National Geographic celebrates 100 years of Machu Picchu

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the rediscovery of Machu Picchu by explorer Hiram Bingham. That discovery became one of the greatest archaeological finds of the 20th century and has been inspiring adventure travelers to visit Peru and South America ever since. To celebrate the occasion, National Geographic has launched a fantastic Machu Picchu website that offers a wealth of information about the Inca stronghold, along with stunning photos and tips for those who want to visit the place for themselves.

The website has a number of great articles for travelers and history buffs alike. For instance, the list of top ten secrets of Machu Picchu is a fascinating read, while the gallery of famous visitors is fun as well. You’ll also find the latest theories on what the mountain-top city was used for and get to read Bingham’s own historic writings about the discovery itself. The experts at National Geographic also provide six excellent alternative hikes to the famous Inca Trail, as well as five other “must see” places to visit while in Peru. And when you’ve finished digesting all of that information, you can test your knowledge on a Machu Picchu themed quiz too.

It is highly doubtful that Bingham had any idea that his amazing find would one day become one of the most popular tourist attractions in South America. Each year, thousands of travelers flock to Peru just to visit the place for themselves, and while the site is often crowded with people, it remains one of the greatest ancient structures found anywhere on the planet. So, while you’re going about your day today, take a moment to give a tip of the fedora to Bingham and his wonderful discovery. One hundred years later, it is still inspiring a sense of adventure.

[Photo courtesy National Geographic/Jeff Bridges]