Machu Picchu Reopens to Visitors After Nearly Month-long Closure Due to Protests

The site reopened on Wednesday.

The famous archeological site Machu Picchu has reopened to visitors after being temporarily closed due to protests in Peru.

The sun rising at Machu Picchu in Peru

Torben Meyer/Getty Images

The site reopened on Wednesday following an agreement between officials, community groups, and the local tourism industry, the Associated Press reported. Together, the groups were able to guarantee security for both the site itself and for transport services, Reuters reported.

The opening follows a nearly month-long closure, which shuttered both the Machu Picchu Citadel and the popular Inca Trail Network amid political unrest in the country.

The protests first erupted after President Pedro Castillo was ousted in December following an attempt to dissolve the legislature to prevent an impeachment vote, which led to attacks on airports and railways in several cities, including Cusco. In all, the AP reported the protests have led to 60 deaths, including 48 civilians who died in clashes with security forces, 11 civilians killed in traffic accidents related to road blockades, and one policeman whose patrol car was set on fire.

Following the closure of the historic Incan site last month, more than 400 tourists had to be airlifted from Machu Picchu to Cusco by helicopter, the wire service noted.

While Machu Picchu has reopened, the U.S. Department of State is still warning against travel to Peru, telling Americans to "reconsider travel” to the country and “exercise increased caution due to civil unrest.”

Machu Picchu was built in the fifteenth century and then rediscovered in 1911, according to UNESCO. Discoveries are still being made about the site, including that it may have originally been called Picchu or Huayna Picchu and that the ruins were not built after 1440 like experts initially believed, but several decades earlier.

Typically, most travelers arrive at the site either by taking the train from the nearby city of Cusco or by hiking there over several days.

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