Three commonly known empires in Latin America still fascinate the world today: the Mayans, the Aztecs, and the Incas. The latter expanded its territory, also known as Tahuantinsuyo, from Peru to parts of Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, Argentina, and Chile. With its capital in Cusco, Peru is a cultural treasure for all archaeologists, but also for many people interested in history. Millions of people each year come to learn more about Peru’s amazing past and, above all, about the unsolved mysteries of Machu Picchu. That is why together with Machu Travel Peru we have put an article that will explain everything. Learn about some of the most incredible mysteries of this Inca citadel.
The most important unsolved mysteries of Machu Picchu
- It was not the true lost city of the Incas
- The real construction is underground
- It is resistant to earthquakes
- The road to Machu Picchu
- Pilgrimage route
- Recorded mysteries
- Mountains to climb
- Secret temples
- Things to discover
IT WAS NOT THE TRUE LOST CITY OF THE INCAS
Although the explorer Hiram Bingham was able to discover the citadel of Machu Picchu, he was looking for a different place. This may be one of the mysteries of Machu Picchu that have already been solved. Hiram Bingham was originally looking for The Lost City of the Incas known as Vilcabamba. This was the city to which the Incas had escaped with the arrival of the conquerors in 1532. As time passed, Machu Picchu began to be called the Lost City of the Incas.
Even his discoverer, Hiram Bingham, spent much of his life arguing that Vilcabamba and the citadel were the same places. But this theory was proven wrong a long time later. The true lost city of the Incas is believed to have been built in the jungle. Some believe that it was only about 50 miles west of Machu Picchu. Get to know what is Machu Picchu within a beautiful guided tour.
THE REAL CONSTRUCTION IS UNDERGROUND
Although the Incas can be remembered for their imposing built walls, their strengths were in civil engineering. This ancient civilization was quite advanced in terms of buildings and architecture. Especially if we think that they did not use pack animals, iron tools, or wheels. The Machu Picchu site had to be sculpted in its entirety. The citadel is located in the middle of a fault, so the Incas had to move stone and earth to create this relatively flat place. But one of the most impressive mysteries of Machu Picchu is that the real construction was made underground. And this is believed due to the deep foundations of the buildings and the different drainage systems of the citadel. Truly impressive engineering achievements when you think about how long it was built.
IT IS RESISTANT TO EARTHQUAKES
The colossal constructions and stones used in the buildings of Machu Picchu did not use mortars. These stones were cut with such precision and fit so perfectly that you cannot put a sheet of paper between them. We believe that one of the unsolved mysteries of Machu Picchu was its great construction capacity. This way of building is not only highly aesthetic but also has several engineering advantages that are not seen with the naked eye.
As is common knowledge, Peru is a seismically unstable country, so much so that several cities have suffered earthquakes of great magnitude. But despite this, the citadel of Machu Picchu still remains intact. When earthquakes occur, the stones of Machu Picchu are said to “dance.” With the tremors, they hardly seem to move and then return to their original place. If it had not been for this construction method, many of the iconic buildings of Machu Picchu would have collapsed long ago.
THE ROAD TO MACHU PICCHU
Although today reaching Machu Picchu is relatively easy and accessible, previously there was only one way to get there, walking towards it. The Incas not only built cities and complexes but also built a vast network of roads. And some of these are still standing. If you don’t mind doing a little exercise, there is the possibility to enjoy the Inca Trail. This steep path follows the route that the ancient Incas took to reach the sanctuary. Generally, this experience lasts about 4 days and you will have at your disposal some extraordinary views of the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu. Nowadays the default option is to travel by train, quite an amazing experience too. But if you want to know the mysteries of Machu Picchu, we recommend you to know this popular route.
One of the proposed theories suggests that the citadel of Machu Picchu may have been a journey for ceremonial purposes. Some scholars believe that the archaeological complex was an ancient pilgrimage route for the Inca nobility. This theory gains more force when the different Inca Trails built are seen. Because instead of following the path along the banks of the Urubamba River, the Inca built a path surrounded by impressive scenery. According to some, this was the path that prepared the Inca to enter the Historic Sanctuary. On this road, you will have wonderful options to take Machu Picchu pictures.
For those curious visitors and fans of the mysteries of Machu Picchu, we recommend visiting the site museum. This nearby museum offers a few explanations and can answer any of the unsolved questions. If you felt like your guided tour wasn’t enough, this museum can clear up a lot of the blanks. The museum is a bit hidden, but if you follow the signs at the entrance base you will get there without a problem. It has a fairly accessible entrance and you can enjoy a wonderful place where everything is explained in deep detail. There you will be able to know the different Machu Picchu facts that you have overlooked.
MOUNTAINS TO CLIMB
One of the most notable features of the archaeological complex is the large lines of people waiting to enter the site. Being one of the main attractions of Peru, it is not surprising that so many people want to visit the place. But in addition, a lucky few have the possibility of climbing Huayna Picchu. This is the famous green mountain that appears in the background in all the famous photos of the citadel. Only about 400 people a day can do it, and only if you have obtained a permit along with your ticket. But also, there is Machu Picchu Mountain. Another beautiful hike that offers breathtaking views of the Machu Picchu map and its surroundings.
If you are one of the lucky ones to climb Huayna Picchu, we recommend that you visit the Temple of the Moon. This wonderful hidden temple is one of the mysteries of Machu Picchu that you will not want to miss for anything. It is located on the other side of the mountain, you will notice how the path to the top forks to reach the temple. This kind of ceremonial temple is a cave with one of the best masonry works in the citadel. It is believed that it was a place of worship for the dead. Take advantage of the different Machu Picchu tours and do not miss visiting this temple.
THINGS TO DISCOVER
When you have the opportunity to visit Machu Picchu, you will notice that many side roads branch out in the thick foliage. This is one of the mysteries of Machu Picchu that you will have to discover on your own. Even though you cannot investigate them, there may still be many unknown trails and nearby ruins to discover.
“MYSTERY CREATES WONDER AND WONDER IS THE BASIS OF MAN’S DESIRE TO UNDERSTAND.”
In conclusion, the best way to get to know the different mysteries of Machu Picchu is by visiting this complex on your own. We believe that all these mysteries are what give the citadel a mystical aura in all its corners to explore. We hope we have helped you learn a little more about this wonderful place. And we also have the hope of seeing you very soon in our wonderful country. Machu Travel Peru hopes to have encouraged you to start organizing your trip to Peru. If you want to know more about how to organize your trip, you can consult with our qualified advisers. You can also learn about the different alternatives to Machu Picchu, such as Choquequirao. The options are endless!