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Peru

The mysterious ruins of Machu Picchu

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, September 10, 2013 at 13:48:09 :: Peru

Machu PicchuLocated at 2,430 metres (7,970 ft) above sea level and nestled on a small hilltop between the Andean Mountain Range, the majestic city soars above the Sacred Valley of the Incas (Urubamba Valley) which is 80 kilometres (50 mi) northwest of Cusco.

Machu Picchu (meaning “Old Peak” in the Quechua language) is the site of an ancient Inca city, high in the Andes of Peru, in the department of Cusco, in the Urubamba province and district of Machupicchu, Peru.

Machu Picchu was built by the Incas more than 500 years ago, around 1450, at the height of the Inca Empire and abandoned a century later at the time of the Spanish Conquest.

Because of its position - invisible from below and completely self-contained, surrounded by agricultural terraces sufficient to feed the population, and watered by natural springs - Johan Reinhard believes Machu Picchu to be a sacred religious site. In addition, research by scholars such as John Howland Rowe and Richard Burger, has convinced most archaeologists that Machu Picchu was an estate of the Inca emperor Pachacuti.

These remarkable ruins became known to the scientific world in 1911, after Yale archaeologist Hiram Bingham was led to the site by locals. For now on, Machu Picchu is Peru's most famous tourist attraction and was declared a Peruvian Historical Sanctuary in 1981 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983.

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UNESCO World Heritage

Peru, Sacred City of Caral-Supe

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, January 20, 2014 at 10:09:05

Location Peru
Coordinates S10 53 30 W77 31 17
Property 626 ha
Date of Inscription 2009

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1269 )

The 5000-year-old 626-hectare archaeological site of The Sacred City of Caral-Supe is situated on a dry desert terrace overlooking the green valley of the Supe river. It dates back to the Late Archaic Period of the Central Andes and is the oldest centre of civilization in the Americas. Exceptionally well-preserved, the site is impressive in terms of its design and the complexity of its architectural, especially its monumental stone and earthen platform mounts and sunken circular courts. One of 18 urban settlements situated in the same area, Caral features complex and monumental architecture, including six large pyramidal structures. A quipu (the knot system used in Andean civilizations to record information) found on the site testifies to the development and complexity of Caral society. The city’s plan and some of its components, including pyramidal structures and residence of the elite, show clear evidence of ceremonial functions, signifying a powerful religious ideology.

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Pyramid of Caral, Caral-Supe Caral-Supe

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Peru, Rio Abiseo National Park

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, January 20, 2014 at 10:00:07

Location Department of San Martin, Province Mariscal Caceres, District of Huicungo, Peru
Coordinates S7 45 0 W77 15 0
Property 272,408 ha
Date of Inscription 1990

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/548 )

The park was created in 1983 to protect the fauna and flora of the rainforests that are characteristic of this region of the Andes. There is a high level of endemism among the fauna and flora found in the park. The yellow-tailed woolly monkey, previously thought extinct, is found only in this area. Research undertaken since 1985 has already uncovered 36 previously unknown archaeological sites at altitudes of between 2,500 and 4,000 m, which give a good picture of pre-Inca society.

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Rio Abiseo National Park

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Peru, Manu National Park

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, January 20, 2014 at 09:51:48

Location Dep. Madre de Dios y Cusco, Provincias: Manu y Paucartambo, Peru
Coordinates S12 15 0 W71 45 0
Property 1,716,295 ha
Date of Inscription 1987

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/402 )

This huge 1.5 million-ha park has successive tiers of vegetation rising from 150 to 4,200 m above sea-level. The tropical forest in the lower tiers is home to an unrivalled variety of animal and plant species. Some 850 species of birds have been identified and rare species such as the giant otter and the giant armadillo also find refuge there. Jaguars are often sighted in the park.

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River, Manu National Park

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Peru, Chan Chan Archaeological Zone

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, January 20, 2014 at 09:44:20

Location District of Huanchaco, Peru
Coordinates S8 5 60 W79 4 59.988
Property 1,415 ha
Date of Inscription 1986

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/366 )

The Chimu Kingdom, with Chan Chan as its capital, reached its apogee in the 15th century, not long before falling to the Incas. The planning of this huge city, the largest in pre-Columbian America, reflects a strict political and social strategy, marked by the city's division into nine 'citadels' or 'palaces' forming autonomous units.

