- "...Eagles fly, The turrets round, and seem to flout the sky;
They eye those walls now crumbling in decay,
And scare from quiet rest their destined prey."
– Samuel Prout Hill
Machu Picchu is a very situational Wonder. Since tiles next to Mountains are already limited in number, you won't often want to increase the competition on which districts should get priority placement next to Mountains. Of the three districts that this Wonder affects, Theater Squares benefit from it the most, since placing them next to Wonders is otherwise the only way to give them anything more than a minor adjacency bonus. The Production bonus from Industrial Zones adjacent to Mountains can be significant, especially when you have a long and curvy mountain range; however, throughout numerous changes, the Industrial Zones can gain high adjacency bonuses so easily by just being flanked between Dams and Aqueducts. An Industrial Zone built this way will start with +4 Production, which is equivalent to be adjacent to 4 Mountains when the Machu Picchu is built, and very rarely do you find a spot adjacent to 4 Mountains in more than 1 city. Lastly, it is easy to give Commercial Hubs a large adjacency bonus after building this Wonder; however, a +1 Gold bonus is less valuable than a +1 Culture or Production bonus (especially when compared to every other resource or currency in the game up to this point), so it is never worth spending 400 Production solely to earn a few Gold.
Overall, there are not many situations where this Wonder can truly shine. It does not directly help with a Culture Victory because while extra adjacency bonus for Theater Squares is welcome, you are most likely doing really well in generating Culture anyway if you want to win a Culture Victory, and there is a much better way to earn adjacency bonuses for Industrial Zones. All in all, Machu Picchu is not really a core Wonder to strive for no matter what strategy you are playing, as it is highly map dependent and its bonus is nowhere near game-changing.
At 2,430 meters above sea level in the Andes Mountains of Peru is the historic site of Machu Picchu. Once a royal estate, or perhaps a religious site, for the Incan empire, it was abandoned in the 16th century when the civilization was destroyed by a Spanish invasion. Lost to history for hundreds of years, Machu Picchu was rediscovered in 1911 by American archaeologist Hiram Bingham, exciting tourists immediately and for years to come. Today, hundreds of thousands of tourists visit the site annually.
Most remarkable about the site is how seamlessly it blends into the natural world. This lost city is made up of stone terraces, a farming sector, homes, temples, and more – approximately 200 buildings in total. The finely fit stonework and intricate irrigation systems nod to the sophistication of the lost Incan civilization.