Peruvian historians doubt Hiram Bingham III was the true modern discoverer of Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu 1

Adventure Lawyer’s cocktail party factoid of the day:

Any high school or undergraduate textbook will tell you that on July 24, 1911, Yale University’s Hiram Bingham III became the modern day discoverer of the “Lost City” of Machu Picchu. Peruvian historians and the local National Park guides don’t agree.

Though they may not have recognized the importance of what they were seeing, locals had previously guided Westerners to the site. Artifacts from “the Lost City” were even commonly sold in Cusco markets. (Cusco was the ancient Inca capital and is the nearest major city to Machu Picchu.)

Bingham was led to Machu Picchu by a local vendor of those artifacts and two local farmers who lived near the Machu Picchu site. There was even a family living at Machu Picchu when he arrived–they were the ones who procured the artifacts for the merchants in Cusco.

It’s not quite the Indiana Jones adventure depicted in Hiram Bingham’s “Lost City of the Incas!”

Even today though, it’s a great place to visit! 

My friend and I hiked to Machu Picchu via the arduous four-day Inca Trail. We both recommend you take the bus and train.

My friend and I hiked to Machu Picchu via the arduous four-day Inca Trail. We both recommend you take the bus and train.

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