01 & 02 Days
  • 01 & 02 Days


01 & 02 Days




    The Inka city of Machupicchu, is built on the top of the mountain of the same name. Surrounded by temples, enclosures, platforms and water channels; built basically with blocks of stone superimposed on each other. Built possibly in the fifteenth century, by mandate of Inka Pachacuteq


    Machupicchu is considered as an important political, religious and administrative center of the Inka empire. Machupicchu is divided into two large sectors: The agricultural sector comprising a series of terraces (artificial platforms), and the urban, consisting of various buildings and plazas including the Temple of the Sun, the Main Temple, the Temple of the Three Windows and the Temple of the Condor.


    Machupicchu that comes from the Quechua and means "old mountain", is considered within the list of UNESCO heritage.


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    The Historic Sanctuary of Machupicchu, is protected by the Peruvian Government by Law No. 001.81.AA of 1981; to preserve the geological formations and archaeological remains within the Sanctuary, in addition to protecting its flora, fauna and scenic beauty.


    The entire park covers an area of 37,302 hectares (92,175 acres). Machupicchu (Inca City) is located at kilometer 112 (70 miles) of the Cusco-Quillabamba railway, and is at an altitude of 2,450 masl (8,038 feet), and at 13°09'23'' South Latitude and 72 °32'34 '' Eastern Longitude. The climate of this sector is different according to the time of the year, there are only two well-defined seasons: the rainy season between September to April, and the dry season from May to August; However, Machupicchu is located in what is considered the eyebrow of the Amazon jungle (high jungle), and the rains are latent at any time of the year. On the warmest days it is possible to reach approximately 26° Celsius (78.8° Fahrenheit), the coldest mornings are in the months of June and July where the temperature can reach -2° C. (28.4° F), the average temperature annual is 16°C. There is an average annual rainfall of 1,571 to 2,381 mm. Relative humidity is directly related to rainfall, so the average humidity is 77% during the dry months and 91% in the rainy months.


    Machupicchu National Historic Sanctuary is located on top of a large granite orogenic structure baptized by Dr. Isaiah Bowman as the "Vilcapampa Batholith". Its formation belongs in the balance of geological time to the Paleozoic or the Lower First and has an approximate age of 250 million years. The white-gray granite of Vilcapampa is an igneous stone mainly composed on average of: 60% feldspar, 30% quartz, and 10% mica. This granite has interlaced equigranular texture and has a hardness of 6° to 7° on the Mohs scale, with a resistance of 1,200 Kg/cm². In this region there are some other stones that correspond to the Lower Paleozoic, such as schist, quartzite, and metamorphic conglomerations that could be 350 to 450 million years old.


    Machupicchu, the contemplation of Quechua men, is a compound Quechua word: machu = old or ancient, and picchu = crest or mountain; therefore, Machupicchu is translated as "Old Mountain". The famous mountain that is seen in front and appears in most of the classic views of the site is called Waynapicchu (Young Mountain). Unfortunately the original names of the mentioned sites have been lost in time; Machupicchu, Waynapicchu and some other names used today are contemporaneous, probably attributed by farmers who lived in this area at the time of Bingham's arrival. However, according to studies from the 16th century, it is documented that the original name of the entire area could be "Picchu".


    It is known that Hiram Bingham was a missionary descendant, it was he who found Machupicchu for the contemporary world and for modern science; American historian who was born in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1907, studied South American history and geography at Yale University. He later was chosen as his country's delegate to the First Pan-American Scientific Congress held in Chile in 1908. Around that time he began his activities as an explorer on a journey on horseback from Caracas to Bogotá, following the manner of Simón Bolívar. He travels from Buenos Aires to Lima, arriving in 1909; he began with the first exploration of him heading towards Choquekirau, trying to find the last Inca Capital. By that time many myths had been created about the possibility of finding Inca treasures that according to tradition had been taken by Manko Inca in his retreat to Willkapanpa (willka = sacred, panpa = flat; its Spanish form is "Vilcabamba"); It was very common in those times to find treasure seekers. That same intention moved Bingham to study the chronicles and even visit the Spanish archives, and as a consequence, in 1911 he returned to Peru with the aim of carrying out studies of geology, botany, and surely finding Willkapanpa. In Cusco, Alberto Giesecke, a compatriot and rector of the local University had put him in contact with Braulio Polo y Borda, the owner of Mandor. This local owner told Bingham that on the hill in front of his property there were some old buildings covered by vegetation where cattle were frequently lost; What's more, he introduced her to Eduardo Lizarraga, a farmland tenant who has lived in the area since the 1970s. On July 23, 1911, Bingham appeared in Mandor together with Sergeant Carrasco who escorted him by order of the Prefect Juan José Nuñez of Cusco. They found in his hut the peasant Melchor Arteaga who told Bingham about the existence of two Inca sites called Machupicchu and Waynapicchu; That same farmer was hired by Bingham to be a guide and reach the Inca City.


