Machu Picchu, Peru
Widely considered to be one of the most mystical places on earth, in 2011 Machu Picchu is celebrating the hundredth anniversary of its rediscovery. With a remote cloud forest setting high in the Peruvian Andes, and extensive ruins to fire the imagination, this Inca gem is irresistible to the tens of thousands that visit each year. Likely constructed between 1438 and 1493, no one is entirely sure why the city was built, though the ruins yield clues that Machu Picchu was once home to both royalty and farmers.
The two ways to reach Machu Picchu are by foot and by train. The hike is an arduous, multiday trek affording amazing views. Hikers must be part of a licensed tour. Trains to Machu Picchu depart from Cusco and Ollantaytambo.
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