Machu Picchu
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The great Inca ruler Pachacuti built a royal retreat and sacred center in a spectacular mountain top.
That center is now called Machu Picchu, "old peak" in the local Quechua language and is included as a
 UNESCO World Heritage Site. Stonemasons and artisans carved the building blocks of the terraced, 25 acre site.
By the time the Spanish invaders (conquerors) arrived in the 16th Century, the Inca empire had
already slid into virtual obscurity. The Spanish never saw the Machu Picchu complex.

Machu Picchu spent almost five centuries in obscurity, overtaken by the tropical jungle, but in 1911 American archaeologist Hiram Bingham rediscovered the king's compound. He thought it was the "Lost City" - the traditional birthplace of the Inca people. Bingham and his team from Yale University spent years reclaiming the site from the jungle.

Click on any picture to enlarge it.

The Narrow Gauge Railroad Train to Machu Picchu   Map of the narrow gauge achu Picchu Tourist Train

We went to Machu Picchu by train from Cuzco on an odd, narrow-gauge
 railroad, 93 cm in width. To the right is the map of the rail system.
 Machu Picchu train   

These breath-taking photos were taken from the Sun Gate with a 300mm zoom lens.
 views of Machu Picchu  
tourist attraction

Machu Picchu   Spectacular Machu Picchu

Serpentine bus road to get to Machu Picchu

This is a bird's-eye view of the serpentine bus road that brought us into Machu Picchu. It is unpaved, one lane, and full of hairpin turns. It was not a drive for the faint of heart.
  views of Machu Picchu  

The Sun Gate was  a major scientific instrument for Machu Picchu. At the Summer Solstice, the sun came through this notch and hit squarely into the window of the Sun Temple (see the round building, below). The left picture is of the Sun Gate from Machu Picchu, and the right picture is the opposite: Machu Picchu from the Sun Gate.
 views of Machu Picchu  

The Sun Gate as seen from Machu Picchu   Machu Picchu as seen from the Sun Gate

Jerrold Patz & Naimah Zakaria at the Sun Gate. Machu Picchu is on the left background.   Detail of the Sun Gate as seen from Machu Picchu

After a fairly strenuous climb, we are at the Sun Gate. Machu Picchu is at our right shoulder in the background. The right picture is a detail of the Sun Gate from Machu Picchu.
 picture Jerrold Patz Naimah  "Jerrold Patz"

Tickets for  the Machu Picchu bus to the top from the valley,
and the Machu Picchu Park entry ticket.
 bus ticket entry ticket

Machu Picchu Bus Ticket   Entrance Ticket to Machu Picchu

 

Here is a montage of additional pictures.

Mouse over any picture for a description. Click on any picture to expand it into a larger view.

 

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 Jerrold Patz Naimah Zakaria Inca tourist attraction "sun temple" Urubamba  "Inca Bridge" "sun gate"  inca sun dial "Jerrold Patz" patz.com Peru views of Machu Picchu  sun temple  sun gate inca bridge urubamba river