Nexion Escape Spring 2020 - Page 35

QUEST TO MACHU PICCHU Constructed by the ninth Inca ruler Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui, around 1450 A.D., Machu Picchu was a sacred religious site and seasonal retreat for royal families. The location, named after the mountain it was built upon, was abandoned a century after the arrival of the Spanish, though the Conquistadores never found the community. Centuries later, Yale University archaeologist Hiram Bingham arrived in Machu Picchu in 1911 and was credited for presenting the ruins to the scientific world, but he did not “discover” the site. Four families were already living there; in fact, a boy from one of the families guided Bingham there. Despite this detail, travelers still hold ancient ruins in high regard, especially when they’re situated atop mountain ranges. In fact, UNESCO has set a limit of 2,500 visitors per day at this World Heritage Site. Visitors to this remote location arrive by different means: buses and private taxis travel from Cusco to Ollantaytambo, and from there rail travel can take you to Aguas Calientes, the town well below the ruins. Some then decide to take a bus to Machu Picchu or walk the Inca Trail, a four-day rite of passage for those who post their epic Peruvian trips on social media. Whether you arrive by train or by foot, the view of the Andean mountains is spectacular. As for the ruins, visitors arrive believing it is a source of special energies, particularly at one popular spot called the Intihuatana Rock, translated from the Quechua language as “the place where the sun is tied.” Whether this is true is in the eye of the beholder, but that’s the whole point of a quest, or pilgrimage, or expedition. It’s all about individual beliefs and decisions; it’s how travelers change for the better. BOOK IT NOW Inca Trail Section: G Adventures Trekking the Inca Trail 5 Days/4 Nights Embark on this epic hike from Cusco to jaw-dropping Machu Picchu with G Adventures — named the Best Inca Trail Tour Operator in Peru. Travel with an experienced team of guides, cooks and porters, leaving you time to focus on the trail ahead. Our agency can also set up additional Peruvian highlights and accommodations to complement your trip to this profound historic landmark. Machu Picchu , Peru Contact Our Agency to Plan Your Personalized Escape · 33