Virtual Globetrotting: Machu Picchu

Ceris Hymas, Head of Marketing at Partridge Muir & Warren, continues her series of articles aimed at providing inspiration whilst in isolation. In this article she reviews her virtual experience of Machu Picchu.  

If stunning views are more your thing, then a virtual tour of the Inca ruins of Machu Picchu is an ideal way to while away the hours during isolation. This 15th Century Inca Citadel is situated above the Sacred Valley in Southern Peru and offers incredible views and an insight into the extravagant life of the Inca Royals. Machu Picchu is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the Seven Wonders of the World, which means there are a number of tours available to explore these ancient ruins.

This tour works well from desktop computer, although it does also offer the motion sensor software which will allow you to use your smartphone with virtual reality goggles. If you think this is something you’d like to get into, then you can pick up some cheap motion goggles that can be used with your smartphone from Amazon for just £17.99. Be aware that if you suffer from motion sickness, these may not be for you.

I was extremely impressed by the quality of the filming and photography, and the tour captures the beauty of these ruins perfectly. The accompanying voice over, which was my favourite aspect of this tour, provides interesting facts and historical context. The 360-degree functionality lets you explore the steep cliff side trails overlooking the ruins, whilst providing beautiful views. The only thing I would say is missing, is the ability to explore some of the ancient artefacts found at the site.

Google Arts and Culture

This tour allows you to take a virtual tour of the ruins and combines your experience with a virtual visit to the Museo Machupicchu – Casa Concha; home to the largest collection of Machu Picchu artefacts in the world. The online exhibition allows you to view and explore hundreds of Inca artefacts and also provides a virtual museum tour, for those looking for a more immersive experience. Although you can take a virtual tour of Machu Picchu on Google Arts and Culture, the picture quality is less striking, and it is not as easy to navigate from one section to the next. It does however provide a very comprehensive list of alternative virtual tours associated with Machu Picchu and this is why I would suggest combining the two tours.

My favourite part of this experience was the virtual Alta Moda exhibition. Having studied fashion at college (back when I was very unsure of what I wanted to do with my life), I’ve always had a keen interest in the history of fashion and traditional costumes. This exhibit looks at the ornate and theatrical costumes from different regions of Peru. It covers the beautiful and absurd, and is certainly worth exploring if this is something you are interested in. But if fashion is not one of your interests, with a vast array of different exhibits available, I am confident you will find something that interests you.

If you feel like you still want more, then you can also try the Airpano tour, which gives you an aerial drone view of Machu Picchu and features excellent quality photography and dramatic 360-degree videography.

I was never one of those students who was lucky enough to take a gap year to go traveling. I guess gaining work experience always seemed more important to me; but looking back I realise that gaining life experience is almost as important. Perhaps I will never find the time to travel to all the places I would have liked to visit in my younger years (before having a family made it more challenging). At least I can say that this lockdown has introduced me to new and interesting ways of exploring the world, without the stress of taking three children under the age of six on a ten hour flight!

I hope this tour will provide you with some alternative entertainment during isolation and even give you a new location to add to your holiday wish list for when this is all over.

Click on the links below to access the relevant tours:

Google Arts and Culture