The suspension of the sale of entrance tickets to the Inca castle in Machu Picchu, southeastern Peru, Friday, angered traders and sparked protests from tourists, an AFP journalist reported on the spot.
• Read also: Even more visitors were allowed to visit Machu Picchu
Protests erupted around the fortress as well as in the village of Machu Picchu, also known by its old name, Aguas Calientes.
“I paid for my (train) tickets with Inca Rail for a day with a tour guide, we even paid extra for the bus to Machu Picchu, where the ruins are, and they didn’t want to let go,” Mexican tourist Yisrael Gonzalez Rizzo told AFP. Because we didn’t get a ticket.
“It’s a hoax,” said the angry tourist, who said he had paid $65 for the train from Ollantaytambo, about 148 kilometers away.
The city’s merchants also expressed their dissatisfaction.
Dozens of them cut the railway line to prevent the movement of trains, and demanded the Ministry of Culture to resume selling tickets for Machu Picchu to revive the local economy.
The authorities gave no explanation about the suspension decided on Friday, but entry tickets to Machu Picchu are subject to a quota system.
In front of the demonstrations, the Ministry of Culture indicated that it had decided to finally resume the sale of tickets, while respecting the limits established to protect the archaeological heritage.
This is the second demonstration in just over two weeks against not having tickets to visit this tourist site.
Before the first demonstrations, about 4,000 people could enter the castle per day.
The ministry agreed at the end of July to increase this capacity to 5,000 people per day.
Located 110 kilometers from Cusco, the ancient capital of the Inca Empire, this ancient city was built by Emperor Pachacotec in the 15th century.
Machu Picchu has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1983.
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