    The next day, after examining the field, they decided to go up where today is the zigzagging path. After noon they arrived at another hut where they found Anacleto Alvarez and Toribio Recharte; they were two humble peasants who together with their families lived in the area cultivating their pre-Hispanic terraces. They took a boy as a guide from Bingham to get a first look at the Inca buildings that were completely covered by vegetation. This is how Bingham, 35 years old, arrived at Machupicchu; a fortuitous event that made manifest a great "discovery". Later he continued with his trip arriving at Rosaspata, Ñust'a Hisp'ana, Pampaconas and Espiritu Pampa; places that apparently did not attract the explorer.


    Almost immediately after his first exploration, he returned to the US seeking financial support, which was granted by Yale University and the National Geographical Society. As a consequence, the Peruvian government in Lima agrees to Bingham's demand to carry out the works in Machupicchu, by means of the law of October 31, 1912, authorized to carry out its projected works. In addition, according to the fourth article of that authorization, Bingham could freely take out of the country all the remains obtained during his explorations, but with the commitment to return them at the simple request of Peru. The authorization with the name "international label" violated some legal rules and caused irreparable damage to the cultural heritage of Peru.


    In 1,536 Manko Inca or Manko II started a war against the Spanish invaders, according to our history, while the siege of the city of Cusco was taking place, in which Manko was about to achieve his victory, after 8 months of bloody war. Finally he was defeated by the Spanish and their allied tribes (the old enemies of the Incas). Withdrawal was inevitable and Manko disbanded his entire army so the soldiers could return and care for their families (spend their time farming). Manko Inca retreated towards Vilcabamba (Willkapanpa) following the Chinchero route and crossing Ollantaytambo where he won a battle against the Spanish; finally he entered the depths of the jungle, where he established his new operating center. The bloody war between the Incas and the Spanish continued. Manko was assassinated in 1545 by Diego de Almagro (Pizarro's partner).


    Manko was unsuccessful with his son Sayri Tupaq who was persuaded by some relative from Cusco (loyal to the Spanish crown) to agree with the royal authority. He traveled to Lima and had a meeting with the Viceroy who granted him some privileges and gave him land in the current districts of Yucay, Urubamba, Maras and Chincheros. Apparently satisfied, he built his own adobe palace in Yucay, died in 1560, perhaps poisoned by Quechuas who disagreed with the invaders. After Sayri Tupaq's death, his brother Titu Kusi Yupanki assumed power.


    The new Inca also occupied Vilcabamba and admitted the political and religious committees of Cusco and Lima to reach an agreement with the Viceroy. In 1568 he was baptized as a Christian; around that time he died due to illness. His successor, his brother Tupaq Amaru, was too young and inexperienced, the conquistadors saw in him an implacable enemy, for which the viceroy requested the capture of the Inca by sending an army of almost 300 soldiers, led by Martín Hurtado and Captain Martín García Oñaz de Loyola. They reached Vilcabamba but the Inca and his family went into the depths of the forest. Finally, the last Quechua Monarch was captured and taken to Cusco together with his followers by García Oñaz de Loyola himself (who later married Coya Beatriz, the niece of Tupaq Amaru and heir to the Marquis of Oropesa). After a speedy trial, he was sentenced to death and as a consequence he was beheaded in the square of the great city before the cold gaze of Viceroy Toledo on September 24, 1572. His remains were kept in the Church of Santo Domingo; Thus, the last man of the Inca dynasty was assassinated, after 36 years of war to recover his Quechua nation.


    In 1911, Hiram Bingham believed that he had found Manko Inca's Vilcabamba at Machupicchu; something that was not true because the exact situation of that city and some other places that the chronicles declared were already known.


    The Spaniards were considered as gods because they were different, they had white skin, they carried firearms, horses, and even the Quechuas thought that the horse and the Spaniard were a single being capable of dividing in two. They also believed that they were divinities because there was an ancient myth that the Inca gods had to arrive by ship, exactly as the Spanish did. Due to all these reasons they were accepted and welcomed in the Capital. Its inhabitants made them know everything they had, their palaces, temples, towns and cities, but nothing was said about Machupicchu because apparently it was a very special and confidential city; otherwise it was lost and forgotten. It is so that the Spanish did not arrive and did not know anything about Machupicchu.


