16 Interesting Facts about Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu is one of the 7 wonders of the world

Its located 2,430 metres (7,970 ft) above sea level

No wheels were used during construction of the city, all the heavy rocks were pushed up steep mountain side by hundred of men – some weighing as much as 50 tons

Other stones were chiselled from the granite bedrock of the mountain ridge

The structures were built with a technique called “ashlar”. The stones are cut to fit together without mortar and are so close and tight not even a needle can fit between two stones

There are two languages – Quechua and Spanish

Machu Picchu means “old peak” or “old Mountain” in Quechua

In 1983, Machu Picchu was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site

The ruins are located within Machu Picchu Historic Sanctuary and under the protection of the National System of Protected Natural Areas by the State (SERNAP). The Sanctuary spreads over an area of 32,592 hectares in the basin of the river Vilcanota-Urubamba

According to the 2007 census there are 5,286 residents in the district of Machu Picchu

The area is divided in two parts: Urin and Hanan according with the Inca tradition

On the Inca Trail, porters will often sleep with a mirror or a shiny metal object under them. This is to keep the spirits away and stop them coming up through the earth – actually if you speak to a porter or guide most will share stories of how sometimes they have experience the feeling of being pulled out of their tents.

The site is South America’s most impressive archaeological ruin and is one of the main tourist attractions

Machu Picchu is the best example of Inca engineering

It has a roughly 1 km water supply system

There are over 600 terraces which prevent the city from sliding down the mountain – not bad to say its all built from stone, not using any wheels or iron building materials

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