Machu Picchu ~ The ancient city of the Inca Empire ~ November 2016

In the rocky countryside 50 miles northwest of Cuzco (the Inca capital) lies a 15th-century stone city tucked into a mountain-ringed valley high in the Andes.  Machu Picchu, is believed to have been a royal estate or sacred religious site for Inca leaders, whose civilization was virtually wiped out by Spanish invaders in the 16th century. For hundreds of years, until the American archaeologist Hiram Bingham stumbled upon it in 1911, the abandoned citadel’s existence was a secret known only to peasants living in the region. The site stretches over an impressive 5 mile distance, featuring more than 3,000 stone steps that link its many different levels. Hundreds of thousands of people visit  Machu Picchu every year, braving crowds and landslides to see the sun set over its towering stone monuments and marvel at the mysterious splendour of one of the world’s most famous manmade wonders!img_3601 Continue reading