Today marks the 100 year anniversary of the discovery (or re-discovery) of Machu Picchu! It coincides with the entire week of celebrations leading up to July 28th, Peruvian Independence day. Let the festivities begin!
Most tourist do not leave Peru without visiting this majestic UNESCO world heritage site, and as of 2007 one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. Part of visiting Machu Picchu leads to a few drinks in Cusco, the biggest town closest to the Lost City (about 50 miles away). And of course by a few drinks I mean Pisco Sours galore!
Unless you’ve traveled to this marvelous locale though, you may not know some of its history. Seeing as how a trip to Machu Picchu goes hand in hand with high consumption of Pisco Sours, it is our duty to inform you of the Centennial and give you reason to celebrate!
On July 24, 1911, Melchor Arteaga led Hiram Bingham III, a Yale professor, to Machu Picchu, which hadn’t been seen by other than the locals in over 400 years! Although there are reports that other people may have seen Machu Picchu (other than the locals) prior to Bingham’s first trip, it was Bingham who first studied it scientifically and reported it to the world with the help of National Geographic. The April 1913 issue of National Geographic is completely devoted to Bingham’s discovery of the Lost City of the Incas.
Bingham also had a spread in Harper’s Monthly in 1913. There he wrote, about his experience and said “… Suddenly we found ourselves in the midst of a jungle-covered maze of small and
large walls, the ruins of buildings made of blocks of white granite, most carefully cut and beautifully fitted together without cement.” It is estimated that Bingham excavated about 40,000 treasures from the ruins and transported them all back to Yale University. Although there has been some back and forth over ownership of the artifacts, all the items had been returned to Peru as of 2010.
Quite fittingly, Macchu Pisco just ran a promotional campaign revolving around the centennial celebration and pisco sours. They held a pisco sour competition in 5 major metropolitan areas; Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas, New York and DC. The winner got a trip to Machu Picchu!
SALUD to Machu Picchu and SALUD to Macchu Pisco and the winners!