It is undeniable that Machu Picchu holds a fascination for most travelers. For many people, this Inca city is the subject of childhood dreams. But why Machu Picchu is important, and is Machu Picchu worth visiting? In this post, you will find the answers to those questions and some reasons you should include this spot in your bucket list.
So, Why is Machu Picchu Important?
Throughout the years, academics, researchers, and tourists from around the world have expanded the fame of Machu Picchu. Its prestige relates not just to its splendidly preserved architectural remains by also to the stunning nature of its location. Also, frankly, there is a strong, magic, and religious feeling around Machu Picchu.
Apart from the academic facts, let’s dig deeper and find out Machu Picchu and why Machu Picchu is important not just for history but for present Peru, and into the future.
Machu Picchu and the importance of scientific expeditions
Thanks to endorsement by Yale University and the National Geographic Society, in 1911, Dr. Hiram Bingham succeeded in organizing fieldwork to Machu Picchu with some famous specialists associated with the history of Peruvian archaeology. As a result of his fieldwork, Hiram Bingham wrote numerous publications, including an article distributed by The National Geographic Magazine that included many photographs which highlighted Machu Picchu’s significance for scientific expeditions.
During these explorations, scientists realized how big is Machu Picchu actually is, and also discovered the connections with the other Incan settlements along the Sacred Valley.
Machu Picchu’s important purpose for ceremonies
The Italian archaeo-astronomer Giulio Magli suggested that the Incas built the striking Inka trail to prepare pilgrims for entry in Machu Picchu as a celestial ritual.
Another fact that supports the religious significance of Machu Picchu is that in ancient times, any individual who walked in the direction of the Inca City had to stop at every station on the road to perform a special ritual. Once inside the city, the traveler had to descend to the fountains where water redeemed him.
After that, he had to ascend the main stairway to the plaza of the temples where the ritual would end. At that point, the person was not authorized to enter the solar observatory but instead had to go down to the middle terraces and stand at the central plaza from where he could observe the house of the chosen ones. Only then would be allowed to proceed the living quarters
The significance of Machu Picchu for the Inca Empire
Their economic system based on a cohesive political structure led to common well-being, thanks to an excellent system of agriculture found in the region. For instance, each population center used cultivated fields to provide agricultural products. Most of the agricultural terraces descend from the top of the mountains to the bottom, varying in size according to the settlement.
The importance of Machu Picchu for the local economy
Despite the pandemic, the economy in Machu Picchu and surrounding districts have been improving little by little due to the return of tourists.
Every dollar spent on this wonder of the new world creates local jobs and business opportunities. for everybody.
For example, jobs that are directly related to tourism (hotel, transportation, and tour services) and those that indirectly support tourism (such as food production and housing construction).
Machu Picchu’s importance to the world
Since Machu Picchu is on the list of World Heritage sites by UNESCO, it became an integral part of Peru’s national protected zones system and enjoys protection of both its cultural and natural heritage.
Why is Machu Picchu a world heritage site?
Firstly, the preservation of Machu Picchu is one of the best of the many different Inca sites in Peru. Secondly, it also exists in an area of global significance for biodiversity conservation. It hosts an exceptionally diverse collection of microclimates, habitats, and species of flora and fauna with a high degree of endemism.
So, when you set foot in The Inca City of Machu Picchu, appreciate the outstanding universal value of this world heritage site.
Reasons to Visit Machu Picchu:
In this blog, I will give you many reasons to consider visiting Machu Picchu but trust me; words are not enough to truly describe this stunning site. So better go and see it by yourself and find out why people visit Machu Picchu!
#1. You live only once!
That’s right, something that the covid pandemic has taught us is that life is unpredictable and short. So, if you get the chance, why not fulfill that childhood dream and visit Machu Picchu?
Traveling is an amazing adventure and the good memories will be forever on your mind and your soul. Do not just be satisfied with some words or images on the screen. Live the experience yourself!
#2. Amazed yourself with the stunning engineering system
It is a fascinating insight into the ancient Inca culture and its amazing engineering projects that were uncommonly advanced for that specific time. Keep in mind, that the habitants did not use any animals, building tools, or wheels to build this truly magnificent city.
According to engineer Kenneth Wright, 60 percent of the construction done at Machu Picchu was underground using deep building foundations and crushed rock used as drainage.
#3. The remarkable architecture
When you arrive at Machu Picchu, you will notice how human creativeness adapted to the geographical aspects of the environment.
For example, the stone buildings have doors and windows, which indicates that technique was used for the tropical climate, in contrast to the closed architecture seen in colder climates.
#4. Yes, it is true; Machu Picchu is a world heritage site!
UNESCO doesn’t give World Heritage listings easily – the places on their list are places on Earth that are of outstanding universal value to humanity”. So they are pretty amazing. Since the Inca citadel meets both the cultural and natural criteria – it’s doubly special!
So, when you set foot at The Inca City, you will appreciate the outstanding universal value of this world heritage site.
#5. It’s beautiful, mystical, and magical essence wrapped into one
Myths, legends, and everything considered sacred were part of the cosmological vision of existence expressed by the Incas.
If you visit this tourist site you will feel a different vibe and will understand why it is famed worldwide for its beauty. Another magical aspect is the location of the site and the orientation of the structures which according to researchers, was strongly influenced by the position of nearby holy mountains, or Apus (Quechua name).
