Machu Picchu reopens to travellers after protest closure

The famous archaeological site Machu Picchu has reopened to visitors in Peru after being temporarily closed due to local unrest in January.

Machu Picchu was shut on 21 January, and after almost a month, the famous Inca Trail Network is back welcoming visitors as of 15 February 2023.

The closure of the historic Incan site saw more than 400 tourists stranded and subsequently airlifted from the fifteenth-century site to nearby Cusco by helicopter. This came after protests following President Pedro Castillo being ousted from office, which led to unrest in cities, including Cusco, once the capital of the Inca Empire and today the gateway to Machu Picchu.

Machu Picchu © Jeison Higuita  Unsplash
Machu Picchu is reopen and ready to explore © Jeison Higuita

Hike the Inca trail

Machu Picchu is back to regular schedules, with local institutions working together to guarantee the monument’s and visiting travellers security. And to ensure transportation services to and from the site run smoothly. The aim to encourage adventure-seekers to return to Peru and experience the magic of Machupicchu National Archaeological Park.

The Australian government continues to suggest exercising caution when travelling to the region. It recommends to “reconsider your need to travel” via Updates on the website are daily and worth reading before any departures to Peru.

Happily, tourist attractions in the north and east areas of Peru and the circuit of northern beaches are fully open with no negative impact by the recent unrest. They continue to welcome local and international visitors alike.

Machu Picchu with lama
Hike the hills of Machu Picchu © Willian Justen de Vasconcellos

What to see in Peru

Peru is a dream destination to travel to, and the iconic Machu Picchu is a dream destination for photographers. Here are a few of V&T’s favourite Peru experiences:

The Andean answer to Eden, the Lares trek explores Peru’s spiritual Sacred Valley in style. Using the path less travelled to reach Machu Picchu, getting there is a rite of passage. Everyone from history buffs to thrill seekers have hiked these epic trails along the Inca Trail.

Read more: Take the path less travelled to Machu Picchu

Or discover Choquequirao, the lost city of the Inca. A Quechua name meaning “cradle of gold”, Choquequirao is so remote, so far up in the Andes, that Spanish conquistadors never discovered it. It doesn’t even appear in any colonial-era texts. And to this day, only 30 per cent of it has been freed from a cloud-covered jungle.

Read more: Choquequirao, Peru: The lost city of the Inca

Travelling to Peru by Air

Domestic airports are all working except for the Inca Manco Caìpac International Airport (Juliaca, Puno), which currently has suspended operations. Arequipa’s International Alfredo Rodriìguez Balloìn Airport operates from 6 am to 10 pm. Only passengers with scheduled flights can access the airport facilities, except those requiring special assistance and/or minors.

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