Peru opens Machu Picchu for a single Japanese tourist after almost seven-month wait
LIMA (Reuters) - Peru opened the ruins of Machu Picchu to a single Japanese tourist after waiting almost seven months to enter the Inca citadel while trapped during the coronavirus outbreak in the Andean country.
Jesse Takayama's entry into the ruins came thanks to a special request he submitted when he had been stranded on the slopes of the mountains near the place in the town of Aguas Calientes since mid-March, Culture Minister Alejandro Neyra said Monday.
"He came to Peru with the dream of being able to enter," said Neyra in a virtual press conference. "The Japanese citizen entered with our park manager so that he could do this before returning to his country."
Takayama, his ticket since March, entered the ruins of the citadel, built more than 500 years ago, on Saturday and was the first visitor in seven months to wander the world heritage site. His original plan was to spend just a few days in Peru to take in Machu Picchu.
"That's so incredible! Thank you!" Takayama said in a video that was shot on the top of Machu Picchu Mountain.
Minister Neyra said that in November the stone ruins of Machu Picchu will reopen to national and foreign tourists without giving the date. The site will allow 30% of its normal capacity of 675 people per day.
"We are still in the middle of a pandemic," said Neyra. "It is done with the necessary care."
(Reporting by Marco Aquino, writing by Hugh Bronstein; editing by Aurora Ellis)
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