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Statue, Chan Chan Reliefs, Chan Chan

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Peru, Chavin (Archaeological Site)

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, January 20, 2014 at 09:34:26

Location Ancash Department, Huari Province, Chavin District, Peru
Coordinates S9 35 33.981 W77 10 42.433
Property 15 ha
Date of Inscription 1985

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/330 )

The archaeological site of Chavin gave its name to the culture that developed between 1500 and 300 B.C. in this high valley of the Peruvian Andes. This former place of worship is one of the earliest and best-known pre-Columbian sites. Its appearance is striking, with the complex of terraces and squares, surrounded by structures of dressed stone, and the mainly zoomorphic ornamentation.

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Brazo Izquierdo, Chavin de Huantar El Castillo, Chavin de Huantar

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Peru, Historical Centre of the City of Arequipa

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, May 23, 2009 at 07:41:27

Location Arequipa, Province of Arequipa, Peru
Coordinates S16 23 60 W71 31 60
Type Cultural
Property 167 ha
Date of Inscription 2000

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1016 )

The historic centre of Arequipa, built in volcanic sillar rock, represents an integration of European and native building techniques and characteristics, expressed in the admirable work of colonial masters and Criollo and Indian masons. This combination of influences is illustrated by the city's robust walls, archways and vaults, courtyards and open spaces, and the intricate Baroque decoration of its facades.

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Cathedral Plaza de Armas, Arequipa Plaza de Armas, Arequipa Santa Catalina monastery

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Peru, Lines and Geoglyphs of Nasca and Pampas de Jumana

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, May 23, 2009 at 06:55:29

Location Libertadores / Wari Region, Peru
Coordinates S14 43 32.988 W75 8 54.996
Type Cultural
Date of Inscription 1994

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/700 )

Located in the arid Peruvian coastal plain, some 400 km south of Lima, the geoglyphs of Nasca and the pampas of Jumana cover about 450 km2. These lines, which were scratched on the surface of the ground between 500 B.C. and A.D. 500, are among archaeology's greatest enigmas because of their quantity, nature, size and continuity. The geoglyphs depict living creatures, stylized plants and imaginary beings, as well as geometric figures several kilometres long. They are believed to have had ritual astronomical functions.

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Nazca lines

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Peru, Historic Centre of Lima

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, May 23, 2009 at 06:44:09

Location City of Lima, Peru
Coordinates S12 3 5.004 W77 2 35.016
Type Cultural
Date of Inscription 1988

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/500 )

Although severely damaged by earthquakes, this 'City of the Kings' was, until the middle of the 18th century, the capital and most important city of the Spanish dominions in South America. Many of its buildings, such as the Convent of San Francisco (the largest of its type in this part of the world), are the result of collaboration between local craftspeople and others from the Old World.

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Saint Francis Monastery Lima Cathedral Cuban Balconies, Historic centre of Lima

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Peru, Huascaran National Park

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, May 23, 2009 at 05:58:32

Location Department Ancash, Provincia: recuay, Carhuas, Huaráz, Yungay, Pomabamba, Mariscal Luzuriaga, Huari, Corongo, Sihuas y Bolognesi, Peru
Coordinates S9 19 59.988 W77 24 0
Type Natural
Property 340,000 ha
Date of Inscription 1985

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/333 )

Situated in the Cordillera Blanca, the world's highest tropical mountain range, Mount Huascarán rises to 6,768 m above sea-level. The deep ravines watered by numerous torrents, the glacial lakes and the variety of the vegetation make it a site of spectacular beauty. It is the home of such species as the spectacled bear and the Andean condor.

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Huascaran National Park

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Peru, Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, May 23, 2009 at 05:40:40

Location Peru
Coordinates S13 7 0 W72 34 60
Type Mixed
Date of Inscription 1983

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/274 )

Machu Picchu stands 2,430 m above sea-level, in the middle of a tropical mountain forest, in an extraordinarily beautiful setting. It was probably the most amazing urban creation of the Inca Empire at its height; its giant walls, terraces and ramps seem as if they have been cut naturally in the continuous rock escarpments. The natural setting, on the eastern slopes of the Andes, encompasses the upper Amazon basin with its rich diversity of flora and fauna.

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Machu Picchu Stones in Machu Picchu Torreon, Machu Picchu

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Peru, City of Cuzco

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, May 22, 2009 at 06:03:51

Location Cusco, Peru
Coordinates S13 31 19.992 W71 58 59.988
Type City of Cuzco
Date of Inscription 1983

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/273 )

Situated in the Peruvian Andes, Cuzco developed, under the Inca ruler Pachacutec, into a complex urban centre with distinct religious and administrative functions. It was surrounded by clearly delineated areas for agricultural, artisan and industrial production. When the Spaniards conquered it in the 16th century, they preserved the basic structure but built Baroque churches and palaces over the ruins of the Inca city.

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Cuzco Cathedral Cuzco and the Plaza de Armas Plaza de Armas, Cuzco

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