The Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu located in the Central Cordillera of the Andes at 2430 meters above sea level in the department of Cusco, Urubamba province was chosen to be part of the seven wonders of the world on July 7st, 2007. For this reason, July 7 was instituted as «The Machu Picchu’s day» as a reminder of this important event for Peru.
But, this archaeological complex also has other important titles, among which the recognition as a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on January 8th, 1981 stands out.
Machu Picchu is also one of the most popular and recognized tourist destinations in the world, it is considered a masterpiece of architecture and engineering. It has incomparable architectural and landscape qualities that in turn are accompanied by countless stories woven around its mysterious origin, the same that have been captured over the years in various works of Peruvian literature.
As indicated by archaeological evidence, from 760 B.C. The Picchu gorge, located halfway between the Andes and the Amazon forest, was a region colonized by the Andean populations from the Vilcabamba and El Valle Sagrado regions since they were interested in expanding their agrarian borders. It is very likely that these towns have been part of the Ayarmaca federation, rivals of the first Incas that appeared in Cusco. It is presumed, due to the conquering antecedents of the Inca Empire that the Ayarmaca were subjected to Inca rule. For this reason, it was the Inca culture that was in charge of ruling the Andes and it was the one that started and ended the construction of this impressive stone citadel.
Hiram Bingham, renowned American explorer and historian published in one of the issues of the 1913 National Geographic magazine: «Machu Picchu could be the most important ruins ever discovered in South America since the times of the Spanish conquest.» Bingham was a teacher at Yale University in the United States who rose to fame after being named as the discoverer of Machu Picchu. However, there are those who affirm that this is an error since they consider that the role of the historian was only to make known to the western world the existence of this archaeological complex since there was no record of its existence in the chronicles of the Spanish conquest, but the indigenous inhabitants of the area knew of its existence and even according to Christopher Heaney; Researcher at the University of Texas and author of a book on Hiram Bingham, there were a few families who lived on top of the citadel.