Where in the World?

It’s about 8,000 feet above sea level and located on the eastern slope of the Andes mountains. The amazing architecture and magnificent mountain vistas have made it one of the most famous archeological sites in the world today. In 2007, it was named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.

Have you guessed yet? It’s Machu Picchu, a 15th-century Inca site located on a ridge between the Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu mountains in Peru.

Machu Picchu was built as a royal estate for the ninth Inca King, Pachacuti. The buildings were made without mortar (typical Inca style), with granite stones quarried and precisely cut. Terraced fields on the edge of the site were once used for growing crops, most likely maize and potatoes.

One of the most remarkable things about Machu Picchu is its location –– high atop a mountain with three sides surrounded by cliffs that drop over 1,400 feet to the Urubamba River. The fourth side of the city is a high mountain. Machu Picchu remains an engineering marvel today –– a masterpiece of design that draws tens of thousands of curious visitors each year.

[Check out Machu Picchu on a map or on Google Earth. If you’re on Google Earth, notice how steep the mountains are. What five countries share a border with Peru?]

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