Discovering Peru | Tourism Documentary | Full Movie | Machu Picchu

Discovering Peru | Tourism Documentary | Full Movie | Machu Picchu

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(upbeat music) - [Narrator] Overlooking the mighty Pacific Ocean, Lima is the capital and largest city of Peru. (upbeat music) It's one of the largest cities in the Americas with an urban metro population of over 10 million people. (upbeat music) Founded by Spanish conquistadors in the 1500s, during the next century, Lima flourished as the center of an extensive trade network that integrated Peru with the rest of the Americas, Europe and Asia.

(soft guitar music) But long before the conquistadors arrived, the area had already been inhabited for 1000s of years. (soft music) This is Waka Pukana. (soft music) Made of Adobe and clay, it has thought this pyramid for the Lima culture between about 1500 and 2000 years ago. Being located in the middle of a densely populated urban center has made excavation of the site difficult. While many mysteries about the Lima culture still elude our understanding, it is believed this structure served as an important ceremonial and administrative center.

From this pyramid, an elite class of priests would've supervised the production and storage of food. The development of irrigation was central to the survival of the early civilizations of Peru. (soft guitar music) The Atacama desert stretches 1000 miles down the west coast of South America, crossing the borders of Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, and Peru (soft guitar music). It is the driest, non-polar desert on earth receiving less than an inch of annual rainfall. (soft guitar music) Nestled among these giant sand dunes is Huacachina. Huacachina means weeping woman in Quechua, a reference to the lagoons mythological origins.

(soft guitar music) With an estimated eight to 10 million speakers, Quechua is the most widely spoken pre-Columbian language in the Americas. In the shadow of towering volcanoes, Arequipa is the second most populated city in Peru. (cultural music) This is the annual Christmas Day parade held every year in the town center. Almost every city designed by the colonial Spanish centers around a Plaza de Armas borrowing from classic Roman military planning. Arequipa's historic plaza, with its intricate baroque architecture is cut from volcanic ash Lara stone.

(cultural music) After Peru became an independent republic, the city has served as a backdrop for many Peruvian intellectual and political revolutions. Its rich history and the proud regionalism of its citizens have led to the honorary title, the heroic city of the Free Peoples of Arequipa. (somber music) For many Andean cultures, Lake Titicaca was the birthplace of humanity. Straddling the borders of Peru and Bolivia, it is the largest lake in South America. With an elevation 12,000 feet above sea level is often called the highest navigable lake in the world.

The city of Puno, lies on the Peruvian coast of Lake Titicaca. With less than two miles of flat land between the lake shore and the mountains, the growing city has made competition for space fierce. Some of the areas older inhabitants have developed ingenious ways of creating space. The Uros people live in a still growing colony of self fashion floating islands in the middle of the lake. This pre-Inca culture originally created the islands as a defensive tactic in ancient times. The Uro consider themselves the rightful owners of the lake and its waters.

The grass islands are made of multiple natural layers harvested in Lake Titicaca. (somber music) To the conquistadors of colonial Spain, Peru was a land of fabulous untapped wealth. The country is fantastically rich in mineral resources, including gold and silver. But precious metals are far from the extent of Peru's natural wealth. These salt mines near the town of Maras have been in use continuously since pre-Inca times.

(soft music) Salt water erupts from the ground naturally from a nearby spring. The locals have been using this massive collection of pans for centuries to harvest the salt after the water has evaporated. The pans are run collectively by the village and provide an integral source of revenue for the local community. In 1533, after several failed invasion attempts, Francisco Pizarro, and an army of 500 soldiers finally entered Cusco capital of the Inca Empire.

Pizarro would later write to King Charles, calling Cusco the most beautiful city he had ever seen in the Americas. (soft music) Within 30 years, the Spanish had toppled the empire and erected soaring cathedrals in the town plaza. Although today, European colonial architecture dominates the city skyline, what lies underneath is even more impressive. Many buildings still in use today are built on foundations first laid by Inca Masons 100s of years ago. Composed of massive stone blocks, the ancient walls around the city were built entirely without the aid of mortar. Each block was cut to fit perfectly with every other surrounding block, requiring a painstaking amount of care and attention to detail.

The word Inca translates roughly to ruler in Quechua. The beginning as the humble kingdom of Cusco, the Incas would expand their domain into one of the most impressive civilizations of the ancient world. The Incas, a relatively small group of less than 50,000 people through a series of conquests, would grow to govern an empire of 10 million. An even more impressive display of Inca Masonry overlooks the city at Sacsayhuaman.

(horn blowing) Upon their arrival, the Spanish were struck by the immensity of this fortress and the scale of its massive stones. So large, it seemed impossible that human hands could have set them in place. Some of the blocks are estimated to weigh over 200 tons. (horn blowing) Their precision, combined with the variety of their interlocking shapes is thought to have helped the ruins survive devastating earthquakes. (tense music) Archeological studies indicate that the earliest occupation of the hilltop dates to about 900 AD by the Killke culture.

