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Because you can't spend all day every day journeying around IgoUgo, editors round up the highlights: members' notable trips, newest reviews, favorite destinations, contests, and more. Have a question or idea? Let us know!

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Machu Picchu: 100 Years of Discovery

Machu Picchu: 100 Years of Discovery Photo

Photo by SeenThat

Posted on July 6, 2011 in Trip Ideas

One hundred years ago this month, the explorer Hiram Bingham III discovered the ruins of Machu Picchu in the Andes mountains. At the time, the find was so unprecedented he wasn’t sure if anyone would believe it was real. Fortunately for him, thousands of travelers did believe, and now they make their way to the city by the thousands each year. On July 24th, the site will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the find.

One of the best-known centers of pre-Columbian civilization, the city was built in 1450 and abandoned in 1572. In naming the city a World Heritage Site, UNESCO called it "an absolute masterpiece of architecture and a unique testimony to the Inca civilization." For member MichaelJM, it’s “a site where just a tiny amount of imagination transports us to a city at the height of the Inca Empire when temples, terraces, houses, palaces, towers, fountains and staircases were home to a population of about 1000.” If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also take fallschirmhosen’s advice: “To fully understand the history of Machu Picchu, you must hike the Inca Trail for 4 days.”

Photo by SeenThat

Even after multiple trips, the intrepid hejallihop found something new to appreciate: “I have made precisely 11 visits to Machu Picchu under all manner of different circumstances,” she writes. “I have taken the bus, the train, hiked for one day and hiked for four days. I have seen it at the crack of dawn and as the sun goes down, in the rain, the sun, the mist and the cloud. And I have one conclusion to draw -- every time is utterly breathtaking!”

Photo by Owen Lipsett

More Great Places in Latin America
Things to Do in Chile
Things to Do in Peru
Things to Do in Brazil

Posted by Nik’sMom (Terre Grilli)

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