A few weeks back there was a story about how 1300 tourists were trapped at Machu Picchu following massive flooding in the area that destroyed the railway into the ancient mountain top fortress. At the time, we were told that more than 40 landslides covering the tracks and that it was damaged in multiple locations, which was preventing the famous tourist train from reaching those trapped on site.
Yesterday, I wrote an update on the situation for Gadling.com with news that the train is set to resume operation within the next three weeks, which is ahead of the eight weeks that were originally projected. Meanwhile, an alternate back route is being opened allowing travelers to visit Machu Picchu, although it requires a five hour car ride to get to the area.
Of course, many of us would prefer to make the hike to the monument via the famous Inca Trail, a four day trek through the Andes that culminates with a sunrise march into Machu Picchu. Traditionally, the trail is closed in February for repairs and maintenance, which means the current closure of the train is not effecting anyone who is currently out on that ancient road. But now we have word, via Detour Destinations Travel Blog, that the closure of the trail will extend through March thanks to the flooding in the area. The Instituto Nacional de Cultura, the agency in charge of the trail, is refunding all trail permits, and encouraging those planning on making the hike to seek alternative trekking options within the country.
This has to be really depressing news for anyone who had been planning on going to Peru to hike the Inca Trail next month. By most accounts, it is an amazing experience, and well worth the hike. I just hope that everyone who had plans will find alternatives that live up to their expectations.
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