Machu Picchu, the famous Inca citadel in Peru, has finally reopened to visitors on February 15, 2023, following a two-month closure due to political protests. This is great news for Latin America tourism specialists who have been eagerly awaiting the reopening of one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations.
The protests that led to the closure of Machu Picchu started in December 2022, after Peru’s president Pedro Castillo was removed from office, facing an impeachment trial. His supporters began protests which led to the closure of roads and airports. The protests led to the indefinite closure of Machu Picchu on 21 January, as well as other popular tourist sites in the area, including the Sacred Valley and the city of Cusco.
We are delighted to hear from our LATA member, Amazonas Explorer, that ahead of the official reopening of Machu Picchu on Wednesday, 15 February, some tourists have already made their way to this amazing location.Danny Callaghan, CEO of the Latin American Travel Association (LATA)
The Historical Sanctuary of #Machupicchu reopens its doors! 🇵🇪🙌— peru (@peru) February 15, 2023
Our world wonder is now receiving visitors from all over the planet, with the same schedules, conditions and established circuits. Get your tickets here 👉 https://t.co/9mWLeyYjbi#MarcaPerú #Peru pic.twitter.com/amRh4Cq9fW
The reopening of the site is expected to bring an increase in demand, which had been uncertain due to the closure. Although the number of visitors to the citadel is currently capped at 2,500 per day, the reopening of Machu Picchu has been welcomed by Latin America tourism specialists, who have been waiting for this day since the closure of the site in December. Tour operators are now planning trips to the region.
Lima, the coastal regions, Northern Peru, Arequipa, the Colca Canyon, Cusco, and the Sacred Valley are currently open for tourists. Inca Rail recently stated that their Ollantaytambo-Machu Picchu and Machu Picchu-Hidro-Electrica services have resumed, although with reduced frequency compared to the usual schedule. PeruRail is expected to return to its regular service schedule by Monday, 20 February.
“While there are still some sporadic roadblocks and reduced air services this is a big step forward towards a return to normal tourism services. We would suggest that tour operators build a little flexibility into itineraries for now, but if clients are travelling with a decent destination management company (DMC) in Peru, they will have a great holiday, and see the key sights with no problems,” said Danny Callaghan, LATA CEO.