|View from Machu Piccu back toward the small town of Aguas Calientes.|
First viewed from afar or visited by foreigners at the end of the 1800s (see wikipedia), but made famous by Hiram Bingham of Yale University (which also holds many of the artifacts from there) it was made accessible by in insanely windy, steep road in the 1950s/60s. Thousands visit each day, so many that the Peruvian government capped it in recent years, requiring (a limited number of) tickets for entry. Whether you choose to walk up from town, or climb either Huaynapicchu (the steep cliff behind the famous photo) or the Machu Picchu Montana (behind you in the famous photo), or just visit the ruins and museum itself, you will have an amazing time. Even the most hardened voyager cannot help but be impressed that such a city was built in such a place, surrounded by such beauty.
The Incas, famous for being one of the most important pre-Columbian civilizations of South America, was actually quite short lived in comparison to many civilizations (only a few hundred years). Their constructions were incredible because of the lack of mortar used and stability that continues through earthquakes, and the sheer size of many of the stones they used.
The stone bridge
A morning view
The first view of the morning
The view from the top - 'Montagne'
Looking back towards the Inca Trail from Montagne
Another Montagne view