Peru’s National Institute of Culture, or INC, rejected a proposal that would allow tourists to access Machu Picchu by helicopter and suspended all tourism activity to the sacred Inca citadel until conditions in the area improve.
Meanwhile, PeruRail issued a communique late Monday saying that repairs to its train line from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes — the town below Machu Picchu — should be complete by the beginning of April. Service to Aguas Calientes from the station at Piscacucho (where the trail head to the Inca Trail is located at Km82) is expected to be back up and running before the end of March.
“Helicopter operations that have been authorized and that are continuing are exclusively for providing supplies and services for the population in (Machu Picchu Pueblo),” daily El Comercio quoted an INC press release as saying.
“We are conscious of the detriment to the level of income that these natural causes have created,” the statement continued. “But that can’t allow us forget that our primary responsibility is to the physical well-being of people.”