Machu Picchu, Peru’s most famous tourist destination, opened months after it closed, but for just one visitor – a Japanese stranded in the country by the outbreak.
“The first person in the world to have been to Machu Picchu since the lockdown,” Jessie Katyama posted on her Instagram account with photos of herself in a secluded location.
“It’s really unbelievable! Thank you, ”he added in a video posted on the Facebook page of the local tourism authority in Cusco, where the famous site is located.
Katyama spoke against the backdrop of the majestic mountaineering ride past the ancient ruins, which has drawn thousands of tourists a day but has been closed since March due to coronavirus.
The Japanese boxing instructor, identified by local media as the slogan, has been stranded in Peru since March, when he bought a ticket to the tourist site just days before the country was declared a health emergency.
He told a Peruvian newspaper he had only planned to spend three days in the area, but with the cancellation and movement of flights limited by the virus, he found himself trapped there for months. .
Eventually, their fate reached the local tourism authority, who agreed to grant special permission to travel to Inca town, simply reopening the site for them.
“I thought I couldn’t go, but thanks to all of you who pleaded with the mayor and the government, I got this super special opportunity,” he wrote in Japanese on his Instagram account.
Machu Picchu is the most enduring legacy of the Inca Empire that ruled much of western South America for 100 years before the Spanish conquest in the 16th century.
The ruins of the Inca colony were rediscovered in 1911 by American explorer Hiram Bingham and in 1983 UNESCO declared Machu Picchu a World Heritage Site.
It was originally scheduled to reopen to visitors in July, but has now been pushed back to November.
Only 675 tourists will be allowed in a day, which is 30% of the number allowed before the epidemic, with visitors having to maintain their social distance.
Since it opened to tourists in 1948, it has already been closed once for two months in 2010, when a flood destroyed the railway line connecting it to Cusco.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV employees and posted from a syndicated feed.)