For those of you who do not know this already, Peru is a beautiful, diverse country in which everything from the Amazon jungle to the soaring Andean peaks is located. The country has one of the widest varieties of landscapes and not only that, but of demographics and cultures as well. This South American country can keep a traveler busy for months as there is just so much to see and explore.
For some travelers the mysterious and the immensely dense Amazon rainforests are the highlight of the trip. If you are interested in wildlife, you will have an option of taking a canoe ride to one of the small oxbow lakes, which is an ideal location to spot parrots and caimans, amongst many other habitats of the forest. You can also learn quite a lot about the diverse plant species present in the Amazon, by taking a trip to the local natural farm or garden. If you want to explore the treetops of the Amazon, take a canopy tour. You will meet many monkeys, birds and sloths up close, up there, as compared to on the jungle floor which is down below.
Other than the Amazon, another very famous destination of Peru is that of Machu Picchu, which is now considered as an addition to the Seven Wonders of the World.
What is the History behind Machu Picchu?
Basically, Machu Picchu is a 15th century Inca site which is located about 2,430 meters above the seal level. Most archaeologists believe that the Machu Picchu was built as an estate for the Inca emperor Pachacuti. The place is perhaps one of the most prominent icons of the Inca civilization and is also often referred to as the Lost City of the Incas.
Around 1450, the Incas had built this estate, but a century later when the Spanish Conquest took place, the Incas abandoned Machu Picchu. The place was brought to international attention by an American historian named Hiram Bingham in 1911. From then onwards, Machu Picchu has become a prominent tourist attraction. Some restoration work is always going on to preserve the remaining ruins of the city.
While roaming Machu Picchu, you will notice some of its remaining building and the beautiful stones which have been used in their construction. The stones which were used throughout the Inca Empire had no mortar in them. These stones were used to build many a beautiful buildings. These stones have been cut so precisely and have been wedged so closely together, that they have zero space between them. Peru is a seismically unstable country and it is said that when earthquakes happen, the stones in these Inca buildings ‘dance’, but they do not fall!
Though Machu Picchu is a must visit place, but a trip to Machu Picchu can be quite expensive. Train tickets from Cusco can run more than a hundred dollars each and the entry fee is another $43. A round-trip bus which will carry you up and down the Inca ruins will cost even more. However, if you like walking and do not mind a workout, then you can walk up and down through the Inca ruins, for free.