Resumption of guided tours
Update as of 02/17/2023
The reopening of the historic Inca citadel of Machu Picchu. It reopened its doors to visitors after three weeks of intense anti-government demonstrations that forced the temporary closure of the wonder of the world to protect the integrity of its visitors.
Hidden high in the Andes, the archaeological complex declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site is usually packed with large numbers of visitors day after day. But for the past 25 days, the historic ruins have been virtually empty at the demand of the Peruvian state.
Last month, protests against Peru’s new president blocked the main access roads to the site. Demonstrations continue across the country, but authorities insist that it is now possible to visit the ancient monument.
Tourist agencies celebrate the reopening of Machu Picchu and invite all travelers who were planning their visit to these magnificent ruins to resume their plans because they are looking forward to giving them an unforgettable experience.
Why was Machu Picchu closed?
The site was closed on January 21, temporarily stranding several hundred travelers who were prepared to visit the citadel, due to the civil unrest that is occurring throughout Peru could not complete their visit and the State had to close the ruins to protect the integrity of visitors.
Former Peruvian President Pedro Castillo was impeached by Congress in December on corruption charges and imprisoned for rebellion and conspiracy. He himself denies the accusations, but Congress has installed his vice-president, Dina Boluarte as the new head of the Peruvian state.
Her supporters have called for new elections. However, Boluarte insists she will remain in office until 2026. Anger has grown after more than 50 protesters were killed during intense police crackdowns on demonstrations. The protests disrupted train service carrying people and goods from Cusco to Machu Picchu town, forcing the famous site to close.
Is Machu Picchu open to tourists?
Train service resumed to Machu Picchu, which has allowed the site to reopen and wait for tourists who still want to see the wonder built in the 15th century by the Inca emperor Pachacutec.
The first groups of tourists entered the archaeological park early on Wednesday 15, taking advantage of an unusually sunny day for this season that usually has cloudy days. Some 700 tourists are said to have arrived at the archaeological site by midday, according to Peru’s Ministry of Culture.
“The capacity is 4,044 visitors per day in eight shifts from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m.,” said Maritza Rosa Candia, director of the ministry in Cusco. During the closure of the archaeological site, authorities took the opportunity to work “on the maintenance and conservation” of the routes and passageways of the stone citadel, Candia said.
An important key to the Peruvian economy and an important source of employment is tourism, especially concentrated in the city of Cusco and Machu Picchu, which, before the pandemic in 2020, attracted about 4.5 million visitors a year.
Will travel agencies resume travel to the site?
Most tour agencies have announced that they will resume travel to Machu Picchu on March 1, but bookings can be made at any time.
“The impact on the tourism industry has been devastating, especially after the extremely difficult years suffered during the pandemic. According to the latest government figures, losses in the tourism sector will exceed US$400 million, with Lima, Cusco, Puno and Arequipa being the most affected regions,” stated the tour operator.