The prospect of levelling a mountain ridge and constructing a luxury hotel would still be considered challenging today, but that is exactly what the Inca's achieved in the 15th Century. Machu Picchu, if current consensus is accepted, was a royal retreat for the great and good of the Incan Empire. Not only is the site a spectacle perched high above the Urubamba River, but it is an engineering masterpiece. As this recent Geoscientist magazine article presents.