The Peruvian government says it expects the historic Inca citadel of Machu Picchu to re-open to tourists in about three weeks – earlier than expected.
Recent flooding and mudslides swept away parts of the railway leading to the sacred site. About 4,000 tourists and locals were evacuated by helicopter after being stranded there.
The Minister of Transport and Communications, Enrique Cornejo, said tourists would be able to get round blockages between Cusco and Machu Picchu by travelling part of the distance by road and the rest by train. He said two temporary bridges would be built to help by-pass the ten obstructions that are currently blocking access to the citadel.
The cost in damage to infrastructure, agriculture and tourism is estimated at 680 million soles (£152 million /$238 million).
Tourism is one of Peru’s largest sources of revenue, and Machu Picchu is the main attraction. According to the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism, the 15th century Inca citadel attracts more than 850,000 tourists a year. More than 600,000 of those are foreign visitors.
by Andy Moreton
Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge – the only hotel adjacent to the heritage site – offers luxury accommodation and is bookable at the best rates through Luxique.