How to spell Machu Picchu

First accounts of the existence of Machu Picchu, as described in the revised edition of John Hemming’s book, “Monuments of the Incas”  (2010 Thames & Hudson), date as far back as 1875 in a book by travel writer Charles Wiener.  He said that local people spoke to him of “other towns of Huaina Pitcho and Matcho Piccho towards the east.” Whilst the UNESO World Heritage site is now famous the world, over, how to spell Machu Picchu is can remain a challenge.

Hiram Bingham, the Yale-educated American explorer credited with the “discovery” of Machu Picchu, stumbled upon the site first on July 24 1911. He was only two days out of Ollantaytambo, when a local muleteer called Melchor Arteaga asked their purpose.  When told they were after Inca Ruins, he said there were excellent ones called Macchu Picchu and Huayna Picchu on top of the opposite precipice.

Bingham left and unforgettable account of his excitement that afternoon, of the dreamlike experience of entering the untouched forestand seeing archaeological wonders:

“I suddenly found myself in a maze of beautiful granite houses! They were covered with trees and mosse and the growth of centuries, but in the dense shadow, hiding in bamboo thickets and tangled vines, could be seen, here and there, walls of white granite ashlars most carefully cut and exquisitely fitted together.”

Hiram Bingham, upon his discovery of Machu Picchu, 24 July 1911

How to Spell Machu Picchu 

How to spell Machu Picchu incorrectly often includes variants such as: Machu Pichu, Macchu Picchu, Machupichu, Machupicchu, Matchu Pitchu or Macchupicchu………….

spelling monthly frequency*
Machu Picchu 1.500.000
machu pichu 450.000
machupicchu 201.000
machupichu 90.500
macchu picchu 60.500
matchu pitchu 18.100
macchu pichu 14.800
inca trail machu 14.800
machu piccu 14.800
the inca trail 12.100
inka trail 9.900
manchu picchu 9.900
huayna picchu 8.100
wayna picchu 6.600
macho picho 6.600
machu pitchu 5.400
maccu piccu 5.400
machupicho 5.400
machu picho 4.400
inca trail tours 4.400
macchupicchu 3.600
inca trail tour 3.600
macho pichu 3.600
matchu pichu 3.600
machu pichu travel 3.600
macho picchu 2.900
machu picu 2.900
mach picchu 2.900
maccu picchu 2.400
machu piccho 1.900
machu pichhu 1.900
macchupichu 1.900
machu pichu tour 1.900
machu pichu tours 1.900
matchupitchu 1.900
machupicchu tour 1.600
inca trail machu pichu 1.300
macha pichu 1.300
macu picchu 1.000
travel to machu pichu 720
machu pichu hotels 480
manchu picchu tours 260
machu peachu 210
maachu picchu 210

*This data is from Google April 2010

Machu Picchu means “Old Mountain” in Quechua, the native language of the Northern Andes of Peru and Lingua Franca at the time of the Incas. Huayna Picchu, the mountain that comes out in the pictures with the ruins in the foreground, means “Young Mountain”.

However you spell it, we can help you plan a fabulous holiday around Machu Picchu!

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