Whenever Machu Picchu is talked about, the first thing that comes to anyone’s mind is the Historic Sanctuary, or the Yakhta. For a place that holds so much significance and depth, hardly anyone expresses the desire to visit the forest that embraces the most important teachings of Machu Picchu.


The most important teaching of Machu Picchu, is not the Yakhta, it’s always been the forest  – the one that nobody wants to visit – The world knows the stories of how Hirgahm Bingham discovered Machu Picchu, but what did he do when he went to the forest? He burned it. The Inca knew better. They of course cut the forest to open up space, but they had a way of restoring the habitat, which shows they had complete knowledge of the complexity of the forest. The Incas never would have thought that a single human being was more intelligent than the forest. The reason why the landscaping is so elaborated and sophisticated is because they always believed that the network created by those plants is more intelligent than their own planification.. The Inca and the Chacha and all of those who worked or lived in the forest never looked at the forest as wilderness, they looked at it as a more complicated network from which they would learn.


The forest of Machu Picchu just like any other, is home to millions of living species, from huge trees to small plants, animals to small insects; the whole build up of the forest creates one huge network that runs so deep that a mere human could not begin to comprehend. To give an example, let’s consider the Chiwawako tree in the Machu Picchu forest. A single one of these trees has roots that are responsible for a radium of 40km roughly under the earth. The roots of the Chiwawako decides what is the balance of the nutrients of all the other roots of all of the other plants that grow around them. Considering that these trees live for thousands of years, a single Chiwawako has the ability to plan through the roots all the balance of all the other inhabitants.


So when you cut one of these trees, you don’t just cut that, you’re cutting 40km of nutritional balance of the forest. Can you believe it?


The sad truth however, is that the advanced technology is being used for the destruction of these trees and along with it millions of living species that brings balance to the life cycle of the earth. Instead of going forward, we as humans are going backwards. So this is why Machu Picchu is so important. It shows you there is a different way through the forest, there is a way to treat the forest in way that is intelligent and positive. I don’t believe in people doing marches in the streets saying save the chiwawako, because nobody knows it. And that’s why it is important to create awareness.


Machu Picchu teaches us today, in the 21st century, to pay respect to the intelligence of the building of life and the co-existence and the togetherness and the ability to create a network of life that combine species in a way that is healthy for everybody. That is why it is so important, because we live in a time when humans in the Anthropocene has pretty much depleted the resources. Because we always considered resources as an endless stream of something that had no intelligence and was just there for us. However, the truth is, it was never there for us. It had its own order and by not paying attention to the cycle of life of these natural resources, we run the very big risk today.