Macchu Picchu by Barry Thomas, used under a Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode)
As far as South American locations for trekking go, Peru continues to be one of the perennial fan favourites, along with the Amazon forest and some of the main cities of Brazil. The country’s wealth of mountain ranges and quaint sights continues to attract tourists and rambling enthusiasts alike year after year, and any self-respecting hiker will certainly have the country in his or her priority list.
The vast majority of these ramblers will also be aware of the fact that no trek in Peru would be complete without a visit to Macchu Picchu, the ruined site which is almost synonymous with that South American country. Built in the 15th century by the mysterious ancient civilisation, and undiscovered for 500 years afterwards, this site is believed to have been intended as an estate for Emperor Pachacuti, who was nonetheless forced to abandon it when the Spaniards invaded Peru.
Nowadays, the complex stands as one of the must-see attractions of any trek in Peru. It was given the rank of UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983, and the regular throngs of tourists it attracts have also contributed to prompt renovation work on the site, which has been ongoing for several decades. The monument also holds the title of Peruvian Historical Sanctuary, which it gained in 1981, and is a part of the New Seven Wonders Of The World, voted for online by cybernauts in 2007.
It should be clear, then, why Macchu Picchu is a mandatory stop in any trek in Peru!