The most famous hike in South America leads to one of the 7 wonders of the world, Machu Picchu.
Machu Picchu is the ancient Inca city found at the high elevation above the River Urubamba on the edge of the Amazon Jungle.
No one really knows the true history of Machi Picchu with more theories being disputed between historians. However an agreement that around the 15th Century the citadel had a peak of around 500 inhabitants taking about 50-100 years.
The 22.3 acre structure of Machu Picchu has been described as an ‘engineering marvel’ with agricultural terraces, granite temples (The Temple of the Sun and Moon) and ornamental stonework still seen. Having a guide to take you around the site is the best way to learn about the history and to understand the history of the citadel
It remained hidden for many years, (as it was never found by the Spanish invaders) until 1911 when an American explorer (Bingham) found the remote ruins. The land was overgrown in a thick forest.
To get to Machu Picchu there are numerous treks, the most common is the Inca trek. However due to limited numbers there are now other routes to reach Machu Picchu. I chose to do the Lares Route, known for its more cultural route through the Sacred Valley reaching over 4600m at the peak. The trek pass numerous quiet andean villages which are really the only people you encounter for the first 3 days. I choose the company Alpaca Expeditions which even though seems expensive was worth every cent. The effort that the guide and porters put into making sure that everyone was happy was second to none. No one can complain when you arrive at the campsite with tents already up and delicious food being cooked!