Tourists evacuated as Machu Picchu is shut

Tourists have been rescued from Machu Picchu as the ancient mountain citadel was shut amid escalating political protests in Peru.

The site has been closed together with the Inca hiking trail leading up to it to protect tourists and citizens.

More than 400 people were left stranded at the site, including 148 foreigners, after rail services were suspended.

MoreMore airports shut as Peru protests spread

New Peru travel alert issued

However, after the announcement by the country’s tourism minister Luis Fernando Helguero on Saturday, travellers were evacuated by trains and buses.

Last month hundreds of tourists were airlifted out by helicopter after being stranded in the early stages of anti-government tensions.

Peru’s culture ministry reportedly said that those who had already bought tickets for Macho Picchu would be able to use them for one month after the end of the demonstrations or get a refund.

The Foreign Office updated its travel advice on Saturday night and confirmed: “Machu Picchu tourist site has been closed temporarily. The Inca Trail has also been suspended.”

The latest is a series of advisories since violence broke out with the ousting of former president Pedro Castillo in early December said: “Protests can disrupt road, rail, river and air travel and affect tourist areas like Lima, Ica, Cusco, Arequipa, Puerto Maldonado and Iquitos. 

“Protests in Puno can result in the closure of the border crossing with Bolivia, including Lake Titicaca. 

“Protests in Machu Picchu can result in the suspension of train and bus services. 

“Protests in the centre of Lima can disrupt access to the historical centre and to some public offices. 

“Protests in Ica can result in the blockade of Panamericana highway. 

“Protests in the Amazon area can result in the disruption of tour vessels in remote areas where access to food and water can be limited and evacuations are only possible by boat.”

States of emergency have been declared across parts of the country, including the capital of Lima, and some regional airports have suspended operations.

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office said: “In Lima protests have a focus in the historic centre, but have also spread to other areas. In Cusco, Arequipa, Puno and Tacna some protests have targeted airports.

“Travellers arriving in Peru should be aware that travel to some parts of the country may not be possible. Protests may cause travel disruption, including with road blockades, suspension of train services – including trains to/from Machu Picchu – and airport closures in different parts of the country.”

MoreMore airports shut as Peru protests spread

New Peru travel alert issued

Share article

View Comments

Jacobs Media is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.