Stephen W. Oachs Photography

"The Lost City"

In a remote region of southern Peru, perched high above the Urubamba river valley, you'll find the legendary Machu Picchu, one of the most famous archeological ruins in the world. Inexplicably, it is nestled into a narrow saddle between two sharp peaks, where it was mysteriously abandoned more than four centuries ago. Yet, to this day, it remains as a remarkable symbol of the engineering prowess of the Inca.

Why was it built on such an inaccessible site? Who lived among its stone buildings, farmed its emerald green terraces, and drank from its sophisticated aqueduct system? Since its discovery by Yale University professor, Hiram Bingham, in 1911, there have been countless theories and unanswered questions raised about this "Lost City of the Incas" -- and it continues to be an enigma.

The area is surrounded by dozens of agricultural terraces, some of which were still being used by locals when Bingham arrived. The unique layout, and high level of preservation of the ruins, are remarkable. This photograph captures the beauty and elegant symmetry of this serene and hypnotic landscape, giving a rare peek into a deeply rich and enigmatic history, leaving us with the sense that the mystery is still well protected...forever destined to raise more questions than answers.

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