Peru opens Machu Picchu for single tourist left stranded by coronavirus pandemic

Peru has opened Machu Picchu for a single Japanese tourist who waited seven months after becoming stranded in the country due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Jesse Takayama had planned to spend only a few days in the country in mid-March to visit the sacred ruins, but they were closed as the global health crisis began.

He was left stranded in the town of Aguas Calientes, near Machu Picchu, due to travel restrictions.

But on Saturday, after submitting a special request, he was finally able to enter the world famous site – clutching the same ticket he bought seven months ago.

“He had come to Peru with the dream of being able to enter,” said Culture Minister Alejandro Neyra.

Mr Takayama was allowed to walk through the ancient citadel before returning to Japan.

“This is so amazing! Thank you!” he said.

Mr Neyra said the site was expected to reopen at a reduced capacity in November, but did not give a date.

“We are still in the middle of a pandemic,” he said. “It will be done with all the necessary care.”

Machu Picchu is a UNESCO World Heritage site set high in the Andes mountains.

The mysterious Inca citadel, built in the 1400s, comprises three primary structures: Intihuatana, the Temple of the Sun, and the Room of the Three Windows.

The site is visited by more than a million people per year, raising concerns about damage to its ancient stonework.

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