Have you ever dreamed of climbing Machu Picchu, and being free to explore the ancient ruins and hear the echoes of long past cultures? We just discovered a way to immerse yourself in this wonderful site and get unparalleled access to the ruins.
The most familiar Inca site in the world situated 7,970 feet above sea level, Machu Picchu is the 15th-century city built for the Inca emperor Pachacuti in the Cusco region of Peru. First declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983, a 2007 Internet poll ranked it among the new Seven Wonders of the World, with its polished stone walls erected without mortar and the three primary structures: The Hitching Post of the Sun, Temple of the Sun and the Room of the Three Windows.
The best and easiest access to the site is offered by the Machu Picchu Sanctuary, the only hotel situated within the lost city itself, a mere 100 yards from the main entrance to the archeological areas. This allows visitors to access the park before and after the mobs of other tourists arrive by bus. But the park covers a vast five square-mile area, making it quite easy to explore areas in relative solitude.
The site has drawn the attention of archaeologists and tourists from around the world to examine this critical link to an important indigenous culture. The site was abandoned only 100 years after being built, possibly due to a smallpox epidemic carried to the area by Spanish conquistadors. There is strong evidence to suggest that Machu Picchu was primarily a sacred religious site, owing to the presence of several platforms that are known to have served a religious function, along with the many ritual offerings found buried underneath them.
What awaits the visitor upon entering this ancient citadel is not just fascinating ruins themselves, but the amazing geography within which they are situated. Standing upon any of the various summits, visitors are treated with panoramic views of swirling clouds, striking shadows and majestic peaks that provide an air of awe and wonder to an already mysterious and intriguing adventure. It is a one-of-a-kind experience that deserves a spot on anyone’s bucket list.
The lodge is an eco-structure constructed to blend harmoniously into the surrounding ruins. With its two suites and 29 rooms, the lodge also boasts beautiful gardens with dramatic views of the ruins and surrounding mountains. The gardens showcase some of the more than 300 species of flowers found in and around the site. The positioning of the viewing area strategically allows for some of the most sweeping views in the area.
Guests of the hotel are allowed a special 4 hour window in the morning to watch the sunrise and explore Machu Picchu. They also are able to spend time in the citadel after the official closing at 4pm, watching the sunset and exploring under the stars. The full experience of this hotel, including its luxury and commitment to environmental and historical preservation, is really encapsulated by the old saying: location, location, location!
Image credits: Machu Picchu Sanctuary