Teaching Students About Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu, a mysterious and iconic site, not only serves as a testament to the Incan civilization but also offers an engaging opportunity to teach students about its location within Peru. Teaching students about the geographical context of Machu Picchu will enhance their understanding of the world, expand their knowledge about diverse cultures, and foster a sense of curiosity and wonder.

I. Introduction: Introducing Peru as a Country

Begin by educating students about the country of Peru, located in South America. Teach them about its diverse landscape – from the Amazon rainforest and Andean highlands to its beautiful coastline. This will provide students with an idea of where to pinpoint Machu Picchu on a map.

II. The Andean Mountains: The Natural Habitat Surrounding Machu Picchu

Delve deeper into Peru’s geography by teaching students about the Andes mountain range, which runs through seven countries, including Peru. Educate them about how these mountains are home to an array of wildlife and flora, as well as various ancient ruins.

III. Finding Machu Picchu: Locating the Mysterious Site on a Map

Assist students in locating Machu Picchu on a map by teaching them that it is nestled high in the Andes at an elevation of 2,430 meters (7,970 feet) above sea level. Inform them that Machu Picchu is hidden away in the region of Cusco, approximately 80 kilometers (50 miles) northwest of the city of Cusco.

IV. History and Significance: Understanding Why Machu Picchu Was Built

To understand the importance of its location within Peru, educate your students on why the Incas built this magnificent site in such a remote area. Discuss how Machu Picchu served as a royal estate for Inca emperors, its religious significance, and how its strategic location helped protect the hidden city from external threats.

V. Modern-Day Connection: Emphasizing the Importance of Preservation

Teach your students about the efforts currently undertaken to preserve Machu Picchu and the surrounding environment due to its status as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Explain how understanding and valuing the cultural heritage of sites like Machu Picchu can contribute to global awareness and appreciation for diverse cultures.


Teaching students about where Machu Picchu is in Peru allows them not only to gain geographical knowledge but also to learn about the rich history and culture that surrounds this fascinating landmark. By incorporating interactive lessons and activities, you can create an engaging educational experience that encourages a deeper understanding of our world’s diverse landscape and history.

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