Machu Picchu Before Excavation

Travelers at the ruins of Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu Before Excavation

In alignment with my previous post about noteworthy adventurers, I want to continue that theme by talking about Hiram Bingham and his famous Peru adventure: The discovery of Machu Picchu.

For starters, of course Bingham didn’t discover Machu Picchu, he merely brought the ancient ruins back to widespread public knowledge. In fact, Quechuan locals were actually living in Machu Picchu at the time Bingham came upon the mountain city (although their presence was minimal).

The fact remains that when Bingham first came across the ruins, Machu Picchu had been mostly uninhabited since the fall of the Incan empire five centuries prior. To give an idea of the enormity of this moment, take a look at these two pictures.


This photo was taken by Bingham and shows the Incan ruins before excavation. Imagine the excitement the team must have felt as they slowly uncovered the jungle growth to expose everything seen in the picture below.


Granted, it was one heck of job to excavate the whole site. During the process Bingham despairingly remarked “… [I] nearly wept to see how it had gone back to jungle and brush,” he wrote. “Only one group of buildings clear—and that occupied by six pigs! Our lovely camp site now occupied by a hut and dirt, squalor, and filth. Very little of the ruins visible. Alas, Alack-a-day!” No one said adventure was easy!

Although many people had been to Machu Picchu before Hiram Bingham, he was still able to uncover a mystery unto himself along with billions of others. This goes for all adventure. There is a world of discoveries waiting for us (maybe not all as big as Machu Pichhu, but…), we just need to take the time to discover them.

If you want to visit the beautiful Machu Piccu be sure check out our award-winning trips over on our Peru Trips Page and discover Maccu Pichu and Peru in an adventure trip of a lifetime.