Machu Picchu, famous as the historic site of the Inca Empire and described by UNESCO as “among the greatest artistic, architectural and land use achievements anywhere,” is on the bucket list of many a global traveler, but the cost and effort involved in reaching the distant mountainous location means that for many a visit will remain as just a dream.
But not if you go via Street View.
OK, it’s not a proper visit, but it’s a lot easier on the legs and you won’t have to invest in a new pair of hiking boots.
Google this week rolled out 360-degree imagery for the ancient Peruvian site, captured using its Street View Trekker kit, a camera-laden backpack the Mountain View company uses for difficult-to-reach locations.
Besides marveling at Machu Picchu’s glorious “temples, terraces and plazas that have remained intact since the 15th century, people can also explore rare Inca artifacts and expert insights on the Google Cultural Institute,” Google Maps’ Daniel Filip said in a post on Thursday.
Viewing the new imagery, it’s clear the team has done a thorough job of capturing Machu Picchu, a location that became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983 and more recently was voted as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
Located more than 2,400 meters above sea level, the striking architectural Citadel monument is surrounded by more than 32,000 hectares of dramatic mountain slopes, peaks, and valleys. The site was abandoned when the Spaniards conquered the Inca Empire in the sixteenth century and didn’t come to international attention until 1911.
OK, sitting comfortably? Then click here to begin your Machu Picchu hike.