(tense music) Beginning about the 13th century, the Inca expanded on this monumental construction. It is estimated the construction took 50 years and 20,000 men. (tense music) All male citizens of the Inca Empire were responsible for not only providing for their own family, but also completing mandatory government services. This system formed the basis of the Inca economy, which functioned completely without currency.

(tense music) Within 200 years, the Incas expanded from their homeland in the Cusco Valley across a 3000 mile range of Western South America. (tense music) In addition to being master architects, the Incas were exceptionally skilled in all areas of science and medicine. This skull shows evidence of a successfully completed brain surgery. What is even more miraculous is that the Inca were able to expand into one of history's great empires without the use of writing.

The Inca recorded all of their numerical information using Kipus. Made using anywhere from a few dozen to a few thousand strings. Number data would be recorded as knots. (soft music) The uruBamba River Valley has served as a breadbasket for Indian civilization for centuries.

(soft music) It's extremely fertile soil attracted early settlers to the area almost 3000 years ago. (soft music) Ollantaytambo is home to some of the oldest, continuously occupied dwellings in South America. (soft music) The use of agricultural terracing throughout the region permitted farming on otherwise unusable terrain. The varying platform height created individual microclimates allowing different crops to be cultivated higher or lower in the structure. To house their surplus crops, the Incas built several storehouses in the hills surrounding Ollantaytambo. (soft music) In addition to its important agricultural function, it is believed these ruins were also important as a religious site.

As the massive Inca empire expanded, their syncretic religion grew to incorporate the stories of their conquered people. It is believed that these unfinished remains were the beginning of a temple to the sun god in D. (somber music) High, in the rainy mountains above the uraBamba Valley, sits Incas civilization's most familiar icon. (somber music) Machu Picchu. (somber music) Though only 50 miles from the city of Cusco, the conquistadors never discovered it. Its remote location, high in the mountains, shrouded in mist, kept it hidden from the outside world for centuries.

(somber music) Although known locally, it remained completely unknown to the outside world until American historian Hiram Bingham brought it to the international attention in 1911. (somber music) Most archeologists believe that Machu Picchu was constructed as an estate for the Inca Emperor Pacha Kuti, in the 1400s. Pacha Kuti means reformer of the world. During its heyday, it's estimated almost 1000 people lived at Machu Picchu, mostly serving as staff to the royal family. (somber music) Of all the great Inca ruins, Pisac is perhaps the most impressive. (somber music) It is colossal complex of terraces, barracks and dwellings cover an area of almost four square kilometers.

Despite leaving behind some of the most impressive feats of engineering in history, the purpose of many of these Incan superstructures continues to perplex us. (somber music) With military, religious, and agricultural structures, the primary purpose of the site remains a puzzle to historians. (somber music) While its exact functions remain a mystery, one theory suggests, Pisac was designed to control a root, which connected the Inca Empire with the border of the rainforest. (birds chirping) Stretching across nearly the entire continent of South America, the Amazon River is by far the largest river by volume on earth. (tense music) Over 60% of modern Peru is covered in the lush Amazon rainforest. Yet the area's dense jungle keeps it extremely remote being home to only 5% of the country's population.

The Amazon rainforest, is one of the most biologically diverse areas on earth. As a nation, Peru is home to the most number of bird species. (tense music) But some of the river's inhabitants are a little less keen on standing out. (soft music) The green Anaconda thrives in the tropical swamps across the Amazon.

(tense music) Lacking of venomous bite, the snake relies on its tremendous size and strength to constrict its prey, before swallowing it whole. Adults grow an average of nearly 20 feet long and weigh almost 200 pounds. (tense music) Iquitos, is known as the capital of the Peruvian Amazon. (soft guitar music) It is the largest city in the world that cannot be reached by road.

(soft guitar music) In the late 1800s, the city became the center of export of rubber production from the Amazon basin. The remains of many large steamships lay abandoned on the river's banks slowly being reclaimed by the jungle. Today, the city of Iquitos is home to 500,000 people.

(soft guitar music) Almost a fifth of the population live here in a district called Belen. (soft guitar music) Seasonally, the water level can rise by as much as six meters. So most of the homes here, either float or are built on stilts. (soft guitar music) As the largest city in hundreds of miles, Iquitos is a vital trading nexus for the people of the Amazon.

Many inhabitants of the smaller surrounding villages come daily to the open air Belen marketplace to buy, sell, and trade. Anything you can dream of is for sale. Every morning, the crowded market is home to a dizzying variety of produce, meat, live animals, spices and folk medicine. (upbeat music) Fishermen clean their daily catch of river catfish, piranhas, and tambaqui. (soft guitar music) (somber music) After a long day of trading in the big city, the merchants pack their things and prepare for the long journey home. (somber music) Returning to their villages for some much deserved rest.

(Somber music)

2024-03-25 14:59

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