Update: The opening of international flights is confirmed as of October 1, 2020.
Update: Machu Picchu will be able to receive tourists from November 1st, after it will be closed from March 15th, 2020 due to the Coronavirus.
Machu Picchu was closed to the public since March 15, 2020 due to the coronavirus.
The Ministry of Culture has established that once Machu Picchu reopens, only 675 people per day will be allowed to enter so that social distance rules will work efficiently.
Is Machu Picchu going to be closed in the future?
Does this mean that Machu Picchu will close due to factors other than COVID-19?
In that case, the short answer to all these questions is NO. Machu Picchu will not close in 2021 and will not close in the future. Not temporarily, not forever.
Only the Inca Trail that is temporarily closed every year opens in February 2020 due to heavy rains and to maintain the trails.
Now, that is only part of the answer to this whole question.
The first thing you need to know is that Machu Picchu is going through a lot of changes.
Since July 1, 2017 there are new rules for visiting Machu Picchu. These rules have changed the way people can visit Machu Picchu by forcing tour operators to change the way they used to operate tours.
On these days, there are one-hour shifts to enter Machu Picchu, which means that visitors can only enter Machu Picchu at the time they are assigned and must leave the city at the assigned time. These shifts begin at 6:00 am and end at 3:00 pm.
Closing of the Inca Trail vs. Machu Picchu
Some people have misinterpreted these changes which have led to a lot of misleading information on the web. Therefore, it is essential to understand why this is so and what to do about it.
The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is closed every year during February. Since 2001, new regulations regarding the management and preservation of the Inca Trail require its temporary closure during the whole month of February due to safety issues and harsh weather conditions. During this time there are heavy rains and landslides, while park officials carry out maintenance work on the roads, reconstruction of bridges, and improvement of sanitary services and camps.
However, the closure of the Inca Trail in February does not mean that Machu Picchu will also be closed. Only the Inca Trail is temporarily closed while Machu Picchu remains open year-round. We do not recommend anyone to go to Machu Picchu by any of the alternative roads due to security issues.
History of closures of the Machu Picchu Sanctuary
Sometimes, unexpected changes can occur, but it does not mean that Machu Picchu will be closed forever.
In early January of this year, the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu was closed due to a rock slide near the Pacaymayu Alto camp that killed one person and injured two others. This terrible situation forced the administration of the Machu Picchu park to close the Inca Trail earlier than in previous years for safety reasons.
In 2016, the Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu mountains respectively were closed to tourists. At that time, news of this event flooded the travel media, confusing travelers. People thought that Machu Picchu, one of the seven wonders of the world, was closed forever. The fact is that the Peruvian government unexpectedly closed the access to Huayna Picchu Mountain and Machu Picchu Mountain due to maintenance and without notice.
One way to avoid being caught by these last minute changes is to keep informed about Machu Picchu. A good place to start is the official website of the Peruvian government of Machu Picchu.
In early 2017, a wave of floods and landslides devastated the northern regions of Peru when the fury of the “El Niño” phenomenon caused havoc in some regions of Peru. Many people ended up changing their itinerary and canceling their planned trips to Machu Picchu believing that Machu Picchu was closing. However, Machu Picchu was only affected when a large landslide destroyed a large portion of the classic Inca Trail and the Winaywayna archaeological site that didn’t even make the world news.
But. They realize that the topographical location of Machu Picchu is a threat to Machu Picchu but will not force the Peruvian authorities to close it.
Geological studies of the Machu Picchu area have determined that two fault lines flank the Inca city causing it to sink into the ground. This phenomenon seems to destabilize some of the constructions due to erosion. As this event occurs over a long period of time, UNESCO and the Peruvian government have mobilized to implement a plan to minimize the negative impact of people passing through the city.
One of the extreme measures considered, but not yet implemented, was the possible closure of the Inca city and the construction of a road and a dome surrounding the city to preserve its importance and allow tourists to visit it.
Yes, Machu Picchu remains closed due to the coronavirus, the dates of opening are not yet known.
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