12:49 | Cusco (Cusco region), Jul. 31.
Inca citadel Machu Picchu welcomed more than 140,000 visitors in July, 22,000 of which arrived in the past four-day Independence Day holidays alone.
Miguel Zamora, head of Cusco's Visitor Assistance and Tourist Services Office, informed domestic travelers accounted for 33% of said tourist inflow, a rise from the usual 25%.
Zamora affirmed visitors enjoyed pleasant temperatures and a bright sun, typical of ceja de selva (highland jungle) weather.
Nevertheless, the official noted the said figure represented a 2%-3% year-over-year drop due to a teacher strike in Cusco.
Consequent disruptions in the Cusco-Ollantaytambo railtrack caused delays for visitors until July 26.
On the other hand, Zamora underlined August marks the beginning of peak season in Cusco and thus advised those planning to visit Machu Picchu
to get round-trip train tickets in advance.
He warned many on-a-whim travelers who get only one-way tickets end up stranded in Machu Picchu Pueblo (a.k.a. Aguas Calientes) waiting for a ticket back which —given the season and influx— might prove impossible at times.
To conclude, Zamora indicated August also sees greater European and U.S. tourist arrivals, as well as a slight decrease in Latin American visitors with the exception of Brazilians.