Foreign tourists denied entry to Machu Picchu
Friday 29 July 2011
Peru's extravagant celebrations of the centenary of the rediscovery of Machu Picchu descended into farce this week, after a bureaucratic wrangle that saw hundreds of tourists from around the world barred from entering the Inca ruins.
Last week, the local branch of Peru's National Institute of Culture (INC) abruptly ruled that no more than 2,500 people could visit Machu Picchu per day, a move aimed at preventing damage to the site.
On Tuesday, hundreds of frustrated tourists began picketing the official ticket office in downtown Cusco, the former Inca capital that is three hours from the archaeological site.
After widespread condemnation – not least from Cusco's army of tour operators – the INC bureaucrats backtracked and raised the limit temporarily to 3,300.
But on Wednesday, authorities were still having trouble clearing the backlog of visitors.
"We have had a wonderful reception in Peru. The people have been fantastic. But when it comes to Machu Picchu, we have been treated disgustingly," said Koen Cherlet, 31, from Belgium.
The new daily limit of 3,300 visitors itself came in for criticism from archaeologists and other tourism experts who warned that it was unsustainable.
The problems are the latest in a series of alleged management errors. Two years ago, the ticket office at the site entrance was closed. No warning was given and many tourists continue to make the mistake of arriving at the entrance only to discover that they have to make an hour-long trip back to the ticket office in Aguas Calientes, the nearest town.
- 1 Planes go hybrid-electric in important step to greener flight
- 2 North Korean prison officers 'cooked prisoner's baby and fed it to their dogs', more horrific accounts from UN report reveal
- 3 Antonio Martin shooting: Mayor says there should be 'no comparison' to Ferguson
- 4 Antonio Martin shooting: Police and protesters clash over teenager's death just five miles from Ferguson, Missouri
- 5 British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...
£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...
Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...