If you thought the title of this blog contains a historical error you are right! I am glad I got your attention, but there is some truth to it.
Although this magnificent citadel and the city of the pre-Columbian Incas was built in 15th century it was unknown to the Western world until July of 1911 when an American historian Hiram Bingham “discovered it” after a local 11 year old boy led him to it. The ruins were inhabited by a local family and most of the today’s site was overgrown by the jungle. Mr Bingham is credited with the first exploration and description of the site and bringing it to the attention of the scholars. In 1983, UNESCO has declared Machu Picchu as a World Heritage Site.
In fact, this year is such an important date for Machu Picchu that Peru designated it as “Year of Machu Picchu’s Centennial to the World” and many celebrations are under way.
We have visited Machu Picchu in October 2009 and hiked the Inca trail which was one of the top 5 highlights of my travel experiences to South America so far.
So if you always wanted to travel to Peru and visit Cuzco and Machu Picchu, this year is the time to go and witness celebrations and festivities. Best time to go, March-October.