Barbara and Nick at Machu Picchu

We’re on a ledge off an alcove in Machu Picchu. Photo by Guide Miguel for

Machu Picchu was the administrative center of the Inca empire and there are alcoves and rooms within rooms where it’s thought that at least a thousand people lived and worked. This was a highly stratified society and the lower classes did the carving and heavy lifting of the massive stone blocks that form the impressive structures. A good guide can lead you through it and help paint a picture of what it was like in the 15th century.