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Machu Picchu to close for seven weeks!


marazul

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Here is the link to the Cusco newspaper (yes, it is in Spanish). http://www.diariodelcusco.com/

 

Machu Picchu will be closed for at least seven weeks starting from the date when they start the works. The first phase will be from the hydroelectric plant to Aguas Calientes. The second will be up to Piscacucho and the third to Ollantaytambo. When the second phase is finished, it might be possible to take tourists by road to Piscacucho and then board the train to Aguas Calientes. Their best estimate is that Machu Picchu will reopen at the end of March.

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Thank you Marazul,for the link......although it is in spanish.Talked to my Hotel in Cusco and what you report is right,Machu Picchu will be closed a few weeks.Talked to my airline also Taca and they report no flying in there atleast until the first,maybe longer.So we will stay in Lima and enjoy the sites around this area.

 

Kimberley

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From today's Cusco's newspaper:

 

1. The Machu Picchu site is intact - no damages

2. Tourist and historical sItes in and around Cusco are also intact.

3. A provisional bridge to Pisac has been opened.

4. The Peruvian President toured Cusco, MP, etc and promised a huge infusion of cash to rebuild the train to MP.

5. As noted in other posts, all evacuations were completed yesterday.

 

Also, lookout for many special deals in the near future to stimulate tourism to the region.

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Today's newspaper said that it might be possible to reestablish the train connections to Machu Picchu through the village of Santa Teresa (so small I can't find it in the maps) in about 10 days. It is close to the hydroelectric plant where the Inca Trail starts. The government should have a preliminary assessment of damages today.

 

Also, the tourist authority will be starting a campaign to increase tourism to the area. Be on the lookout for "specials"

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Nonna and Poppa

 

We're hoping to go to Machu Pichu either December '10 or January '11 - I'd appreciate it if your travel plans weren't around then - lol.

 

Seriously tho' it's great for the local people that tourism sounds like it'll be up and running in March sometime. I hope that they haven't suffered too much in the meantime.

 

.

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New press releases:

 

The same rains that affected the Cusco area have caused severe floods in the Lake Titicaca area. Peru Rail has stopped train service (the Orient Express Andean Explorer) between Cusco and Puno until February 21.

 

Peru Rail also hopes to release shortly news of alternate routes to Machu Picchu (helicopter and bus/train combination).

 

And Arequipa is seeing a big increase in tourists visiting the Colca Canyon.

 

Keep tuned. . .

 

And, greatam - hope to hear your first hand report soon.

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Mary and everyone else,

 

here is the latest along with a correction from previous posts. The hydroelectric plant the articles were referring to is not between Ollanta and MP. It is downstream from MP and that is where the village of Santa Teresa is located. (There is a smaller place by where the Inca Trail begins, but that is not what they were referring to - my bad.) The article in today's paper makes it clear. Here is the story:

 

1. Piscacucho is at km 82 of the train route from Ollantaytambo to MP.

2. Aguas Calientes (MP) is at km 110.

3. The hydroelectric plant is at km 122 - past MP.

 

Work started yesterday on both the the hydroelectric-MP segment and the MP-Piscacucho segments.

 

The hydroelectric-MP segment should be repaired in about 10 days. Tourists can be taken by road to Santa Teresa and then to the hydroelectric plant to get on the train to MP. These trains are run by FTSA, not Peru Rail. This would be a completely different approach and could actually be interesting.

 

The MP- Piscacucho segment should be done in 7-8 weeks. Passengers will be taken by bus from Ollantaytambo to board the Peru Rail train at Piscacucho.

 

The Piscacucho-Ollantaytambo segment will be repaired after the two previous segments are done.

 

Overall, there are eight major break points between MP and Cusco. There is no mention on when the work will be carried out between Ollanta and Cusco, or the size of the damages in that segment.

 

I apologize to all for my previous misunderstanding due to unfamiliarity with the geography, but this is the right story.

 

And we'll see what actually happens.

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Today's newspaper said that it might be possible to reestablish the train connections to Machu Picchu through the village of Santa Teresa (so small I can't find it in the maps) in about 10 days. It is close to the hydroelectric plant where the Inca Trail starts.

 

This map might help.

 

http://www.andeantravelweb.com/peru/destinations/machupicchu/machu-picchu-inca-trail-closure-floods-landslides.html

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Thanks. Much more detailed than what appears in the Diario del Cusco.

The only difference is that today's paper does say that repair works between km 82 (Piscacucho) and Ollaytantambo will not start until the other segments are done. Earlier reports had said that work would start on all three segments at the same time. We'll see if that changes again.

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Bad news for the Cusco area. Heavy rains are expected today.

 

Also, an agency called "Trekking Cusco Tour Operator" has been indicted for selling tourists a two-day package to get to MP. It involved the route Cusco - Ollantaytambo - Santa Maria - Santa Teresa –Hidroeléctrica - Aguas Calientes and then had the tourists trek up Putucusi mountain accross from MP to take photos. Then return by the same route to Cusco. Other agencies are under investigation for similar practices.

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Today's Diario del Cusco says that helicopter service for tourists will start next week. There will be six to eight flights a day. The price for round trip will be US$300. (One way on the Hiram Bingham train is US$336.)

 

I suspect that many of the pricey ship tours that were using the Hiram Bingham would be more than happy to switch to the helicopters.

 

Again, there was no damage to the ruins or the Sanctuary Lodge. Not clear whether there was damage to the tourist hotels in Aguas Calientes.

