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Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu Mountains to Close Temporarily in April 2016


By Tony Dunnell
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In August 2015, Fernando Astete, head of the National Archaeological Park of Machu Picchu, announced the planned closure of both the Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu mountains during April 2016.

More specifically, visitors will not be able to access Huayna Picchu from April 1 to 15, 2016, followed by a suspension of all public access to Machu Picchu Mountain from April 16 to 30, 2016.

It’s important to note that this does not mean that the Machu Picchu archaeological site will be closed. Some reports, both in Peru and globally, have given the impression that Machu Picchu will be closing during April. This is not the case.

As things currently stand, the Machu Picchu archaeological site remains open all-year-round. These closures will temporarily suspend access to the two main mountains -- Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain -- that overlook the historic site. Both mountains already have a daily limit of 400 people.

Ricardo Ruiz Caro, director of the Cusco Department of Culture, told the Andina news agency: “We have done a thorough technical assessment of the state of conservation of the steps, retaining walls, enclosures and platforms, coming to the conclusion that comprehensive maintenance is required.”

The Tour Operator Point of View[post_ads_2]

Both Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain offer spectacular views over the Machu Picchu archaeological site. Due to the staggered nature of the closures, visitors will at least have one option for getting up and above Peru’s most iconic attraction.

I contacted Explorandes, one of Peru's leading tour operators, to get its opinion on this issue. According to Daniela Méndez Scheelje, general manager of Explorandes’ Cusco office, the operator will be explaining the staggered nature of the closure to its clients, informing them that they can book access to Machu Picchu Mountain while Huayna Picchu is closed, and vice versa.

For Explorandes, however, this is far from ideal, as “most of [their] clients request Huayna Picchu as a highlight” of the Machu Picchu experience. But Méndez Scheelje believes her clients will understand the need to protect and maintain archaeological sites such as Machu Picchu.

As for the timing of the closure, Explorandes is not convinced: “We think April is not a good month to do this kind of work... it would be better to consider November, which is not a high season month at Machu Picchu.”

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Travel Magazine: Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu Mountains to Close Temporarily in April 2016
Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu Mountains to Close Temporarily in April 2016
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