Traveling to explore and discover exotic destinations around the world can be an exciting experience, such as visiting Machu Picchu and studying its map.
And the trip to Peru is no exception, with dream destinations ready to be visited by you.
Machu Picchu is considered by many to be one of the best tourist sites in Peru and South America. It is considered one of the places with the greatest biodiversity on the planet, made up of 3 regions that house different ecosystems, landscapes, unique flora and fauna.
The quintessential destination to visit in Peru is Machu Picchu, which is undoubtedly a mustsee during your stay in Peru. The mythical Inca citadel has captivated both tourists and scientists for many years. A large number of visitors know a little about the ruins, such as their rooms and their purposes and many of them may not know anything, but don’t worry, in this blog we will focus on knowing what Machu Picchu is, what to visit and what It is known about the different locations within the Machu Picchu Map.
WHERE IS THE WONDER OF THE WORLD?
Machu Picchu is located in the heart of the Andes, next to a valley that was formed by the Urubamba River. This is located at about 2360 meters above sea level. Its exact location is 130 kilometers northwest of the imperial city of Cusco. The Machu Picchu map is divided into 3
main areas, which are: The Sacred Quarter that includes the Intihuatana, the Temple of the Sun and the Room of the Three Windows. The second sector is where the residential area of Priests and Nobles is located. While the third sector is located in the southern part of the site, considered as the place for the housing of the locals in the area. To get to the citadel of Machu Picchu, you can opt for the train route, as well as the well-known Inca Trail.
Machu Picchu is located in the Cusco region, in the center-south of the country. To the north of the country of Peru are the neighboring countries of Colombia and Ecuador. To the east are Bolivia and Brazil. While to the west is the mighty Pacific Ocean. The region presents an unprecedented geographical diversity, composed of diverse ecosystems that provide great diversity to this place, this is caused by the fact that Machu Picchu borders the Peruvian jungle and the Andes mountain range. The place where it was built is located about 72 kilometers northwest of the city of Cusco. This equates to about 44.7 miles of distance. In this way, Cusco is the city where your adventure will begin, a city equally endowed with culture, gastronomy and history of great interest to visitors.
MAIN SECTORS OF THE MACHU PICCHU MAP
Machu Picchu is located in the middle of two emblematic mountains. Due to its strategic location, the complex offers wonderful views of the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Many of the visitors who arrive at Machu Picchu are part of a guided tour. Although those who plan an excursion on their own to the complex will be able to explore much more of the Machu Picchu map. Although if you are passionate about South American history and culture, the local guides also offer a detailed explanation that will complement your trip in an appropriate way, allowing you to know important information about each location within the citadel of Machu Picchu as you go further into your adventure. It can be divided into 3 main zones: The Sacred Square, The Residential Zone and the Popular Zone. The Sacred Plaza includes structures of a great religious and astronomical nature, which are the Temple of the Sun, the Intihuatana and the Room of the Three Windows. The wonder is protected as the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu. It is a natural and archaeological reserve, which covers some 32,592 hectares. The archaeological treasures linked to the Inca Trail are also of great importance to know the map of Machu Picchu.
The Inca Trail at the same time presents some of the most spectacular landscapes and experiences to discover in the surroundings of Machu Picchu and during its journey. And just as you will find spectacular landscapes, you will also find an extensive diversity of flora and fauna species with which you will live. Within the Machu Picchu map, there are more than ten habitable zones for different animals, as well as two other ecoregions. You will find low forests, high Andean grasslands, high jungle, high and low forests, and much more, although you will be able to enjoy this transition between ecosystems much more if you choose to walk the Inca trail. The great diversity of ecosystems resulting from the strategic location of the citadel is what gives rise to the great diversity of flora and fauna. In fact, the wonderful sanctuary has much more biodiversity than the ecosystems that surround it, in addition to a large number of native species that are protected by the sanctuary. The map of the citadel has so much to offer that you can visit the following areas:
- Precincts and warehouses that functioned in Inca times
- Agricultural Terraces for growing and harvesting food
- The Main Temples of great religiousness for the Inca culture
- The Sacred Palaces of the Incas
ALL THE PLACES TO EXPLORE AND KNOW
There are locations that you cannot miss on your visit to the citadel, one of them is the renowned Intihuatana, one of the last standing structures. It is very likely that the Inca astronomers used this carved rock to predict the solstices. This structure survived since the Spanish never discovered Machu Picchu and remained intact during the time of the conquest. They destroyed all other similar stones throughout the Inca Empire.
