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What to see in Machu Picchu?
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What to see in Machu Picchu?

There are millions of photos of Machu Picchu on the internet. There are also hundreds of virtual tours in the Inca City. But if you want to get excited with one of the most spectacular places on the planet, you have to visit Machu Picchu in person the more than 150 lithic structures that are there.

There are millions of photos of Machu Picchu on the internet. There are also hundreds of virtual tours of the Inca City. However, according to the tourists who visited it, the more than 150 constructions of Machu Picchu must be appreciated in person.

Macchu Picchu
Macchu Picchu

Sacred Square

  • This square is surrounded by some of the most impressive structures of Machu Picchu : the Temple of the 3 Windows, the Main Temple and the House of the Priest.
  • It is possible that this square has been the main place of worship of the city.
  • A few years ago there was a huge rock like a monolith (right in the middle of the square). However, he was retired twice to use the sacred square as a helipad.
  • On one of those occasions, the rock was accidentally destroyed and buried near the square. Today no landing or overflight is allowed on Machu Picchu.

Main Temple

  • It is one of the 3 buildings that are located around the Sacred Square and one of the most spiritual precincts of the Inca City.
  • This would be the most important temple of Machu Picchu and that the most important ceremonies and rituals of the city were held inside.
  • The large number of cavities in the form of niches in the walls suggests that this place could have been destined for burials.
  • At the front of this temple, you can see a small carved stone that apparently represents the Southern Cross.
  • The complex architecture of the temple presents an excellent work of walls built with perfectly aligned blocks but with an unfinished appearance.
  • The passage of time, abandonment, weather and the multiple earthquakes that the area has suffered have caused the central wall of the Temple of the Moon to suffer serious damage.

Royal tomb

  • While this structure is not exactly in the Sacred Square it is of great importance because it is located below it.
  • The royal mausoleum is just below the Temple of the Sun, carved into the rock of the mountain.
  • The structures present inside the mausoleum indicate that it would be a place to watch over the dead, belonging to the elite of the city.
  • The excellent work inside and the sublime engravings of figures on all the walls has made this construction named the Royal Tomb of Machu Picchu.
  • The engravings extend to the outside where they represent sacred Inca symbols such as the ‘Pachamama’ (earth).
  • The Inca civilization based its architectural work on spiritual symbolism by building beautiful buildings attributed to its gods: the sun, the moon, the stars, nature, the mountains, etc.
Machu Picchu collage
Splendid Machu Picchu

The Intihuatana

  • At the top of a kind of pyramid, surrounded by other Inca enclosures, you will find the Intihuatana.
  • The name of this construction means ‘where the sun is tied’.
  • It is a huge stone carved in such a way that it can mark exactly the solstices and equinoxes of the sun.
  • It is believed that the Intihuatana radiates energy to tourists who approach their hand.
  • There are many people who want to reach out to Intihuatana that, a few years ago, the government of Peru ordered that people cannot touch this construction.
  • Nowadays you can still feel your energy just by putting your hands a few centimeters away.

Machu Picchu is a 15th-century Inca City whose construction is attributed to the Inca Pachacutec. It was inhabited for about 100 years until it was abandoned for several centuries. In 1911 the American explorer Hiram Bingham announced his existence to the world.

Sun Temple

Temple of the 3 Windows

  • The Temple of the 3 Windows is located in the southwest corner of the Main Square of Machu Picchu.
  • It is a room 10 meters long and 4 meters wide. On one of its walls it has 3 trapezoidal windows.
  • The importance of this beautiful enclosure lies in the meaning represented by the number ‘3’ for the Inca worldview.
  • The Inca trilogy is represented by: the condor, the puma and the snake. According to the Incas, these three animals represent the celestial world, the earthly world and the world of the dead.

Temple of the Condor

  • The whole Condor Temple is made up of somewhat irregularly shaped buildings that were adapted in such a way that it shapes the body of a condor.
  • It is located in the so-called ‘Sacred Sector’ of Machu Picchu. Near the Temple of the Sun and the Royal Tomb.
  • The head of the condor is carved on the ground while the body and wings are represented by the carving inside the structure.
  • To appreciate the condor, the tourist must be placed in front of the condor peak and take a few steps back.
  • To the south of the Temple of the Condor you can see elite lodgings with their own private fountain.

Huayna Picchu Mountain

  • The Huayna Picchu mountain is one of the most impressive places in Machu Picchu. The ascent to its top is one of the most amazing short walks in the world.
  • Climbing this mountain is an adventure full of adrenaline because its trails are built next to cliffs.
  • On its top you can see the Inca City from above, as very few tourists can see it.
  • In Huayna Picchu, tourists can also visit the Temple of the Moon, one of the most mysterious Inca structures in Machu Picchu.
  • The entrance to the Waynapicchu is one of the most desired by visitors. This ticket must be booked 6 months before.

