Peru closed its famous tourist attraction, Machu Picchu, indefinitely, in light of the continuing demonstrations against the country’s new president.
The authorities said they closed the Machu Picchu site and the traditional “Inca” wandering trail leading to it, as a precautionary measure to protect tourists and citizens alike.
Hundreds of people who were stuck for hours at the foot of Machu Picchu, or the “lost castle” as it is called, which dates back to the fifteenth century AD, have now been rescued.
Dozens of people have been killed in violent demonstrations that have erupted in Peru since the overthrow of its former president, Pedro Castillo.
Rail services to Machu Picchu were suspended Thursday, after some train lines suffered damage attributed to protesters, and as a result 418 people were stranded at the Machu Picchu site, Tourism Minister Luis Fernando Hilgero said at a press conference on Saturday.
But by Saturday night, Peru’s tourism ministry announced that all of the stranded – 148 foreigners and 270 nationals – had been safely evacuated via trains and buses.
This is not the first time that tourists have been stuck at Machu Picchu due to civil unrest in Peru. Hundreds of tourists were evacuated by plane last month after being stuck in the same location for a few days.
Machu Picchu is located on a mountain peak in the Andes range. The site is considered one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. It is one of the popular destinations for tourists. It is visited by about one million tourists annually.
Some tourists like to take the traditional Inca trekking trail for days to reach Machu Picchu.
And the Peruvian Ministry of Culture announced that those who have already purchased tickets to visit the site can use them a month after the end of the demonstrations, or get their money back.
And the demonstrators in Peru are calling for new elections, calling on the country’s new president, Dina Poloarte, to step down, but she refuses to meet these demands so far.
The demonstrators are also calling for the release of the country’s former president, Pedro Castillo, who is currently imprisoned on charges including rebellion and conspiracy against the country.
Castillo denies the charges against him and insists that he remains the legitimate president of Peru.
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