New rules to protect Machu Picchu World Heritage Site

The Peruvian government announced on Friday 10 May a two-week restriction to three important areas at Machu Picchu to prevent greater degradation to the iconic Inca citadel, whose name means “old mountain” in the Quechua language indigenous to the area. The mountain-top citadel lies around 100 kilometres (60 miles) from the Andean city of Cusco, the old Inca capital in south-eastern Peru, and was built during the reign of the Inca emperor Pachacuti (1438-1471). It was rediscovered in 1911 by the American explorer Hiram Bingham and declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1983.

From May 15 to 28 2019, access to the Temple of the Sun, the Temple of the Condor and the Intihuatana Stone will be strictly controlled, the Peruvian government said. “These measures are necessary to conserve Machu Picchu, given the evidence of deterioration” on stone surfaces caused by visitors to the three areas, the culture ministry said. Almost 6,000 visitors a day are permitted onto the 15th-century site in two waves. The new plan will give tourists just three hours to visit the three emblematic areas. The authorities will evaluate the impact of the measures before applying new permanent rules from June 1.

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