Machu Picchu to reopen to visitors

Following its sudden closure at the end of January, Peru's most iconic landmark Machu Picchu will reopen again this week...

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The Peruvian citadel of Machu Picchu will reopen this week after being closed for several weeks to protect it from protests in nearby Cusco.

It's been announced that the Inca icon will reopen to travellers fully on Wednesday, 15 February, after it was abruptly closed on 21 January. This follows news that train services to Machu Picchu began operating a limited service again last week.

The closure had potentially meant an indefinite period of uncertainty for travellers planning to visit Machu Picchu but now it's reopening, demand for permits is expected to rise again. A maximum of 2,500 people are allowed to visit the citadel every day.

People walking the Inca Trail (Shutterstock)

People walking the Inca Trail (Shutterstock)

Around Machu Picchu, places like the Sacred Valley and Cusco have already reopened to travellers.

Danny Callaghan, CEO of the Latin American Travel Association (LATA), said: “We are delighted to hear from our LATA member, Amazonas Explorer, that ahead of the official reopening of Machu Picchu on Wednesday, 15 February, some tourists have already made their way to this amazing location.

"Cusco and the Sacred Valley are now fully open, as is Lima, the coastal regions, Northern Peru, Arequipa, and the Colca Canyon. Inca Rail has announced that their Ollantaytambo – Machu Picchu and Machu Picchu – Hidro-Electrica services have resumed, currently at reduced frequency, but with Perurail expected to be running all services normally by Monday, 20 February.

He added: "While there are still some sporadic roadblocks and reduced air services this is a big step forward towards a return to normal tourism services. We would suggest that tour operators build a little flexibility into itineraries for now, but if clients are travelling with a decent destination management company (DMC) in Peru, they will have a great holiday, and see the key sights with no problems.

"Inca Trail passes for April and May are selling fast, so clients need to get booked up.”

Fernando Rodriguez, Intrepid’s general manager in Peru, also commented: "Machu Picchu opening is a really positive step towards the country returning to normal for visitors. Some tourists have already been visiting Machu Picchu ahead of the official opening today.

"Most trains have resumed on reduced schedules and access through the Sacred Valley has improved, with some minor blockades still in place, and flights are operating as normal.

 "We are planning to resume our Peru tours soon and our local team is looking forward to welcoming visitors once again."

Go beyond Machu Picchu:

7 alternative Inca Trails around Cusco in Peru

How you can explore Peru off the beaten (Inca) trail

9 fascinating archaeological sites in Peru (that aren't Machu Picchu)

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