On July the 24th 1911 Hiram Bingham III first stumbled across Machu Picchu, the first outsider to visit the ruins with the intention of studying them academically and of highlighting their significance to the world.
One century to the day and celebrations to mark the centenary of Machu Picchu’s scientific discovery have been wide and varied. The official celebration, under the title “100 years of Machu Picchu in the World”, took place on 7th July with light shows, orchestras and a traditional-style ceremony on top of the ruins, an extravagant fanfare to celebrate the pride of Peru.
There has not been any shortage of media coverage to mark the occasion either; popular international press outlets from the New York Times to the LA Times, and from CNN to the BBC have offered their commentary, all vying to give their own take on what makes this marvelous ruin just so special.
In true Aracari style, we have taken a rather distinct approach to mark this year of celebration – also our 15th Anniversary.
We have hand-crafted a trilogy of escorted trips that are designed to highlight not only the very best aspects of Machu Picchu, but to use this to bring other aspects of Andean history and culture to the fore.
The first of these trips was led by world renowned historian Dr. John Hemming in April, called the “Trip of the Century”, and our guests were riveted to hear the first-hand knowledge of the author of the seminal work “The Conquest of the Incas” through a series of detailed lectures, and at Inca sites and historical properties in Lima, Cusco and the Sacred Valley.
The second trip, the Mystical History Tour, had been scheduled to incorporate Cusco’s fabulous Corpus Christi and Inti Raymi festivals in June as well as the equally exciting Moche Route in Northern Peru, though this unfortunately could not go ahead.
The third trip will be led by locally based author and photographer Peter Frost in August, another opportunity for our guests to visit Peru with lectures from an expert who has a deep and dedicated familiarity with the country’s history and archeology.
These trips have been designed with one key purpose in mind: to allow our guests to visit Peru in an intelligent and insightful way, one that focuses on giving real and substantial knowledge of not only Machu Picchu, but of many diverse aspects of Peruvian history and culture.
Along with this trilogy of trips we have continued to be pioneers in other parts of Peru in 2011, running tours along the Moche Route accompanied by leading archeologists, offering unique insider visits in Lima and Cusco; and allowing our guests to venture to lesser known parts of the country that have equally outstanding archeological sites, such as Chachapoyas.
And Aracari shall continue to celebrate long after this year’s festivities draw to a close: in a destination filled with ancient history, mysterious tradition and unique archaeology; a country with colourful festivals, a multi-faceted culture and outstanding cuisine… what’s not to celebrate?