Peruvian authorities have opened the Machu Picchu archaeological site for a single visitor, a Japanese tourist who had to wait almost seven months to enter the ancient Inca city after being trapped in the Andean country during the coronavirus pandemic.
Jesse Takayama’s visit to the ancient city was permitted following a special request he made while being stranded in mid-March in the city of Agua Calientes, in the mountains near the monument, explained Peruvian Culture Minister Alejandro Neyra.
“He came to Peru with the dream of being able to enter” the most representative example of Inca culture, Neyra said during a digital press conference. “The Japanese national entered the archaeological site along with its director, so that he could see it before returning to his country” , said the minister.
Takayama, holding the ticket he had bought in March, entered the site on Saturday. He thus became the first visitor able to tour this World Heritage Site in seven months. Initially, he had planned to spend only a few days in Peru, just to see Machu Picchu.
“It’s amazing. “Thank you!” Says Takayama in a video shot at the summit of Machu Picchu Mountain
Culture Minister Neyra promised that in November the archaeological site would reopen to Peruvians and foreigners who wish to visit it, without specifying an exact date. He noted that 30% of the usual number of visitors, which is 675 people a day, will be allowed to enter the site.
“We are still in the middle of a pandemic,” said Neyra, adding that the opening of the ancient city “will be done with all necessary measures taken”.