Hiram Bingham was not a trained archaeologist. Yet, it was during Bingham's time as a lecturer– later professor– at Yale that he discovered the largely forgotten Inca city of Machu Picchu. In 1908, he had served as delegate to the First Pan American Scientific Congress at Santiago, Chile. On his way home via Peru, a local prefect convinced him to visit the pre-Columbian city of Choquequirao. Bingham published an account of this trip in Across South America; an account of a journey from Buenos Aires to Lima by way of Potosí, with notes on Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, and Peru (1911).
Years previously, Bingham had been interested in the Indian legends about the Llacta of Vitcos or Viticos, the rebel Incas' last refuge from the Spaniards in the jungle of Vilcabamba, epically narrated by the chroniclers of that time. Arriving in Chile, his interest in the legendary Inca city of Vitcos and the Vilcabamba valley was renewed.
His first mountain exploration trip in 1906 was also his first attempt at finding Vitcos, the last imperial capital and the refuge of Incas rebelling against the Spaniards. That year, he traveled along the Buenos Aires - Cusco route, the old colonial trade route. After his long trip to Cusco, he was informed of the existence of lost cities in the tangled jungle and jagged ranges of the Urubamba mountains.
The Machupicchu archaeological complex is located in the department of Cusco, in the Urubamba province and district of Machupicchu. It is perched on the eastern slopes of the Vilcanota mountain range, a chain of mountains curtailed by the Apurimac and Urubamba Rivers. At latitude 13º7' South and longitude 72035' West of the Greenwich Meridian, Machupicchu is located at a height of 2,350 meters above sea level (main square).
The Flora and fauna are abundant and varied. Typical plant life in the historic reserve of Machupicchu includes pisonayes, q'eofias, alisos, puya palm trees, ferns and more than 90 species of orchids.
The fauna in the reserve includes the spectacled bear, cock-of-the-rocks or "tunqui", tankas, wildcats and an impressive variety of butterflies and insects unique in the region.
The lie of the land, the natural surroundings and the strategic location of Machupicchu lend this monument a fusion of beauty, harmony and balance between the work of the ancient Peruvians and the whims of nature.
The Intipunku, meaning ‘Gateway of the Sun’, is the entrance to Machu Picchu along the Inca Trail and offers an outstanding view of Machu Picchu and the sacred mountain of Huayna Picchu. The site, featuring stone buildings and steep stone stairways, would have been the official gateway or checkpoint for people arriving and departing the citadel.
Day 01: CUSCO
Early morning transfer from the airport to the hotel in Cusco. (We recommend a couple of hours of rest to acclimatize to the 3, 400 m). Afternoon tour of the city and the nearby ruins, including a visit to the Sacsayhuaman Fortress, with gigantic zigzag walls of precise stonework, mysterious carved rock of Kenko shrine and the Inca Baths of Tambomachay. Lunch and dinner on your own. Overnight at a comfortable hotel.
Day 02: SACRED VALLEY
All-day tour of the Sacred Valley of the Incas, visiting the traditional native Market at Pisac and later the Fortress of Ollantaytambo, clinging to a rocky spur high above the valley. Overnight in Cusco. Dinner on your own.
Day 03: MACHU PICCHU
Transfer to the train station for an all-day guided visit toMachu picchu. This legendary "Lost City of the Incas " was hidden for centuries by the jungle and only rediscovered in 1911 by Hiran Bigham. The cities astronomical observatory (Intihuatana) is the only one known to exist. There are also many beautiful temples, terraces and intricate stone work there to explore.
Afternoon, you will return to Cusco for overnight at a hotel. Breakfast and lunch included, Dinner on your own.
Day 04: CUSCO - LIMA
Transfer to the airport in Cusco for a flight to Lima and the USA.
- Transfers in Cusco, City tour.
- Entrance ticket to the different archaeological places, escorted by a guide.
- Tour of Sacred Valley
- Train ticket to Machupicchu,
- Professional English speaking guide.
DOES NOT INCLUDE:
- Local or international air fares
- Additional tours
- Tips, laundry, etc.
- Entrance ticket to MachuPicchu (US $ 40 per person)
COST: 4 STAR HOTEL
• From 2 to 4 participants U.S.$ 657.00 each
• From 5 to MORE participants U.S.$ 587.00 each
COST: 3 STAR HOTEL
• From 2 to 4 participants U.S.$ 587.00 each
• From 5 to MORE participants U.S.$ 497.00 each
COST: 3 STAR HOSTAL
• From 2 to 4 participants U.S.$ 497.00 each
• From 5 to MORE participants U.S.$ 437.00 each>
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