Monday, October 22, 2012

Machu Picchu

No list of lost cities is complete without Machu Picchu. This old Inca city sits on a peak in the Andes. It was only inhabited for a short period of time, likely 1450-1572 AD, before being abandoned as a result of the Spanish conquest of South America. Since Spaniards never found the city, and locals did not reveal its location, Machu Picchu only came to the attention of the West in the early 20th century. Debate still exists as to whether Machu Picchu was a regular settlement, a Royal retreat, or a religious sanctuary. To reach the site itself is now incredibly easy, with regular buses and trains. This has led to worries about the sustainability of large numbers of visitors there. However, given the wonderful views and the ruins themselves it is easy to see why people flock to Machu Picchu.

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