Machu Picchu

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Machu Picchu was built around 1450 and abandoned only 100 years later, before the Spanish conquistadors arrived.  It became covered with vegetation and remained hidden and un-plundered until 1911 when discovered by an American archeologist.

 

Machu Picchu.

On the Inca trail above Machu Picchu.

Note the precisely-fitted, mortor-free stone work, characteristic of construction in all parts of the Inca Empire.

In a deep canyon below is the Urubamba river.

We hiked (one mile up hill)from Machu Picchu up the Inca trail to the Gate of the Sun.  The Gate consists of two large stone structures that correspond to the winter and summer solstices, and on these dates the gates are illuminated at sunrise by laser-like beams of light.