Machu Picchu is a 15th sentury Inca citadel located in southern Peru on a 2,430 meter (8,000 feet) mountain ridge.  It is the most familiar icon of the Inca empire. The Inca civilisation had no written language and no European discovered or visited the site until the 19th century. Most recent archaeologists believe that it was constructed as an estate for the Inca emperor Pachacuti (1438-1472). The estate was abandoned around 1550 at the time of the Spanish conquest.
Machu Picchu was built in the classical Inca style with polished dry-stone walls.  A striking feature is that many buildings mirrored the shape of the surrounding hills and peaks - you can see that in many of the images below.
At the base of Machu Picchu where buses leave for the summit.
The very steep road which the busses take to the summit !
Very steep terraces used for cultivation.
A local resident.
Astonishing precision in the way these dry-stone walls are constructed considering the tools available at the time.
This is part of the "stairs of death" to the summit of Huayna Picchu.  They are extremely steep with no guard rails.  On one side is a massive drop to the river below.  Many tourists climb every day - it is said no one has died yet !  Not to be undertaken if you have a fear of heights.
Very steep steps to the terraces.
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