Machu Picchu is a pre-Columbian 15th-century Inca site located 2,430 metres above sea level. Machu Picchu is located in the Cusco Region of Peru, South America. It is situated on a mountain ridge above the Urubamba Valley in Peru, which is 80 kilometres northwest of Cusco and through which the Urubamba River flows. Most archaeologists believe that Machu Picchu was built as an estate for the Inca emperor Pachacuti (1438–1472). Often referred to as the “City of the Incas”, it is perhaps the most familiar icon of Inca civilization.