A UNESCO world heritage site, high in the Andes yet on the edge of the jungle, Machupicchu encompasses five square miles of terraced stonework linked by 3000 or so steps. Yikes.

Machupicchu, some say, was a royal retreat, built in the mid-1400’s, which the king visited for retreat. Others say it was a sacred site. The permanent inhabitants were farmers.

The city contains what looks like royal residences, storehouses, and temples. The Spaniards never found it and so never destroyed it. The Urubamba river surrounds the mountains in which Machupicchu is nestled. Some local farmers, aware of the city, showed it to an Englishman, Hiram Bingham, who excavated it in 1911.


Peru – Religion


Peruvians are Catholic, but a strong current of the Inca spirituality remains. We attended an Offering to the Earth ceremony and by accident came upon a Blessing of Waters ceremony.
A shaman (male or female) prepares a bundle of coca leaves and other materials, on which people have prayed their blessings and wishes, chants, and burns the bundle. Ceremonies can take many hours. Lots of music.