If you’re in search of magical Machu Picchu pictures, you’ve arrived at your destination. Known as one of the most mystical wonders of the world, Machu Picchu means Old Mountain in the local Quechua language. It is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The ruins are located just four hours from Cusco in the cloud forest of Aguas Calientes, and they are situated at 7,972 ft (2,430 m) above sea level. It is a destination beloved by both tourists and locals alike.
On July 24, 1911, locals brought American historian and explorer, Hiram Bingham, to this ancient wonder. After seeing it’s immense beauty, he brought his findings back to the United States and shared them with the world. Today Machu Picchu is one of the most famous places to visit in the world, earning more than 1.5 million visitors a year. Keep reading to see gorgeous pictures of Machu Picchu. You’ll surely see what makes these ancient ruins in Peru so fascinating.
The Iconic Photos
Nearly everyone has come across a Machu Picchu photo at least once in their lives. Maybe it was with the Machu Picchu sunrise or shot with the late afternoon sun. Regardless of when it was taken, it’s recognized as an iconic view. These photos are both memorable and moving – almost like paintings. Here’s to all the classic Machu Picchu images that still take our breath away.
The Guardhouse is one of the first stops along the route within the ruins. This thatched-roof building housed the soldiers guarding one of the two main entrances to Machu Picchu.
The Main Ruins
The main ruins expand throughout the entirety of the Machu Picchu sanctuary. They include the famous Inca stones that show the sheer beauty of Machu Picchu architecture. Some of the Inca walls tower above the average person, making the structures within the citadel all the more awe-inspiring.
Huayna Picchu Mountain
Huayna Picchu Mountain is arguably the most popular hike in Machu Picchu. It is also present in the majority of Machu Picchu pictures due to its location behind the main ruins. The Huayna Picchu “Stairs of Death” scare away some people, but the view from Huayna Picchu peak is unparalleled. Make sure to add climbing Huayna Picchu, one of the most famous mountains in Peru, to your bucket list.
Machu Picchu Mountain
Machu Picchu Mountain, known as Montaña Machu Picchu in Spanish, is the higher, more difficult of the two hikes. Climbing Machu Picchu Mountain can be quite a challenge, but when you reach the top, you’ll experience the 360° Machu Picchu aerial view with the surrounding mountains and river below.
Putucusi Mountain, also known as Happy Mountain, is a lesser known hike on an adjacent mountain. This hike puts Huayna Picchu’s stairs of death to shame with its own seven sets of near-vertical ladders. Once you climb them though, the views of Machu Picchu are unlike anything you’ve seen.
Machu Picchu Weather
With two main seasons in Peru – sunny and rainy – the views of Machu Picchu can change significantly. Sometimes the mist and fog hang low in the ruins creating a mysterious and magical experience. Other times, the sun shines bright, illuminating the stonework and history. In all types of weather, Machu Picchu still looks incredible.
The Inca Bridge
One of the lesser known things to do in Machu Picchu is visit the Inca Bridge. Even though it is prohibited to walk across it due to the extreme narrowness, you can take the short 15-min hike to view this architectural marvel from afar.
The Sun Temple
Of all the Inca temples, the Sun Temple in Machu Picchu is one of the most interesting. Built to worship the sun god Inti, the Sun Temple, or Templo del Sol, is one of many temples in the sanctuary.
The Inca Terraces
One of the most interesting facts about Machu Picchu is that the Inca terraces are some of the Incas’ best constructions. Visible on the sides of the sanctuary, they were built to prevent landslides and provide a sustainable watering system. For this reason, these same terraces can be found in many ruins in Peru including the stone ruins in the Sacred Valley.
The Sun Gate
For those who choose to hike to the Sun Gate, or for those who pass through it on the Inca trail, the views are spectacular. The Sun Gate, known as Inti Punku in the Quechua language, was once the main entrance to Machu Picchu. It is located just 1 hour walking from the main ruins, and it’s a perfect place to take in the views.
Machu Picchu Llamas
Saving the best for last, the Machu Picchu llamas are some of the most fun photos to come out of the famous Inca ruins. Whether it’s baby llama pictures or llama selfies, they never cease to warm the heart.
Now, See it for Yourself
Why is Machu Picchu so special? These Machu Picchu pictures pay homage to one of the most interesting ancient ruins of the world. It is a top destination for travelers seeking history, beauty and mystery. A place where history can be seen and experienced almost exactly as it was.
If you’re planning on visiting Machu Picchu, connect with one of our travel experts to customize your trip and create the best Machu Picchu experience.