One of the most visited sites in the world today by travelers is Machu Picchu. It is located in Cuzco, Peru in the high Andes Mountains. It is approximately 724 miles away from Lima, the Peruvian capital. A typical trip by land on a bus takes about 20 hours. One could also take a flight and arrive there in a heartbeat of one hour. The starting point usually begins in Lima.
The ruins sit surrounded by the Andes Mountains at about 11,024 feet above sea level. The name Machu Picchu literally means “old peak”, translated from the Quechua language. It was discovered by Hiram Bingham on July 24, 1911 while he was in charge of a Yale University expedition. It was in this landscape that the Incas built Machu Picchu at the end of the fourteenth century.
The climate is mild, warm and damp. It has a year round average temperature of 55F during the day. There are typically two seasons, a rainy season which lasts from November to March and dry season, which lasts from April to October. Most travelers prefer to travel to the site during the dry season.
Personal Travel Experience
I had the pleasure of visiting Machu Picchu many years ago around this time when I was a small child. I was accompanied by my mother.
The scenery was beautiful and breathtaking. We took a train from the city of Cuzco and it took us just a few hours to get to Machu Picchu. Then we had to take a small bus up the trail all the way to the top. Nowadays, there are two ways to connect from Cuzco. One is a Tourist Train, which only operates in the high season.
The trip takes four hours and returns in the evening. Then there is also the Autovagon, a tourist service that takes three hours to get to the site with an evening return trip as well. Both leave in the early morning hours.
I highly recommend you to put Machu Picchu, Peru as one of your top travel destinations to visit in the near future. The experience will be unforgettable.
UPDATE: On July 7th 2007 in Lisbon, Portugal, Machu Picchu was voted in as one of the new Seven Wonders of the World.