14:17 | Cusco (Cusco region), Mar. 24
The Machu Picchu
Archaeological Park looks quiet amid the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, unlike the bustling environment seen before the start of the mandatory 15-day social isolation decreed by the Government in order to prevent the spread of this pandemic.
Only the steps of Culture Ministry workers, who are responsible for the surveillance, security and maintenance of Machu Picchu, are heard at the Inca monument.
The guards are native to Cusco. They reside in Machu Picchu Town but —despite the mandatory social isolation
— remain in the archaeological park to protect the cultural and tourist attraction. They are distributed over an area of more than 37,000 ha.
According to Jose Bastante, head of the Machu Picchu Archaeological Park, the monument and Inca Trail
are closed since the state of emergency started.
Machu Picchu is Peru's main tourist destination. It receives more than 4,000 visitors a day, and most of them are foreign tourists.
However, the llaqta or citadel, as well as the entire park, could not be left unprotected. "There are checkpoints that cannot be abandoned for security reasons and maintenance due to rains," he stressed.
The stay and rotation of the staff will be in accordance with the Government's decision made at the end of the state of emergency or its prolongation; their food and stay is being covered by the Ministry of Culture.
Both foreign and domestic tourists who arrived in the first hours of the emergency were not admitted to the site and received a refund for their tickets. In some cases, the tickets were rescheduled.