A few days back we posted the news that the train to Machu Picchu would be resuming operations sooner than expected after recently being shutdown due to heavy rains and flooding in the area. In that story, we mentioned that the Inca Trail, a popular alternative method for visiting the ancient Inca city, was also closed for February so that it could under go its annual maintenance and repairs. Now comes word that the trail will not re-open in March as expected, but will remain closed for that month as well.
According to Detour Destinations, the Instituto Nacional de Cultura, the governing body that oversees the Inca Trail, has announced that no treks will be allowed on the trail through the end of March. Furthermore, the INC is already issuing refunds to those that had purchased permits to hike the trail, and is encouraging visitors to seek alternative options for their Peruvian adventures.
With Machu Picchu remaining largely inaccessible at the moment, and the trail closed off as well, the Peruvian economy, which relies on tourism as a major source of income, has taken a bit of a hit. But, an alternate route to the mountaintop fortress is expected to open next week, with regular train service resuming in early March. By April, everything should be back to normal, although travelers expecting to get the full Peru experience will be out of luck for the next few weeks.
If you were planning on hiking the Inca Trail in March and now suddenly find yourself looking for alternative options, you may want to check out this story that we posted last year. It offers three other great options for trekking in Peru, each with their own unique options.