Touring Machu Picchu, A Once in a Lifetime Trip
As one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, Machu Picchu is an archeological gem whose beauty and uniqueness makes it one of the most impressive structures in the world. The archeological site offers individuals who have an interest in history and buildings an opportunity to have a glimpse of one of the most complex cultures in Peru’s ancient history. Potential visitors considering Machu Picchu tourism should at least learn some of the interesting history and stories associated with the archeological unicorn.
Machu Picchu is located in Peru in hidden in the Cusco region several thousand meters above sea level and above the Sacred Valley. The hidden location of this Inca city has led to its discovery and lose several times through the years. In fact, Machu Picchu was discovered and then reclaimed by the jungle leading it to be dubbed the ‘lost’ city. In fact, its remote location is linked with the preservation of the beautiful structures from damage by Spanish conquerors in Peru.
History of Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu is historically significant from the analyses conducted by archeologists and historical experts. It is thought to be an ancient Incan city which features the most complete structures among the numerous ruins all over South America. The Incans or the Inca Empire was the strongest and largest empire in South America. They were technologically advanced and politically developed to the extent that they could build and govern large cities such as Machu Picchu. The complex waterways and architectural design illustrate the sophistication of these people in designing their cities. Machu Picchu is the epitome of ancient South American culture and history. The Inca civilization illustrate that South America had its own political, social and economic structure before the entry of Spaniards into the region. The position that the ancient city holds both in history and architecture are the main factors that have led to the designation of the city as one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Thought to be the seat of power for an Incan leader, Machu Picchu is one of the most important historical finds of the 20th century.
Machu Picchu Tourism
While the archeological find has attracted its share of visitors in the past, the recent designation as a world wonder and as a UNESCO heritage site has increased Machu Picchu tourism significantly. Thousands of visitors flock to Peru only to view the grandeur and beauty of the lost city. The obvious economic benefits for the country are an important consideration but more efforts are being considered in order to protect the pristine archeological site. Tourism is great but it can affect the site negatively so that even the Peruvian government is taking measures to limit the number and amount of trips possible to the beautiful tourist site. Tourists are named as the culprits in terms of taking away rocks as souvenirs and climbing rocks for the perfect Instagram photo. Furthermore, there are increased conservation activities given the effect of weather on the structures at Machu Picchu. Despite the negative effects of bad behavior from tourists, Machu Picchu remains a worthwhile place to visit. For Peruvians, Machu Picchu tourism is a great source of income for locals who benefit from tourist dollars. The structures are also a source of national pride and joy given that there is no other comparable structure on earth.
The Perfect Trip
So how do you make your trip to Machu Picchu the perfect, once in a lifetime experience?
- Book early! With thousands of visitors from all over the world clamoring for an opportunity to visit the site, booking early can eliminate the anxiety of foreign travel. If you are using a travel agency, ensure that they understand that you are interested in visiting Machu Picchu and should therefore make hotel provisions in the towns near the site to ensure that you are able to access the site.
- Buy your tickets! There are new provisions for ticket purchasing in visiting Machu Picchu. Visitors can only purchase tickets for two time periods. Therefore, you must ensure that you purchase the right ticket for yourself as you are only able to visit during this period. It is also necessary to book these tickets early to ensure that you are not excluded when the number of people is limited.
- Be on your best behavior! Having the opportunity to view this stunning city should imbue you with the need to preserve this historical structure. Do not deface or take anything away from the site in order to preserve it for future generations. You never know if your great grandchildren will want to view this beautiful city.
- Plan other activities! Aside from visiting Machu Picchu, there are numerous tourist activities available in Peru. To truly maximize your trip to this beautiful country, you should participate in other activities such as climbing the beautiful Andes mountain ranges, paragliding and even hiking. Machu Picchu can function as the highlight of your trip but you should definitely take advantage of the tourism activities in Peru.
Machu Picchu tourism will only continue to grow in the next few years. The stunning view of this city has to be preserved for future generations to view and appreciated the accomplishments of the ancient Incan society.