    Due to its situation strategically established for its protection, its number of temples and its architectural quality and the small number of "kanchas" (apartments for extended families), and many other characteristics, Machupicchu was originally a regional power center dependent on Cusco. In other words, it was a political and religious capital. It certainly served as a dwelling for the Inca or for any superior dignitary of the capital as well as for a selected nobility who had the privilege of having an "Aqllawasi" something like a monastery for "Chosen Women" or "Virgins of the Sun" consecrated to the cult and for the service of the privileged population. Most modern archaeologists and historians declare that Machupicchu was built by the Inca Pachakuteq who was the greatest statesman of Tawantinsuyo and ruled from 1438 to 1471.


    According to the buildings found in the Inca city, the population during its heyday was approximately 1000 people, and the mummies found by the Bingham expedition were almost 80% women of the Machupicchu population; this was a great support to affirm that the "Aqllawasi" (House of Chosen Women) existed who were considered as the wives of the Sun. Many modern scholars suggest that a large part of them were also wives of the Inca, considering that he was the son del Sol was therefore a living god. Thus the Inca lived on his property, together with his wives. It was normal for the Inca to have hundreds of concubines, for example, our history states that Wayna Qhapaq, who was the father of Waskar and Atawallpa, had more than 400 children. However his main wife must have been his own sister, only in this way could they supposedly keep the "solar blood" they had. The heir to the throne had to be the son of Inca and his sister.


    Today the reasons that led to the depopulation of the Inca city are unknown, although some hypothetical reasons are outlined that are in a logical framework, it is believed that there was an epidemic that led to the abandonment of the city built in a humid area with an abundance of different insects. Even up to the first decades of the 20th century, different epidemics were reported in this area, most notably malaria. Another possibility suggests that it had to be abandoned and closed after the death of the sovereign who built and lived in the city. Another hypothetical reason indicates that the Antis ("Antis" = tribes of the Amazon jungle), the worst enemies of the Inca, came to this place where they carried out a massacre; the city had to be abandoned. What is evident is that the Inca City was closed, abandoned and even forgotten until the early years of the 20th century. Today Machupicchu is divided into two main sectors: cultivation and urban. The cultivation sector is located just after the entrance of the tourist hotel, here there are very wide artificial cultivation terraces, these are just a few of those that existed in the region, most of them are covered by thick vegetation. At the eastern end of the terraces there are five buildings that perhaps served to house the farmers who cultivated this sector; these buildings are known as the "Farmers' Group" although Bingham called them "Outer Quarters". At the upper end of these terraces there is a small room that has three walls known as the Watch Post or the House of the Guardian, built in a strategic place; It has a clear view of the Urubamba canyon in two different directions.


    In Machupicchu the classic paintings are found in the neighborhood we name them as "Funerals"; are loose boulders knowingly placed in this place, carved as an altar. It is supposed that it was used to carry out the entire embalming process as well as to dry mummies. These stones also had a certain relationship with solar observations. In the winter solstice, the sunlight is projected exactly towards the "Intipunku" (Puerta del Sol).


    At the southern end of the "Funerals" is the largest building in Machupicchu, called "Kallanka" which has 8 access openings on the front wall and 2 on the side. Due to its location near the trails, its dimensions and morphology, it must have been a kind of "Tambo" and must have served as a house for a large number of people. Some authors name it as "main center" and some others as "Workshops".


    Going from the cultivation sector to the urban one, there is a great "Dry Moat" that served to protect the citadel of Machupicchu. This was a very exclusive city and its population was selected among the nobility, therefore it had a very prodigious security. Crossing the Dry Moat is the Urban Sector and in it is the "Calle de las Fuentes" which has 16 Liturgical Fountains. In the Inca Society, water was considered a special deity, therefore, there were sources and deposits for its worship. The main fountain is located in front of a building that has simply three walls that in the Inca Architecture were named as "Wayrana" which is a ceremonial center where the "Willaq Uma" (High Priest) had to carry out the various ceremonies to render cult of water Today the water does not flow through these channels simply because the tourist hotel is using it; originally the water was brought from springs located behind the Machupicchu mountain; the channel came along the Inca trail that goes towards the Intipunku. The "Temple of the Sun" was originally a highly protected complex. In Inca times, only the priests and the Inca could use these temples, which is why they remained closed and protected. People carried out their popular ceremonies in open areas or squares like in Machupicchu or Cusco.


