Top 10 Epic Inca Ruins and Inca Facts

Are you looking for a new adventure? Welcome to Dana’s Tours blog about one of the world’s most famous cultures! Machu Picchu is a sacred city of Inca ruins located in the highest part of the Andes in Peru and is believed to have been built around 1300 AD.

Let’s dive into some incredibly interesting facts about the world of the Inca:

Top 10 Facts about the inca. Paititi, Inca Ruins, Inca Trail

1. Machu Picchu was never discovered by the Spanish invaders!

The Incas worried that the Spanish would discover Machu Picchu and destroy it. That is why they abandoned the city in 1532 and burned the trail on their way out. They hoped the forest would grow around the mountain and camouflage the holy city. The city remained hidden until 1911. In 1533, the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro and his men ambushed the Inca empire, after which they conquered it and killed Emperor Atahualpa, which officially made the Inca empire fall.

Conquistadors, Inca Ruins, Machu Picchu

2. Bingham discovered the wrong city!

The Inca ruins of Machu Picchu were discovered in 1911 by Hiram Bingham. According to National Geographic, who funded some of Hiram Bingham’s later expeditions, when the explorer came to Machu Picchu, he thought he had discovered a completely different city.

More specifically, he thought that local guides had led him to the forgotten city of the Incas – Vilcabamba. For five decades, there was a dispute over it, until researcher Gene Savoy proved in 1964 that the forgotten Inca city was Espiritu Pampa, located west of Machu Picchu.

Another Machu Picchu related mystery is the lost city Paititi. The most commonly mentioned legend is that Paititi was established by the hero of the Inca Inkarri people. The ruins extend over 40,000 square feet near the area known as Lobo Tahuantinsuyo.

Machu Picchu, Inca Ruins, Paititi

3. Inca writing and Quipu

Although the Inca Empire was the largest empire on the American continent, the Incas did not have writing skills. Keeping in mind that the Incas did not use the writing, the messages had to be remembered until transmitted to someone else. But, they had Quipu. It was a system composed of different colored threads that were knotted in many combinations. These knot combinations were used to memorize stories and songs.

Quipu, Inca ruins, Inca writing, Machu Picchu

4. Surgery

The Inca people also engaged in skull surgery. Expertly and very accurately, drilling would remove a portion of the patient’s skull to repair head injuries. A similar procedure is performed today to relieve the pressure generated by the fluid increase in the head caused by serious injuries.

Inca Surgery, Machu Picchu, Inca Ruins

5. Inca ruins

Ollantaytambo

During the reign of the Incas Empire, Ollantaytambo was the royal property of Emperor Pachacuti who conquered the region. Today, the Ollantaytambo  Inca Ruins are an important tourist attraction and one of the most common starting points for the hiking tour, known as the Inca Trail.

Ollantaytambo, Cusco, Peru, Inca Ruins

 

Moray is an Inca agricultural laboratory that was probably used to grow sensitive plant varieties, high in the Andes. The site contains several circular terraces, which can be used to study the effect of cultivation in different climates.

Moray, Inca Ruins, Peru

Saqsayhuaman is a complex enclosed by high walls located above Cusco. The imperial city of Cusco was built in the shape of a puma, an animal that symbolizes the Inca dynasty. The belly of the puma was the main square, the Tullumayo River formed the spine, and the Sacsayhuamán hill was puma head.

Saqsayhuaman, Machu Picchu, Inca Ruins

 

Pisac– These Inca ruins were once made up of a military fortress, religious temples, and private homes.

Pisac, Inca Ruins

 

Winay Wayna was built on a hill above the Urubamba River. It is located on the way to Machu Picchu and can serve as a resting place for tired travelers.

Coricancha originally called Inti Kancha (Temple of the Sun) was the most important temple of the Incas of Civilization. The walls and floors were once covered with sheets of pure gold and the courtyard filled with gold statues.

Machu Picchu– The most beautiful and impressive Incan ruin, Machu Pichu, was discovered by Hawaiian historian Hiram in 1911 after lying hidden for centuries above the Urubamba Valley.

6. The Incas were excellent masons

The monumental structures at Machu Picchu were built without iron aids and wheels and even mortar. The stones were cut to perfect dimensions and joined by a special masonry method. It proved to be a smart move, as Peru is in a shaky area, and the lack of mortar helped to keep individual structures in one piece due to numerous earthquakes.

Machu Picchu, Inca Ruins, INca Construction

7. Most of the city’s infrastructure is hidden

Machu Picchu is located in the Andes and at an elevation of 2,350 meters above sea level. It is assumed that most of the archeological wonders, or about 60 percent of the structure of the city, are located below the hilly terrain that is not visible to the naked eye.

Machu Picchu, Hidden Inca Ruins

8. Without proper guidance, you might miss important places in Machu Picchu

The Moon Temple and the Sun Temple can easily be missed in the holy city of the Inca ruins if you are not properly guided. It is not surprising since it takes at least an hour to reach the Temple of the Moon as part of Huayn Picchu’s staircase. On the other hand, the Temple of the Sun is located in a cave below the main square in Machu Picchu, causing tourists to bypass it. 

9. Inca trails

Even though they built over 30,000 miles of roads and, the Incas never used a wheel. The reason for this probably lies in the inaccessible Inca trail terrain on which the Inca empire stretched, so using wheels would be almost impossible.

Inca trails, Inca ruins, machu picchu 2

10. Machu Picchu is still under investigation

Machu Picchu continues to be the subject of much research and is open to discoveries. In 2014, for example, French explorer Thierry Jamin discovered a door to a chamber he believed should have been the tomb of Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui. The Peruvian authorities are unwilling to allow him to open the chamber because they believe the movement would cause irreparable damage to Machu Picchu’s stability.

So, even if you have already visited this wonderful place, maybe next time you might discover something new when you head to Machu Picchu!

Machu Picchu Investigation, Inca Ruins

The part of the Inca Trail that leads to Machu Picchu (the Inca Trail is thousands of miles long) is one of the most attractive routes in the world, and for a reason – it’s incredible. It is a four-day walk that covers everything from the snowy Andes to the tropical jungle. On the fifth day of your journey, you will pass through the magnificent Sun Gate, overlooking an incredible sight – the ancient city of Machu Picchu.

So, if you love adventure, natural beauty, and history, the trip to Machu Picchu is just perfect!

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