In Cusco, Peru, workers undertaking conservation work have discovered a new trail that leads to Machu Picchu, although much of it is presently covered by thick vegetation. This was announced on Wednesday 15 April 2015 by Fernando Astete, the director of Machu Picchu Archaeological Park.
The road is nearly a mile in length and leads to the Wayraqtambo area at the citadel’s rear. Workers are clearing the path, which varies from 3.9 to 4.5 feet in width. Astete explained that it is not known how long or tall the road is because much excavation is still to be carried out. The road was built after 20 feet of earth and rock collapsed over its location. The rocks had to be broken up.
There are ten-foot-high walls. Part of the road is a tunnel that’s about 15 feet long and up to 12 feet high, constructed with rocks, as was typical of Inca architecture. Astete called the road “one of the finest examples of Inca engineering.”
164 archaeological sites and 40 roads have been discovered and, as Astete disclosed, “We know there are more roads out there.” He believes the road predates Machu Picchu, which was built at the peak of the Incan empire in around 1450.
Astete proclaimed that the road should be restored as quickly as possible “due to its patrimonial value,” however such a thing is not without immense financial value, too. Astete pointed out that it could help to decongest the flow of tourists – 2,500 a day. The road begins at Huayopata, whose economy will be boosted, as the town’s mayor recognised, adding, “Expectations are high.” Tourists using the road will see the citadel from a new angle. A second expedition including officials and experts is en route. Its report, giving a more solid proposal, could be used to gain extra funding.
A recent survey by Hostelworld.com found Machu Picchu to be the most-desired place in the world to visit, beating Thailand’s Full Moon Party and South Africa’s Kruger National Park, the next most popular, by more than a million votes.