    The entrance to the Temple of the Sun had a magnificent door which on its inner surfaces had a security system with stone rings above the lintel where this door must have been hung, and two stakes were tied into the small boxes carved into the jambs. interiors where the door is across the bar. The temple itself was built on top of a large boulder and has a semicircular floor plan, its rear wall being straight. The temple was built with Inca architecture, that is, with rectangular facing stones with joints. The semicircular wall has two windows, one facing east and the other north. According to modern scientists these two windows constituted the very important solar observatory in Machupicchu; through the window facing east it was possible to observe the winter solstice through the projections of the shadow on the central stone (with precision). Both windows have carved false lath projecting out of the face which certainly served to support elements that made solar observations easy. In the center of the temple there is a carved stone altar that was used to carry out the various ceremonies that honor the Sun. It is here where the animal sacrifices were carried out, to analyze their hearts, lungs and viscera, so that the priests could predict the future. . Also here the Inca had to drink "chicha" (corn beer) together with his father the Sun. The back wall has a window with small holes carved in its threshold which is known as the "Snake Window" (name given by Bingham). The holes are very similar to those found in the Temple of the Stars of the Qorikancha in Cusco, which according to Garcilaso said that it kept stone ornaments and precious metals, possibly these holes had the same duty. The straight walls of the temple have trapezoidal niches on their inner faces; they served to keep different idols and offerings. Some authors indicate that originally this temple had a conical thatched roof, and name it as "Suntur Wasi", "Military Tower", etc.


    Under the "Temple of the Sun" there is a small cave known as the "Royal Tomb" named after Bingham which he believes may have housed the mummy of a Cusco nobleman or possibly an Inca but he wrote that nothing was found inside the tombs. . The logical relationship would be: that the Inca was buried under the temple of his father. Without a doubt the small cave must have been related to Ukju Pacha (underworld) and the cult of dead people. In the side wall there are two large trapezoidal niches with stone beams on their lintels inside the small cave and two small niches in the deeper wall. On the floor there is a carving that represents the three levels of the Andean Religious World. In Inca society, all corpses were mummified in a fetal position with the only difference being that mummies of nobles were kept in temples while those of common people were buried or placed in cemeteries. Within the complex of the Temple of the Sun, there are also two constructions known by some authors as the "Cloister of the Ñusta" (ñusta = princess). Due to its location in the complex it must have had an intimate relationship with the Temple and was possibly the abode for the Willaq Uma (High Priest). Across the street, in front of the Temple of the Sun, there is a classic "kancha" (apartment for an extended family), it is the only one found in the area, very solid and built with carved stones.


    There is no doubt that this was the home of the Inca. The group has two large rooms and two small "wayranas" around the central patio. The eastern room is known as the alcoba, its southern portion is divided with carved stones that form the "bed", the Inca could have slept in that corner on top of some blankets woven with vicuña wool. At the north end of the room there is a very small compartment that people dubbed the "bathroom" which is strange because you don't normally find bathrooms inside apartments. The room in front is known as the ruler's "study" and the two small "wayranas" on opposite sides were probably used as the kitchen and workshop. There is a carved stone that served as a crusher to grind grain or some other kind almost in the middle of the central patio.


    Leaving the group through its only entrance; although there is currently another one at the back of the "studio" that was opened so that tourists can take a turn in the small passage, towards the right hand side at two meters high there is a stone carved as a false sleeper that has a hole in the middle. It must have served to hold ceremonial items. Going up the stone steps are the sector Quarries where there are boulders of amorphous granite that were slowly exploited. All the mountains around the Inca city have the same quality of stones, that is, white-grey granite from Vilcabamba. Consequently, the stones were in place and were not transported from the valleys as some authors claim. In this sector there is a partially broken stone indicated by the local guides, it is not a genuine Inca work, it is simply a sample of the technique used by that age to split the stones, it was done in 1953.


    From the quarry, it is possible to go up a stone stairway to the southeast to reach the sector called "Upper Group" (some historians name this sector as the "Puerta de la Ciudad Principal", or "Yachaywasi"=school). In this sector there are many constructions with "pirka" type walls that apparently served as public buildings among these there are some "Qollqas" (warehouses). In this sector is the door of the City of Machupicchu, this door was very protected and only people from its population were allowed to enter.


