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Machu Picchu Closing after and before of the Coronavirus

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Machu Picchu Closing after and before of the Coronavirus

Despite the fact that Peru was the first country in Latin America to enact the general quarantine, when there was hardly a record of 71 cases, COVID-19 has continued to advance due to the breach of isolation in some areas of the country, which has led to the current they count almost 2,000 dead and 70,000 infected, find the exact data here.


The restriction of mobilization in Peru to avoid contagion by Covid-19 includes closing Machu Picchu. All tours are temporarily canceled until July 1.


The official advice of the World Health Organization (WHO) is that there is no need to stop any travel plans. However, the borders have been temporarily closed in Peru while monitoring the coronavirus contagion curve.


The town of Aguas Calientes or Machu Picchu town, the closest, where there are hotels, hostels and restaurants for tourists, remains in quarantine like the rest of the country.


What precautions is Peru taking to reduce the risk of the coronavirus?

The Peruvian authorities have decided to take action for 15 days by restricting the mobility of people in the territory, as well as closing the borders until March 31. Food supplies and the movement of people who wish to return home have also been guaranteed. Supermarkets, pharmacies, health centers and banks will remain open during these 15 days and the mobilization of their workers is guaranteed.


The Peruvian government has also published the official budget and the implemented action plan to treat the virus:

  • Public health promotion: a budget of S / 129,360 is dedicated to the development and education of the public on the best way to avoid contracting or transmitting the virus.
  • Disease Surveillance and Case Investigation: A budget of S / 215,000 for staff training on case identification and monitoring.
  • Laboratory support: a budget of S / 174,200 to ensure the supply of materials necessary for diagnosis.
  • Organization of health services: with a huge budget of S / 1,024,000, this guarantees that there are spaces to handle the registered cases of the virus. (The budget includes isolation rooms and equipment for staff).
  • Risk awareness and communication: a budget of S / 1,529,040 is available.
  • Protection of the environment for the health of workers: The budget is S / 605,000.
  • A mobile hospital has been installed at Lima Airport to evaluate people as they arrive, and it is expected that nine more hospitals will be enabled if the risk of the virus increases.

Machu Picchu Closing

Machu Picchu was closed since the Peruvian government ordered quarantine nationwide to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. However, the tourism industry is in crisis and its recovery - they estimate - will be slow. It was first time Machu Picchu closing for this pandemic.


When will Machu Picchu and Inca Trail open?

In search of reactivating tourism, The peruvian government declared the Machu Picchu re-open on 1st July. The Inca citadel of Machu Picchu will be free for children and senior travelers (60 year old), both national and foreign, during the July 1st to December 31st of 2020, as part of the measures adopted to revive domestic tourism.


Also, the Inca Trail will re-open. The Inca Trail will be free for minors and those over 60, you can enter to Inca trail without Inca Trail tickets, but its very important to book in advance with a Local Tour Operator. It is free the pass to Inca trail, but you will need to hire the service of a tour guide, you can´t enter alone.

In addition to Machu Picchu, the main tourist attraction in Peru, tourists will also be able to visit 54 other sites of cultural interest and 22 protected natural areas for free from July 1 to December 31.

The list published this Monday in a decree also includes other tourist attractions such as the Nazca Lines, geoglyphs (drawings on the earth) made 1,500 years ago by the Nasca civilization with geometric and animal shapes, only visible in magnitude from the air.


Also included is Caral, the oldest city in America known so far, with 5,000 years, and the citadel of Kuélap, commonly known as "the Machu Picchu of northern Peru" and built 1,500 years ago by the Chachapoyas, the civilization that dominated the northernmost Andes before the Incas.


Other places

The Huari archaeological complex, in the Ayacucho region, capital of the first great empire of South America that preceded that of the Incas, will also have the same benefit.


The same will apply to Chan Chan, the largest mud city in America and the former capital of the Chimú, on the outskirts of Trujillo, and further north, in the Lambayeque region, the legacy of the Moche and the Sipan.


