Keeping our clients abreast of the developments in regards to access to Machu Picchu is fundamental. Since our last update we have continued to gather the latest news from the ground and as of today we can share the following important points:
1)Â Â Â Â Cuzco city is being visited without incident. Access into and around the Sacred Valley is fine, except for access into Pisac from Cusco (access to Pisac is now via Chinchero). Other than that, visits are being held normally to all the sites.
2)Â Â Â Â The weather has improved dramatically and torrential rains have subsided. It is now raining as it normally does this time of year. It is sunny during the day and raining in the evening.
3)Â Â Â Â Repair work on the train tracks is well underway and the workers are feverishly trying to finalize work on or ahead of schedule which will be approximately 7 weeks. We are hopeful for standard April train service.
4)Â Â Â Â Bus & train transport via the northern entrance (Santa Teresa) is a distinct possibility now and should be possible from next week. We are pricing that option. Since the drive plus the short train ride will take the best part of a day, it is best to spend 2 nights in Machu Picchu in order to have enough time at the site if you decide on this option. Please ask an Aracari representative if you need more details on access via this route.
5)Â Â Â Â Hotels in and around Machu Picchu are functioning normally and have suffered no damage to their infrastructure. We have held personal interviews with the management and reception staff at the following hotels, and they have all expressed it is business as usual.
- Machu Picchu Pueblo
- Machu Picchu Inn
- Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge
- Sol y Luna
- Rio Sagrado
- Willka Tika
- Albergue Ollantaytambo
6)Â Â Â Â Finally, despite the lack of access into Machu Picchu we have received wonderful feedback from our clients’ trips this past week.
Iâ€™ve just returned from Peru where Aracari did an exceptional job of handling all ground and air services. As a tour operator who specializes in tailor-made trips to Southern Africa I understand the personalized hands on treatment that Aracari delivers. During my stay, Peru experienced very heavy rains in the Urubamba River Valley, which destroyed many homes and washed out the rail service to Aguas Calientes, the arrival town for the approach to Machu Picchu. Though it was a disappointment not to visit Machu Picchu, Aracari did a wonderful job of restructuring my itinerary to meet my needs and handle all changes to my itinerary. Also, I would like to state that though Machu Picchu is not currently approachable by rail Peru recovered very quickly from the damage done by the flooding. They are working hard to rebuild the rail road to Aguas Calientes and I am certain that it will open soon. Thank you Aracari for providing a wonderful trip.
Mark Chesney, CEO, Solaris Expeditions, February 7, 2010
Aracari took very good care of us. We are so glad we continued our trip to Peru even if we didn’t go to Machu Picchu.
Christie Higgins, February 2,Â 2010
First, to visit Peru only to see Machu Picchu is like coming to Arizona only to visit the Grand Canyon. There is so much else to do. We regard it as fortunate that the changes in plans necessitated by the weather meant we spent time in Cuzco and seeing other sites and generated our interest in a return trip to visit Arequipa, Lake Titicaca, Iquitos. Second, Aracari took wonderful care of us and we appreciated the new arrangements. It was all without a fuss and we felt very comfortable throughout.
Barbara Peters, February 7, 2010