Machu Picchu is one of those landmarks that fill people with wonder. The Lost City has been shrouded in mystery for a hundred years, since its discovery. Nevertheless, legend met truth when researchers unearthed the history through its artifacts and live history in its walls and passageways. Here are five interesting facts of this wonder of the world.
1. It is believed that all of its inhabitants died of a smallpox epidemic, thus leaving the city totally deserted for centuries, without notice of its existence to the world. The disease is thought to have been brought in by travellers way before the first Spanish conquistadors ever arrived to Cusco. This is one of the reasons that might explain the depopulation of the Machu Picchu. Another theory tells of a mass exodus to other secluded locations, but these seem incongruous to the large amounts of mummies found throughout the site at the time of discovery.
2. The Spanish invaders never actually made it to Machu Picchu. In fact, Machu Picchu was a “modern” discovery. Prior to that, there was no knowledge of its existence, except loose bits of legend sprinkled here and there about the rule of Inca Pachacutec. Legend states that the Spaniards were given false tracks, so that they could never find Inca strongholds nor outposts. Thus, this was the first instance in Inca history that they were actually encouraged to lie.
3. You may not enter Machu Picchu dressed in the folklore costume of another country. This is one of the lesser known rules of entrance to the ancient Lost City, and it makes perfect sense. Visitors entering with a kimono, sporran and kilt, ledderhosen, or cossack garb, to name a few, are discouraged to do so. This is on grounds to maintaining a controversy free area dedicated to the visit, exploration and enjoyment of all the world community.
4. It is said that Hiram Bingham uncovered and took with him a load of 4,000 to 40,000 artifacts from Machu Picchu, including mummies, precious metals, and ceramics, for the Yale museum. The Peruvian government has petitioned for decades the return of these artifacts stating that these conform the heritage of Peru’s history and culture, thus are intangible to the hands of other parties, institutions or governments. This is a dispute currently underway.
5. The most popular way to reach Machu Picchu is through the Inca Trail. This is a trek that takes you along ancient Inca foot paths, where you’ll pass old outposts, unearthed ruins, and fascinating rainforests. Though, this is not the ONLY way to arrive. Visitors can reach the ruins through train, bus, or helicopter.
When it comes to opening the magic of Machu Picchu to our visitors, our expert staff at Sumaq Hotel will go to lengths in order to present you with only the best. Our job is to bring the legend back to life in our world-class facilities. Experience the mysticism of ancient history with Sumaq Hotel, your best choice when visiting Machu Picchu.