LIMA – Peru is working on a new exit from the Incan citadel of Machu Picchu to be shown to a UNESCO delegation on its visit to the country in January 2016, the Peruvian Cultural Ministry said on Monday.
The Decentralized Culture Directorate of Cusco said in a statement, the route is being prepared “in compliance with the recommendations” of UNESCO and seeks to decongest the entry and exit of visitors to the famous archaeological site.
Currently visitors enter and exit the site from the same point.
The head of the National Archaeological Park of Machu Picchu, Fernando Astete, said in the statement now the stone walls are reinforced at the bottom of the entrance to the citadel.
“Taking advantage of the width of the walls an exit route has been enabled for tourists, which will have a length of 26 meters (85 feet). The work is done using contemporary materials, according to the architectural project approvals,” said Astete.
Astete explained the new exit is completely suited to the topography and “mimics the natural environment” since it will have a vegetation cover with clay floor.
“This work will be presented to the technical mission of UNESCO, which will arrive in January, and when it is put into service the current checkpoint and entrance to Machu Picchu will become decongested because all tourists will exit through this new route to the bus ramp,” he said.
Last June, the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO announced it will send three missions to Peru in the next two years to evaluate the actions of local authorities and ensure Machu Picchu Archaeological Park is not included in UNESCO’s World Heritage in Danger list.
The members of the World Heritage Committee agreed in June, during its 39th session in Germany, to defer the assessment of the inclusion of Machu Picchu in the danger list until 2017.
After two years of study, Peruvian authorities approved last year, a Master Plan of the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu for the period 2015-2019, stressing on management and development of economic activities, including tourism, which led to the proposal of diversifying the visit routes.