Machu Picchu was hidden by the clouds and jungle for 400 years until 1911 when Hiram Bingham found Machu Picchu, while he was looking for the lost city of Vilcabamba.
Actually, there were two families of farmers living at Machu Picchu when Bingham arrived. There were only using a small portion of the city, and they had no idea of the significance of the land they were on because most of it was covered by jungle.
Did you know that the first guide at Machu Picchu was a 9 year old boy? This boy showed Hiram Bingham all of the important places at Machu Picchu. Never underestimate what you can do even at your age.
There were two explorers, a French and German, that knew of Machu Picchu in the late 1800′s, but never climbed the mountain into the jungle to find it.
Machu Picchu is 2,400m (7,800 ft) above sea level, and is nestled on a ridge between Machu Picchu mountain and Wayna Picchu (Huayna Picchu). In all of the pictures of Machu Picchu, the mountain shown is not Machu Picchu but Wayna Picchu.
If you want to read a really good book about the details of the discovery of Machu Picchu read, Lost City: The Discovery of Machu Picchu by Ted Lewin. Check it out in our Media Center.
For those of you tracking our location, Machu Picchu is located at 13.2 South and 72.5 West.
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