Machu Picchu (Quechua Machu Pikchu, “Old Mountain”) is the contemporary name given to a llaqta (old Andean village) the Inca built in the middle of the fifteenth century in the rocky promontory that connects the mountains Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu in the eastern slope of the Central Cordillera, southern Peru and 2490 m (altitude of the main square). Its original name was Picchu or Picho.
According to documents from the mid-sixteenth century, Machu Picchu would have been one of the vacation homes of Pachacutec (Tahuantinsuyo first Inca, 1438-1470). However, some of its finest buildings and obvious ceremonial character demonstrate that this was used as a religious sanctuary.
Machu Picchu is considered both a masterpiece of architecture and engineering. Due to its peculiar architectural and landscape features, and the veil of mystery that has woven around, much of the literature published on the site, it has become one of the most popular tourist destinations on the planet.
Machu Picchu is on the List of World Heritage of UNESCO since 1983, as part of a whole cultural and ecological system, known under the name Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu.
On July 7, 2007 Machu Picchu was declared one of the new seven wonders of the modern world in a ceremony in Lisbon, Portugal, which was attended by a hundred million voters worldwide.