Lima — Peru announced on Thursday it is suspending tourist visits to parts of Machu Picchu because of the erosion of certain stone structures that make up the Inca citadel.
Peru’s top tourist attraction is visited by up to 3 800 people per day.
Because of the wear and tear from so much humanity, the Culture Ministry said it is suspending visits to the Temple of the Condor and the Temple of the Sun, as well as the “Intihuatana” – a carved stone structure that was sacred to the Incas.
“The damage is irreversible. We have to protect our heritage,” said Maritza Rosa Candia, the ministry’s delegate in the town of Cusco.
The citadel, 130 kilometres (80 miles) from Cusco, was built in the 15th century at an altitude of 2 500 metres (8 200 feet) on orders from the Inca ruler Pachacutec.
It is considered a marvel of architecture and engineering and was declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1981.
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