The regions (Spanish: regiones) of Peru are the first-level administrative subdivisions of Peru. Since its 1821 independence, Peru had been divided into departments (Spanish: departamentos) but faced the problem of an increasing centralization of political and economic power in its capital, Lima. After several unsuccessful decentralization attempts, the legal figure of region became official and regional governments were elected to manage the departments on November 20, 2002 until their planned fusion into real regions.
Under the new arrangement, the former 24 departments plus the Callao Province has become regional circumscriptions. The province of Lima has been excluded from this process and does not form part of any region. Unlike the earlier departments, regions have an elected government and have a wide array of responsibilities within their jurisdiction. Under the 2002 Organic Law of Regional Governments (Spanish: Ley Orgánica de Gobiernos Regionales), there is an ongoing process of transfer of functions from the central government to the regions. A 2005 referendum for the merger of several departments failed to get the necessary electoral support.
Peruvian regions and departments are subdivided in provinces and districts.
Machu Picchu (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈmatʃu ˈpiktʃu], Quechua: Machu Picchu [ˈmɑtʃu ˈpixtʃu], "Old Peak") is a 15th-century Inca site located 2,430 metres (7,970 ft) 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 (50 mi) 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.
The Incas built the estate around 1450, but abandoned it as an official site for the Inca rulers a century later at the time of the Spanish Conquest. Although known locally, it was unknown to the outside world before being brought to international attention in 1911 by the American historian Hiram Bingham. Since then, Machu Picchu has become an important tourist attraction. Most of the outlying buildings have been reconstructed in order to give tourists a better idea of what the structures originally looked like. By 1976, thirty percent of Machu Picchu had been restored. The restoration work continues to this day.