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Peru re-opens world-famous tourist site—Machu Picchu

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In an ancient ritual ceremony of gratitude to the earth and the light, Peru marked the re-opening of its world-famous 500-year-old stone city, the Inca citadel—Machu Picchu—after almost eight months in lockdown due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Machu Picchu, an abandoned stone city, built by the Incas, is a popular place to visit in the Andes Mountains in Peru, western South America. Receiving over 1 million visitors over the years, this high-altitude UNESCO World Heritage citadel nestled in the Andes is considered the tourist sites’ crown jewel in Peru.

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Ruins of Machu Picchu, Peru. Photo by Tomas Sobek | Unsplash

Peruvian Minister of Foreign Trade and Tourism Rocio Barrios said: “Today is a very important day for us. After eight very difficult months as a result of a pandemic that battered the globe, today, we are once again back.”

Alejandro Neyra, Peru’s Minister of Culture, called it a “symbolic place of Peruvian culture in the world.”

Both Rocio and Neyra believe that Machu Picchu is a special place of hope—one that showcases the resilience, fortitude, courage, and strength of Peru.

Re-opening restrictions for Machu Picchu

As the number of COVID-19 cases decreases in Peru, authorities are more confident that re-opening the site while observing health protocols and social distancing would work.

They are also limiting site access to only 675 tourists per day, a mere 30% of the visitors they used to have before the pandemic, to ensure safety.

Also in the reports were information about one Japanese tourist allowed in earlier in October, before Machu Picchu reopened. He was allowed in after he waited for almost seven months at the nearby town of Aguas Calientes.

Guests arrivals

At the re-opening ceremony, the first train of tourists arrived at Machu Picchu Pueblo on the re-opening ceremony. They reached the Inca citadel site, following a 90-minute trip along the Urubamba River from the ancient Inca village of Ollantaytambo.

As he welcomes everyone during his speech, Neyra prayed that the hope symbolized by the Machu Picchu ruins would help everyone “move forward through these difficult times.”

Always on the lookout for fun stuff to try, and great lifestyle stories to share. Writing about life and beauty since 2015.

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