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Published: November 6th 2020
The new Covid reality: Where are all the tourists?
The third day after Machu Picchu opened to tourists with new Covid-19 protocols, the place still feels like the ghost town it was when Hiram Bingham arrived in 1911.
Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail opened again on November 2, after being closed since the State of Emergency and Covid-19 quarantine were announced in Peru on March 15th.
I had the amazing good fortune to be able to hike the Inca Trail on November 4th and visit Machu Picchu on November 5th with a group of friends. All but one had never visited Machu Picchu before, though all of them have sat through more than seven months of isolation, quarantine and lockdown in Cusco. I was so happy to be able to join them for their first time at this amazing UNESCO World Heritage site, especially since it was free! The Peruvian government opened both the Inca Trail from KM104 and Machu Picchu for free the first two weeks of November, with a very limited number of permits and tickets. Initially, the government announced that both would be free to November 15th, but that has now been extended through mid-December. The full Inca Trail, starting at KM82, is still closed while the Ministry of Tourism and park rangers try to figure out how to safely open campgrounds during a global pandemic.
As part of reopening, there are tons
Social distancing on the Inca Trail
Starting the Inca Trail at KM104, there are new flags along the entrance to show you how far apart to wait as you approach the first checkpoint. The full Inca Trail from KM82 is still closed as the Ministry of Tourism works on how to operate the campgrounds during a pandemic.
of new restrictions and Covid protocols. Nothing went smoothly and it seemed to me that they were using the first couple weeks to try to iron out the issues with their new systems. Having done both the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu before several times, the difference was impressive. New Covid protocols have changed almost every aspect of both the Inca Trail hike and the Machu Picchu tour.
This blog is mostly photos, so scroll down or click on a photo to scroll through each one and read my captions about how the new Covid regulations have changed the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu.
Tot: 0.033s; Tpl: 0.018s; cc: 8; qc: 23; dbt: 0.0067s; 1; m:saturn w:www (184.108.40.206); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.2mb