The Incas built this citadel at the end of the fourteenth century. As centuries passed, the site became totally overgrown by vegetation, and virtually disappeared from site. Hiram Bingham, Director of the Yale Peruvian Expedition, rediscovered Machu Picchu in 1911.
Recent research compiled by Yale University has revealed that the Machu Picchu Citadel was not, as Hiram Bingham believed, the traditional birthplace of the Inca people, nor was it the final stronghold of the Incas in their losing struggle against the Spanish.
Situated in an enclave on the saddle of a mountain overlooking the deep canyon of the Urubamba River. It consists of two main areas: one agricultural, formed mainly by mountains and food stores, and the other urban, which is noted for its sacred zone, with its temples, squares and royal tombs built with consummate skill. The stairways and canals carved out of stone and recurrent throughout this remarkable archaeological site. Opposite the citadel is the Huayna Picchu Mountain, which can be reached via a winding stone walkway. Necessary precautions must be taken during the rainy season (December through March).