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Peru's famous Machu Picchu has opened after months of coronavirus closure for just a single visitor - a Japanese tourist stranded in the country by the pandemic.


Jesse Takayama's entry into the ruins came thanks to a special request the 26-year-old submitted while stranded since March in the town of Aguas Calientes, on the slopes of the mountains near the site. 


'The first person on Earth who went to Machu Picchu since the lockdown is meeeeeee,' Katayama posted on his Instagram account alongside pictures of himself at the deserted site.



'This is truly amazing! Thank you,' he added in a video posted on the Facebook pages of the local tourism authority in Cusco, the closest city to the famed site.


Katayama spoke against the backdrop of the majestic mountaintop and sprawling ancient ruins that once attracted thousands of tourists a day but has been closed since March because of the coronavirus.


The Japanese boxing instructor from the city of Nara has been stuck in Peru since March, when he bought a ticket for the tourist site just days before the country declared a health emergency.


He told a Peruvian newspaper he had only planned to spend three days in the area, but with flights cancelled and movement limited by the virus, he found himself stuck in Aguas Calientes for months. 


The village is known for its thermal baths but largely revolves around catering to Machu Picchu tourists.


Eventually, his plight reached the local tourism authority, which agreed to give him special permission to visit the Inca city, reopening the site just for him.



'I thought that I wouldn't be able to go, but thanks to all of you who pleaded with the mayor and the government, I was given this super special opportunity,' he wrote in Japanese on his Instagram account. 


'He had come to Peru with the dream of being able to enter,' Culture Minister Neyra said in a virtual press conference. 


'The Japanese citizen has entered together with our head of the park so that he can do this before returning to his country.' 



Thought to have been built more than 500 years ago, Machu Picchu is the most enduring physical legacy of the Inca Empire.


The Incas ruled a large swathe of western South America for 100 years before the Spanish arrived in the 16th century.


The ruins of the Inca settlement were rediscovered in 1911 by the 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 the date has now been pushed back to November.


Once reopened, the site will allow just 675 tourists a day in, 30 percent of the figure allowed before the pandemic, with visitors expected to maintain social distancing.


Since it first opened to tourists in 1948, Machu Picchu has been closed just once before, for two months in 2010 when a flood destroyed the railway tracks connecting it to a station on the outskirts of Cusco.


Source: https://www.dailymail.co.uk

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Peru opens Machu Picchu for Japanese tourist trapped for months

Tap "WorldWire" above  to follow us



Peru's famous Machu Picchu has opened after months of coronavirus closure for just a single visitor - a Japanese tourist stranded in the country by the pandemic.


Jesse Takayama's entry into the ruins came thanks to a special request the 26-year-old submitted while stranded since March in the town of Aguas Calientes, on the slopes of the mountains near the site. 


'The first person on Earth who went to Machu Picchu since the lockdown is meeeeeee,' Katayama posted on his Instagram account alongside pictures of himself at the deserted site.



'This is truly amazing! Thank you,' he added in a video posted on the Facebook pages of the local tourism authority in Cusco, the closest city to the famed site.


Katayama spoke against the backdrop of the majestic mountaintop and sprawling ancient ruins that once attracted thousands of tourists a day but has been closed since March because of the coronavirus.


The Japanese boxing instructor from the city of Nara has been stuck in Peru since March, when he bought a ticket for the tourist site just days before the country declared a health emergency.


He told a Peruvian newspaper he had only planned to spend three days in the area, but with flights cancelled and movement limited by the virus, he found himself stuck in Aguas Calientes for months. 


The village is known for its thermal baths but largely revolves around catering to Machu Picchu tourists.


Eventually, his plight reached the local tourism authority, which agreed to give him special permission to visit the Inca city, reopening the site just for him.



'I thought that I wouldn't be able to go, but thanks to all of you who pleaded with the mayor and the government, I was given this super special opportunity,' he wrote in Japanese on his Instagram account. 


'He had come to Peru with the dream of being able to enter,' Culture Minister Neyra said in a virtual press conference. 


'The Japanese citizen has entered together with our head of the park so that he can do this before returning to his country.' 



Thought to have been built more than 500 years ago, Machu Picchu is the most enduring physical legacy of the Inca Empire.


The Incas ruled a large swathe of western South America for 100 years before the Spanish arrived in the 16th century.


The ruins of the Inca settlement were rediscovered in 1911 by the 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 the date has now been pushed back to November.


Once reopened, the site will allow just 675 tourists a day in, 30 percent of the figure allowed before the pandemic, with visitors expected to maintain social distancing.


Since it first opened to tourists in 1948, Machu Picchu has been closed just once before, for two months in 2010 when a flood destroyed the railway tracks connecting it to a station on the outskirts of Cusco.


Source: https://www.dailymail.co.uk

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