By Patrick Clarke
Officials in Peru have announced that the iconic tourist site Machu Picchu has been reopened to visitors as of Feb. 15.
The centuries-old religious sanctuary in South America’s Andes Mountains had been closed since Jan. 21 due to civil unrest stemming from local protests calling for the resignation of President Dina Boluarte and members of Peru’s Congress.
Last month’s closure prompted the government to airlift more than 400 tourists from Machu Picchu to nearby Cusco by helicopter.
Officials have revealed that important agreements have been reached by a handful of important groups and organizations to ensure the safety and security of tourists to the site.
“The reopening of the Machu Picchu Sanctuary is set, starting on Wednesday, February 15, 2023, under the same conditions, schedules and circuits established, after making the commitment jointly with the institutions that comprise the Machu Picchu Management Unit (UGM), municipal authorities of Machu Picchu and Ollantaytambo, directors of the Chamber of Commerce and leaders of social organizations, to guarantee the security of the monument, and transportation services, thus, visitors can enjoy the experience of the visit,” the Ministry of Culture, through the Decentralized Directorate of Culture of Cusco, said in a statement.
Currently, the U.S. State Department advises Americans to reconsider travel to Peru due to crime and civil unrest. Specifically, visitors are asked to avoid travel to the Colombian-Peruvian border area in the Loreto Region due to crime and the Valley of the Apurímac, Ene, and Mantaro Rivers (VRAEM), including areas within the Departments of Ayacucho, Cusco, Huancavelica, and Junin, due to crime and terrorism.
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