The Inca City is built between 2 mountains: the Huayna Picchu and the Machu Picchu. It is divided into 2 sectors: the Hanan (high) and the Urin (low). Its constructions include: urban complexes, temples, workshops, warehouses, platforms, stairways and other structures.

Moon temple

  • The Temple of the Moon is built inside a natural cave and is one of the most impressive structures in Machu Picchu.
  • The caves were of great importance to the Incas since, according to their beliefs, they could communicate them with the dead.
  • However, almost 120 years after its discovery, it is not yet known for sure what the function of the Temple of the Moon was.
  • The Temple of the Moon is also known as the Great Cavern. It is made up of 2 natural caverns and other lithic structures carved by hand.
  • Due to the presence of an altar-shaped rock, it is believed that the Temple of the Moon served as a place of sacrifices and rituals.

Machu Picchu Mountain

  • The Machu Picchu mountain is the imposing mountain where the Inca City of Machu Picchu is located.
  • Reaching the top of this mountain represents one of the best adventures in Machu Picchu.
  • From the top you can see the Inca City from the highest possible. The top of this mountain is 3,082 meters from the sea (almost 600 meters higher than Machu Picchu).
  • Although there is no Inca temple or enclosure on the trails of Machu Picchu mountain; the Incas had a deep respect when considering it as one of their main ‘Apus’ (gods of the mountain).
  • This experience is recommended for people of any age, families with children, seniors and for people who could not book a ticket to Huayna Picchu.

The Sacred Rock

  • The Sacred Rock is the name given to a huge rock placed on a small stone pedestal.
  • It is a huge polished monolith 3 meters high by 7 meters wide.
  • According to the researchers, this rock is shaped like a crouched feline. Other hypotheses suggest that it is a model carved with the shape of the mountains that can be seen behind it.
  • The Sacred Rock is located in the north of the Inca City. In front is the access door to the famous Huayna Picchu mountain.
  • Due to its characteristics and the rectangular structures at its sides (huayranas) that the Sacred Rock was a ritual site.
  • This rock also has a lot of concentrated energy. However, like the Intihuatana, tourists are prohibited from touching it.

The Royal Residence

  • The Royal Residence is the largest enclosure in Machu Picchu. Its walls are a sample of the most detailed stone works of the Inca City.
  • It is located in the religious sector (right in front of the Temple of the Sun). Due to the quality of its walls it is also called the ‘Palacio del Inca’.
  • Inside the Royal Residence there are 10 niches that must have contained decorative objects.
  • Some hypotheses suggest that this place served as the room of the Inca Pachacutec, the builder of Machu Picchu.
  • There is also a small staircase that will take you to a 2-level environment located at the rear of the Royal Residence.
  • The environments of this structure are characterized by having lintels on the doors with stone rings on their walls.

Machu Picchu was declared a Historic Sanctuary of Peru in 1981. In 1983 it was declared a World Heritage Site. In 2007, one of the 7 Wonders of the modern World. It is surrounded by a tropical forest in an environment of extraordinary beauty.

The Inti Punku

  • This construction was the main entrance to Machu Picchu in the time of the Incas.
  • Inti Punku is a Quechua word (the language of the Incas) that means ‘The door of the Sun’. During the summer solstice, the sun’s rays appear through this door.
  • This construction is made up of walls and stone windows. Tourists who make the Inca Trail will have the first view of Machu Picchu through this construction.
  • From the Inti Punku you can see Machu Picchu, the Urubamba river, the Huayna Picchu mountain and its surroundings.
  • The hiking route that leads to Inti Punku from the Inca City of Machu Picchu is one of the adventure alternatives preferred by tourists. It takes approximately 3 hours to get on and off.

The Secret Door

  • Machu Picchu has not yet revealed all his secrets. French engineer David Crespy discovered a secret door under the three-door enclosure.
  • After the investigations of infrared light and rebound of ultrasound, it was thrown that the Secret Door leads to an enclosure full of gold, silver and mummies.
  • Some hypotheses suggest that this secret place would be the tomb of the Inca ruler Pachacutec.

Photo gallery

Machu Picchu
Templo de las 3 Ventanas
Templo del Sol
Templo Principal
Templo del Condor
Andenes agrícolas
Templo de las Tres Ventanas observada desde afuera
See more traveler pictures

*Machu Picchu.

Advice from people who have been there

Macchu Picchu

Min J.By: Min J.

“Wonder of the World“

“If you travel to Peru it is impossible to stop visiting Machu Picchu. Tickets must be purchased in advance if you wish to travel to this destination, as tickets sell out very quickly; your hotel and train tickets must also be booked in advance, and that is not any destination, it is Machu Picchu.“


By Ticket Machu Picchu – Last updated, December 17, 2019