"Lost City of the Incas" Top 5 Page for this destination Machu Picchu by jadedmuse
Machu Picchu Travel Guide: 693 reviews and 1,964 photos
I think it is not so much a function of human curiosity as it is a symptom of man's arrogance, to question how another more ancient civilization could have accomplished something that otherwise defies contemporary explanations.
Such is the mystery of Machu Picchu. Historians and archaeologists still cannot explain the existence, the purpose, and the inhabitants of Machu Picchu - although they've been able to piece together some ideas and theories.
Machu Picchu is one of the last vestiges of an ancient empire that was beautiful, sophisticated, mystical, and in so many ways more highly evolved than the Europeans who "conquered" it. Some people may attribute the Incas' demise to the Spaniards' lust for gold; others will say that empires can never last; still some will say that this is a natural function of progress.
But I find the loss of the Inca Civilization - and their fabled city of Machu Picchu - to have a much simpler explanation: The Spaniards had rifles.
And so the sun set with a bang on a fascinating, flourishing and fabulously golden empire...due to gun powder.
Machu Picchu is thus referred to as the "Lost City of the Incas"...it is named so in large part because it remained elusive to explorers for centuries - and because the original Spaniards searched all over for it, believing it to be full of gold (remember, this was a European culture obsessed with finding "El Dorado").
Some people consider it to be the Eighth Wonder of the World. It is difficult to reach - most likely by design. It is cradled in the bosom of Peru, protected by the Andean mountains and the sub-tropical jungle.
The Spaniards never did find it.
The ruins seem to suggest that this was a city which housed approximately 1500 Inca residents, and theories abound as to who these residents were - and why they seemed to have so abruptly left. There are literally no traces, no explanations. The Incas were extremely organized, and they had a sophisticated communications system. I tend to think that the Incas somehow knew that the Spaniards were coming after them and that , given the Spaniards' drive to decimate, could very well find them even as this small enclave lay hidden amidst mountains and jungle. So this little community simply abandoned their sanctuary and moved on, in the name of self-preservation and survival.
Ironically, the only thing that has survived Machu Picchu is its mystery.
Also see my Ruins of Machu Picchu and Inca Trail-Ancient Royal Highway travelogues, as well as those found under my Cusco page.
- Pros:Trekking the Inca trail, rounding the corner, seeing Macchu Picchu in the misty distance...
- Cons:Dying to know what the Incas were doing there and why did they leave so mysteriously...
- In a nutshell:El Condor Pasa....y solo el condor sabe lo que pasa.....
I can't convey how great the porters were - a humble, precise and very professional group of young men, primarily... more travel advice
When you're trekking, you will tend to break for the day fairly early. We usually stopped by 4:30 pm, had some "quiet... more travel advice
Written Feb 26, 2006
The Ruins of Machu Picchu
Written Feb 26, 2006
Inca Trail - Ancient Royal Highway
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