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peru_geopoli.jpgWiki dedicated to Cultural Exchange - Learn about people, cultures, geography of Peru.

HHS Students can ask questions about the people, culture and geography of the places you see in these wiki pages. Remember to be polite and respect the postings of others!

Cusco, Peru and Machu Picchu
Early-morning arrival to Machu Picchu

The mysterious city of the Incan culture flourished in Cusco, Peru. On a map this beautiful city appears to be relatively close to Peru’s capital, Lima; however, any traveler, young or old, would much prefer the one-hour flight over the 24-hour bumpy bus ride through the Andes Mountains. An aspect that cannot be ignored of the breathtaking Andes Mountains is its high altitude of approximately 13,000 feet. Cusco functions as a heaven for tourist because nearby lies the famous Incan ruins of Machu Picchu. The natives of Peru maintain that their God “Pachamama” secretly hid the ruins from the world until it was discovered in 1911 by Hiram Bingham. Mr. Bingham, a student of Yale Univeristy, was fascinated by the culture of the Incans and after many studies of the people; he believed that still there remained undiscovered, left-behind relics of their culture. He set off to Peru to search for these ruins and after many years of research, he found several sites of Incan ruins, the largest being, Machu Picchu. Machu Picchu was hidden high atop the mountain, covered in trees, invisible to all- even to the Spanish conquistadores. It consisted in many green terraces where the Incans cultivated crops; it had houses where visitors could stay; and it also had a sun altar for worship.

The Inca Trail Hike
A porter with a heavy load

There is currently a law that all visitors to Machu Picchu must go with a tour group. The most classic route is the Inca Trail, which must be reserved a few months in advance with an agency. There are other hikes available for those who don't reserve in time or for others there is always the option of taking a train.

The Inca Trail is typically a 4-day hike covering an average of 16km per day of walking. The groups are provided with the option of hiring a porter to carry their personal items. Most groups have around 20 porters who carry all of the tents, the dinner table and chairs, all of the food, and any other supplies necessary. Due to previous maltreatment, current laws prohibit porters to carry more than 25 kilos and there are "check-points" along the way where the porters' loads are weighed
. This is a tough job for them but a good way for them to earn money for their families.

If anyone is interested in more information on the Machu Picchu hike or has further questions, please post them. I can ask my expert Peruvian guide from the hike any special questions and I'm sure he would be glad to help spread the knowledge on his ancestors.
~Katherine N.