Machu Picchu is a 15th-century Inca citadel in southern Peru. At 7,970 feet above sea level, Machu Picchu sits high above the Sacred Valley northwest of Cuzco.
Most archaeologists believe that Machu Picchu was constructed as an estate for the Inca emperor Pachacuti (1438–1472). It is the most familiar icon of Inca civilization. The estate was abandoned during the Spanish Conquest and remained unknown to the outside world until American historian Hiram Bingham rediscovered the site in 1911.
Built in Inca style with polished dry-stone walls, there are three primary structures: 1. Intihuatana, 2. the Temple of the Sun, and 3. the Room of the Three Windows.
UNESCO declared Machu Picchu a World Heritage Site in 1983.