Machu Picchu, is an historical site in Peru. It is perched high upon a rock in a narrow saddle between two sharp mountain peaks and overlooks the Urubamba River 2,000 ft below.
Ignored and later forgotten by Spanish colonial authorities because of its abandoned condition, the site was uncovered in 1911 by the American explorer Hiram Bingham. The imposing city is one of the largest pre-Columbian sites found virtually intact. It contains rare examples of religious monuments, including a carved stone, a small tower, and a cave with a masonry entrance.
Perhaps the most spectacular ruin in the whole of Americas, Machu Picchu spreads over 13 sq km, with over 3,000 steps linking its many different levels. It shows admirable architectural design and execution, including a terracing system built on extremely steep terrain; it has been estimated that 60% of the effort expended on construction was devoted to creating the terraces.
Archaeological and historical evidence indicates that it represents a mountain retreat of the Inca leader Pachacuti Yupanqui, who ruled the region from 1438–1471. Investigators have suggested the site may have served as a religious sanctuary and that the masonry windows at two of its monuments may have been aligned so as to define the June and December solstices. Machu Picchu was voted one among the New Seven Wonders of the World in an online campaign conducted in July.