A new avenue of the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu has been found! Archaeologists have just uncovered this hidden section of the trail, cloaked in vegetation for over 500 years.
The new path begins in the Wayraqtambo area, behind Machu Picchu’s mountain, among the archaeological sites of Winay Wayna and Intipata, and leads to a platform that overlooks the famed Incan site, offering a breathtaking view of the ruins from a completely different angle.
A portion of the discovery is a 16-ft long tunnel, built after 20 ft of dirt and stone collapsed over the main road. An excellent example of the engineering prowess of the Incan Empire, the tunnel’s ceiling is lined with carved stones, using a technique designed to bear weight and prevent the tunnel’s collapse. It remains structurally sound still 500 years after construction.
The road, once excavation is complete, could offer an alternative route for travelers into Machu Picchu, says Fernando Astete, who, as leader of Machu Picchu’s archaeological team, has worked with Wilderness Travel on numerous symposiums. “This road ought to be restored as soon as possible due to its great value as cultural heritage, ” he says.
-Text by WT photoblog editor Sommer Antrim, photos from Ministerio de Cultura de Perú, Inca Trail to Machu Picchu