The ancient Inca ruins site Machu Picchu, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, reopened to visitors Thursday after a two-month closure due to a storm.
Tourism Vice Minister Mara Seminario said that hundreds of foreign visitors entered the ruins following the morning reopening, as an early downpour gave way to brilliant sunshine.
Local officials said the entire route is expected to reopen in June. Until then, tourists can take the bus from Cusco to Piscachuco and from there, they can take the train to Machu Picchu Pueblo at the base of the ruins.
Heavy rains battered Cusco in January and caused mud- and rockslides which blocked the main roads and rail tracks. The ensuing flooding of Vilcanota River damaged buildings and a bridge, trapping some 4,000 tourists and causing some 240 millions U.S. dollars in economic losses.
The access to Machu Picchu has been restricted until April because of repair work.
Machu Picchu, also known as “the Lost City of the Incas,” is the most famous tourist attraction in Peru, and is located 80 km northwest of the southern Peruvian city Cusco.
The American historian Hiram Bingham was the first one to draw international attention to the Inca ruins in 1911. Machu Picchu welcomes around one million visitors per year, with an average of 2000 to 2500 daily visitors.
The American actress Susan Sarandon attended the reopening ceremony at the invitation of Peru’s Trade and Tourism Minister Martin Perez to promote tourism in Cusco after the disasters.
Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia