Political unrest prompts indefinite suspension of tourism activities in Machu Picchu

 Tuesday, January 24, 2023 


The violent political protests and unrest which began in December has adversely affected the tourism industry in Peru and maligned the country’s image as a global tourist destination. The latest update on this front is that the country has indefinitely suspended all tourism related activities in Machu Picchu. The popular Inca Trail is affected as well.

This move is sure to put the country’s competitiveness as a tourist destination at risk. But, the decision had to be made in order to protect the safety of tourists and the locals in general.

The South American country has been grappling with a destructive political crisis. On December 7, left-wing President Pedro Castillo was impeached and arrested after he attempted to dissolve the country’s national legislative body. Castillo’s vice president, Dina Boluarte, was sworn in as the new president on the same day.

In the following week, large-scale violent demonstrations over Castillo’s removal broke out across the country, with protesters demanding new general elections, Boluarte’s resignation, Castillo’s release or Congress’ dissolution. The protests have resulted in 28 deaths and more than 600 injuries, according to infobae, which provides news centered on Latin America.

Earlier reports showed that about 300 tourists from around the world, including Peruvians, South Americans, Americans and Europeans, were left stranded in popular tourist sites in the country including the Municipal District of Machu Picchu. Some of them even chose to walk to the nearest village of Piscacucho, and that’s around six to seven hours of walking.

As per the reports, tourists who have already booked their tickets for Machu Picchu, will get their full refund. All train services to Machu Picchu are also suspended.

The 15th century UNESCO World Heritage Site of Machu Picchu is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. The capital city of Lima is definitely off limits for visitors, and so are the rest of the Andean regions.

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