Machu Picchu is an iconic ancient Incan citadel located on a mountain ridge in Peru, nearly 2430m above sea level. It is an archaeological gem, a stunning testament to the Incan civilization that inhabited the region. Discovered by Hiram Bingham in 1911, the site was built around 1450 and abandoned shortly after the Spanish conquered Peru. Boasting some of the best-preserved Incan architecture, it is now a Unesco World Heritage Site and one of the most popular tourist attractions in the country. The site still contains an excavation and history center, with several areas open to the public. The most popular section is the Intihuatana, an altar of sorts, believed to be used for astronomical purposes. There's also a watchtower and three other temples, along with many buildings and a unique aqueduct system. Hiking up is the main way to access the site and visitors are rewarded with unparalleled views of the Urubamba Valley below.
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