Mayor Darwin Baca León affirms that he will request support from the Mincetur to recover tourist activity.
The mayor of Machu Picchu, Darwin Baca León, announced that during the health emergency they developed health protocols for the reception of national and foreign tourists, which will be put into practice in hotels, restaurants, commercial establishments and in the city itself.
“As a local government we are complying with training, informing and demanding the protocols of restaurants and hotels, there is a job of the economic development and tourism sub-management,” he said.
The mayor also mentioned that the “Machu Picchu” brand will also be strengthened, which promotes optimizing and diversifying the tourist offer in the district where the Inca citadel is located, the main tourist icon of Peru.
“We see the issue of training, awareness and improvement of the quality of service to tourists. The members of Marca Peru are also helping establishments to have the permits (approval of protocols) from the Ministry of Health (Minsa)”, he stressed.
He affirmed that they have a local plan to contain the advance of covid-19, but they expect the support of the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism (Mincetur) to promote the aforementioned reactivation, improve the tourist offer and the reopening of the citadel of Machu Picchu.
Machu Picchu is Open?
So, everybody are asking if Machu Picchu is Open? and when will Machu Picchu open to the public? Well, the date for the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu to reopen its doors to tourism continues to be as mysterious as the imposing buildings that the historic sanctuary keeps. However, the Ministry of Culture and the National Service of Natural Protected Areas by the State (Sernanp) are working on protocols in light of the probability of hosting visitors in times of pandemic.
As a measure for the reactivation and economic promotion of tourism in the framework of the health emergency caused by COVID-19, the Executive Branch has provided free access to public servants, children and the elderly to Machu Picchu and other archaeological sites, museums, and natural areas.
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And the Inca Trail?
“It has been seen as convenient that only route 5 of the Inca trail, that is, the route of km 104 of Chacchabamba, the Llaqta passing through Wiñaywayna is the only one that is enabled at this time, depending on the suitability of the measures that are are taking and advances in medicine; Among other things, we are going to be able to open other routes, ”said José Bastante, head of the Machu Picchu archaeological park.
Protocols to visit Machu Picchu
In the first stage, when Machu Picchu will be Open, the number of visitors to the Inca citadel or Llaqta of Machu Picchu will be 675 per day, distributed in nine shifts of 75 people per hour; “This number will gradually increase according to the suitability of the protocols that we apply, until reaching 2,244 visits allowed,” he quoted.
The tourist will have to go through a temperature control, anyone who exceeds 38 degrees or has symptoms of Wuhan disease will not be able to enter the citadel.
Likewise, sinks will be installed for disinfection and the consumption of food is prohibited. During the tour the distance between people will be at least 1.5 meters and 20 meters between groups.
The income groups will be made up of eight people including a tourist guide who will have to board the buses in Machupicchu Pueblo (Aguas Calientes). For this, cabins will be installed where tourists can get the services of a professional. The presence of guides in the anteroom to the archaeological park will be prohibited.
Also, the head of the archaeological park, reported that the visit of tourists for the short circuits will last an average of one hour and 20 minutes, in the case of long circuits it will be up to two hours. Likewise, the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu is projected to receive 75 visitors per hour, 675 daily visitors, and they will enter the sanctuary in groups of 8 including a mandatory guide.
The four circuits are defined in this way:
- Alto Corto Circuit (1): Involves the ascent to the platform of the so-called House of the Guardian to continue along the Main Facade, the Quarries sector, the Mirador del Templo del Sol, the Plaza de los Temples, the Espejos de Agua complex and the exit for the Plaza del Pisonay.
- Alto Largo Circuit (2): Involves the ascent to the platform of the so-called House of the Guardian to continue along the Main Gate, the Quarries sector, the Viewpoint of the Temple of the Sun, the Plaza of the Temples, Intiwatana, Llamakancha, Sacred Rock , Qolqas Orientales, Temple of the Condor and exit through the lower terrace.
- Low Short Circuit (3): It involves entering through Qolqas, explanation platform, Casa del Inka, Espejos de Agua complex and exit through Plaza del Pisonay.
- Lower Long Circuit (4): It implies the entrance through Qolqas, explanation platform, Casa del Inka, Llamakancha, Sacred Rock, Eastern Qolqas, Temple of the Condor and exit through the lower terrace.
The explanation areas will be marked by small platforms that will determine the location of the tourists maintaining the recommended distance.
Visits to the Temple of the Sun, site museum, botanical garden, as well as the pedestrian path to Machu Picchu will be closed, since the only way to enter the wonder will be by bus.
Regarding the entrance fees to Machu Picchu, the Culture authority affirmed the possibility of maintaining the costs when entering the citadel.
Trains to Machu Picchu
The PeruRail company, operator of the train to Machu Picchu (Cusco), reported that they are working on safety and prevention protocols to avoid COVID-19 infections, which must be reviewed and approved according to the instructions of the Government.
“Our plans mainly comply with three basic principles: physical distancing, permanent and correct use of a mask and hand disinfection. The most important thing for us is the safety and health of our employees and passengers”, he said.
He added that among the measures established in the protocol is that tourists who exceed 37.6 ° C in temperature will not be able to access the trains of the PeruRail company that offers the service between Ollantaytambo-Machu Picchu Pueblo (Aguas Calientes) and vice versa.
The company pointed out that one of the measures establishes that tourists who exceed 37.6 ° C in temperature will not be able to access the trains of the PeruRail company that offers the service between Ollantaytambo-Machu Picchu Pueblo (Aguas Calientes) and vice versa.
PeruRail staff and passengers must use the mask correctly and permanently throughout the trip and will use alcohol gel for hand disinfection. Train environments such as handrails, latches, floors, seats and equipment that come into contact with workers and passengers will be disinfected with sodium hypochlorite.
Users will have knowledge of the protocol from the communication channels “face-to-face sales points, travel agencies and from our website”, as well as audiovisual advertisements for tourist services.
“Once on board, they will be reproduced to ensure that our passengers comply with all protocols, our crews will be trained to guarantee all post-COVID-19 processes,” the company said.
The Cusco region will begin the economic and tourist reactivation with free visits to the people of Cusco to the 47 registered tourist districts, including Machu Picchu, to then allow the entry of national tourists and, finally, foreigners, announced today Governor Jean Paul Benavente García.
He specified that the visits will be from October 5 and will include Machu Picchu, the 16 attractions offered by the Tourist Ticket and others, with strict compliance with health protocols to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.
During this period, the “tourist associations” will also be promoted, in a first stage, in the provinces of Calca and Urubamba, and they will try to reach La Convencion. The objective will be to form a corridor between the Sacred Valley of the Incas and the Amazon. With the help of technology, the Regional Directorate of Foreign Trade and Tourism (Dircetur) will carry out a diagnosis of the recovery of destinations from covid-19, as part of the recovery phase.
Enough explained that there will be four enabled circuits, two for the upper part and two for the lower part; “They are circuits that have short and long (route) versions that will prevent groups from meeting or overlapping on the way,” he said.