Machu Picchu, A Different Perspective [360-Degree Panorama]

Whether you’ve been to Machu Picchu or not, chances are that the most common images you’ve seen of it carry a familiar quality about them. Sometimes it takes looking at something iconic from a different perspective, however, to broaden your understanding and appreciation of what it might have taken to create all that’s behind the icon. And so it is with Machu Picchu in Peru.

Machu Picchu is impressive from just about every view, but the perspective in the panorama below provides a visual on what “perched high on a mountain ridge” really means.

It’s not just the steep terraced steps that you see when you look down in the panorama. It’s the sheer drop after about the fourth step that really registers. Imagine what it must have taken to build such a massive structure on top of this mountain, to carve terraces out of the mountain face, and to trace it in great stone — all over 500 years ago in an age without the aid of machines to move rock and soil.

Incredible, really. And an Incan definition of ingenuity and perseverance.

Open the panorama below to full screen, take a spin around (and down), and see for yourself. It’s not just the beauty of Machu Picchu here, but also the perspective that gives some more insight into what it must have taken to build this great Incan complex amidst sheer cliffs and Andean rocky mountaintops.

Panorama: Machu Picchu, An Alternative View

panorama directions

Enjoy this?

Then sign up for more travel wisdom & inspiration from 8+ years of traveling the world.


  1. says

    What a great way to capture the enormity of Machu Picchu! I went to Peru for my honeymoon and it was one of the best decisions I’ve made travel-wise to forgo a relaxing beach vacation for this view. What did you use to capture this picture?

  2. says

    @Rebecca: Thanks!

    @Quyen: Great decision to come to Peru for your honeymoon! It’s funny, we get used to seeing similar postcard-like images of Machu Picchu that show the front side of it that we don’t realize how big the place is. And those terraced fields are steep!

    As for how we captured this picture, I wrote up a brief description and the gear/software we use here. Hope it helps!

  3. says

    A great panoramic picture of Machu Picchu, which can even be enlarged to see more details… Peru is so far away from me, I do wish to visit the place some day!

  4. says

    Fantastic…the 360 really brings Machu Picchu to life. I avoided travelling to MP for many many years….read and wrote about it far too many times, but was impressed when I finally made it there last year!

  5. says

    @Red Hunt: Thank you! Machu Picchu is one of those places that, for all the traffic and press, seems to reside in part in the world of cliche. It’s also one of those places that helps one understand why that is. Something about the place captures the imagination, and when you get there it grabs hold.

  6. says

    @Lina: Machu Picchu was one of those places that did live up to expectations. And we loved exploring these back steps and areas where there weren’t a lot of people. Definitely made you appreciate the ingenuity and strength it took to build this!

    @Robert: Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it!

    @Torsten: Great to hear that you had a good time at Machu Picchu. Yes, the entrance is expensive (ours was included in our trek fee, so can’t remember exactly how much it was), but if you get there early and climb around to Waynu Picchu and other spots you can make a full day of it. Definitely worth it.

  7. says

    @Sofie: Thanks! When I was going through some of our older panoramas and saw this view I also thought it was pretty special. Really provides great perspective on Machu Picchu. We highly recommend trekking there!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *