Machu Picchu - South American Icon.
Looking at the ruins of the historic Inca site at Machu Picchu (old peak), Peru framed through a large stone window.
Huge steps lead the eye down to a green carpet of grass within the abandoned city, with Huayna Picchu Mountain - the small sugar loaf shape - in the background.
Located above the Urubamba River valley, at 2,430 metres above sea level, this 15th century estate was built for the Inca emperor Pachacuti, in the classical Inca style of polished dry-stone walls.
Most of the outlying buildings have been reconstructed to help tourists get a better picture of how they originally appeared.
Declared a Peruvian Historic Sanctuary in 1981 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983, Machu Picchu was voted one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in a 2007 Internet poll.
One of the most classic views across the whole of Latin America, my photo of this UNESCO World Heritage Site was first published in the APA Insight Guide to Peru.
Photo by Michel Guntern, TravelNotes.org
Image dimensions: 1964 x 2936 pixels