Machu Picchu is one of the most popular tourist destinations in all of South America, and the stunning images of the mountain top fortress, located high in the Peruvian Andes, have inspired more than a few thoughts of adventure. 2011 marks the 100 year anniversary of Hiram Bingham’s rediscovery of the hidden fortress, and to celebrate National Geographic has launched a website dedicated to that amazing place, which has been an archaeological treasure trove for a century.
Whether you’ve visited the site yourself or have dreams of making the journey one day, you’ll find plenty to love on the Nat Geo Machu Picchu site. Not only will you find a host of great images from ancient city, you’ll also get a list of the top 10 Machu Picchu secrets and 10 famous visitors, which include several surprising names. You’ll also find articles on the history of the place, five great side trips while you’re in Peru, and suggestions for alternate routes to the Inca Trail – a popular 4-day trek that ends in Machu Picchu itself. And once you’ve finished digesting all of that information, you’ll be able to test your knowledge in a Machu Picchu quiz as well.
As a kid, reading the story of Bingham’s discovery of Machu Picchu was like reading a real life account of Indian Jones. I was fascinated by the fact that a structure such as this one could be hidden away for centuries, and it allowed my imagination to run wild thinking about all the other undiscovered sites that are still out there, just waiting for us to stumble across them. This Sunday, July 24th, is 100 years to the day since that archaeological find. Take a moment on that day to at least give a tip-of-the-hat to not only the Incans that built the amazing structure, but the man who rediscovered it as well.
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