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Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail Travel Guide

  • Photo: Jerome Stubbs / Shutterstock
  • Photo: Chris Howey / Shutterstock
  • Photo: ckchiu / Shutterstock
  • Photo: shin / Shutterstock

Plan Your Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail Vacation

The world did not become aware of Machu Picchu's existence until 1911, when Yale university historian Hiram Bingham (1875-1956) announced that he had "discovered" the site. "Rediscovered" is a more accurate term; area residents knew of Machu Picchu's existence all along. This "lost city of the Inca" was missed by the ravaging conquistadors and survived untouched until the beginning of the

20th century.

Ever since Bingham came across Machu Picchu, its history has been debated. It was likely a small city of some 200 homes and 1,000 residents, with agricultural terraces to supply the population's needs and a strategic position that overlooked—but could not be seen from—the valley floor.

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Updated 1/20/2014

Top Reasons To Go

  1. Discover Ancient Kingdoms Hiram Bingham "discovered" Machu Picchu in 1911. Your first glimpse of the fabled city will be your own discovery, and every bit as exciting.
  2. The Trail The four-day hike of the Inca Trail from near Ollantaytambo to Machu Picchu is Peru's best-known outdoor expedition. Spaces fill up quickly, but never fear tour operators have opened up some alternative treks.
  3. Ye Olde Technology It was the 15th century, yet the Inca made the stones fit perfectly without mortar. The sun illuminates the windows at the solstice, and the crops grow in an inhospitable climate. And they did it all without bulldozers, tractors, or Google Earth.
  4. Mystery Mystics, shamans, spiritualists, astrologers, and UFO spotters, professionals and wannabes, flock to this serene region to contemplate history's secrets.
  5. Majestic Scenery The area's stunning mountain landscapes surround you.

When To Go

When To Go

All the high-season/low-season trade-offs are here. Winter (June through August) means drier weather and easier traveling, but it's prime vacation t...

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Travel Tips

Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail Travel Tips

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