Machu Picchu sits atop a ridge overlooking several large valleys located high in the Andean hills. Millions of tourists enter the ancient citadel every year as its iconic status as one of the world’s most interesting places to visit.
The Inca Bridge
The bridge is carved into a cliff face on the west route out of Machu Picchu, built as a secret entrance for the Incan army.
A stone path instead and there is actually no bridge, carved out of the cliff rock. There is a 20-foot drop to deter unwanted guests where there should be a bridge.
You’ll see the Watchman’s Hut after entering the city. To get a fantastic view over the whole city, this is the perfect spot.
The Sun Gate (Inti Punku)
The stairs leading up to the Sun Gate are believed to have been used as a control port for people entering and exiting the city and considered to be one of the most important features of Machu Picchu.
Climb Huayna Picchu
Climb Huayna Picchu Located directly behind the city, the towering mountain is actually a fairly straightforward climb and requires no technical ability. To get your climb permit, you will need to pay a bit extra though.
The Funerary Stone
A strangely carved rock lies known as the Funerary Stone can be seen just outside the Watchman’s Hut.
as to what it could have been used for, researches are still puzzled. However, it could have been a sacrificial altar as a number of historians have suggested.
Temple of the Sun
Located next to the main fountain is one of the best places to visit. The Temple of the Sun shows some of Machu Picchu’s finest stonework.
Royal Tomb – Palace of the Princess
The Royal tomb or Palace of the Princess is located right next to the Temple of the Sun. The discoverer of Machu Picchu Hiram Bingham details the outer wall of the building as the finest wall in all of the Americas.
There are tall niches for offerings like the Sun Temple and the base of the building has a sort of cave-like structure. This is why Bingham mentions to the site as a ‘tomb’. No bodies have ever been found here though.
Machu Picchu is alive with little fountains that fill over 16 baths, fed from natural spring waters by 750 meters of stone channels. The baths were used for purification and ritual ablutions as it is thought that, however, this is not definitely known.
The Temple of Three Windows
the Temple of Three Windows is the first of three buildings that make up, what Bingham described as, the ‘Sacred Plaza’ located in the Royal sector. The Temple of Three Windows is made up of much larger blocks of stone, some weighing in excess 3 tons like other buildings in the royal sector.
Bingham believed that the windows represented the three mythological caves from which the Ayar brothers – the three children of the sun – came onto earth because the three windows frame the three facing mountains perfectly.
The Principal Temple
Principal Temple is the second building in Bingham’s Sacred Plaza, so named because of its large size. With beautifully cut stone and enormous foundation blocks, the building is a three-sided edifice.
Thought to represent the Southern-Cross star formation as a kite-shaped stone is embedded in the temple.