Mysteries just make Machu Picchu tours even more amazing! Here are 8 mysteries you may discover during your trip.
So you are taking the leap and planning on taking a tour of the notorious Machu Picchu mountain city of Cusco, Peru.
You may already be prepared for the physical aspect of this journey, but have you considered what you will find out when you get there?
We’ve already told you about what you can expect on your train ride through the Machu Picchu area, but what about some of the mysterious things you will uncover along the way?
Come along as we take you through the 8 Mysteries You May Uncover on Machu Picchu Tours.
When Was It Built? This has been something that has been debated over and over again ever since the discovery of Machu Picchu.
When exactly was this city built?
Historians and scholars believe that it was constructed in somewhere between the 14th and 15th century before it was completely abandoned by the Incas in the 16h century.
The Incas did not have a written language at this time, so there is no way of knowing when construction really began.
There is also no real explanation as to why it was built.
Which begs the next question:
What Was Machu Picchu’s Purpose? Why was this glorious city built in the first place?
Since the inhabitants of the city had abandoned the city centuries before it was discovered in 1901, there was little evidence left for scholars to make a definitive assessment.
The whole city is pretty shrouded in mystery, but scholars have some pretty interesting theories on what it could have been used for.
Was it a Holy nunnery or a retreat for the Incan royal class?
Or was it simply just a dazzling location for people to live?
The reason has remained a mystery ever since the city’s discovery.
Perhaps one that you can get to the bottom of it during your Machu Picchu tours.
How Was it Built?
This is an important question to ask considering the sheer size and grandeur of the city.
Scholars believe that “About 5,000 people must have worked to build Machu Picchu – specialists say. But it could only accommodate 750 – 1,000 inhabitants. Strangely there were only about 200 – 250 skeletons found…”
Much like the beliefs about the construction of the Egyptian pyramids, there is some crazy speculation as to what went into building such a technical marvel.
How can we account for all of the workers who must have been involved in its construction?
It is believed that Machu Picchu was built without the use of mortar, metal tools, and the wheel. So how did they do it?
Perhaps this mystery will be uncovered on your Machu Picchu tours.
Why Was the City Built on a Mountain? Out of all of the places they could have built a city in Peru, why did they choose a mountain?
Some people believe that it was built at such a high location to make it hard invading armies to reach them.
Others believe that the city was built on top of a mountain in order the ruling class to be held higher than the lower class.
Whatever the reason may be, the city of Machu Picchu remains one of the most amazing ancient cities in the world.
But the main reason why people are still fascinated by it is its location.
Why Was the City Not Destroyed? Historians believe that the Spanish had conquered the Incas in 1532.
This raises the question:
Why did they not destroy the city of Machu Picchu?
Well, some people believe that the Spanish simply never found it.
As one Peruvian Travel Diary explains “when the Spaniards conquered Incas, they did not find Machu Picchu. Nowhere the Spaniard writers wrote anything about Machu Picchu because they did not know about the existence of Machu Picchu.”
So it may be that the city had been left completely vacant until it was discovered in 1911.
So why did it take so long to rediscover Machu Picchu? As we said before, Machu Picchu was rediscovered in 1911.
The Incans had abandoned the city after they were conquered in the 1600’s.
So why did it take close to three centuries to rediscover the city of Machu Picchu?
It seems strange that such a beautiful ancient city would remain dormant for so long.
Hopefully you can find out this mystery as you take your Machu Picchu tours.
Why Did The People Leave the City? That is one of the more puzzling mysteries about the city of Machu Picchu.
Exactly why did all of its people leave?
Well, some people believe that they left as a result of a “perfect storm” brought on by the conquests of the Spanish.
As Owen Jarus reported for ILiveScience, “In the 16th century the Spanish appeared in South America, plagues afflicting the Inca along with military campaigns waged by conquistadors. In 1572, with the fall of the last Incan capital, their line of rulers came to end. Machu Picchu, a royal estate once visited by great emperors, fell into ruin.”
So when you are walking through this extraordinary empty city during your Machu Picchu tours you may find yourself asking this final question:
What Happened to the People of Machu Picchu?
This question may be hard to answer. But what happened to the people of Machu Picchu after they abandoned the city?
Since historians were only able to find the remains of a small number of people within the city, where did the rest of the people go?
It will be a hard concept to wrap your brain around while on your Machu Picchu tour.
Why would anyone want to leave such a beautiful city?
Uncover these Mysteries on Your Machu Picchu Tours!This mountain city is almost as mysterious as it is majestic.
With these 8 mysteries, you will be able to add some suspense into your Machu Picchu tours.
As if climbing to the top wasn’t exciting and mysterious enough!
If you have any more questions about booking your upcoming Machu Picchu tours, feel free to send your messages through our contact page.
Hopefully, we will uncover the mysteries together!
Miguel is a professional tour guide from Cusco, Peru, with almost 20 years of experience leading tours and a deep knowledge of Peru’s cultural and ecological diversity. He is also an advocate of ecotourism and cultural sensitivity and has lectured on these topics in the US and Europe. He co-founded Evolution Treks Peru, a worker-owned travel company based in Cusco.