Machu Picchu<br />Machu Picchu is in the South American country Peru <br />
Introduction<br />Machu Picchu is high up at 2440 metres above sea level. It is surrounded by steep mountains covered in in plants and trees.<br />It gets as cold as 0º Celsius high up on the mountain tops. In the warmer rainy season it gets as warm as 18º Celsius. The valleys are much warmer than the mountain top areas. <br />The rainy season in Machu Picchu lasts from December to March, the dry and sunny season lasts from April to November or December.<br />
Machu Picchu was built by the Inca people between AD 1400 and AD 1500. It was abandoned within 100 years of being built. The Inca empire was the largest empire in South America at the time.<br />Some people think that the Incas that used to live there were killed by the disease smallpox, but there are also several other theories about why Machu Picchu was abandoned.<br />
www.machupicchutravel.org/machu_picchu_maps.htm<br />Diagram showing the features of Machu Picchu<br />
Why build a city in the middle of the mountains?<br /><ul><li>The city sits between two mountains, with a great view down two valleys and a nearly impassable mountain at its back.
It has a water supply from mountain streams that cannot be blocked easily
There is enough land to grow food for about four times as many people as ever lived there.
The hillsides leading to it have been terraced, not only to provide more farmland to grow crops, but to steepen the slopes which invaders would have to climb.</li></ul>Its position in the mountains meant that it could easily be defended against invaders.<br />
It is also a bad place for a settlement because:<br /><ul><li>Steep mountains are difficult to farm on.
It is in the middle of the mountains with few transport links and a long distance from the nearest towns.
Being high up in the mountains it can get hit by very bad weather.
As it is at high altitude people visiting the site can get altitude sickness.</li></li></ul><li>Machu Picchu is a very popular tourist site<br />Machu Picchu was designated as a World Heritage Site in 1983 when it was described as "an absolute masterpiece of architecture”<br />It is the most popular tourist attraction in Peru, with around 2000 visitors every day.<br />
Benefits of Tourism for the local people of Machu Picchu:<br /><ul><li>Tourist spend lots of money, which goes to the local people
Tourism creates lots of jobs in hotels, cafes, restaurants and for tour guides
Money brought in by tourism can be used to look after the natural environment in the area and protect old buildings.
Tourism has led to better facilities being built, such as a railway and better healthcare.
Local culture and traditions can be shared with tourists</li></li></ul><li>Negative Impacts of Tourism<br />http://geographyfieldwork.com/MachuTourismImpact.htm<br /><ul><li>Tourists crowd the narrow streets.
Tourists take up spaces on the few public services like the train.
Lots of people walking can erode the footpaths.
Lots of tourism creates pollution in a very beautiful environment and lots of litter gets dropped.
Local peoples jobs in tourism are often badly paid.
Locals can become too reliant on tourists to bring in money.</li></li></ul><li>What is being done to protect Machu Picchu?<br />Examples:<br />Strict government rules have been set:, like tourists not being allowed to take food into the old buildings, no littering, no camping in certain areas, walk only on footpaths.<br />Tourists are told to respect the local people and culture.<br />Tourists have to pay an entry fee of $20. This money goes to preserving Machu Picchu.<br />Plans are being made to cut visitor numbers to 800 per day.<br />No helicopter flights over the ruins.<br />No groups larger than 15 people.<br />To walk to Machu Picchu, tourists must buy a permit and book 3-6 months in advance.<br />