Machu Picchu, know as the lost city of the Incas, was unknown to the outside world until a century ago, when Hiram Bingham of Yale University led an expedition there and published photos and information of his discovery. The local population was familiar with the site and led him there. There was some evidence that others had been there before him, but he was the first to publicize the site.
Machu Picchu is remarkable because it was never discovered by the Spanish and it remained for exploration by 20th Century archeologists without having been plundered or disturbed, except by the vegetation that had largely overgrown the site. Gold and other artifacts were discovered and removed, and there is some controversy about whether Yale University should return them to Peru.
Straddling the top of a mountain, the clouds drift up and encircle Machu Picchu. The terracing of the mountain top provided flat areas for agricultural use.
The people of Peru's Sacred Valley, where Machu Picchu is located, wear colorful clothes and lead a rigorous life. This woman consented to allowing her photo to be taken while she rested during a walk up the mountain to a church for a wedding.
This child posed for a photo on a mountain pass, at 16,000 feet (4,875 meters) elevation between Arequipa and the Colca Canyon.
Machu Piccu straddles the crest of a mountain in a saddle between higher mountain peaks. Wayna Picchu is the mountain peak on the other side of Machu Picchu. There is a hiking trail to the top of it, where there are more Inca runs.