Machu Picchu with Google Earth Tours

Rated 5.16 out of 5, based on 12 reviews
12 Ratings
Ryan Nygren - RKN
Grade Levels
1st - 5th, Homeschool
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  • Google Apps™
13 pages
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Ryan Nygren - RKN
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Tour Machu Picchu with Google Earth Tours

Make a virtual field trip to one of the world’s most famous landmarks; Machu Picchu. You will be using Google Earth to watch a pre-recorded tour of the lost Incan city located in the Andes Mountains. You will learn about its famous structures like the Temple of the Sun, Royal Palace, Sacred Stone and Intihuatana. The trip lasts for 5 minutes and 7 seconds.

The product includes a document of about 25 talking points and interesting facts about the ancient Incan site and it’s occupants.

The tour is also accompanied by a PDF file that describes what you are seeing based on the corresponding minutes in the video. This is so you can pause the tour at the given time stamp and let the class know what they are looking at.

For example the document says at, “2:23 – 2:37 – The House of the Guardians is the first stop within the city.

A. The House of the Guardians is the little house in the middle of the screen. It’s technically outside of the city’s walls. 

B. Despite its name implying that the city’s guards lived there, it’s not really known what its purpose was. 

C. To the right of tiny house is a rock called the Funerary Rock and behind that is an area known as the Cemetery. 

D. Their names are derived from the fact that human skeletons were unearthed here, but its unlikely they were actually used for funerals or as a place to bury the dead. ”

The tour begins with a view of South America from outer space. You are then zoomed in to the site’s location to see it from a variety of different viewpoints. The angles are chosen so the students can get a good idea of the city’s location, as well as, the locations of the city’s structures. Finally, you are taken back out to a long shot of South America.

To watch, all you have to do is click on the file, Google Earth will open and you will be taken on a short trip to the World Heritage site. * Your computer must have Google Earth to watch these tours.

Feel free to visit some other famous landmarks in the Americas.

1. The Golden Gate Bridge (3:29)

2. Chichen Itza (5:38)

3. Niagara Falls (2:10)

4. Panama Canal (3:02)

5. Statue of Liberty (2:07)

6. Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri (1:06)

7. Mount Rushmore (3:02)

8. Machu Picchu (5:07)

9. Freedom Tower, aka One World Trade Center (3:54)

10. The Kremlin, Red Square and St. Basil’s Cathedral (4:20)

Here are some European landmarks.

1. Stonehenge (3:29)

2. The Acropolis (5:38)

3. The Colosseum (5:38)

4. The Leaning Tower of Pisa (3:28)

5. The Eiffel Tower (3:15)

6. Big Ben (5:12)

7. Notre Dame de Paris (4:20)

Tour some African sites.

1. The Egyptian Pyramids and the Great Sphinx of Giza (3:15)

Go on an outing to these Asian destinations.

1. The Great Wall of China (5:41)

2. The Kremlin, Red Square and St. Basil’s Cathedral (4:20)

These tours work great with social studies lessons about famous landmarks, maps, cardinal directions, etc.

Here are a few links to some helpful tutorials on how to use Google Earth.

How to Use Google Earth For Beginners – by Rick Castellini on YouTube

Beginner Google Earth Tutorial Videos by Google

Beginner’s Guide to Using Google Earth – by The Land Brothers

Please feel free to email me directly at if you need any assistance.

Check out all of my Google Earth Tours on this Pinterest board.

The cover photo is by jdbenthien and is under a Public Domain license. The photo can be found on Pixabay @

Map Data:

Image © 2017 CNES / Airbus

Google, Image Landsat / Copernicus



Image U.S. Geological Survey

Image © 2017 Digital Globe

© Google

US Department of State Geographer

© 2009 GeoBasis – DE/BKG

3D Google Earth model of the ancient Inca city of Machu Picchu has been created using data from a laser scan of the site conducted by the University of Arkansas.

Data developed under the authority of the Instituto Nacional de Cultura, Vladimir Dávila - Arquitecto del P.A.N Machu Picchu, Director del P.A.N Machu Picchu Direccion Regional de Cultura Cusco and Fernando Astete - National Archaeological Park of Machu Picchu. Data acquired, processed and distributed by the Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies staff (Snow Winters, Malcolm Williamson and Katie Simon) and by students in the 2009 Cotsen Institute for Archaeology (UCLA) Cuzco/Machu Picchu Field School, Alexei Vranich Director.

Total Pages
13 pages
Answer Key
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