    To the west of the quarry is the "Sacred Plaza" (Sacred Group), and at the western end is the "Main Temple", it is a "Wayrana" type temple, that is, it has simply three walls made of stones with rectangular faces and the joints. This Temple shows seven trapezoidal niches on its central wall and five on each side wall. In front of it, approximately 8 meters ahead is the "Temple of the Three Windows" there is also a partially carved boulder that must have been its central pillar; Today some guides call it a "sacrificial altar." Today the Main Temple has a central wall that is moved to the north-east. Archaeological works show that they were displacements due to the infiltration of rain. Although, some geologists suggest that it was due to a geological fault that exists in this place, they also indicate that there is another fault due to the Temple of the Sun. The deity that was worshiped in this Main Temple (Historians say that it could be Wiraqocha, the superior invisible Andean god); the reason is unknown. In front of this temple there is a small outcrop of carved stone that some authors say was a representation of the Southern Cross that is not categorically demonstrated. At the north end of the "Sacred Plaza" is the "Temple of the Three Windows", with only three walls; its stones are comparatively polygonal and must have been less important than the "Main Temple". Evidence indicates that this temple was originally distinguished by having five windows; it appears that the two end windows were walled up after the Temple was finished. In the central front part there is a single stone pillar that served to support the thatched roof and on its western side there is a stone carved with figures that represent the three levels of the Andean World: the "Hanan-Pacha" (heaven), " Kay-Pacha" (ground surface) and the "Ukju-Pacha" (subsoil). The existence of this Temple made Bingham believe that he had found the mythical "Tampu T'oqo" where the Inca civilization originated but everything shows that this was not the case, the "Main Temple" has a room with two "pirka" type doors. of rough walls that today is called the "House of the Priest"; which probably due to the architectural contrast with the surrounding buildings and the quality of walls is directly related to other important buildings. Behind the "Main Temple" there is an excellent little room which is known as the "Chamber of Ornaments"; due to his situation he must have had an intimate relationship with the Temple. In the lower part of the rear wall there is a rare low platform like a stone seat or bed, due to a very accidental or Catholic influence, some people call this room the "Sacristy" of the Main Temple.


    To the northwest there is a staircase that goes up from the "Sacred Plaza", and goes directly to the "Intiwatana" which seen from afar has the shape of an irregular interrupted pyramid that Bingham named "Sacred Hill", it is impressive how the entire sector was adapted to the natural shape of the hill. There are many narrow terraces surrounding the hill that are not necessarily cultivated, which served to stop erosion and protect the "Intiwatana". Almost always these narrow terraces were used as gardens, that is, with an ornamental purpose; the hill possibly served to support an insignia or flag. The eastern top of the formation was artificially flat to be used as an "Usnu", that is to say a special platform where the chiefs of Machupicchu could talk with their people who were standing in the Main Plaza, located in the lower part towards the northeast. Communication was facilitated by the high position of the platform and there was no interference and by the loudness achieved by the human voice that is reflected and amplified when colliding with the opposite terraces.


    In the central part of the "Sacred Hill" there are vestiges of finely finished buildings with classical trapezoidal openings; around there are carved stones that it is suggested was a model of Machupicchu, curiously the shape of this stone has many coincidences with the local geography. At the top of the hill is the famous carved stone called "Intiwatana" its shape is irregular (polygonal) like an almost cubic polyhedron. Originally, all the faces of this boulder must have been finely polished, possibly the same as the Main Temple of Ollantaytambo, that is, it had a smooth surface like glass. Moreover, it must have had other auxiliary elements for its use. The word "Intiwatana" thus labeling the carved stone was first used by George Squier in 1877; that name is not found in any ancient chronicle. The correct names would be "saywa" or "sukhanka" which were used by the chroniclers. "Intiwatana" translates as the "place where the sun is tied" or simply "sun clasp". On the day of the winter solstice (June 21) the Quechuas had to perform the "Inti Raymi" (Festivity of the Sun) this was the most important celebration of the Inca Society. On this date, the sun is located at the furthest point of the earth, so the Quechuas believed that their "Tayta Inti" (Father Sun) was abandoning them. They had to perform the different rituals to ask the sun not to leave anymore and symbolically they had to tie it to the "Intiwatana". However, "Intiwatana" could also have another meaning "Inti" is "sun" and "Wata" is "year", it could be translated as the "place where the solar year is moderate". It is unquestionable that it could also have served as an effective solar observatory through the measurement of cast shadows, predicting the solstices and equinoxes, and calculating the seasons. Referring to this stone as a "sundial" or "sundial", or other similar names, is wrong and results from bad speculation. The Inca did not need to measure the day in hours or minutes, therefore, they did not know how to do it. Many scholars say that the "Intiwatanas" served as directional pegs where the angles determined the magnetic north and the south. All these truths can be found in Q'enqo, near Cusco, and here in Machupicchu where a carved stone angle indicates the magnetic north. . The astronomers Blanco, Dearborn and Mannheim, declare about this complex that it is possible to have observations of Pleiades, very important for Andean cultivation, and constellations such as the Southern Cross, Spica, Alpha and Beta Centaurs, Vega, Deneb and Altar. Local scholars indicate that the Intiwatana of Machupicchu is closely related to a "ceque" (imaginary alignment of observatories and temples) including surrounding mountains and valleys. According to the Cusqueños archaeologists Valencia and Gibaja, "All these elements affirm the idea that the Intiwatana of Machupicchu carved in stone, is a cosmic and ritual axis of great religiosity and the tonic meaning, clearly associated with some other points determine the important ceremonial axes in Inca times".