TEMPLE OF THE THREE WINDOWS
Another great place that you have to visit in Machu Picchu is the Temple of the Three Windows.
This one has a privileged view of Machu Picchu down from its location through the three trapezoidal windows. One of the most amazing facts about Machu Picchu is that there are three windows inside the structure. Since in the Inca architecture the windows and trapezoidal shapes were reserved for the Inca nobility.
TEMPLE OF THE SUN
The Temple of the Sun is another incredible sight to behold. The Temple of the Sun is the rounded tower that is best seen from above. The temple has some of the best stonework in all of Machu Picchu, which was used for astronomical purposes. In the time of the Incas, only the high priests belonging to the nobility had access to this place. In this location different sacred ceremonies and important rituals were celebrated. It has a semicircular shape and is built on a huge solid rock. If you plan to visit Machu Picchu, you have to know this place.
Popularly believed that this location had special ceremonial purposes, the Royal Tomb is a natural rock cave located below the Temple of the Sun. It consists of a small natural cave with an entrance facing east. Inside the cave you can see some precisely carved rocks and other different niches. The main attraction is the large altar that can be seen inside. You are not allowed inside, but you can see the change of steps from the main entrance.
TEMPLE OF THE CONDOR
Located on the other side of Machu Picchu is the Temple of the Condor, where you can see the carved head of this animal as well as the rocks that resemble its wings. The Temple of the Condor is located just below the Temple of the Sun. It is named for the shape of the stones that resemble its figure with this Andean animal. Some theories indicate that it was a place that functioned both for the worship of deities and for the practice of rituals.
A great place not to be missed within the Machu Picchu map. For the ancient Incas, this bird represented fertility and production. If you have not had the opportunity to see a condor, it is a true sight to appreciate. The Andean condor was considered an animal of great spiritual importance.
In the center of the ruins is the Central Plaza, where you can see llamas eating the grass that grows around it. In Inca times, the Plaza was used as a ceremonial sector within Machu Picchu, in front of the Plaza, you will see the residential sector destined for the inhabitants. The Central Plaza of Machu Picchu counts as one of the most important sectors of the complex. There, different sacred celebrations for the Inca religion were held.
The House of the Guardian, also known as the Caseta del Cuidador, is a stone building that functioned as a kind of watchtower. The different soldiers guarded both the entrance to IntiPunku and the entrance to the Guardian’s Cabin, and controlled the entrances and exits to the citadel.
SUN GATE (INTIPUNKU)
The Puerta del Sol is known as the classic gateway to the Inca citadel. This is where the ancient Incas arrived at the place that would be destined for the construction of Machu Picchu. Also known as IntiPunku, it was the original entrance to the archaeological complex. The Inca Trail is one of the best options to emulate the original route that was made to Machu Picchu.
The water fountains are one of the most attractive and intriguing elements to this day within the complex. Machu Picchu has an irrigation system made up of 16 sources. The different sources of water are one of the most wonderful examples of Inca hydraulic engineering by which they supplied clear and clean water to their inhabitants as well as managed the irrigation of their crops.
In the complex you will also be able to see different Storage Houses where, among other things, precious foods were kept for their conservation and subsequent distribution.
THE MIRROR OF WATER
The Water Mirror is an enclosure used by women to carry out different activities related to hygiene and the worship of water.
