Machu Picchu receives visitors after closures due to protests

The Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, in the Peruvian region of Cusco, received visitors again this Saturday, after five days of closure due to protests by residents against the railway companies that provide service in the area.

“Work is already underway and there are quite a few visitors” at the archaeological park, Oscar Valencia Aucca, representative of the Front for the Defense of the Interests of Machu Picchu, told AFP.

He indicated that most are tourists from Cusco and some other regions of Peru.

The trains are working without problems and “with the usual frequencies and rates,” added Valencia.

The reopening of the citadel, the main tourist attraction in the South American country, had been announced this Friday by local authorities after the suspension of the blockade of the railway access to the park by residents of the towns of Machu Picchu and Ollantaytambo.

The claims include cheaper rates and a greater frequency of trains on the route between Cusco and Machu Picchu by the two companies that provide the service, Inca Rail and Peru Rail, in order to increase national tourism in light of the expected drop in foreign visitors due to the effects of the covid-19 pandemic.

The train is the only means of transport for tourists who visit the citadel, but it is also widely used by the inhabitants of the area.

Machu Picchu (Old Mountain, in Quechua language) was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1983 and in 2007 it was chosen as one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World in a worldwide online survey.

The archaeological park had increased its capacity by 40% on December 1 to 1,116 daily visitors, a month after its reopening in the framework of a gradual reduction of COVID-19 infections in Peru.

Entrance to the citadel is expected to be free until the end of the year.

and / yow

Melissa Galbraith
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