#6. Why go to Machu Picchu? It will blow your mind!
Yes, that’s right the views at Machu Picchu will blow your mind.
An exciting mountain landscape of extraordinary scenic and geomorphological beauty provides a unique example of a longstanding harmonious and charming relationship between culture and nature.
This stunning panoramic scene and the view of the Lost City of the Incas within the mountains is a definite reason why people go to Machu Picchu.
#7. Machu Picchu portrays a connection between communities and the environment
Proof of ancient Peruvian culture is still evident in the lives of habitants and the archaeological remains. Besides, Machu Picchu’s surroundings are the richest and most varied in Peru.
When you explore its rivers, highlands, deserts, and forests you will understand better the link between people and the environment.
Not Convinced Yet?
If there is one thing everyone wants to know about this wonder of the new world, it is whether or not the famed ruins live up to their status as one of the wonders of the world. In my opinion, the answer is yes, with a few caveats.
Let’s Answer the Question: Does Machu Picchu Live Up to the Hype?
First of all, visitors to this ancient site need to understand what it is. While the ruins may have once been a lost city, that hasn’t been true for about a hundred years. The jungle has been pushed back, turnstiles have been added, and repairs have been made to crumbling sections of the stonework. That said; it remains one of the most amazing archeological sites on the globe. In fact, I think it has a leg-up on the competition in many areas.
The Lost City of the Incas is crowded but in comparison to historical sites like Angkor Wat or the Vatican, it’s practically deserted. In fact, those who arrive early will only have to share the site with a few hundred other visitors — a comparatively small number.
Where Machu Picchu really shines is location. Let’s face it, the Giza Pyramids are a stones-throw from busy Cairo neighborhoods and the Roman Colosseum is in middle of a traffic circle. The Inca city, on the other hand, is located high in the Andes and circled by a cascading river. The views would be considered world-class even if the ruins had never existed.
The natural setting of this Incan city surpasses any other historic site I have ever visited. The steep grandeur of the mountains that surround the citadel inspires awe, and the sheer drops off some of the edges might even inspire a little vertigo. Machu Picchu certainly does live up to the hype and understanding what you are in for can help you get the most out of it.
Here are Some Tips for Getting the Best Experience from Your Visit
If you can, go without expectations. Approaching the place with an open mind and not basing your expectations on photographs or stories will allow you to appreciate the site for what it really is.
Go early. In this instance, the early bird really does get the worm. If you can ride one of the first few buses up, you will find the Inca ruins much less crowded.
Go with a good guide. There are many theories surrounding the site and its history is still clouded by time. A guide who is honest and educated will help you understand the subtleties that make this place such a compelling piece of our human heritage.
What if I Want to Visit Machu Picchu?
A journey to the Lost City of the Incas is a trip of a lifetime and so you want to prepare yourself properly.
Unlike Hiram Bingham, who had nothing more than an educated guess as to where it may be, nowadays you have the opportunity to be informed about how to get to Machu Picchu, and tell others Machu Picchu is worth it or not.
What is the best time to visit Machu Picchu?
For some people, the best time to visit Machu Picchu is during the dry season (From May to September). But also, this is the busiest time of the year for tourism in Peru. That means; crowded attractions.
Alternatively, during the rainy season (From October to April) tourism decreases in the Cusco region. Heavy rains make trekking in the Andean mountains a little bit difficult.
What is the best time to hike the Inca Trail?
Are you wondering what is the best time to hike the Inca trail?
A good time for hiking is from May to August because the days are sunny and the nights are cold. Besides, you may have the chance to catch a glance at snow-capped mountains and appreciate the marvelous mother nature.
How to Visit Machu Picchu
To get to there, first you need to get to Lima, and then head to the beautiful and multicultural city of Cusco. There are two options for this trip; by plane (1 hour and 30 minutes) or you can hit the road by bus (20 -23 hours).
From Cusco to your next destination (Machu Picchu) you can take the fastest way; The tourist train. But if you are an outdoor enthusiast, the trek is perfect for you.
Where to Stay When I Visit Machu Picchu
After solving the question of why visit Machu Picchu, then you may think about where to stay. One of the best places to stay during your visit is Aguas Calientes. This service town offers a variety of hotels and restaurants.
In Aguas Calientes, you will find a fun village-style atmosphere that makes this an excellent spot to chill for a while. And yes, there is Wi-Fi available in all the restaurants and hotels!
How to get the best Machu Picchu pictures
Whether you are a professional photographer or just passionate about taking pics, you will find these tips very useful. There are many different angles of this marvelous city and you do not want to miss a simple detail.
So, before getting your camera or smartphone, take a look at this photography guide, and convince yourself if is Machu Picchu worth visiting.
Our conclusion: Why is Machu Picchu important?
Is Machu Picchu Worth Visiting?
Well, to sum up, it is important to highlight that the status of this Inca city is not based on the beauty of the place itself, but goes deeper.
Therefore, to answer the question about its importance, and if is it worth it or not, you have to rely on the fact that the city is a human creation that reveals the inspiration of native men and women at its best.
Visit Machu Picchu and when you stand before these ruins, you will feel as if you were part of the sacred energy that drove the work of the builders of this Inca citadel.