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Joshua | profile | all galleries >> Machu Picchu, Urubamba Valley and Cusco tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Machu Picchu, Urubamba Valley and Cusco

The first time I saw a picture of Machu Picchu I was about 5 or 6 years old; it was at my grandfather’s house in Bogor as one of calendar pages. I starred at that picture for a long time and the image of a lost Inca City, the way it was described to me, left a deep impression on me. Finally, some 50 years later, I could finally see the ruins of Machu Picchu with my own eyes.

Machu Picchu (meaning Old Peak in the Quechua language) is one of the most beautiful and enigmatic ancient sites in the world. Its location is extraordinary; at almost 10,000 feet, tucked away on a hilltop between two peaks in the Peruvian Andean Mountains, it is often shrouded by clouds and it is practically not visible from lower elevation. The fact that it was built by a lost civilization of the Incas, that it was never discovered by the conquistadores and rediscovered around 400 years later as an archeological find, adds to the mystique of Machu Picchu. Completely self-contained, surrounded by agricultural/cultivation terraces sufficient to feed the population, and watered by natural springs, Machu Picchu appeared to have been utilized by the Incas as a secret ceremonial city. It has palaces, baths, temples, storage rooms and some 150 houses, all remarkably well-preserved. This mountain top sanctuary fell into disuse and was abandoned some 40 years after the Spanish conquered Cusco in 1533. Supply lines linking the many Inca social centers were disrupted and the great Inca Empire sadly came to an end.

Machu Picchu is very photogenic and it attracts tourists from all over the world and they take pictures; there are literally thousands of images of this sanctuary available on-line. In itself, it created a challenge to capture pictures of the same object that somehow look different or convey a different mood or feeling. Well, I tried to present that in this gallery.

Indeed, this mountain top sanctuary was the highlight of our trip to Peru. A few pictures in and around the Urubamba Valley and of locals in their daily activities rounded up the gallery. Some locals are more than happy to pose in front of the camera. In addition to tons of images, I came back with a lot of insect bites; there were close to 30 insect bites on each arm/hand and whew, how I suffered after that. Was it worth it? You bet! Next time, however, I would bring plenty of insect repellent or wear a long sleeve shirt (right, Deb?). I hope you enjoy the images and please feel free to leave a comment or two. Thank you for visiting.

One of Several Inca Trails Leading to Machu Picchu
One of Several Inca Trails Leading to Machu Picchu
Inca Bridge
Inca Bridge
View Along the Inca Trail
View Along the Inca Trail
Vegetation Along the Inca Trail
Vegetation Along the Inca Trail
At the End of the Inca Trail
At the End of the Inca Trail
The Main Square
The Main Square
Trapezoidal Doorway
Trapezoidal Doorway
Cultivation Terraces
Cultivation Terraces
Water Fountain and Irrigation System
Water Fountain and Irrigation System
Vigilance Tower
Vigilance Tower
Grazing Llama
Grazing Llama
Huayna Picchu
Huayna Picchu
A Doorway
A Doorway
City Corridor
City Corridor
Intihuatana - Hitching Post of the Sun
Intihuatana - Hitching Post of the Sun
A Lone Llama
A Lone Llama
Life Sustaining Cultivation Terraces
Life Sustaining Cultivation Terraces
Royal Tomb
Royal Tomb
Let's turn the spotlight on, please
Let's turn the spotlight on, please
Yes, this is Machu Picchu - the Lost Inca City
Yes, this is Machu Picchu - the Lost Inca City
Waiting for the Fog to Lift
Waiting for the Fog to Lift
Shrouded in Clouds
Shrouded in Clouds
Even Llamas Are Enjoying the View
Even Llamas Are Enjoying the View
Llamas' Perspective
Llamas' Perspective
The Road from Aguas Calientes
The Road from Aguas Calientes
View from Intipuktu
View from Intipuktu
Cliff Decorations
Cliff Decorations
A Tough Little Girl
A Tough Little Girl
A Shy Boy
A Shy Boy
A Boy and His Baby Alpaca
A Boy and His Baby Alpaca
A Boy and His Baby Alpaca 2
A Boy and His Baby Alpaca 2
A Boy and His Baby Alpaca 3
A Boy and His Baby Alpaca 3
A Boy and His Baby Alpaca 4
A Boy and His Baby Alpaca 4
A Typical Pattern for Blanket/Throw
A Typical Pattern for Blanket/Throw
Cusco - the Main Square
Cusco - the Main Square
Wooden Balconies
Wooden Balconies
After the Procession
After the Procession
An Indian Woman
An Indian Woman
Ingredients to Dye Wools
Ingredients to Dye Wools
Wool Dyeing Process
Wool Dyeing Process
Baby Llama
Baby Llama
Heidi - A Very Cute Baby Girl
Heidi - A Very Cute Baby Girl
Empanada Bakery
Empanada Bakery
Indian Woman
Indian Woman
Ollantaytambo
Ollantaytambo
Future Tour Guides
Future Tour Guides
Mode of Transportation
Mode of Transportation
Banana Vendor
Banana Vendor