- "Few romances can ever surpass that of the granite citadel on top of the beetling precipices of Machu Picchu, the crown of Inca Land."
– Hiram Bingham
City must be built within 2 tiles of a mountain that is inside your territory.
Machu Picchu is the first "mountain" Wonder - that is, one that may be built only in a city very close to a mountain tile. This makes it somewhat difficult to build, since such cities are relatively rare. Still, if you do have such a city in the early/early middle game, try to build Machu Picchu, as it will considerably boost your Gold output. The more cities you have, the more it will benefit you.
Note that mountainous Natural Wonders within 2 tiles of a city (Grand Mesa, Mt. Fuji, Old Faithful, Cerro de Potosi, Sri Pada, Uluru, King Solomon's Mines, Mt. Kilimanjaro, Mt. Sinai and Mt. Kailash) do not count as a mountain for the purpose of building Machu Picchu.
During construction and after completion, a model will be displayed on a nearby mountain tile. A mountain two tiles away from the city is preferred, even if that mountain tile is not within your territory. Constructing Neuschwanstein will not replace the model if there is only one available mountain tile.
Clinging to a Peruvian mountaintop at an elevation of 2,350 m (7,700 feet), Machu Picchu was an extraordinary Incan city and a marvel of pre-Columbian architecture. Constructed in the mid-15th century, scholars believe that much of the city was a palace complex of the mighty Incan ruler Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui. Constructed almost entirely of white granite stone, the city was inexplicably deserted in the mid-16th century. The marauding Spanish Conquistadors did not discover the site during their conquest of the Incas, so it has remained relatively intact until today.
Archaeologists have identified the aforementioned palace complex, as well as temples, residential areas, plazas and a cemetery, all carved from the living rock. The mountainous terrain surrounding the central structures has been carved into stepped agricultural terraces which were at one time watered by an extensive aqueduct system, in itself a remarkable feat in a mountainous locale.
Although in ruins, Machu Picchu retains an extraordinary rugged beauty even today. It must have been an incredible city during the days when the mighty Incas called it home.
- The name "Machu Picchu" comes from the Quechua words machu (old, old person) and pikchu (peak). Together, these words idiomatically refer to a mountain or prominence with a broad base which ends in sharp peaks ("old peak").
- It is located in the Cusco Region, Urubamba Province, Machupicchu District in Peru, situated on a mountain ridge above the Sacred Valley which is 80 km (50 mi) northwest of Cusco and through which the Urubamba River flows. Since the site was not known to the Spanish during their conquest, it is highly significant as a relatively intact cultural site.
- Although known locally, it was unknown to the outside world before being brought to international attention in 1911 by the American historian Hiram Bingham. Since then, Machu Picchu has become an important tourist attraction. Most of the outlying buildings have been reconstructed in order to give tourists a better idea of what the structures originally looked like. By 1976, thirty percent of Machu Picchu had been restored. The restoration work continues to this day.
- Machu Picchu was declared a Peruvian Historical Sanctuary in 1981 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. In 2007, Machu Picchu was voted one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in a worldwide Internet poll.
- Machu Picchu is vulnerable to threats. While natural phenomena like earthquakes and weather systems can play havoc with access, the site also suffers from the pressures of too many tourists. In addition, preservation of the area's cultural and archaeological heritage is an ongoing concern. Most notably, the removal of cultural artifacts by the Bingham expeditions in the early 20th century gave rise to a long-term dispute between the government of Peru and the custodian of the artifacts, Yale University.