Tourism officials in Peru are reminding travelers that Machu Picchu will remain open during the annual closure of the Inca Trail.
According to an announcement by The Minister of Foreign Trade and Tourism of Peru and Promperu, the country’s tourism organization, the citadel of Machu Picchu will remain open to the public during the closure. The Inca Trail will be closed for maintenance work from February 1 to February 28, as has been a regular practice since the year 2000.
During February the Machu Picchu Historic Sanctuary Headquarters SERNANP, in coordination with Cusco’s Decentralized Directorate of Culture, will carry out maintenance and cleaning work on the historic trail. The visitors’ entrance to the Inca Trail will reopen on March 1.
Heavy crowds on the historic Inca Trail in recent years have prompted some tour operators to begin looking to off-the-beaten-path alternatives. For example, last fall Intrepid Travel began promoting trips on The Quarry Trail, a longer and slightly higher trail that also runs through the Sacred Valley to Machu Picchu. Other up-and-coming areas in Peru include the country’s northern region, which is home to Gocta Falls – one of the tallest waterfalls in the world that was not even known outside the country until 2005. Other sites in this area include the ruined Chachapoya fortress of Kuélap, which is considered one of the most important archaeological sites in the Andes. Intrepid also runs an excursion to the cliffside Karajia Sarcophagi and Quiocta Caves.