15:57 | Cusco (Cusco region), Oct. 12.
The wait was worth it. Japanese Jesse Katayama fulfilled his dream of exploring Machu Picchu
—one of the 7 new wonders of the world— after nearly 7 months of mandatory quarantine decreed by the Government of Peru in order to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 26-year-old tourist had remained in Machu Picchu Town (Aguas Calientes) since March 14 as he was trapped by the lockdown
and had to abide by other measures decreed by the Government in order to tackle the pandemic.
In return, the Municipality of Machu Picchu and the Decentralized Culture Directorate (DDC) of Cusco made the necessary arrangements so that "the last visitor to Machu Picchu" can make his dream come true.
In this way, the Asian traveler became the first foreign tourist to visit Machu Picchu after the lifting of restrictions.
"I wanted to visit Machu Picchu, but the day before I was supposed to do it, the sanctuary was closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I stayed here with the sole purpose of visiting Machu Picchu and I will do so before I leave," Katayama stated before heading to the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu.
"We know that Jesse is very happy now. He made friends in the town, and today (yesterday) he was able to visit Machu Picchu," said Machu Picchu District Mayor Darwin Baca, who helped to make Katayama's dream come true.
The Japanese tourist's case was trending on social networks in such a way that users expressed appreciation and respect for his perseverance and asked authorities to help him fulfill his dream.
As is known, the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu —Peru's main tourist icon and a World Heritage Site— will reopen to tourists in November
, although with a restriction on the number of visitors per day, according to the Ministry of Culture.