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Footprints in Machu Picchu

A travel blog from Naira Yeghian about her recent visit to the Inca City

Visiting Machu Picchu had always been on my bucket list, not only because it is one of the New 7 Wonders of the World, but also because I am interested in learning about all things ancient. Setting foot on the grounds of this great 15th century Inca citadel is breathtaking, humbling and inspiring, all at the same time. It is believed that Machu Picchu was the royal palace of Pachacutec, the Inca Emperor, whose military victories transformed the empire.

The site is a true engineering marvel with well-designed agricultural terraces for growing crops, drainage system to prevent rain flooding, sun dials to predict solstices and seasons and walls of polished stones perfectly fitted together with no mortar in between.

Historians and archaeologists still do not know when and why Incas abandoned the site, but it is well documented that the Spanish conquistadors never discovered the Inca city. It wasn’t until the early part of the 20th century when an American historian H. Bingham stumbled upon Machu Picchu ruins during one of his searches. Directly behind Machu Picchu is Wayna Picchu, a large mountain that offers amazing birds-eye views of the city complex and highlights the magnitude of the site.

The hike to the summit is a bit challenging in some sections, but very well worth it.

As I leave this stunning site after a full day of wandering through stone temples and climbing steep trails, I am dead tired, but feel content and have a big smile on my face.

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