Machu Picchu, Peru’s legendary archaeological site officially reopened April 1st following a two-month closure due to flooding. The Machu Picchu citadel did not experience any damage earlier this year during the heavy rains and landslides in the Peruvian region – a true testament to the architectural and engineering mastery of the Incans – however damage to the railways made the site inaccessible for visitors since January.
Tourism Vice Minister Mara Seminario reported that hundreds of foreign tourists entered the city following its official reopening yesterday.
Rail service to the town of Machu Picchu, also known as Aguas Calientes, resumed from Piscacucho earlier this week (Monday, March 29) several days ahead of schedule. Visitors will be able to travel from Cusco to Piscacucho by bus, and then continue on to the Aguas Calientes station by train.
This re-opening comes just in time for the peak travel season for North American visitors to Peru, leading up to the highly anticipated 100th Anniversary of Hiram Bingham’s discovery of the citadel in early 2011.
Despite an economic downturn and a decrease in North American overseas travel, Peru saw an increase in North American visitor arrivals in 2009 – reinforcing the appeal of Peru’s meaningful, diverse, life-changing tourism experiences, including two new sites in the running for the New 7 Wonders of the World – Lake Titicaca and the Peruvian Amazon.
A favorable exchange rate, new hotels at all price points, numerous direct flights from major North American gateway markets – with new San Francisco service beginning in July – and affordable value packages have made Peru a top destination for North American travelers. LAN Airlines’ current promotion awards a free domestic flight within Peru with the purchase of a roundtrip ticket from the U.S. to Lima, available through April 19, 2010!
The majority of travelers from North America visit Peru between May and November to experience Peru’s ancient archaeological sites, legendary wildlife and adventure. “Must-explore” experiences include Peru’s Amazon; Lima, Bon Appetit’s Culinary Destination of the Year; emerging tourist regions in Northern and Southern Peru including Keulap, Trujillo, Arequipa and Colca Canyon; and a wealth of life-changing community tourism experiences.
New Yorkers will also have the exclusive opportunity to experience the best of Peru at the highly acclaimed celebrity Archaeological Institute of America’s Annual Gala on April 28 in New York City. Peruvian history, culture, cuisine and entertainment take center stage at the black tie affair. Tickets can be purchased at www.archaeological.org/gala
For more information on Machu Picchu and other Peruvian tourism destinations, visit www.peru.info. Additional information on rail service, airfare and ticket bookings can be found at www.perurail.com and www.lan.com.