 

And, greatam, I hope you can find your disappearing post!

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By the way, the helicopters will land near the town, not on the mountain. Also, no mention of the capacity of the helicopters.

 

O/E started some helicopter flights this weekend. From what I understand, Bell Rangers with 6 passenger + pilot capacity. They are landing the flights behind the RR station. I took it they meant the Agua Calientes side around where the buses for "up the hill" line up. The option today is strictly for Sanctuary/Monasterio guests. As you posted, supposedly, a private Lima company will be ferrying other guests to Agua Calientes next week when they work out the landing arrangements.

 

I have posted my long post another time in the "closed for 7 weeks thread" and it too disappeared. So I will make this short-IF the locals have anything to say about it, the RR will be completely repaired by no later than the end of March. But they are going to get an alternate route (I didn't even know you could get there from the "back side") open within a couple of weeks. The most severe damage that I could see was between Urubamba and Ollay. The Pisac bridge was washed out about 1/4 way, but we went across it anyhow. The RR could NOT make up their mind about the route to Puno-one day it was on, the next day off, so I flew from Cusco to Juliaca and then on to Lima due to the confusion. Didn't get down to Lake Titicaca and there was some damage in Puno where the river runs to the Lake. I asked my guide/friend about the Uros people and she just laughed-"they have been living that way for 1000's of years. They just floated to the top".

 

The helicopters will suffice for now, although there is a government mandate about pollution/disturbing the ruins, so I don't expect the helicopters to last tooo long. O/E tried to have helicopter flights into MP/Agua Calientes when they bought the hotel/rail and they were told emphatically NO.

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greatam,

 

good to hear from you. Too bad the thread took a dislike to your long post. I was looking forward to it.

 

I'm glad progress is being made in Cusco. This has been terrible for the economy

I'll keep checking the newspaper and posting when there is something interesting.

 

marazul

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Today's (2/9) Cusco newspaper said that the helicopter service for tourists will not start as planned this week. Helicopters will be used exclusively to bring supplies and serve the local population. They were expecting to bring up to 200 tourists per day. However, since there are no quick means of evacuation if more torrential rains come, they will not bring the tourists in until one of the train routes is repaired.

 

On the other hand, some tourists did arrive on the trail from the hydroelectric station. Work on that rail segment has not been finished yet,

 

There is going to be a campaign called "Cusco at half price" where all hotels will charge half their current rates. It wil be directed mostly to domestic tourism because foreigners are more interested in MP than in other sites. However, if you keep looking at hotel websites, you might be able to take advantage of the lower prices.

 

Also, carnival celebrations are canceled this year.

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Another big thanks to MARAZUL !! We are going to be in Cusco 2/24-27. Looks like we will be a day early. Would stay over and wait them out but have to hook up with the Star Princess in Valparaiso, Chile on 3/2. If anyone else on this thread is going to be in Cusco any of the above dates let us know. If we have any money left we might spring for a Pusco Sour.

Ron & Brenda McCully

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Happy to help. You should make it to MP. They are working like crazy to reestablish the rail links. Some estimates put tourism down 90%!

 

Since you will be one of the first ones there, please, post your experiences.

I'll keep reading the papers...

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Today's (2/9) Cusco newspaper said that the helicopter service for tourists will not start as planned this week. Helicopters will be used exclusively to bring supplies and serve the local population. They were expecting to bring up to 200 tourists per day. However, since there are no quick means of evacuation if more torrential rains come, they will not bring the tourists in until one of the train routes is repaired.

 

On the other hand, some tourists did arrive on the trail from the hydroelectric station. Work on that rail segment has not been finished yet,

 

There is going to be a campaign called "Cusco at half price" where all hotels will charge half their current rates. It wil be directed mostly to domestic tourism because foreigners are more interested in MP than in other sites. However, if you keep looking at hotel websites, you might be able to take advantage of the lower prices.

 

Also, carnival celebrations are canceled this year.

 

Guess the newspaper doesn't want to let the general populace know that O/E flew guests into the Sanctuary this weekend. Wish I knew how to post the picture Solana sent Sunday of the helicopter at CUZ that was going to ferry guests to the Sanctuary. Special delivery to the Sanctuary (well, actually Agua Calientes and the bus/car up the hill). She had to take two clients to the airport. The "general public" helicopters are not supposed to start until the end of this week (maybe???).

 

Glad to see some made it via the "back route". I am going to have to try that one day. I had no idea.

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Another big thanks to MARAZUL !! We are going to be in Cusco 2/24-27. Looks like we will be a day early. Would stay over and wait them out but have to hook up with the Star Princess in Valparaiso, Chile on 3/2. If anyone else on this thread is going to be in Cusco any of the above dates let us know. If we have any money left we might spring for a Pusco Sour.

Ron & Brenda McCully

Hi Ron and Brenda

We leave the UK on the 24th Feb and are due to do a 5/6 day tour with Princess from Lima to Macchu Picchu. We are in touch with our TA who tells us that Princess are saying all going ahead as planned!!! seems a bit presumptious don't you think. We are due in Cusco on 28th and are staying at the Hotel Libertador.

We then join the Star like you on the 2nd.

Are you active on the thread for the cruise, I have been posting for some time and have booked some independant trips with others through that site.

We have been told today that they have our tickets ready. I am still of the opinion that we will get to Lima to be told that we have an alternative itinerary.:rolleyes:

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