Who came up with the seven world wonders? Or is it twelve? Regardless of who said what – I think everyone should visit Machu Picchu in Peru. It was identified as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in 2007. I can certainly see why.
Machu Pichu is a phenomenal ancient site demonstrating man kind to have defied all laws of nature. Somehow a group of settlers hauled tonnes of stone up a gigantic mountain, built 100 sets of stair cases and 150 buildings (including; temples, baths and homes).
The amount of stone required is unimaginable. What’s more, it is thought that no wheels were used in the transportation of the building blocks. One theory is that men pushed these rocks up the side of the mountain with their sheer strength. I got out of breath walking up one set of stairs. How on earth would the Inca’s have climbed the mountain with all this rock?
Are Incas they super humans? Well, their bodies would have been better adapted than ours. Machu Pichu is 7,000 feet above sea level. I can only hope that their small physics and increased amount of red blood cells would have helped. However, I still cannot for a minute get my head around how they would have built this magical hidden civilisation.
Machu Picchu was built in the 15th century before any kind of machinery existed. The Inca’s were known to be excellent masons. You will be able to see this in the phenomenal architecture.
The site was was said to be abandoned after the Spanish inquisition due to an outbreak of small pox. Machu Pichu is one of the few Incan sites that was not destroyed during the Spanish invasion. This is because it is hidden, in the depths of the mountains.
Go to Machu Pichu yourself and come to your own conclusions of just how it came about.
Top Tips for visiting Machu Pichu:
- You might need a permit – to do the most popular hike, camp and tour a permit is required. This will need to be booked in advance of your trip. However, if like me you would rather not oraganise anything you can do an alternative hike (just as good). Its called the Sulkantay hike. This route does not require a permit. It goes though local communities (the other hike doesn’t) and you still end up at Machu Pichu of course. Alternatively, there are day options to just visit the ruins and not hike. If you enjoy walking and are up for a challenge – the hike and camp is amazing. I enjoyed visting the local communities on the way up to the mountain too. Take cakes and pens to give the kids.
- Altitude – Drink lots of water and don’t eat too much at once. You can buy cocoa leafs the chew on (they have an acquired taste and I’m not sure if they actually work). Local legends say they combat altitude sickness. Acclimatise to the altitude before the hike by arriving in Cusco a few days earlier.
- Warm clothes – the high altitude means it can get pretty cold. Layer up and that way when it gets warmer you will be fine too.
- Go in the morning – if you are not part of an organised tour visit in the morning to avoid the crowds. Also you will get better pictures with the misty clouds in the background. If you are going without a tour – I would recommend paying for a guide when you get there. You don’t want to miss anything.
After visiting Machu Pichu there is plenty more to see in Peru. Start here and you will fall in love with the magical country.