10 secrets behind Machu Picchu; Travel + Leisure

Peru – Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu

Hiking the Incan Trail to the ancient stronghold of Machu Picchu sits at the top of many travelers’ wish lists. The sacred citadel—which sits perched high up in the Andes Mountains—was “discovered” (as much as an outsider can discover a local historic site) in 1911 by an Indiana Jones-type Yale professor named Hiram Bingham. He was lead to the ancient city, which was built around the 1450s, by a local boy and was understandably stunned by the beauty and grandeur of the abandoned site.

Bingham shared the existence of Machu Picchu to the modern world in the April 1913 issue of National Geographic and since then the spectacular archaeological site has attracted visitors, researchers, and explorers from around the world determined to unravel the mystery of the site—or simply to bask in its ancient splendor.

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