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Intrepid Travel group among stranded tourists at Machu Picchu

British travellers are among those stranded near Machu Picchu, the ancient Inca city in Peru, due to landslides blocking the railway line to the city of Cuzco.

Government officials said about 2,000 tourists have been stranded in the villages of Machu Picchu Pueblo and Aguas Calientes by the floods. Hundreds have now been airlifted out by helicopter and 1,500 others are still waiting.

Intrepid Travel has 29 clients in the area who have been stranded since Sunday. One British traveller is part of the group, which also includes Australians, New Zealanders, Americans and Canadians.

The group is safe and staying at a hotel while they wait to hear from the authorities when they will be airlifted out to the town of Ollantaytambo at the start of the Inca Trail. From there, they will be driven by bus to Cuzco.

A spokeswoman for the operator said: “By a stroke of luck, our South American operations manager David Rousseau was on one of our trips and had just finished the Inca Trail.  He is therefore on site in Aguas Calientes and keeping us informed of the plans to evacuate the groups back to Cusco.

“Our next Inca Trail departure is on February 7 and we are waiting to see whether this will be cancelled.”

Responsibletravel.com spokeswoman Claire Southern, who used to be a guide in Peru, said: “It is wet season just now and this does happen every few years, but it has been particularly devastating this year.”

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