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Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Machu Picchu in Peru opens up for tourists after eight months of lockdown

The first set of tourists arrived November 1 at the Machu Picchu Pueblo, the village closest to the citadel

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi | Updated: November 5, 2020 9:20:48 am
machu picchu, tourism, pandemic, indian express newsTourists visit the world-renowned Incan citadel of Machu Picchu as it reopens for the first time since its 8-months-long closure to help curb the spread of COVID-19. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)

The famous Inca citadel of Machu Picchu in Peru, which was shut for the longest time because of the COVID-19 pandemic, has decided to open up once again for tourists. Before the pandemic, the heritage site welcomed visitors from all over the world. But, it reopened on Sunday (November 1) after nearly eight months, with plans to accommodate only a limited number of attendees.

According to reports, the site will open with 30 per cent capacity and only 675 tourists will be able to access it every day. For its opening day, there was a lights show, an Inca ritual, which thanked gods for the opportunity to open the citadel once again.

“Today, Machu Picchu opens. It opens with [health and safety] protocols, it opens to say that we are reactivating ourselves but with responsibility and great prudence, because we see everything happening in the world with the pandemic,” Rocio Barrios, the Foreign Trade and Tourism Minister, was quoted as saying.

machu picchu, tourism, pandemic, indian express news Artists perform at the world-renowned Incan citadel of Machu Picchu as it reopens for the first time since its 8-months-long closure to help curb the spread of COVID-19. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)

The first set of tourists arrived November 1 at the Machu Picchu Pueblo — the village closest to the citadel — after a 90-minute journey along the Urubamba River from the ancient Inca village of Ollantaytambo, the Bangkok Post reports.

The number of cases in Peru have been declining, but visitors will be expected to maintain social distancing.

Previously, the site had opened up for a Japanese man named Jesse Katayama, who had been stuck in Peru ever since the coronavirus outbreak happened. He had got a chance to visit it after nearly seven months, and even posted pictures on his social media account.

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マチュピチュキタァァァァァァァァァァァァァァァァァァ‼️‼️‼️ この前の新聞見てくれて 「頑張って」「応援してる」 「なんでも頼って」 「マチュピチュの俺の家タダで使ってええよ」 「マチュピチュ開いたらタダでガイドしたる」 「マチュピチュ村の村長に行ける様に言っとくわ」 ペルーの人達、ペルーに住んでる日本の人達から沢山メッセージもらいました😂 もう行けへんやろなと思ってたけど、皆さんが村長、政府に頼んでくれて 超特別に行かせてもらった👏🏽笑 ペルーの人達みんな優しすぎるぅ〜くぅ〜 本当にありがとうございます!! 村長と一緒にマチュピチュいった人今までおらんやろ笑 閉鎖後、1番最初にマチュピチュ行った地球人は俺だぁぁぁぁぁ🔥🔥🔥 #世界一周 #バックパッカー #27ヵ国目 #ペルー #マチュピチュ #貸し切り #村長のガイド付き #村長ごっつ男前 #トムクルーズ似なんよ #ミッションインポッシブルなんよ #peru #machupicchu #lastsamurai

A post shared by Jesse Katayama (@jessekatayama) on

Katayama had become the first visitor in over seven months to be able to safely walk through the world heritage site. He had his entry ticket with him since March. The Guardian reported that he had wanted to spend only a few days in Peru to experience Machu Picchu, whose ruins are part of a citadel built more than 500 years ago.

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