If we talk about Machu Picchu, possibly everyone knows that this Inca citadel located on the Urubamba River Valley, is one of the 7 Wonders of the Modern World and Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO since 1983.
What many will not know are some curious facts that, not because they are basic, are less unknown. We bring you a small list with 10 things you probably did not know about Machu Picchu.
1- The name of this Inca citadel comes from the Quechua word meaning “Old Mountain”.
2- Machu Picchu was discovered in 1911 by the American professor Hiram Bingham, after an expedition in which he was looking for Vilcabamba, the last Inca capital before the Spaniards conquered America.
3- This majestic architecture comprises 140 structures.
4- It was built by the Inca Pachacutec, the ninth emperor of the Incas, approximately in the year 1460. It is believed that it was built as a temporary residence for royalty.
5- It has 3 very important enclosures: the Intihuatana (sundial), the Temple of the Sun and the Temple of the Three Windows.
6- . On September 8, 2000, the Intihuatana suffered irreparable damage to one of its edges due to the collision of a crane during the filming of a beer commercial for the Cusqueña brand.
7- It is located 2,430 meters above sea level.
8- There are different ways to get to Machu Picchu, by bus on the Hiram Bingham Highway, through the well-known Inca Trail, Salkantay Trekking or the Inca Jungle.
9- Approximately 1 million visitors a year.
10- In 1913, the National Geographic Society magazine dedicated its entire April issue to the recently discovered city, bringing worldwide attention to the sanctuary.
We hope these little facts will make you take the step you were looking for to get to know this marvel of Inca architecture, which still holds dozens of secrets such as its advanced hydraulic system, its forms of storage or its allegorical constructions based on the Inca cosmovision of union with the pachamama or mother earth.
*With information from the Peruvian Chamber of Tourism (Canatur) and the Andean Wings Hotel website.