A cloud cover with rain greets us as we embark to climb the top of Wayna Picchu
Wayna Picchu (“young peak”) rises over Machu Picchu, the lost city of the Incas. The Incas built a trail up the side of the Wayna Picchu and built temples and terraces on its top. The peak of Wayna Picchu is about 8,920 ft. above sea level, or about 1,180 ft. higher than Machu Picchu. A steep and at times exposed climb leads to the summit. Some portions are slippery and steel cables provide some support during the normal one-hour climb.
The central buildings of Machu Picchu use the classical Inca architectural style of polished dry-stone walls of regular shape. The Incas were masters of this technique, called ashlar, in which blocks of stone are cut to fit together tightly without mortar. Many junctions in the central city are so perfect that it is said not even a blade of grass fits between the stones.
Since the site was not known to the Spanish during their conquest, it is highly significant as a relatively intact cultural site. Machu Picchu was declared a Peruvian Historical Sanctuary in 1981 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. In 2007, Machu Picchu was voted one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in a worldwide Internet poll.
Most of the outlying buildings have been reconstructed in order to give tourists a better idea of what the structures originally looked like. The restoration work continues to this day.
The Incas built the estate around 1450, but abandoned it a century later at the time of the Spanish Conquest. Although known locally, it was unknown to the outside world before being brought to international attention in 1911 by the American historian Hiram Bingham.
Dark clouds accentuate the mountain in the background at the ruins of the lost city of the Incas
A view from Machu Picchu of the river valley amidst the mountains