Machu Picchu reopens 25 days after Peru protests forced closure

On Wednesday, the Inca fortress of Machu Picchu, Peru’s tourism crown jewel, reopened to visitors after being shuttered for 25 days as a result of protests that have rocked the nation since last December.

Early in the morning, visitors could be seen visiting the archaeological park and touring the various monuments and holy temples that make up the “llaqta” while taking advantage of an uncommonly sunny day (“citadel” in Quechua).

By Wednesday midday, the Ministry of Culture, whose representatives were on site, estimated that 700 tourists had come.

“The capacity is 4,044 visitors a day in eight shifts from 6:00 am to 4:00 pm,” said Maritza Rosa Candia, director of the ministry in Cusco.

Since January 21, the well-known citadel, which the Inca ruler Pachacutec constructed in the 15th century, has been off-limits to tourists as Peru struggles with a social and political crisis that has witnessed waves of at times violent protests.

President Dina Boluarte’s resignation and fresh elections are what protesters are calling for.

Due to attacks by protesters, the train service from Cusco to Machu Picchu village, the town situated at the base of the citadel, was suspended for 18 days.

As a result, Machu Picchu, which can only be reached by rail from Ollantaytambo, 90 minutes distant, experienced a shortage of essential goods and goods like household gas.

The Peruvian economy depends heavily on tourism, which brings roughly 4.5 million tourists annually.

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