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Tourists and locals are angry about Machu Picchu Snafu

#Tourists #locals #angry #Machu #Picchu #Snafu

The cessation of ticket sales to Machu Picchu sparked protests from angry tourists and vendors from the town closest to the Inca citadel.

Authorities had recently begun capping the number of visitors to the jewel of Peru’s tourism to reduce attrition, but increased the number of daily visitors to 5,044 in July from 4,044 following complaints from the industry.

Friday’s protests took place in the neighboring town of Machu Picchu, formerly called Aguas Calientes, where visitors arrive by train before boarding minibuses that transport them through a narrow mountain pass to scale the ancient site.

Protesters were upset after Machu Picchu tickets were only sold in the nearby city of Cusco and not in Aguas Calientes.

“I paid for my (train) tickets with Inca Rail for a day with a tour guide. We even paid an extra fee for the bus that takes us here to Machu Picchu where the ruins are and they didn’t let us in because we don’t have a ticket to get in,” Mexico’s Israel Gonzales Rizoo told AFP.

The town’s merchants were also very upset, as dozens blocked the railroad to prevent train traffic.

“We demand the sale of tickets in the offices of the Ministry of Culture of Machu Picchu and 50 percent of them personally (…) to reactivate our economy,” the traders said in a statement.

This is the second protest in just over two weeks over a lack of tickets to the stone citadel – the most visited attraction in Peru.

On July 27th, the available tickets were sold out due to overbooking.

In view of the protests this Friday, the Ministry of Culture indicated that it had ordered the sale of tickets in person to continue, respecting the limit established to protect the archaeological heritage.

That’s because over the past two weeks, “average intake into Machu Picchu’s llaqta (citadel) has remained below intake capacity,” the ministry said in a statement.

The city lies at the foot of the 2,430-meter-high mountain, which is home to the famous stone citadel built by the Inca Emperor Pachacutec in the 15th century.

UNESCO declared the citadel of Machu Picchu a World Heritage Site in 1983. Since then, the organization has required Peru to comply with a series of site conservation guidelines.

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#Tourists #locals #angry #Machu #Picchu #Snafu

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