Authorities in #Peru last week opened #MachuPicchu on the request of a single #Japanese tourist who had waited almost seven months to visit the famous #IncaRuins.
Jesse Katayama, 26, was planning to visit Machu Picchu during his trip to Peru in March, before the World Heritage Site was closed because of the Chinese #coronavirus #pandemic.
When the pandemic struck, Katayama was left stranded in the town of Aguas Calientes, near Machu Picchu, because of government-imposed travel restrictions.
After waiting seven months to fulfill his wish of visiting the site, Katayama sent a letter to Culture Minister Alejandro Neyra asking whether he could grant him special access to the site given his unfortunate circumstances.
In a video recorded during his visit, Katayama thanked the Peruvian government for a “truly amazing” tour of the ancient ruins. “After the lockdown, the first man to visit Machu Picchu is meeeeeee,” he wrote in an Instagram post that included photos of his tour.
Peruvian culture minister, Alejandro Neyra, said in a news conference on Monday that the visit was granted in recognition of his patience.
“He had come to Peru with the dream of being able to enter,” he told a virtual news conference. “The Japanese citizen has entered together with our head of the park so that he can do this before returning to his country.”
In an interview with Peruvian broadsheet La República titled “The Last Tourist in Machu Picchu,” Katayama revealed that he stayed in Peru “with the sole purpose of getting to know this wonder and didn’t want to leave without doing so.”
As a 15th-century Inca citadel located in southern Peru, Machu Picchu receives well over a million visitors each year. The site has been shut since the beginning of the pandemic and is expected to reopen next month at a reduced capacity. One benefit of its closure is that it has given the area time to recover from the environmental impact of taking in so many visitors on a yearly basis. #binspirednews