Among these last sites of interest are the Tucume pyramids and the Royal Tombs of Sipán Museum, where the tomb of the Lord of Sipán, the first great ruler of Ancient Peru, is preserved, compared to Tutankhamun for the lavishness of his burial at the Huaca Rajada, which is also included in the list.


New protocols

To carry out the reopening of the main tourist attractions in the country, the Government will issue more regulations in the next 30 days to regulate tourist visits in accordance with the protocols of the Ministry of Health.


The quarantine will remain for the time being until May 24, at which time the Government hopes that some of these measures, such as the reactivation of transport nationwide from June, can be relaxed, which would also facilitate the gradual resumption of the tourism sector.


However, this step anticipated last week by the Minister of Foreign Trade and Tourism, Edgar Vásquez, is still under evaluation based on the control of the pandemic, without a possible date to reopen the borders to the international tourism.


Public concerns about air travel

Since the virus is NOT airborne and thanks to specialized aircraft ventilation designed to clean and ventilate the air, air travel should not be a cause for concern.


The virus can survive on surfaces for up to 30 minutes and you cannot contract the virus if you have not been in contact with someone who has it or someone who is a carrier.


Personal precautions you can take

Since the virus is transmitted through the drops, be sure to wash your hands well and follow the proper label when coughing and sneezing.


The right thing is NOT to cough or sneeze without covering yourself with a tissue or elbow. You should discard the scarf immediately and wash your hands. If you sneeze or cough into your hand, you should also wash your hands immediately.


You should also follow proper food hygiene precautions. Before cooking you should wash your hands, wash vegetables and implements well before using them and make sure that all your food is well cooked.

The use of masks is very effective for people who are already affected by the disease. Unfortunately, for those who are not infected, the masks do not work to prevent the spread of the infection.


The official advice is to avoid nervous purchases of surgical supplies such as masks and to make them available to those who need them: people infected with the virus and people who care for them.


Remember, the virus is transmitted through the drops, so washing your hands or using an alcohol-based gel is much more effective protection.


How to wash your hands correctly?

As you can see, the main recommendation is to wash your hands with soap and water for at least 40 seconds. The hands should be rubbed between the fingers and each finger separately, also the tips of the fingers against the palms to wash the inside of the nails. This infographic shows very well what is the correct technique to wash your hands.


What to do if you have contacted someone with Coronavirus

Wash your hands and monitor your health to detect any symptoms that may appear. If you are really concerned, try to stay home for up to 2 weeks. If no symptoms have occurred by then, you're fine. If you start experiencing symptoms like fever and shortness of breath, seek medical attention.


What to do if you think you have been infected with Coronavirus

If you show symptoms of being infected with the Coronavirus, call your local medical center. They should give you advice on the best place to go. Then you can put on a mask to go to the medical center and avoid infecting others. Try not to cough near anyone and keep a minimum distance of 2 meters from other people.


85% of coronavirus cases are mild and people can recover at home. There are people who are at higher risk such as the elderly or people with pre-existing respiratory problems.


If you are told that your symptoms are mild, but last more than 2 weeks, or if you have difficulty breathing, seek medical attention again.


When to visit Machu Picchu

All the high-season/low -season trade offs are here Winter (June through August) means drier weather and easier traveling, but it´s prime vacation time for those in the northern hemisphere. Don´t forget that three major observances- Inti Raymi 2020 (June 24), Peru´s Independence Day (July 28), and Santa Rosa de Lima (August 30)-fall during this time, and translate into exceptionalle heavy crowds of Peruvian travelers. Prices and visitor numbers drop dramatically during the summer rainy season (October through April). Also hike the Palcoyo Mountain Tour, which is an incredible Rainbow Mountain located in the Andes. Note that January is the heigh of rainy season and the Machu Picchu closing is in February. For near-ideal weather and manageable crowds, consider a spring or fall trip. 


Getting around


Bus travel

Unless you´re hiking the Inka Trail, you must first catch a train to Aguas Calientes. From here, there is an official Consettur tourist bus that takes you to the famed ruins.