THE SACRED ROCK
The Sacred Rock is a large stone, surrounded by a small low wall. In front of the rock is a large open flat area flanked by 2 open sided shelters.
The Inca Bridge was built by the Incas as a secret entrance to Machu Picchu. This entrance was allowed for the Inca army.
WALKS AND ROUTES TO ENJOY WITHIN MACHU PICCHU
The visitor will have the opportunity to take certain hiking routes where they will discover new unusual destinations and with unique views of the citadel that will leave them speechless.
The peak that you will see in all the photos of Machu Picchu is called Huayna Picchu. To do this hike, you will need an additional ticket that will cost around 20 dollars and about 3 hours of hiking round trip. The view from the top of Huayna Picchu makes the hike totally worth it.
The different hiking trails are one of the best options to do within Machu Picchu. During your ascent, be very careful when going up, since the steps can sometimes be slippery, especially in times when the rains increase. Be sure to book in advance, as Huayna Picchu tickets sell out quickly. For the more adventurous visitors, you can consider the possibility of doing the Machu Picchu mountain trek, which is a little more complicated than the Huayna Picchu mountain trek but its reward is even more exciting and rewarding.
There are several alternative routes by which to reach the wonder, the most famous is the so-called Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. This trek to Machu Picchu lasts 4 days, but the rewards are infinite, you will be able to enjoy a walk full of history, culture and you will be able to glimpse the diverse landscapes and ecosystems of Cusco on your journey. Another alternative is the Inka Jungle Trek to Machu Picchu, this trekking option is more adventurous and varied in terms of activities. Composed of a descent on a mountain bike, followed by level III and IV rafting, a walk through the jungle and an optional zip line . This tour is naturally aimed at adventurers who enjoy thrilling and adrenaline-filled experiences. These alternatives always end in Machu Picchu with a guided tour.
THE BEST TIME TO VISIT THE MACHU PICCHU MAP
Only you can decide the best time to visit the wonder, first of all Machu Picchu has two seasons, the wet and the dry. The rainy season is from November to April and it rains daily. The advantage of the rainy season is that there are fewer people visiting Machu Picchu and the ruin is much more relaxed for the comfort of the visitor. You will need to wear waterproof shoes and a rain jacket, but as long as you have the right equipment you will be fine and the rain will not be a major inconvenience. The dry season runs from May to October. In addition, in these months it is also considered a season of high tourist attendance. Due to the high number of visitors, there will be a lot of people and you will have to wait in long lines for the most visited sites inside the citadel as well as to take the classic photos in the citadel. The good thing about the dry season is that the weather is perfect and the sky is an incredible blue. Therefore, depending on what the visitor is looking for, you must make the decision that is best for you to visit Machu Picchu, despite this, it is always a good time to visit this impressive place that you will never regret.
TIPS TO KEEP IN MIND DURING YOUR VISIT
Some important things. Some of the things to take into account during a visit to Machu Picchu are that there are currently different times to enter the ruin; a specific ticket will be needed for the route you wish to take, you can coordinate this with your travel advisor so that your experience during your visit is optimal. Also, you cannot enter the ruin without an official guide. But this is a good thing, since you will learn a lot about the history that surrounds the wonder of Machu Picchu. You will be able to enjoy a certified guide who will explain the meaning of the various rooms that make up the complex, as well as its mysterious history that always leaves more than one amazed. It is important to note that the walking sticks cannot be used in the archaeological site. They will be picked up at the front door. You are allowed to bring snacks and water to the site, but not food. You may not realize that in Machu Picchu there are small biting insects. You will not feel itchy, but you will feel itchy for a week. So take your repellent with you. Do not miss out on all the beauty that this site has to offer.
I am founder and content creator of Lorenzo Expeditions, since 2006 I started with the Inca Jungle tour, guiding and serving thousands of tourists in a personal way to get to know Machu Picchu in a unique and authentic way.