Machupicchu was constructed around 1460AD then was abandoned less than 100 years later. It is likely that most of its inhabitants were wiped out by smallpox before the Spanish conquistadores arrived. Hiram Bingham the credited discoverer of the site, along with several others, originally hypothesized that the citadel was the traditional birthplace of the Inca people or the spiritual center of the "Virgins of the Suns”.
Machupicchu is a city located high in the Anden Mountains in Peru. It lies 43 miles northwest of Cuzco at the top of a ridge, hiding it from the Urabamba gorge below. The ridge is between the highlands and the massive Huayna Picchu, around which the Urubamba River takes a sharp bend. The surrounding area is covered in dense bush, some of it covering Pre-Colombian Machupicchu cultivation (which means "Old Peak") was most likely a royal estate and religious retreat.http://www.machupicchu-ruins.com