Tourism levels to Cuzco almost fully recovered

Tourism levels to Cuzco are nearly  back to normal after being affected earlier this year by heavy rains that prevented access to Machu Picchu, regional president Hugo Gonzales said.

“We had some difficulty from the end of January with the rainfalls but now the situation is almost normal,” state news agency Andina reported Gonzales as saying. “Tourism in Cuzco has almost completely recovered.”

Access to Machu Picchu was closed in late January after heavy rains caused flooding and mudslides that damaged the railway into Aguas Calientes, the town located below the citadel. The site was reopened on April 1, with repairs to the railway completed by the end of June.

Peru’s Foreign Trade and Tourism Minister, Martin Pérez, said this week the government is planning to design new access routes into Machu Picchu in order to increase tourism without harming the sacred Inca citadel.

Meanwhile, Gonazales also said it was necessary to confirm rumors that Cosituc, the state agency that provides tourist tickets to Cuzco and is managed by the National Institute of Culture, the Cuzco municipality, and the regional tourism office, could become part of the newly created Ministry of Culture.

“This could create an environment of bad feelings, even more if you consider that there are conflicts in the south of the country,” he said.

Protests have recently erupted in Cuzco, and other southern departments, over plans by Peru’s government to export natural gas from the Camisea gas fields. Protesters are concerned the exports will affect the local supply.

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