Peru suspends entry to Machu Picchu due to protest blocking only railroad services

Published on : Thursday, December 17, 2020

Peru suspended entry to Machu Picchu due to a protest blocking the only railroad for reaching this tourist spot located in a far-flung area of the Andes and the Amazon.

“So we hope that on these days, through the dialogue that has been established with the representatives of the central government, with the local government of Machu Picchu, and also with the tourist industry, there will be conditions to reopen it,” said Peru Culture Minister Alejandro Neyra.

Due to the corona virus pandemic, Machu Picchu was closed for almost eight months. In November, the government of Peru reopened it, resting hopes on local tourism reactivation.

Currently, international tourism is minimal and local Peruvians are now majority in visiting Machu Picchu.

However, many tourists are dispirited from visiting the famous citadel, 70 kilometers from Cusco, due to not finding train tickets in the lowest priced wagons offered to Peruvian tourists by only two existing transport services, PeruRail, since 1999, and Inca Rail, since 2009.

The price of a round trip ticket to Machu Picchu costs around 6.60 US dollars for Peruvians and for international tourist, at around 70 US dollars.

A Peruvian tourist not finding lower-priced tickets, sometimes have no other option but to buy the one offered to the international tourist.

PeruRail said that the protest affected more than 1,000 national tourists “who had planned their trip to Machu Picchu on our tourist trains.”

Machu Picchu is the chief attraction of tourism in Peru witnessing 1.5 million visitors in 2019, 76% of whom were foreigners.

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