Machu Picchu

Closer Magazine Winter 2013-14

MACHU PICCHU Machu Picchu, a spectacular and imposing 550 year old citadel and one of the Seven New Wonders of the World, has enticed tourists for many years. No words can describe the sense of awe you’ll experience as you approach the ‘Lost City of the Incas’. The sight is phenomenal; one that will be etched in your memory forever. The Incas built this enchanting city around AD 1450, but a century later the site was abandoned. There are several theories about this, including the effects of the Spanish Conquest, but the precise explanation is still unconfirmed. Lost in history, it was not until 1911 that the 30 www.fredolsencruises.com American explorer Hiram Bingham III rediscovered the site, hidden under layers of vegetation. He subsequently announced his exciting find to the rest of the world. Since then Machu Picchu has become a huge attraction to travellers from far and wide. At the end of the Inca Trail – one of the world’s most popular hiking routes – protected by dense jungle and the steep cliffs of the Urubamba Valley, Machu Picchu is superbly concealed and well off the beaten track. Sitting 7,970 feet above sea level, the breathtaking location, skillful construction and outstanding preservation has made it one of the most famous archaeological sites in existence. The beauty of this ruined city eludes even the best photography. The ruins are one of the most famed examples of Inca architecture. The construction was generally of stone, the roofs were built from tree trunks and thatched with ‘ichu’, or straw and the walls were made with an inward inclination for protection against earthquakes. The site is believed to have been built by the ninth ruler of the Inca, Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui. What role Machu Picchu played in Inca life is still unknown, but many archaeologists believe that it was a royal estate, used by the elite and the emperor himself. The Inca ruler’s abode is believed to have been in the southwest of Machu Picchu, together with a garden and private bath. Fred. Olsen’s adventurous five or six night pre- or post-cruise holiday of city The Lost theIncas


Closer Magazine Winter 2013-14
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