The ruins of Machu Picchu are high in the Andes Mountains, standing at about 8,000 feet.
The city was erected by Pachacútec in the mid-15th Century. Pachacútec was the Inca leader who established the Inca empire by defeating the rival Chancas sometime between 1420 and 1430.
The Lost City
Machu Picchu was abandoned after the Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire. The Spanish never reached and plundered the city. Although local people living in the highlands were aware of the ruins, the city was forgotten by the world at large.
The world became aware of Machu Picchu again when it was "rediscovered" by American historian Hiram Bingham in 1911.
One of the more attractive features of Machu Picchu is how so much of the setting's structures---the walls, terraces and ramps---appear to have been carved right out of the living rock.
Threatened by Tourism
According to BBC, over 400,000 people visited Machu Picchu in 2003, and those numbers have been growing. Machu Picchu is widely considered to be under threat of overdevelopment, and UNESCO has classified it as endangered.
Article Written By Edwin Thomas
Edwin Thomas has been writing since 1997. His work has appeared in various online publications, including The Black Table, Proboxing-Fans and others. A travel blogger, editor and writer, Thomas has traveled from Argentina to Vietnam in pursuit of stories. He holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from American University.