Peru reopened Machu Picchu, its most famous tourist destination, to a tourist who had been stuck in the country for seven months. The Japanese tourist has now witnessed a rare experience -- seeing the majesty of Machu Picchu all alone.
Peru Reopens Machu Picchu for Single Tourist
After being unprecedentedly stranded in Peru, Jesse Katayama is finally crossing "visit Machu Picchu" off his bucket list. The native from Nara, Japan arrived in Aguas Calientes, where most travelers begin their Machu Picchu expeditions on March 14, but the Peruvian government decided to close the tourist site on that day for safety reasons.
The 26-year-old was initially slated to enter the UNESCO World Heritage destination on March 16 but was postponed when the pandemic struck, reported CNN.
When Katayama was stranded in Peru, he was forced to rent a small room in Aguas Calientes.
Katayama was reportedly pleased when he was provided special permission to visit the famous tourist destination in Peru.
The First Person to See Machu Picchu Since the Lockdown
He posted photographs of himself at the deserted site. "The first person on Earth who went to Machu Picchu since the lockdown is me," Katayama wrote on Instagram.
The lockdown across the globe due to the novel coronavirus pandemic has had numerous people stranded while holidaying as they are unable to return home due to flights being halted.
Katayama's itinerary involved a visit to the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu. He had actually bought his entry ticket in March prior to the quarantine.
The tourist added a video posted on the local tourism authority in Cusco's Facebook pages, where the popular tourist site was located. He found the experience "amazing" and was thankful.
Before making the trek to the 15th-century Inca settlement in the sky, Katayama passed the time by taking yoga classes, teaching boxing to children, studying for various exams, and making friends in his accidental new hometown. In his free time, he visited nearby tourist destinations, including the Calientes Waterfalls and Putucusi Mountain. This is notwithstanding that border closures have kept him from visiting other South American nations.
His goal is to become a gym owner and instructor reportedly when he returns to Japan, so he used the duration he was stranded to practice his moves. "I go to run every morning, and I could see Machu Picchu afar in distance. I thought I would never make it to Machu Picchu as I was expecting it won't open within this year, but I was OK with it because I had a great time here," reported KRDO.
One of the Most Visited Tourist Sites in the World
Machu Picchu is one of the most visited sites across the globe. An estimated 1 million guests yearly visit the site, and photos taken at the iconic Inca estate are often inundated with tourists in the background. In Katayama's Instagram caption, roughly translated from Japanese, he wrote, "Here is Machu Picchu with nobody."
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