Machu Picchu is the most famous symbol of the Inca Empire. Built around the year 1450, but abandoned a hundred years later, when the Spanish conquered the Inca Empire. The site is overlooked by the international community, but not by the local community. The ruins of Machu Picchu, rediscovered in 1911 by Yale archaeologist Hiram Bingham. Machu Picchu is one of the most beautiful ancient sites and mysterious in the world. While the Inca people certainly used the Andean mountain top (9060 feet elevation), set up hundreds of stone structures from the 1400′s, legends and myths indicate that Machu Picchu (“Old Peak ‘which means in the Quechua language) was revered as a holy place from the time much earlier. Whatever its origins, the Inca turned the site into a small town (5 square miles) but extraordinary. Seen from below and completely self-contained, surrounded by agricultural terraces sufficient to feed the population, and watered with natural water, Machu Picchu seems to have been utilized by the Inca as a secret ceremonial city. Two thousand feet above the rumbling Urubamba river, the cloud shrouded ruins have palaces, baths, temples, storage rooms and some 150 houses, all in a state of remarkable preservation. Structure this, carved from gray granite from the mountain top is a marvel of architecture and good aesthetic genius. Since Machu Picchu was rediscovered in 1911, this place became a tourist attraction that appeals to local and foreign tourists.