If you´re a day-tripper, follow the crowd out of the rail station about two blocks to the Consettur Machupicchu shuttle buses, which ferry you up a series of switchbacks to the ruins, a journey of 20 minutes. Buy your US$14 round-trip /US$7 for children) ticket at a booth across from the line of buses before boarding. Bus tickets can be purchased in US dollars or soles. If you´re staying overnight, check in to your lodging first, and then come back to buy a bus ticket. Buses leave Aguas Calientes for the ruins begginning at 5:30 AM and continue more or less every 10 minutes, with a big push in mid-morning as the trains arrive, until the historic site closes around 5:30 PM. If you´re heading back to Cusco, take the bus back down at least an hour before your train departs. It´s also possible to walk to and from the ruins to Aguas Calientes but this hike will take you a good hour and a half either way.


Train travel

It´s an easy ride from Ollantaytambo train station in Cusco to Machu Picchu. Most visitors board the train in Cusco. PeruRail is the longest standing operator, and offers services from Ollantaytambo, and Aguas Calientes. The Vistadome, the luxury Hiram Bingham and the Expedition trains leave from Cusco´s Poroy station, a 15-minute taxi ride from the Plaza de Armas. Newly operating Inca Rail and Andean Railways offer services only between Ollantaytambo and Aguas Calientes; both rails are expected to increase services.


Day Tripping vs Overnight

You can visit Machu Picchu on a day trip, but we recommend staying overnight at the hotel near the entrance or in Aguas Calientes. A day trip allows you about four hours at Machu Picchu. If you stay visiting Machu Picchu overnight you can wander the ruins after most tourists have gone or in the morning before they arrive.


Buying a ticket

If your arrive without an admission ticket, you must purchase one in Aguas Calientes at the Instituto Nacional de Cultura (Avenida Pachacutec s/n, 084-211196). There is no ticket booth at the ruins´entrance. If you are with a tour, the tickets are most likely taken care of for you. Buy your ticket the night before if you want to get in the park right away; bus service begins at 5:30 AM. From the time you purchase the ticket, you have three days to enter the Inca city, however, once you enter the citadel, the ticket is only-valid for that day. So if you arrive in the afternoon and visit the ruins, then stay the night and want to return the next morning, you´ll have to buy two tickets.


Health and Safety

Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail are a breath-catching 300-700 meters (980-2,300 feet) lower than Cusco. But to be on the safe side about altitude effects, locally known as soroche, get an ample intake of fluids and eliminate or minimize alcohol and caffeine consumption. Smoking aggravetes the problem. Some hotels have an oxygen supply for their guests´use. The prescription drug acetazolamide can help offset the alkalosis caused by low oxygen at high elevations. Tap water is generally not safe to drink. Stick with the bottled variety, con gas (carbonated) or sin gas (plain). The San Luis brand is for sale everywhere.


The Inca Trail, abridged

Some Cusco tour operators market a two-day, one night visiting Machu Picchu excursion as the Sacred Inca Trail or Royal Inca Trail. It´s easier to procure reservations for these trips, but advance reservations for these trips, but advance reservations with a licensed operator are still essential. The excursion begins at km 104, a stop on the Cusco-Machu Picchu trains. All of the hiking happens on the first dy, and you spend the night at a hotel in Aguas Calientes. The second day is not a trail hike, but a visit to the ruins.


Hiking tours to Machu Picchu

Many are the routes that take you to Machu Picchu, but none is like the Inca Trail Tours, the most famous pedestrian path in the Americas. After flying from the capital of Perú, Lima, you will arrive in Cusco to walk for four days along a path through forests and dense fog, millenary stone steps and discovering the ruins of ancient fortifications and Inca cities, and all the time enjoying majestic views. 

If you want to visit Machu Picchu, we recommend you to book your Machu Picchu Ticket in advance, so you will enjoy your Vacation in Machu Picchu without any problem.

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