a stone ruins on Machu Picchu

It’s a wonder of the world, it leaves people literally breathless and for the rest of the year it’s free. Need anything more? Peru has reopened to international travelers, and after months of closure, Machu Picchu has too. As a true bucket list destination, the question now is: should you go, and when?

Even before announcing its reopening of international borders, Peru stole international headlines, in collaboration with Machu Picchu recently, when a tourist turned from one of the unluckiest visitors to ever enter the country, to one of the luckiest.

After Peru’s swift border closures at the uneasy beginning of covid-19 grounded all international flights, a Japanese tourist was forced to remain in country for 7 months, renting an apartment and working odd jobs to make ends meet. In the end, the visitor was finally able to see Machu Picchu, which closed just days before his planned visit, and in a way few on earth ever have.

To make up for the enduring experience, officials opened the park for an exclusive solo visit, to make amends. It may not have been what the traveler expected, but in the end he walked away with something priceless.

a stone terraces on a mountain

Peru Is Open Again

With December approaching in Peru, so too is the start of summer. To capitalize on pent up travel demand, which some now call “revenge travel”, the country has opened international borders once again. To be admitted, all visitors to Peru must bring along a recent negative covid-19 test, and submit a health form as well.

International flights have reopened from a variety of gateways, with 25 cities and counting launching direct flights to Lima. You’ll find the most connectivity from US and South American departure points, but flights from Europe are expected soon, and are gearing up rapidly.

Since all trips in the covid-19 era are subject to change, it’s always good to review current entry requirements with IATA and Timatic, the official resource airlines use to decide whether you’re allowed to board.

Machu Picchu Is Amazing Right Now

Restaurants in Peru have been allowed to open at 50% capacity, as have many other businesses which make the travel experience feel full and worthwhile. Machu Picchu however is open at a reduced capacity of just 30%, which means no more than 675 visitors per day.

In other words, there hasn’t been a time to experience it with this much privacy in years. If that’s not enough to get you excited about making the trek, until December 31st, 2020, admission is free. So too is admission to all other cultural centers and all state run parks.

For the best ever guide on visiting Machu Picchu, and how to get around from Lima to the areas surrounding this stunning UNESCO World Heritage site, check out our stellar guide.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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