Machu Picchu Mountain
Also known as Old Mountain, Machu Picchu is an Incan site that is strategically located on the Urubamba River Valley crest and is almost eight thousand feet above sea level. Machu Picchu is situated closest to Cuzco City and is northwest of it about 50 miles away.
Archaeologists and historians believe that the Incan Emperor Pachacuti built Machu Picchu as a royal estate in the 1400s. Of all icons, Machu Picchu is the one that is most recognizably Incan.
Machu Picchu is part of the Machu Picchu Sanctuary and was declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO in the 1900s. Some of the mountains surrounding the area are San Miguel Mountain, Salkantay Mountain, and Huayna Picchu Mountain. The area also has a great view of another mountain opposite called Putucusi. These mountains, along with Machu Picchu mountain, make up the crest of the Urubamba River (also part of the Amazon River) flows through the Urubamba Valley that the mountains create.
It is on the Huayna Picchu Mountain that the Temple of the Moon can be found. Interesting sites in the ancient city of Mach Picchu are the Inca Bridge, the Inca trail to the city from Aguas Calientes through ‘Cloud Level Town’ Phuyupatamarca to Intipunku, the Gateway of the Sun. Salkantay Mountain is also referred to as Savage Mountain. It was given this name because of the chaotic view of mists rising up from the river below to cover the mountain peak.
A tourist should expect to go to Aguas Calientes, from the city of Cuzco, first by train before embarking to the ancient city of Machu Picchu. At Ollantaytambo, passengers will take a foot path to Aguas Calientes for the last 30 miles of the trip. Machu Picchu itself can be reached by a half hour bus ride from Aguas Calientes for a total cost of US$7 per person, one way.
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