Machu Picchu

by sebastian liste

Peru, Andes, August 2016, Aerial view of the Andes from the flight Lima-Cusco. The Andes are the longest continental mountain range in the world. It extends from north to south through seven South American countries: Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina.

Peru, Andes, August 2016, Aerial view of the Andes from the flight Lima-Cusco. The Andes are the longest continental mountain range in the world. It extends from north to south through seven South American countries: Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina.

My family comes from Uruguay, and my grandfather was an architect who developed urban communities in Latin America. He was an amateur photographer as well, and I remember, growing up, my grandmother showed me all these slides of his travels, including to Machu Picchu, on light boxes. This is why I wanted to become a photographer.

Peru, Cachora, August 2016, People trekking the route from Cachora to Chiquisca Camp (1,800m/5,900 ft) near the Apurimac River.

Peru, Cachora, August 2016, People trekking the route from Cachora to Chiquisca Camp (1,800m/5,900 ft) near the Apurimac River.

Peru, Andes, August 2016, Porters and cooks having bath at Quebrada Yurahayo, a stop in the route from Choquequirao to Maizal Camp.

Peru, Andes, August 2016, Porters and cooks having bath at Quebrada Yurahayo, a stop in the route from Choquequirao to Maizal Camp.

Going to Machu Picchu felt like a pilgrimage
— Sebatian Liste

My going to Machu Picchu felt like a pilgrimage — in some ways connected to my family, but also just for me. The trek gives you a sense of how big the Inca Empire was ­— it’s incredible to see a piece of this huge civilization. They managed to grow crops in different altitudes and different climates and build these villages. All the Inca trails and paths around the Andes were built to get to Machu Picchu. For seven days we didn’t see a shower, a motorbike, a plane, a cellphone. We just saw nature. About halfway through the trek, there were some thermal baths coming from the mountains. Yet the rivers are really cold, like snow. You have to get all the right clothes for many different climates — it’s freezing at night, and incredibly hot in the day. You are more with yourself. I tried to take pictures without thinking much — I just wanted to be floating. It was hard to breathe in this altitude. Your brain is not thinking properly; it operates differently.

Peru, Cusco, August 2016, Traditional celebrations at Cusco's Plaza de Armas (main square). Cusco is the capital of the Cusco Region as well as the Cusco Province. The Constitution of Peru designates it as the Historical Capital of Peru.

Peru, Cusco, August 2016, Traditional celebrations at Cusco's Plaza de Armas (main square). Cusco is the capital of the Cusco Region as well as the Cusco Province. The Constitution of Peru designates it as the Historical Capital of Peru.

I shot in black and white as a homage to a Peruvian named Martín Chambi, an indigenous photographer who shot all around the Andes in the mid-20th century. I tried to push what he did into the contemporary landscape.

Peru, Andes, August 2016, Machu Picchu is a 15th-century Inca citadel situated on a mountain ridge 2,430 metres (7,970 ft) above sea level. It is the most familiar icon of Inca civilization. In 2007, Machu Picchu was voted one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in a worldwide Internet poll.

Peru, Andes, August 2016, Machu Picchu is a 15th-century Inca citadel situated on a mountain ridge 2,430 metres (7,970 ft) above sea level. It is the most familiar icon of Inca civilization. In 2007, Machu Picchu was voted one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in a worldwide Internet poll.


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