Friday, February 12, 2010

Peru: Danger in the Andes!

So Let's talk about the elephant in the room.  Here we are blogging about all the awesome things to do in Peru and have mentioned the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu a few times already, but we did not talk about the dangerous mudslide conditions on the mountain happening RIGHT NOW!!

So let's talk about it. Five days of torrential rains in the Cuzco region have destroyed bridges, 250 houses and hundreds of acres (hectares) of crops, while blocking highways and the railway to Machu Picchu.

On 10 February in a press conference with the Peruvian Ministry of Tourism the minister Martin Perez stated the railway to Aguas Calientes will be open as from the beginning of April and access via road between Hidro-Electrica and Santa Maria would take at least 2 months to repair because of the need to construct two tunnels. This effectively means that there will be no way to get to and from Machu Picchu until the beginning of April. i.e. put in simple terms Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail will be closed during February and March 2010.  (The Inca Trail is closed every year in February anyway to allow cleaning of the campsites and other maintenance works to be undertaken.)

There have been at least 5 fatalities and about 2,000 tourists stranded due to the mudslides.  If you are planning your trip to Peru and had intended to visit Machu Picchu then you may need to reschedule.  Tour operators are still accepting booking for the Inca Trail starting in April, but be mindful of their deposit return policies in the event that the repairs take longer than expected.

Please take a few minutes to watch the video below from a Peruvian blogger.  He offers insight that is not shared as freely in the US and UK.

Thanks to the peruanista for your video.


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