Peru’s National Culture Institute chief says Inca Trail to reopen April 1

The chief of Peru’s National Institute of Culture (INC) said Sunday that maintenance on the Inca Trail is on schedule for an April 1 following damage from torrential rains that also washed away portions of the train to Machu Picchu.

“We are working on this issue and coordinating constantly with the Minister of Tourism Martín Pérez, who has announced that Machu Picchu will be reopen in April, and on that date so will the Inca Trail,” Cecilia Bákula told state-run news agency Andina.

She added that a report detailing the damages to the the 27-mile (43 kilometers) trail — the world’s most famous four-day trek — would be released in the coming days.

For the past decade, the Inca Trail has always been closed during the entire month of February for maintenance and repairs, but the devastating flooding in late-January hampered the ability of workers to access to trail.

The route offers exclusive access to a half dozen major Inca ruins, including Runkuracay, Sayacmarca, Phuyupatamarca and Wiñayhuayna, as it wends over high mountain passes and down through dense jungle to the Inti Punku Sun Gate overlooking Machu Picchu.

Last week, the chief of railway concessionaire Ferrocarril Trasandino (Fetransa) said train access to Aguas Calientes, the tourist town located in the gorge below Machu Picchu, would be restored March 29 — three days ahead of schedule.

Fetransa General Manager Rómulo Guidin said that travelers would be able to reach the 15th century mountaintop ruins, from the train stop at Piscacucho, where the Km 82 entrance to the Inca Trail is also located.

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