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Machu Picchu - 25: Condor Temple

Machu Picchu, Peru - Condor Temple Machu Picchu, Peru - Condor Temple Machu Picchu, Peru - Condor Temple
Machu Picchu, Peru - Condor Temple Machu Picchu, Peru - Condor Temple

    

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THE TEMPLE OF THE CONDOR
 
Part of what Bingham called the Prison Group, the Temple of the Condor contains large niches in its underground vaults that, according to him, may have been used for binding the wrists of prisoners. Again, not all experts agree and tend more towards the idea that it was another temple, particularly as there appears to be an altar in a natural fissure of the rock. At the base of the hollow, one of the rocks has the outline of a condor with a clearly defined head and neck. Condors were considered sacred by the Incas and seen as a messenger or embodiment of the mountain spirits or apus.

If you have the time and the energy, make your way up to the Caretakerís Hut and then hike a small stretch of the Inca Trail as far as the Sun Gate or Inti Punko. It takes about 45 minutes and is a great vantage point from which to admire the ruins in their entirety, with Huayna Picchu framed by the gateway. Alternatively, take the path heading west from the hut through the cemetery to the spot where a wooden Inca drawbridge once stood. The path is very narrow in places and not for those who are afraid of heights.

 

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