    Going down the stairs to the northwest of the Intiwatana in the extreme north of Machupicchu is the "Sacred Complex". This is a small complex with two very similar "wayranas", one in front of the other, with "pirka" type walls. These served as temples or altars for worship, the "Sacred Complex" has a natural mountain projection and surrounded by a stone pedestal, its surface is relatively smooth and possibly was also finely polished, but the erosion of 4 or more centuries of neglect changed the polish of the surface and even its entire shape. The Inca religion believes that the mountains constitute or have "apus" (superior spirits) considered as the protectors of the people (mountains are still worshiped today). Many scholars believe that the "Sacred Complex" is simply the representation of the mountains. However, some authors defend that the stone must have had another shape, possibly that of a "Puma" or a "guinea pig". In 1911 Bingham found some writings behind this stone.


    To the north of this complex is the path that leads to the Mountain of Waynapicchu and to the southeast is the Main Plaza of the city.


    The "Main Square" of Machupicchu is the largest, it is located to the north-east and at the foot of the "Intiwatana" it was a place where the popular ceremonies of the population were held, perhaps also the "Inti Raymi" or Festival of the Sun as in the main square of Cusco. Near this square there are terraces that did not have a duty of cultivation but simply served to level the totally irregular terrain of Machupicchu, which was the only way to achieve flat spaces.


    Towards the northeast of the Main Square of the eastern part of Machupicchu there are many other buildings with "pirka" type walls; the scheme of the buildings in this area is complex, it includes different sectors that are named as "Upper Group", etc. Those are basically buildings that served as apartments, warehouses, and some other utilitarian duties.


    Towards the east of the complex are very interesting buildings with different altars, buildings in the semi-subsoil, with sculpted stones of various shapes, etc. on which there are still no interpretive and in-depth studies. In this area there is also a cave that has a partially carved window called Intimachay, studied by Dearborn who maintains that inside the cave it is possible to see the alignment with the sunrise on the summer solstice (December 21). To the southeast of the sector is the so-called "Group of Mortars" that some authors name as the "Industrial Sector". The architectural quality of its walls indicate that it was of great importance for the city; Bingham named it the "Ingenuity Group". This was apparently a very exclusive group because it has a double door and inside it has the door that is closed with a security system with two small carved boxes and their stone stakes.


    From the ground to two meters high, the walls were made of carved stones, but the upper part was made of rougher stones; This difference makes one think of a construction perhaps in two different phases. Within this group is a room that has two round "mortars", both of which are almost the same diameter and carving. Some historians say that these mortars were used to grind various elements, to make weaving or pottery in the "industrial" sector; however, the mortars do not appear to have seen much use. Others indicate that they were seats for "aryballus" (short pointed flasks) containing "chicha" (corn beer). It is also suggested that these were filled with water to serve as "mirrors" and to make astral observations during clear nights, alleging that this enclosure was not covered; according to many modern astronomers they say that it was a weak possibility because it is more practical to observe the sky directly and not using mirrors. Towards the south of the previous room there is a compound of very interesting buildings of two "wayranas" that have simply three walls that share a central wall that divides them; instead of a front wall they put a column that supported the roof beams. In this complex there are also some other rooms that have the same quality with carved stones that look like altars. One of the most fascinating and enigmatic sectors of Machupicchu is the "Condor" located to the southeast of the "mortars". The "Temple of the Condor" has the shape of a labyrinth where in the lower part there is a sculpture with a granite outcrop in the shape of an Andean Condor. There are two large stones surrounding him and these represent his wings. It is obvious that this was a sacred place built with the purpose of worshiping the "Apu Kuntur" (Condor) this was one of the three sacred animals of the Inca Society together with the Puma and the Serpent; therefore his duty was strictly religious. The Andean Condor was and still is a special divinity in the mountainous regions of the Andes, but ceremonies were held to worship it. However, today the people of the Andes. On the other hand, some other authors say that this place was the "Prison" of Machupicchu. Because in this place there were pumas and perhaps also snakes, so those who were punished had to die inexorably; after these people died, the condors here landed and some other birds of prey to devour the remains of the punished.


