Behind the pictures by Fernando Astete

Machu Picchu - Seen through the Eyes of Fernando Astete

Fernando Astete is a Peruvian anthropologist, who dedicated more than thirty years of his life to the investigation, conservation, and protection of Machu Picchu, and who recently shared with us what the sanctuary means to him through some exclusive pictures he took during the years at the site. 

The Fire and Discovery of the Lost Inca Trail

It was in August 1988, while Fernando was working in the Cadastral office, that a fire started in Santa Rita de Q’ente. At the time, he was a young man, who often used to walk through the mountains and forests of the sacred valley of the Incas, which led him to be present during this incident.

Machu Picchu – From an Uncontaminated Paradise to a Mass Tourism Site

In order to understand the phenomenon of tourism in Machu Picchu, one must first look back at how tourism arrived and developed in Cusco. We spoke to Miguel Miguel Zamora-Salas, manager of the National Archeological Park of Machu Picchu (PANM).

The First Aerial Image of the Saqsahuaman

Outstanding in the archaeological site are the bastions of Saqsqahuamán and the Suchuna area, connected through the central opening in space of the park.

Moutain Yanantin and its Skyline

This image of mount Yanatin was taken in front of the site’s keep, probably sometime during August. What is so peculiar about this specific picture is the way the horizon looks behind the clearly cut skyline of the Andes.

Time and Space According to the Andean Perspective

These images show the southern area of ​​the Ushnu. While today this part of the site presents a lot of vegetation, it is clear that this construction had not been completed by Incas.

The Flow of the River

The river was channeled in Inca times and has left its mark. The path starts from Aqokqasa hill; above the road the site of Tunasmoqo is recognized. This specific way of planning water flows and directions was essential for the Incas and the development of their civilization.

Identical Images from an Incredible Search

On one Sunday of October 2015, the Prime Ministers of Peru and Italy were visiting Machu Picchu with Adine Gavazzi, together with José Bastante, the head of the Archaeological Park of Machu Picchu.

The Legacy of Inca Landscape Planning

The entire Inca landscape of Machu Picchu was carefully planned, leading to an uninterrupted tradition of hydrating soil. Even Fernando himself wrote a special thesis on hydraulic systems. Why do we care?

Valuable Lessons from the Forest of Machu Picchu

For a place that holds so much significance and depth, hardly anyone expresses the desire to visit the forest that hides the most important secrets and teachings of Machu Picchu.

Heinz Plenge's Photography in Machu Picchu and the Chaparri Ecological Reserve

This image is the most reproduced picture of Machu Picchu, and it was taken by Heinz Plenge, Peru’s most prominent nature and wildlife photographer. 

Society and its Rules in the Andean World

A “crime”, in the minds of the Andean people, is an event or an act that creates an obstacle in the flow of life. To put it bluntly, if one kills someone else, they do something which is wrong and not correct, creating an obstacle in the correct flow of things.


Behind the Wall

You may be asking yourself, why is the Chief of the Machu Picchu Archaeological Park posing in front of a broken wall in the middle of a field? Well, what may seem like a funny shot is actually a picture a very intricate and meaningful story.