Latin America specialists have welcomed news that Machu Picchu is to reopen to tourist on Wednesday, following a three-week shutdown due to political unrest in Peru.
Danny Callaghan, chief executive of the Latin American Travel Association, said operators were still being encouraged to build flexibility into itineraries but described the reopening as “a big step forward”.
“We are delighted to hear from our Lata member Amazonas Explorer that, ahead of the official reopening of Machu Picchu on Wednesday 15, some tourists have already made their way to this amazing location,” Callaghan said.
“Cusco and the Sacred Valley are now fully open, as is Lima, the coastal regions, Northern Peru, Arequipa and the Colca Canyon.
“Inca Rail has announced that its Ollantaytambo–Machu Picchu and Machu Picchu–Hidro-Electrica services have resumed, currently at reduced frequency, but with Perurail expected to be running all services normally by Monday, February 20.”
He added: “Whilst there are still some sporadic roadblocks and reduced air services this is a big step forward towards a return to normal tourism services.
“We would suggest that operators build a little flexibility into itineraries for now, but if clients are travelling with a decent DMC in Peru, they will have a great holiday and see the key sights with no problems.
“Inca Trail passes for April and May are selling fast, so clients need to get booked up.”
Martin Johnson, director of Latin Routes, said: “We are delighted that Machu Picchu has once again re-opened its doors to visitors from across the world. It is also great to see the protests calming down across the rest of the country and now generally taking place in particular locations, scheduled in advance and normally for short periods of time.
“Although a little flexibility is still needed in order to make adjustments to some client’s holiday itineraries, we are confident that clients can enjoy a great holiday to Peru and see the incredible regions and amazing attractions it offers.
“We will continue to closely monitor the situation, and hope that the people of Peru can find an amicable resolution to the current political situation.”
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