Inca Trail Peru


Inca Trail Peru Reservations
Tour Operator Travel Agency - Cusco Peru


 

 

 

Edition 2010 -  Camino Inca

 

 


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Machu Picchu History

 

The Lost City of the Incas.

 

In December 1908, Bingham attended the First Panamerican Scientific Congress in Santiago, Chile. It was there that he decided to follow the old Spanish trade route from Buenos Aires to Lima, and it was to that end that he traveled to Lima and hence to Cusco.
 

MachuPicchu,Inca Trail Peru


In Cusco Bingham made the acquaintance of one J.J. Nunez, then prefect of the Apurimac region, who invited him on the arduous trip to the ruins of Choquekirau, thought at the time to be the site of Vilcabamba, the much sought "last resting place of the Incas."

On his return to the USA, Bingham decided to organize another expedition to Peru. He arrived in Lima in June 1911 where he began to study the seventeenth-century chronicles of Antonio de la Calancha and Fernando de Montesinos. The writings of these two men first inspired Bingham to seek the last two capitals of the Inca, Vilcabamba and Vitcos. Leaving Lima in July, Bingham returned to Cusco from where he journeyed on foot and by mule through the Urubamba Valley, past Ollantaytambo, and on into the Urubamba gorge.

On July 23, Bingham and his party camped by the river at a place called Mandor Pampa, where they aroused the curiosity of Melchor Arteaga, a local farmer who leased the land there. Through Sergeant Carrasco, the policeman who was his guide and interpreter, Bingham learned from Arteaga that there were extensive ruins on top of the ridge opposite the camp, which Arteaga, in his native Quechua, called Machu Picchu, or "old mountain".

According to Bingham, "The morning of July 24th dawned in a cold drizzle. Arteaga shivered and seemed inclined to stay in his hut. I offered to pay him well if he showed me the ruins. He demurred and said it was too hard a climb for such a wet day. But when he found I was willing to pay him a sol, three or four times the ordinary daily wage, he finally agreed to go. When asked just where the ruins were, he pointed straight up to the top of the mountain. No one supposed that they would be particularly interesting, and no one cared to go with me."

Accompanied only by Seargeant Carrasco and Arteaga, Bingham left the camp around 10 am. After a short while the party crossed a bridge so unnerving that the intrepid explorer was reduced to crawling across it on his hands and knees. From the river they climbed a precipitous slope until they reached the ridge at around midday.

Here Bingham rested at a small hut where they enjoyed the hospitality of a group of campesinos. They told him that they had been living there for about four years and explained that they had found an extensive system of terraces on whose fertile soil they had decided to grow their crops. Bingham was then told that the ruins he sought were close by and he was given a guide, the 11-year old Pablito Alvarez, to lead him there.

Almost immediately, he was greeted by the sight of a broad sweep of ancient terraces. They numbered more than a hundred and had recently been cleared of forest and reactivated. Led by the boy, he re-entered the forest beyond the terraces. Here young Pablito began to reveal to Bingham a series of white granite walls which the historian immediately judged to be the finest examples of masonry that he had ever seen. They were in fact, the remains of what we call today the Royal Tomb, the Main Temple, and the Temple of the Three Windows.
 

 
 
 
 

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