Cusco. Dec. 24 (ANDINA). Leading holiday ideas website travelbite.co.uk is encouraging adventurers to tackle the challenge offered by the Inca Trail to the lost city of Machu Picchu in Cusco. The route combines testing walking and stunning mountain scenery with a fascinating destination in the form of the 15th century Inca city.
According to the travel website. Machu Picchu has acquired near legendary status among intrepid holidaymakers planning South America tours and is on the to-do list of almost everyone who enjoys trekking.
Machu Picchu is the remains of a remarkable citadel constructed on a mountain ridge almost 8.000ft above sea level in Peru. Built around 1450 for Inca emperor Pachacuti. it was abandoned in 1572 in the wake of the Spanish conquest and remained a secret to the outside world until being found by US historian Hiram Bingham in 1911.
It has since become a major tourist attraction. despite its remote location. and was awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 1983. as it is regarded as one of the most important Inca archaeological sites.
"If you choose to trek to Machu Picchu you will be rewarded with the sight of palaces. temples. houses. giant walls and agricultural terraces. all in one of the most spectacular settings imaginable. The views over the Andes and Amazon basin are stunning. with the sight of the sun rising over the city guaranteed to be one of the most memorable experiences you will ever enjoy." reads the article.
Machu Picchu is an outstanding feat of construction. given its location and when it was built. and also shows how advanced the Incas were when it came to urban planning. The city is split into three zones and has an advanced system of water fountains. drainage and irrigation.
Many of the most important and unusual buildings are located within its Sacred District. where you will find structures dedicated to the worship of Inti the sun god. including the Temple of the Sun. the Intihuatana and the Room of the Three Windows.
The Popular District is where the houses occupied by the ordinary citizens of Machu Picchu are located. while the District of the Priests and the Nobility is home to the more luxurious buildings.
As well as undertaking the mammoth task of hauling huge rocks up the mountain to allow them to build the city. the Incas constructed a road up to it. The remains of this route are what makes Inca Trail holidays possible. as it provides the ideal path from Cusco to Machu Picchu.
"If you choose to walk the Inca Trail during your Peru tours. you will trek through some beautiful Andean scenery and see a host of Inca monuments on your way up to the great lost city. Thousands of tourists wish to experience these sights. but as local authorities are keen to preserve the path in as close to its original condition as possible. they have now limited the number of people who can walk it."
Booking in advance is essential. making tackling the route as part of an organised group - complete with guide and porters - a good idea.
Your journey will begin in the city of Cusco. where you will see some stunning Inca buildings and the imposing fortress of Sacsayhuaman. You could also take the opportunity to explore the Sacred Valley and try your hand at rafting on the Urubamba River. as well as visiting the traditional Inca village of Ollantaytambo before starting your hike.
The Inca Trail begins with some gentle climbs up from the Urubamba valley. giving you plenty of opportunity to enjoy the views over the river and up to the snow-capped peak of Mount Veronica. The terrain becomes tougher as the four-day trek goes on. taking you along the banks of the Cusichaca to the village of Wayllabamba and up to the pasture land of Llulluchupampa.
You should be prepared for steep climbs during the second half of the Inca Trail. as you ascend to Warmiwanusca. the highest point on the route. but you will be rewarded with some stunning views of the mountains and the chance to visit the ruins of the city of Phuyupatamarca.
The final part of the trek involves thousands of steps. but you are sure to think it is worth it when you finally reach Machu Picchu and experience some of the most spectacular views you will find anywhere in the world.