculptures are carved into the rock, water flows through cisterns and stone channels, and temples hang on steep precipices. Visit Machu Picchu in Cusco Peru.
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