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Machu Picchu reopens with limited visitors allowed per day

The ancient site plays a huge role in Peru’s tourism industry.
The ancient site plays a huge role in Peru’s tourism industry.   -   Copyright  Unsplash
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A ceremony has been held at the UNESCO World Heritage Site Machu Picchu to mark its reopening, after being closed to the public for the last eight months.

Like many tourist attractions around the world, Machu Picchu closed earlier this year at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

The ancient site plays a huge role in Peru’s tourism industry. The Inca citadel attracts up to 5,000 visitors a day in peak season - but new safety measures mean just 675 people will be able to visit the ruins daily.

Nestled high in the Andes Mountains, Machu Picchu was built in the 15th century, and rediscovered for the modern tourist around 1911 by an American explorer. Since then, it has become the most recognisable structure of the Inca Empire.

Although one visitor - Jesse Katayama - was able to visit the site recently by special request, the official reopening ceremony took place yesterday. Peruvian authorities celebrated with an Inca ritual thanking the gods, where a stunning light show was projected onto the ruins.

Site officials will be implementing stringent safety measures to ensure guests’ wellbeing is the number one priority. Commercial international travel started in Peru last month, with tourists required to submit a negative COVID-19 test before entering the country.