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