    It is said that there were two types of punishment here and that the niches with small holes in their doors that are located above the left wing of the Condor were used to bind the hands of those punished (those niches were originally covered with a roof). Furthermore, it is said that the other higher niches on the back wall had a small opening that was used for a different punishment: in which the punished was placed in a niche with his face towards the upper openings that were used only for breathing and consume their food. In Inca times this sector was complementary to the "Temple of the Condor" and due to its situation and its multiple characteristics they must have served for ritual tasks and not that of a "prison".


    Hiram Bingham and his team worked intensively in the Machupicchu archaeological park for 5 years, excavating practically every square meter. In their environments they found ancient tombs, mummies and remains of 173 people attached to their daily life things, including clothes, pottery, food and ornaments, etc. after all the work done Bingham reported that no precious metal artifact was found in Machupicchu today that report is refuted by the widow of Agustin Lizarraga and her descendants who claim that the intrepid young peasant settled in the area before the arrival from Bingham. Machupicchu was discovered during their explorations when they were looking for farmland in the year 1900. They say that Lizarraga reached this lost city using the San Miguel road that divides the area and the "Plaza Santa" and that in his successive visits they found some objects such as niches , ceramics, gold and silver. Objects that they sold to a well-known wealthy merchant in Cusco. This could be true because of the charcoal found by Bingham on the walls. Bingham wrote: "We know that Lizarraga had been a treasure hunter in these woods ten years prior to our visit... Lizarraga died under very strange circumstances" in 1912, leaving his widow some treasures which she donated to the convent of Santa de Clara in Cusco, after being in the Catholic confession persuaded by the priest so that with her donation she could achieve "peace and salvation for her soul". It is possible that no other peasant apart from the Lizarragas could desecrate the place because traditionally in Andean society there is always a deep and hereditary respect to revere the "Wakas" on their part there is a lot of respect for the graves of their ancestors they cannot be desecrated for they believe they are protected and desecrating them brings misfortune, disease, death and some other curses. Bingham wrote that every object he found at Machupicchu was deposited at Yale University.


    The Waynapicchu Mountain is located to the north of the city, it appears in the background of the classic paintings of Machupicchu. At its top there are some terraces that were made to prevent erosion as well as gardens. It is possible to reach the top using the path that is located on the left flank of the mountain. Going up a long staircase, several of its sectors were simply carved out of the mountain stone. Going up slowly takes about an hour, and is not dangerous; however, the person who wishes to make the journey must be very careful, since a small carelessness or a wrong step could be fatal. From the top, there is a spectacular panoramic view of the Inca city.


    From Machupicchu it is also possible to do some other short walks. One of them is towards the "Inca bridge" for which it is necessary to reach the small surveillance post located in the upper area of the cultivation sector; from that place there is a path to the southwest. After about 20 minutes of walking one reaches the actual end of the path where there is a view of a path carved into the mountain. Going down the guard post there is another path that originally linked Machupicchu with Cusco. This path is a sample of great Quechua engineering and construction technology, it still has original paving slabs. Following the road for approximately 1.5 miles is the so-called Intipunku (Gate of the Sun), and at a distance of approximately 7 km (4.4 miles) outside of Machupicchu is the small Inca town called Wiñaywayna and on a higher level is the complex of Intipata crop.




    • Bus: Cusco - Ollantaytambo
    • Train: Ollantaytambo - Aguas Calientes (02 hrs approx.)
    • Bus: Aguas Calientes - Machupicchu
    • Entrance Ticket to Machupicchu
    • Guided Tour in Machupicchu for approximately 02 hrs
    • Bus: Machupicchu - Aguas Calientes
    • Train: Aguas Calientes - Ollantaytambo (02 hrs approx.)
    • Bus: Ollantaytambo - Cusco (02 hrs approx. each way)
    • Transfer to your hotel in Cusco



    • Meals





    • Tour: Sacred Valley Tour
    • Train: Ollantaytambo - Aguas Calientes (02 hrs approx.)
    • Hotel in Aguas Calientes
    • Bus: Aguas Calientes - Machupicchu
    • Entrance Ticket to Machupicchu
    • Guided Tour in Machupicchu for approximately 02 hrs
    • Bus: Machupicchu - Aguas Calientes
    • Train: Aguas Calientes - Ollantaytambo (02 hrs approx.)
    • Bus: Ollantaytambo - Cusco (02 hrs approx. each way)
    • Transfer to your hotel in Cusco



    • Meals




    • Camera
    • Long sleeve shirts and long pants
    • Swimming suit
    • Warm clothes (in case of cold front)
    • Waterproof rain gear (long poncho)
    • Wide brim hat and sun glasses for sunny days
    • A 50% DEET Insect repellent (at least)
    • Sunscreen lotion
    • Hiking shoes and sandals
    • Personal medication and/or supplies
    • Back pack or duffel bag plus a day pack
    • Water, plastic bags...


    US$ 300.00 (Expedition Train)
    US$ 350.00 (Vistadome Train)


    US$ 350.00 (Expedition Train)
    US$ 400.00 (Vistadome Train)



     Frequent questions:

    How long in advance should you make a reservation?

    • Reservations can be a minimum of 48 hours in advance. However, places are limited and are always subject to availability. Tickets for the Machupicchu citadel, Huaynapicchu and Montaña Machupicchu, are in high demand, running out months in advance in some cases. For this reason, we recommend making the reservation as far in advance as possible.

    To qualify for discounts for children, students or the Andean community?

    • The discount for minors applies according to age, they must be under 18 years of age at the time of the tour.
    • The student discount applies according to age, they must be under 25 years of age at the time of the tour.
    • The discount for the Andean Community (Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Bolivia), applies upon presentation of the identity document.

    What documents do I need to prove that I am a student?

    • The student discount is valid as long as you are maximum 25 years old. In the same way, it is valid if, when making the reservation, you send us a copy or photo of your university credential. It must have the following information:
    • Full name of the university
    • Full name of the student with photograph
    • You must indicate the expiration date (effective at the time of travel)

    They are not valid documents:

    • Proof of enrollment.
    • Regular student certificate.
    • Transportation card for students.
    • ISIC card.

    Are there prices by type of accommodation in Aguas Calientes?

    • Yes, on the tour we offer standard accommodation. If preferred accommodation is desired, it must be coordinated with the agency.

    What is the difference between Machu Picchu citadel, Machu Picchu mountain and Huayna Picchu mountain?

    • "Machupicchu" (2400 masl), what is popularly known as "Machupicchu" corresponds to the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu, which is made up of different areas, including the Machupicchu citadel and its two nearby mountains: Machupicchu and Huaynapicchu.
    • "Huaynapicchu" (2693 masl), Young Mountain, is the hill that you can see in the postcards of the city, north of the citadel. This mountain is highly visited, due to its rich archaeological value and its proximity to Machu Picchu. On the way to the top, its steep and narrow trails that defy gravity stand out. Due to its immense popularity, access to this tour is restricted to a certain number of people per day. The only way to get one of these places is to reserve them.
    • "Machupicchu Mountain (3082 masl)", Old Mountain, is located on the opposite side to Huaynapicchu Mountain. It is located in the high mountain range that surrounds the citadel, a little more distant than Huaynapicchu. The Machupicchu Mountain is not as popular as Huaynapicchu but it is a slightly less extreme route. This massif offers a totally different perspective to Huaynapicchu, delivering incredible panoramic postcards of the valley that houses the citadel.

    Is it possible to book the program discounting the entrance to Machupicchu?

    • Yes. To make the reservation in this way, you must book indicating the number of people traveling and the date you want to start the program, and you will receive the corresponding quote along with the instructions for booking.

    What is the weather like in Machupicchu?

    • Machupicchu is located between the Andes Mountains and the Amazon jungle, having a warm and temperate climate, with an average minimum temperature of 12 ° C and an average maximum temperature of 24 ° C. From April to October is the dry season, that is, during that period there is a lower probability of rain, while from November to March is the rainy season. Despite the differentiation every day of the year there is the possibility of rain, since it is a subtropical area.