Not long ago, Machu Picchu was voted one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, a result that will surprise none of the millions of people who’ve visited the spectacular stone citadel in the sky. What most visitors to Peru don’t know, however, is that the country is thick with ancient Inca wonders. Here are ten others worth checking out. Many are within a day’s journey of Cusco and can be combined with a visit to Machu Picchu.
The first is Sacsahuaman (pictured above). Arguably the greatest Inca ruin outside of Machu Picchu, this gargantuan complex overlooks the city of Cusco. (You can take a taxi or hike up in less than an hour.) Sacsahuaman is believed to have once been a royal retreat, a fortress, or both. Its zigzag walls are built with some of the largest stones to be found in Inca masonry; some are estimated to weigh as much as 300 tons, yet are fit together as tightly as the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.
—Mark Adams, author of Turn Right at Machu Picchu