Metropolitan Touring sent us the official statement released by PomPeru — the promotional institution for tourism and exports in Peru — giving an update on the current status of Machu Picchu.
San Isidro, February 3 – After the successful evacuation operation of all tourists staying in Machu Picchu Town (formerly Aguas Calientes) after the intense rains recently, the Minister for Exterior Commerce and Tourism, Martin Perez confirmed that:
1. The city of Cusco, located 110 km from Machu Picchu continues to welcome tourists without any complications whatsoever. The rains that were experienced in the city were light and moderate, with all the archaeological and cultural attractions remaining open to the public. The list of all areas of interest for tourists in Cusco and surrounding areas can been found by visiting www.peru.info and www.turismoperu.info
2. The archaeological complex of Machu Picchu has not suffered any damage from the rains, according to the Minister for Exterior Commerce and Tourism. A committee from UNESCO – the institution that declared the sanctuary of Machu Picchu as a World Heritage Site in 1997, will arrive during the next few days to verify the situation.
3. The citadel of Machu Picchu remains open for tourists at this time, however the only access via the train line between Ollantaytambo and Machu Picchu has suffered serious damage at various locations, especially at km 78, 79 and 102. According to train operators the repairs to the line could take between 7 and 8 weeks, weather permitting.
4. During the evacuation of the tourists air access was created between Ollantaytambo and Machu Picchu town, however, this provision will not be extended to visitors wishing to still reach the sanctuary to visit.
5. The Minister of Transport and Communication announced that the railtrack repairs have already commenced.
6. The Minister for Transport and Communications announced that repairs have commenced to the road from Alfamayo to the Hydroelectric train station — which passes through Santa Maria and Santa Teresa, from which point passengers can reach the train station in Machu Picchu.
7. The Inca Trail, the traditional Incan access route to reach Macchu Picchu on foot, is closed every year during the month of February for maintenance. This year the Inca Trail will remain closed in February and the INC will evaluate access methods and will either re-open the Inca Trail or find another alternative if necessary, for those that have already purchased their tickets for the month of March. Possible outcomes include modifying the date or offering refunds.
8. The Peruvian government is working quickly to establish a second access method to Machu Picchu.
9. PromPeru, the promotional institution for tourism and exports in Peru will commence, alongside private companies, a proactive promotional campaign to highlight tours to Peru as well as general awareness of the destination, within the country as well as abroad.
10. The weather experienced in Machu Picchu did not affect the whole of Peru and were concentrated in certain high Andean zones. Many well-visited areas within Peru such as Arequipa, Iquitos, the Moche Route in the north coast, and Paracas amongst others, are available for those visitors wishing to modify their trip, more information can be found by visiting www.peru.info and www.turismoperu.info