Machu Picchu is perhaps the pinnacle of South America Travel and rightly so, it is one of the many wonders of the modern world and is a sight that should not be missed. Taking one of the many Machu Picchu Tours is something that I can highly recommend and here is a snapshot of just a few of the things that you can experience.
This is a ritual stone of Machu Picchu that is believed to be an astronomical clock designed by the Incas.
The word ‘inti” means “sun” and the word “wata” means “to tie up”, so the literal meaning of the name is to literally tie up the sun. The Incas believed that the stone had the power to hold the sun in its path in the sky and this is a great example of similar stones, but it remained untouched by the Spanish, who destroyed most of these stones as the Inca religion was considered to be blasphemy.
This was once a fortress of the sacred city of Machu Picchu and is known as the “Sun Gate”. The steps at the beginning of it were believed to be a control gate for those entering and exiting the Sanctuary and once served as the main entrance to Machu Picchu. It is believed that this gate would have been protected by the military and used to see those approaching Machu Picchu, therefore it is an extremely important part of the history of Machu Picchu.
The Temple of the Sun
This is a semi circular structure that was built over a strong rock foundation of granite. This building is located above the ceremonial baths and is actually the only building in the whole of Machu Picchu that is round. It is famous for its curved tower and is a fine example of Inca stonework.
Nearing the end of the Inca trail you will reach the beautiful Phuyupatamarka, which translates to “the town above the clouds” and it lies at about 3600 metres above sea level. The site is noted for its striking ceremonial baths and it is even possible to camp here. This is the perfect location to head to the Sun Gate before dawn to experience the incredible sunrise above Machu Picchu.
The Temple of the Three Windows
This temple is a marvelous structure that shows the skill of Inca craftsmen that were far ahead of their time and it is certainly one of the highlights of Machu Picchu. The temple gets its name from the three windows that remain (there were five when it was built) and these windows are thought to represent the rise of the sun, which was very important for the Inca people.
This is just a sample of some of the things that you can do at Machu Picchu, if you want to know more about Machu Picchu and its history you can go to the official website or visit Lonely Planet for more activities.