A Japanese man, the first tourist to visit Machu Picchu in seven months
Last Sunday, a Japanese man became the first tourist in seven months to visit the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, a jewel of Peruvian tourism, which has been closed since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Dream Come True!", Indicated the Regional Directorate of Foreign Trade and Tourism of Cusco (Dircetur) on its Facebook page, about the visit of the Japanese Jesse Takayama, 26, to the citadel, which the authorities hope to reopen in November.
The young traveler was previously unable to access our Llaqta [citadel] due to restrictions due to the pandemic, the state agency said.
After being stranded in the neighboring town since March, Takayama obtained a special permit to fulfill his dream of visiting Machu Picchu, thanks to the management carried out between Dircetur, the Ministry of Culture and the Municipality of Machu Picchu.
Katayama is the first visitor to enter the Inca citadel since it was closed on March 16 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Japanese had bought his ticket to visit the citadel in March, but a day before the health emergency was decreed.
Known as "The last tourist of Machu Picchu", Katayama remained since March waiting in a house in the town, prevented from continuing his planned tour of other South American countries.
Finally, the Peruvian authorities allowed him to enter the citadel on an exceptional basis.
I wanted to visit Machu Picchu, but one day before I did, the sanctuary closed due to the pandemic. I stayed for the sole purpose of being able to finally see this wonder and I did not want to leave without first doing so, the Japanese tourist, who had planned to stay only three days in the area, told the newspaper La República.
A big thank you to the Peruvian Minister of Culture, Alejandro Neyra, as well as to the authorities, said the tourist with a mask and dressed in sportswear with the citadel in the background in a video published by Dircetur.
Machu Picchu must reopen in November, after a first attempt in July, which was scrapped after coronavirus infections continued to rise in the Cusco region (southeast), where the citadel is located.
According to the new protocols, only 675 tourists would be allowed to enter per day, 30% of the total authorized in a normal season.
They must enter in groups of eight visitors with a guide and they will have to maintain a distance of 1.5 to 2 meters between each person.
Before the pandemic, between 2,000 and 3,000 people entered the citadel per day, and in high season, up to 5,000. In March, on the last day of the visit, 2,500 people entered.
Since Machu Picchu opened to tourism in 1948, the mythical citadel had only closed two months before in 2010 when a flood destroyed the railroad from Cusco.
Peru accumulates 849,371 cases of covid-19, and its death toll of 33,305, keeps it as the country with the highest mortality rate in the world in proportion to its population, with 101 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants.