Machu Picchu, Peru - Sunrise over The Lost City of the Incas
Machu Picchu is a pre-Columbian Inca site located 2,430 metres above sea level. It is situated on a mountain ridge above the Urubamba Valley in Peru, which is 80 kilometres northwest of Cuzco. Most archaeologists believe that Machu Picchu was built as an estate for the Inca emperor Pachacuti (1438–1472). Often referred to as "The Lost City of the Incas", it is perhaps the most familiar icon of the Inca World.
Machu Picchu was declared a Peruvian Historical Sanctuary in 1981 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. Since it was not plundered by the Spanish when they conquered the Incas, it is especially important as a cultural site and is considered a sacred place.