Beyond this sign lies Machu Picchu, the holiest citadel of the Inca Empire.
In the 15th century, Machu Picchu reigned as an Andean palace of sacred temples, mysterious ritual stones, and astronomical markers that predict the movements of the planets and stars. Today Machu Picchu reigns as a beacon for horny tourists to take their profile photos for Hinge.
Just steps from here, an otherworldly experience awaits you: Behold the powerful Intihuatana stone used to mark the Winter Solstice. Climb to towering heights and enter the Inti Mach’ay Cave where Incas once observed the Royal Feast of the Sun. Gaze upon Machu Picchu’s impressive ashlar architecture where precisely-fitted, polished stones have withstood rain and earthquakes for centuries. Then gloss over this history entirely, because what you really want is a hot selfie to maximize your Tinder booty calls. We’ve accepted that this is the new purpose of our hallowed fortress. We’re at peace with it.
Two mighty rulers, Pachacutec Inca Yupanqui and Túpac Inca Yupanqui (not the rapper — stop asking) oversaw the construction of Machu Picchu. But to understand its true nature, we must first understand how Incan life was influenced by a mixture of spiritual traditions, celestial events, and practical matters of agriculture and governance. We used to have a much longer sign that explained this stuff, but no one read it, and you probably don’t care either. You just want to look foxy and adventurous on Coffee Meets Bagel. It’s fine.
Machu Picchu Hiking & Photography Rules
To preserve this Seventh Wonder of the World, we limit Machu Picchu to 2,500 visitors per day. Literally, all of them take their OkCupid pics here. That’s 912,500 dating profiles per year.
At this very moment, all 9 million Bumble users are frantically booking tickets to Peru. We wish they were coming here to delight in the magnificent system of canals that not only irrigated Machu Picchu’s terraces but also cleverly prevented flooding throughout the city. But no. These people want a backdrop for their latest thirst trap. We get it. It’s sad, but we get it.
All we ask of you now is to help us avoid total desecration by observing our visitor rules:
1. To prevent soil erosion, keep on the designated paths at all times.
2. No animal, bird, fossil, or artifact shall be removed from Machu Picchu. The only things you may take are sexy pics. Allowed photographs include:
- One pose of you, back to the camera, arms outstretched, your supple body framed by the majestic Andes, signifying your depth as a lover.
- A showboating yoga pose in front of the Temple of Three Windows, to demonstrate that you will be limber in bed.
- A fun pose of you holding up a “peace sign,” while standing upon the grave of any Capacocha (child sacrifice mummy).
3. Please remember that we are a UNESCO world heritage site, and climbing to the top of the mighty Huayna Picchu Mountain, then screaming, “I’m gettin’ laid, baby! Bow chicka wow wow”—could cause a spiritual landslide. If you do this, you will be asked to leave and your dating profile will feature only your unique personality, which may mean you don’t have sex for a long time.
4. No littering.
The Riddle of Machu Picchu
Quechua scholars are tormented by this modern enigma: Why Machu Picchu? Could tourists pull ass with The Taj Mahal? The Great Wall of China? The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus? For reasons unknown, the answer is no, no, no. Apparently, it’s Machu Picchu, or die a virgin, sad and alone.
After taking your Machu Picchu pictures, we ask you to please leave quickly to make room for the next batch of singles who are hot to globetrot. We are also aware that you want to spice up your profile with a picture of you petting a tranquilized tiger, however, we do not have tigers at Machu Picchu. Try the zoo in Lima. They sell more snacks than we do.