Machu Picchu to reopen to tourists on April 1


Peru’s government plans to reopen the Machu Picchu citadel to tourists on April 1 as floodwaters recede from the 15th-century Inca ruins, the Andean country’s Trade and Tourism Minister Martin Perez said today.

Orient Express Hotels Ltd.’s Peru Rail unit is repairing the local railway line, which was damaged by floods and landslides last month, Perez told reporters in Lima.

“The citadel is intact and we expect to receive visitors starting April 1,” Perez said. “The railway concessionaire is making good progress.”

The following are the expected operating dates:

– Cuzco/Puno: should be operating beginning February 22

– Piscaucucho*/Machu Picchu: should be operating at the beginning of April (*Piscacucho is the departing point of the Inca Trail and is located 50 minutes by van/bus from Ollantaytambo.)

– Ollantaytambo/Machu Picchu: should be operating at the beginning of May

Heavy rains in Peru’s southern Andes in January triggered flash flooding and landslides, blocking the railway and roads and forcing the government to evacuate 4,000 tourists by helicopter from the citadel. The railway closure may cost Peru 550 million soles ($192 million) in lost tourism revenue, according to the Trade Ministry.

About 858,000 tourists a year visit Machu Picchu, according to the Tourism Observatory.

For more information on the train to Machu Picchu, contact Victor Campana with Viajes Coltur at email: , web: .