Location of Machu Picchu

Location of Machu Picchu

The archaeological zone of Machu Picchu is located at 2450 mts (8038 ft) at 13 ° 09’23 ” South Latitude and 72 ° 32 ’34 ” West Longitude located on the left bank of the river Vilcanota in the ravine of Kusi Chaka, to the mouth of the river Aobamba. Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu village) belongs to the region of Cusco, province of Urubamba and district of Machu Picchu located 112.5 km from the city of Cusco. To reach the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu you can choose between 2 routes.

– Making the Inca Trail which has a duration of 4 days and 3 nights.
– By train taking a train from Ollantaytambo or Poroy station to the town of Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu village) and then take a bus or walk to the mountain where the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu is located.

Dimensions of Machu Picchu

The entire archaeological park of Machu Picchu is 32,592 hectares or 80,535 acres (325.92 km2) wide. The Inca village of Machu Picchu is located at kilometer 112 (70 miles) of the Cusco – Quillabamba railroad.

Climate of Machu Picchu

The climate in Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu village) as well as in the archaeological zone shows two clearly defined seasons throughout the year; the rainy season from October to March and the dry season from April to September.

However, as Machu Picchu is located on the border of the Cusco Amazon rainforest, its climate is humid and it is likely that there are rains or showers at any time of the year, but those rains are not torrential even in the rainy season, as in the northern hemisphere of the world, They are mild rains, so in conclusion you can visit Machu Picchu even in the rainy season, the rain and cold are very mild in this part of the region, being in fact very mild compared to the climatic changes experienced in the city of Cusco.

On the hottest days in Machu Picchu town it is possible for the temperature to rise to about 30 ° C (78.8 ° Fahrenheit) and in the early hours of the coldest morning of June and July the temperature can drop to 5 ° C (41 ° F) so the average annual temperature in this area is 18 degrees Celsius.

Location of Machu Picchu
Location of Machu Picchu

Information About Machu Picchu Sanctuary

In the last couple of years, the government has limited the number of visitors to Machu Picchu to just 2,500 people per day. Tickets sell out quickly, it is essential that visitors purchase their entrance tickets to Machu Picchu in advance, either in Cusco (still well in advance during the low season) or well in advance (during the high season in June, July and August), either online directly with the government or authorized travel agent or when booking a package tour.

There is no black market for tickets as they cannot be resold or transferred to others. As more people realize that it is important to buy their tickets in advance more of them will do so and tickets are likely to sell even more in advance. Luckily now you know, so make sure you are not you visiting Peru but don’t get to visit Machu Picchu. Details on how and when to buy your tickets are included in the summary below with links to pages with more detailed information.

Brief History of Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu is a 15th century Inca site located on a ridge between the Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu mountains in Peru. It is 7,970 feet (2,430 meters) above sea level on the eastern slope of the Andes and overlooks the Urubamba River hundreds of feet below.

The site’s excellent preservation, the quality of its architecture and the breathtaking mountain views it occupies have made Machu Picchu one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world today. The site covers 80,000 acres (32,500 hectares). The terraced fields on the edge of the site were once used to grow crops, probably corn and potatoes.

The citadel of Machu Picchu has had several periods of occupation. Taken from the chronicles, construction style and ceramics found, a Brief History of Machu Picchu is summarized as follows:

  • Early Period: 1300 AD
  • Classic period: 1400 AD
  • Imperial Period: 1533 AD
  • Transitional period: 1533-1572 AD

Discovery of Machu Picchu

July 24, 1911 is known as the date of the “discovery” of the famous Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, an architectural treasure that had remained hidden for more than four centuries under the lush vegetation of the Urubamba canyon. This find was made by the controversial American anthropologist and historian with a penchant for archaeology (or, if you will, exploration), Professor Hiram Bingham of Yale University.

Although the discovery is attributed to Hiram Bingham, according to Cusco city researcher Simone Waisbard, the find was a possibility, as its first discoverers were apparently Enrique Palma, Gabino Sanchez and Agustin Lizárraga, who left their names engraved on one of the rocks there on July 14, 1901.

Moreover, the Anglo-Saxon archaeologist was actually looking for the city of Vitco, the last refuge of the Incas, and their last bastion against the Spaniards. Therefore, the importance of Bingham’s discovery would lie in the scientific dissemination of the information. However, for the protagonist of this discovery, it was the crowning achievement of an exhaustive research effort, based on information obtained from local peasants, as well as several years of traveling and exploring the area.

Before Machu Picchu was discovered, it probably formed part of the Qollapani and Kutija estates. Over the years, the Q`ente hacienda took possession of the property. The discoverers, Palma, Sanchez and Lizarraga found a local Indian, Anacleto Alvarez, who had been paying a rent of twelve soles a year for cultivation rights over the property for the past eight years, living there.

The owners of the estate would never have been able to explore the whole place, due to its enormous size, and especially due to its irregular topography. People had, in fact, been living in Machu Picchu without having an idea of its size nor its importance, let alone being able to inform the world of these things.

Location of Machu Picchu
Hiramb Bingham photo National Geographic

Brief History of Machu Picchu Today

Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983 and designated one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in 2007, Machu Picchu is Peru’s most visited attraction and the most famous ruins in South America, and receives hundreds of thousands of people a year. Increased tourism, development of nearby cities and environmental degradation continue to wreak havoc on the site, which is also home to several endangered species. As a result, the Peruvian government has taken measures to protect the ruins and prevent erosion of the mountainside in recent years.

Table of Contents