A virtual tour and travel guide of Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail in Peru. Travel resources for the traveler.
Machu Picchu Timeline
What follows is a timeline of Peru and Machu Picchu's extensive history.
The earliest settlers, most likely migrants from Asia, arrive in Peru.
Cotton is first cultivated in Peru.
Rise of Chavín cult in the central Andes.
Establishment of Chavín de Huántar.
Rise of Paracas culture in the southern desert.
300 BC-700 AD
Rise of Nazca culture; Nazca Lines drawn.
Earliest burials at Paracas Necropolis.
Consolidation of Moche Dynasty in northern Peru.
Burial of Lord of Sipán.
Rise of the Huari-Tiahuanaco Empire.
Lambayeque and Cajamarca cultures appear in the northern Andes.
Appearance of the Chimú culture.
Construction of Chan Chan begins.
Chimú and Chancay cultures established; Manco Cápac becomes the first Inca (emperor) and founds the Inca Empire.
Ica-Chincha culture flourishes in south-central Peru.
Inca Roca (6th Inca) establishes Cusco dynasty.
Chimú takeover of Moche territory.
Tschudi Palace at Chan Chan built.
Reign of the Inca Pachacútec; Sacsayhuamán & Machu Picchu are built.
Inca conquest of southern desert coast.
Incas dominate the territory from the northern Andes to Ecuador.
Epidemic of smallpox fells the Inca Huayna Cápac. Before his death, the Inca divided the empire in two, giving the northern territory to his son Atahualpa, and the southern half to his other son, Huáscar. Civil war ensues.
Francisco Pizarro's third expedition leaves Panama and arrives in Tumbes.
Atahualpa defeats his brother to gain control of the Inca Empire. Pizarro enters Cajamarca and captures Atahualpa, whom he jails. Atahualpa offers a ransom of gold and silver to win his release.
Spaniards assassinate Atahualpa and name Topa Hualpa his successor (who serves as puppet Inca); Cusco is sacked and burned by Spaniards.
Francisco Pizarro establishes Lima and makes it the capital of the Viceroyalty of Peru.
Francisco Pizarro is killed in Lima.
Tupac Amaru, the last Inca emperor, is captured and executed.
Tupac Amaru II, an Indian noble who claims to be descended from the final Inca emperor, leads a failed revolt against Spanish.
General José de San Martín captures Lima and proclaims Peru's independence.
Peru defeats Spain and becomes the last colony in Latin America to gain its independence.
Peru and Bolivia join together in a short-lived confederation.
Chinese workers numbering up to 100,000 arrive in Peru as menial laborers.
Peru wins a brief war with Spain.
The rubber boom in the Peruvian Amazon begins.
Chile defeats Peru and Bolivia in the War of the Pacific; Peru loses southern territory to Chile.
Treaty of Ancón gives Chile the Peruvian province of Tarapaca.
Victor Raúl Haya de la Torre sets up the nationalist American Revolutionary Popular Alliance (APRA) in exile in Mexico.
Peru goes to war with Ecuador over the northern Amazon; the border dispute results in the 1942 treaty of Rio de Janeiro, which gives the land to Peru.
Civilian government led by center-left APRA assumes power after free elections.
A coup d'état installs a military government led by General Manuel Odría.
Peru returns to civilian rule; Fernando Belaúnde Terry becomes the president.
The civilian government is ousted in a coup led by General Juan Velasco Alvarado.
Large-scale land reform and nationalization programs are initiated.
Velasco is ousted in a coup led by Gen. Morales Bermúdez.
Peru returns to civilian rule with the re-election of Fernando Belaúnde. Maoist terrorist organization the Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path) and a smaller group, Tupac Amaru (MRTA), launch an armed guerrilla struggle.
Peru enters into a border war with Ecuador over Cordillera del Cóndor (in Peruvian possession, according to the 1942 protocol).
Debt crisis; deaths and "disappearances" escalate following a military crackdown on guerrillas and drug traffickers.
APRA candidate Alan García Pérez wins the presidency with promises to rid Peru of its military and police "old guard." Belaúnde becomes the first elected president to turn over power to a constitutionally elected successor since 1945.
New Libertad movement led by Mario Vargas Llosa, Peru's best-known novelist, blocks plans to nationalize banks.
Hyperinflation and bankruptcy rock Peru; the country seeks assistance from the International Monetary Fund. Shining Path's guerrilla bombing and assassination campaign intensifies.
Human rights groups estimate as many as 10,000 political murders (including thousands of campesinos) in Peru. Alberto Fujimori, son of Japanese immigrants, runs on an anticorruption platform and defeats the novelist Mario Vargas Llosa for the presidency. Fujimori institutes severe austerity measures and privatization programs.
Citing continued terrorism, drug trafficking, and corruption, Fujimori dissolves Congress, suspends the Peruvian constitution, and imposes censorship. Shining Path leader Abimael Guzmán is arrested and sentenced to life in prison.
A new constitution is adopted, allowing Fujimori to seek re-election.
Six thousand Shining Path guerrillas surrender to authorities.
Fujimori is re-elected to a second term. Fighting erupts again along the border with Ecuador.
El Niño -- the worst of the century -- causes severe drought in Peru.
Ecuador and Peru sign a treaty ending 6 decades of dispute over a section of the Amazon.
Fujimori is re-elected by landslide to a third 5-year term; his opponent, Alejandro Toledo, charges fraud and withdraws from the election. Scandal erupts when Fujimori's chief of intelligence, Vladimiro Montesinos, is caught on videotape attempting to bribe an opposition politician. Fujimori, fending off charges of embezzlement and government drug trafficking, resigns and goes into exile in Japan. The Peruvian Congress declares Fujimori "morally unfit" to govern; it swears in Valentín Paniagua as interim president.
A Peruvian judge orders Fujimori to appear in court on charges of dereliction of duty. Montesinos, the ex-spy chief, is captured in Venezuela. A plane carrying American missionaries is shot down over the Amazon by the Peruvian military. Alejandro Toledo becomes Peru's first president of native Indian origin and holds his ceremony at Machu Picchu. A massive earthquake rocks Arequipa and southern Peru. In December, a fireworks explosion in downtown Lima ignites a horrific fire that kills 290 people.
Peruvian authorities issue a new international arrest warrant seeking to extradite former president Fujimori from Japan to face charges of corruption and human rights abuses in Peru. A Shining Path car bomb kills 10 people outside of the U.S. embassy in Lima days before Bush's visit to Peru.
Farmers and teaches strike, prompting Toledo to declare a state of emergency. Shining Path terrorists stage two attacks. Toledo names the first female prime minister in a cabinet shakeup; 6 months later, in another reshuffling, he fires her. Interpol issues an arrest warrant for Fujimori, alleging involvement with paramilitary death squads. Congress requests Fujimori's extradition from Japan and issues new charges of arms trafficking, torture, and student disappearances.