One of the New Seven Wonders of the World and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Machu Picchu’s reputation precedes it. The hilltop citadel does not disappoint, and its ingenious construction continues to mystify visitors.
The biggest tourist attraction in Peru, Machu Picchu is a fascinating structure that dates back to the 15th century. It showcases inventive Inca craftsmanship through terraced fields, mortarless stonework and astronomically aligned temples. Here, you can admire the organic architecture of water fountains, monolithic statues and stairways carved from single slabs of stone. Some of the impressive landmarks you’ll see include the Temple of the Sun, the Intihuatana ritual stone and the Sacred Plaza – home to the Main Temple and the Temple of Three Windows.
The Inca archaeological site of Machu Picchu sits at a height of 2,430 metres, straddled by two mountains – Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu. You can take the scenic Inca Trail to the citadel itself or hike either of the peaks for dramatic views of the ruins and the surrounding valleys. Situated below the site is the town of Aguas Calientes, named after the hot springs where you can unwind with a rejuvenating soak. The mountains are also home to a stunning turquoise lake called Laguna Humantay, which you can visit on a day trip or as a stop on the famous Salkantay Trek.