And Just Like That, Machu Picchu Is Officially Open to Visitors Again

The famous ruins were closed to tourists late last month after an increase in protests rendered it unsafe

Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu

After being closed due to protest for almost a month, Machu Picchu is officially open to tourists again.

In case you missed it, back in January the famous ruins — in addition to the Inca Trail leading up to the site — were closed to visitors indefinitely, “to protect the safety of tourists and the population in general.” The closure came off the back of reports of an increase in anti-government protests across the country.

The protests are a result of the impeachment and imprisonment of Peru’s first leader with a rural Andean, after he attempted to dissolve Congress. Demonstrators subsequently began calling for the resignation of his replacement, former vice president Boluarte, as well as the dissolution of Congress and a new election.

A total of 60 people have died to date, and Cusco, where Machu Picchu is located, has been the site of some of the most intense clashes. In fact, upwards of 400 visitors — 300 of whom were foreign — were actually left stranded at Machu Picchu, unable to leave, back in December after Peru first launched into violent political unrest.

Machu Picchu Is Closed to Visitors Indefinitely
Cusco, where Machu Picchu is located, has been the site of some of the most intense political protests

Now, however, per The Associated Press, agreements have been made between authorities, social groups and the local tourism industry to ensure the security of the site and transport services. That said, the U.S. Department of State is currently still warning against travel to the area, advising Americans to “reconsider travel” to the country and “exercise increased caution due to civil unrest.”

For the uninitiated, Machu Picchu is a site of 15th century Inca ruins located on a mountain ridge in the Eastern Cordillera of southern Peru. Once a royal estate for Inca emperors and nobles, Machu Picchu was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983 and later, in 2007, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. With over 1.5 million visitors a year, it’s considered Peru’s most popular attraction and South America’s most famous ruins.


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