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A Guide to the Ruins of Machu Picchu
One of the most beautiful and enigmatic sights in the world, Machu Picchu is a pre-Columbian Inca site located 2,400 meters above sea level in Peru. Machu Picchu, which means "Old peak" in the Quechua language, has been considered to be a sacred site from when it was first constructed. Also known as the lost city of the Inca's, Machu Picchu was a city that was saved from destruction as the Spanish never found its location.

Built by the Inca Empire and thought to be their most familiar symbol, Machu Picchu was forgotten for centuries until an American Historian brought it back into the limelight in 1911. Ever since then its gone on to be of importance to the rest of the world, with it being labeled as a Peruvian Historical Sanctuary in 1981, a UNESCO world heritage site in 1983 and currently holds the spot as one of the new seven wonders of the world.

If you visit Machu Picchu today, you'll see that not much has changed and that everything's still beautifully preserved like it was back in 1450. Made in Classic Inca Style from polished dry-stone walls, its sacred area includes buildings such as The Temple of The Sun and the Room of the Three Windows. The most important thing still intact at Machu Picchu would probably be the intihuatana, which is a big column rising from a huge block of stone. Literally translated as "for tying the sun", this column was used in a ritual to supposedly prevent the sun from disappearing during the months of the winter solstice.

To get to Machu Picchu however is no easy task. Take a long trek through the mountainous terrain but be well rewarded as you go along, soaking in the sheer beauty of your surroundings. As you enter, either from the sun gate or from across the Inca Bridge, you'll feel a certain magical aura about the place.

Many who have visited Machu Picchu have said to be a spiritual and profound experience that they can never truly explain through words alone. Shamanic legends even say that if you're a sensitive person and you place your forehead against the intihuatana stone that you'd be able to see the spirit world.

Travel back in time and feel yourself understanding better of how things worked within the Inca Empire. Marvel at the wonderful architecture and stand where the most powerful of priests have stood to perform ceremonies. You just can't help but feel in awe of this great civilization.
About the Author
Orson Johnson writes for Holiday Velvet, a website providing Peru holiday accommodation & Worldwide vacation apartments.
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