After eight long months of lockdown, Peru‘s Machu Picchu is open. The citadel which was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1983 kicked off the opening with quite the show. Peruvian authorities organized a tradition Incan ritual to thank the gods on Sunday’s reopening of the site which included a stunning light show. Aside from one special tourist was able to enjoy the ruins all to himself in early October, this is the first time the site has been open since the pandemic began.
Machu Picchu Open After Eight Months
Machu Picchu, which means old mountain in Quecha, was built in the mid-1400s century for Incan Emperor Pachacuti. Less than 100 years later the site fell to ruin with the arrival of the conquistadors. Despite only being inhabited for around 80 years, it is celebrated around the world as one of the most beloved archaeological sites.
The ancient archaeological ruins are at the top of anyone’s list while travelling in Peru. Prior to the pandemic, Machu Picchu received around 2,000 visitors per day and nearly half a million per year. Those numbers are not feasible in today’s world. Currently, Peruvian authorities have the max number of daily tourists reduced to 675. It should come as no surprise that pre-COVID Machu Picchu supplied the livelihood of thousands of locals. As a major draw for Peru’s tourism, Machu Picchu supplied jobs for tens of thousands of Peruvians. Many Cusco’s mountainous region have suffered this year due to the collapse of tourism and are hoping for a rebound.
The reopening comes after Peru dealt with one of the most strict lockdowns in the world. Despite having such a strict lockdown, however, the country has suffered the worst mortality rate globally. Currently, Peru is inching toward one million cases and has suffered nearly 35,000 deaths. Foreign
Trade and Tourism Minister Rocio Barrios has reassured Peruvians and travellers alike that the new health and safety measures will ensure an opening that is “with responsibly and great prudence.”