Machu Picchu fascination

Part of the fascination felt by visitors who discover the scenery of Machu Picchu is due to the lack of accurate information on the origin of the place and, therefore, on the reasons why the Inca decided to occupy and settle this area. One's imagination can wander freely among the walls and ancient structures and gaze at the hot, humid surroundings which extend towards a virgin wood. The testimonies are eloquent. Nobody can escape from the feeling of being in a marvelous world with an exceptionally rich and varied nature. Also, one can not help but suspect that, although there are no documents which verify such events, something important occurred in this place during the Inca period. The past is covered with a mantle of mystery.

A few years ago, some papers from the 16th century were revealed which refer to the existence of this region and the presence of pre Hispanic ruins. Up until that time, there were testimonies by 19th century travelers, including the Frenchman Charles Wiener and the Italian Antonio Raimondi, who had pointed out the existence of important archaeological ruins in the area. But up until the time of the arrival of Bingham there were no reports from explorers who had bothered to recognize and study them.

Based on the general inventory of what is presently known about the place and the surrounding area, what is most important is the documentation of a hacienda which belonged to the Augustinian friars who received these lands as an inheritance in the 16th century. They had been the witnesses of the life and death of the final Incas. They also lived with the Incas in this region and undoubtedly were familiar with these landscapes and structures, as well as those which the Inca chose further within the wood for their refuge and that of their loyal subjects, known with the name of Vilcabamba. The Augustinians attended the conversations held between the Spanish emissaries who attempted to demand the submission of the Incas and win them over to the Spanish crown and Roman Catholicism. The tension experienced by the Incas, who were under siege from the Spanish expeditions, affected the relationship between the friars and the native masters. In the midst of such conflicts, the lack of understanding between the two bands led some friars to pay with their lives. For all of these reasons, the presence of the Order of St Augustine in the region continued up until the 19th century, when the, members of this religious order left Cuzco. Their goods and lands were sold or purchased by private parties or by the State.

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Through the Augustinian friars and the documents which they left behind, we know that agricultural activities were conducted on vast expanses of land in the area during the colonial period. However, such records fail to mention the presence of significant pre Hispanic structures in the Machu Picchu area. Of course the people in the settlements were not concerned with such matters. The friars were interested in the income from the lands and the native labor force. These were not times to think of increasing the archaeological heritage by a few more stones, much less based on lands which were considered isolated and far off from the point of view of the inhabitants of the city of Cuzco.
The Incas were finally subdued when Tupac Amaru was executed by order of the Viceroy Francisco Toledo in 1572. The references to Picchu which can be found in 16th century documents were erased from the memory of those who played a leading role in the colonial history of Cuzco. The tax records of the Augustinian friars are the only testimony of the existence of these stones which conserve the mystery and charm of pre Hispanic life in the region. Bingham had not seen such records.

100 Years Celebration to Machu Picchu

Program Duration Highlights
Machu Picchu Classic 4 Days 4 Days and 3 Nights Cusco, Machu Picchu, Sacred Valley
Machu Picchu Special 4 Days 4 Days and 3 Nights Cusco, Koricancha, Sacsayhuaman, Machu Picchu, Sacred Valley of Urubamba
New Pisaq & Machupicchu 5 Days 5 Days and 4 Nights Cusco, Ruins of Pisac, Sacred Valley of the Inkas, Ollantaytambo, Maras, Machu Picchu, Sacred Valley of Urubamba, Aguas Calientes,
Cusco The Incas Empire 5 Days 5 Days and 4 Nights Cusco, Koricancha, Sacsayhuaman, Puka Pukara and Tambomachay, Urubamba Valley, Ollantaytambo, Machu Picchu, Aguas Calientes
Machu Picchu Light Adventure 6 Days 6 Days and 5 Nights Cusco , Horse Back riding to Cusco Ruins, Sacsayhuaman, Agus calientes, Machu Picchu.
Salkantay Adventure Budget 8 Days 8 Days and 7 Nights Cusco, Rafting, Salkantay, Soraypampa, Chaullay, Aguas Calientes, machu Picchu.



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