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Monday, May 30, 2011

Machu Picchu, Peru {Travel Photography}

Situated 7500ft above sea level on a small hilltop is one of the new seven wonders of the world (declared in 2007), Machu Picchu. This July, it'll celebrate its 100th year of rediscovery by Hiram Bingham, a Yale archaeologist who brought awareness of this magnificent Incan site to the rest of the world. There are so many interesting facts about this self-sustaining mountaintop community that you've just got to google Machu Picchu or actually go there to find out more detailed info for yourself. Hopefully these images will entice you to make a trip to Peru!

Homes that used to have thatched roofs.

Temple of the Sun. Through the trapezoidal window, the Incans were able to predict the beginning of the winter soltice, letting them know that it was time to start farming. Their main crop? Potatoes.

The Incans farmed on terraces, which helped with irrigation, prevented erosion, and maximized on space.

Perfectly cut stones.


Just amazing. They carved this rock to represent the mountains behind it.

The main plaza. I love how green this place is!

Waynapicchu is that tall mountain in the background. Each day, they issue 200 tickets on a first come, first serve basis for people who want to hike to the top. We were one of the lucky 200 that day! =)

It was one STEEP hike!

With some narrow passages.

The view of Machu Picchu from Waynapicchu.

You definitely have to watch your step hiking here!

This stone points directly to Machu Picchu.

Back on Machu Picchu...

Temple of the Condor. The massive stones in the background represent the outspread wings of the condor. On the floor is the condor's head and body. The condor, puma, and snake are the three sacred animals to the Incans.

Drew making friends with the locals.

It still amazes me how all these stones were hauled up a 7500ft mountain, and carved to fit so precisely that not even a knife blade can fit through them. No mortar needed. Archaeologists say this is how Machu Picchu is able to withstand earthquakes throughout the centuries.

For those who want to trek the classic Inca trail, they recommend booking about 6 months in advance since there's a limited number of permits for this trail. If you're too late, like we were, there are plenty of exceptional alternative treks to take, and you can explore Machu Picchu on a day when you've had plenty of rest the night before. Totally recommended if you're planning on hiking up Waynapicchu!

I hope most of you will make it to Machu Picchu at least once in your lifetime. If not, then I hope these images help to bring you a sense of what it's like to be there. Happy Travels! =)


Krishna Thapaliya said...

Trekking in Nepal is still the most favorite adventure holiday activity in the country. The two classic trekking routes either to Everest base camp or the Annapurna circuit are not easy and the challenge you'll face on either route will have a lasting effect. The Manaslu route trek around the world's eighth largest mountain is more remote but no less beautiful passing through stunning bamboo forests, villages filled with prayer flags and culminating with spectacular views from Larkya La. Mustang is an easier cultural trek, suitable for those with good general fitness but not necessarily any previous trekking experience. The language, culture and tradition of the Mustang region are still mostly Tibetan making this one of the most culturally interesting treks. There are shorter treks up the Langtang Valley and Helambu which are still hard work but also deeply rewarding. They generally begin in Kathmandu, leading through large grazing areas covered in flowers, dotted with stone huts used for butter making, Sherpa, Tamang villages and the homes of yak herders, right up to the Tibetan border.