BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: World: Americas
Front Page 
World 
Africa 
Americas 
Asia-Pacific 
Europe 
Middle East 
South Asia 
-------------
From Our Own Correspondent 
-------------
Letter From America 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 
Thursday, 11 May, 2000, 08:59 GMT 09:59 UK
Inca Trail restricted
Machu Picchu site in Peru
The trail ends at the ancient fortress of Machu Picchu
By South America correspondent James Reynolds

The authorities in Peru have decided to limit the number of hikers to the popular tourist site, the Inca Trail.

The National Cultural Institute has ruled that no more than 500 people per day will be allowed to walk the 48km route.



It's just a token gesture and exactly the thing that's leading to the destruction of the cultural wealth of the department of Cuzco

Timothy Currie, manager of the South America Explorers
But conservationists have dismissed the measure as a publicity stunt and say it is a meaningless gesture.

They point to the fact that the record number of visitors in a day stands at 494. They say that the new limit of 500 will do nothing to reduce the overcrowding and erosion currently affecting the route.

Disputes

Each year, tens of thousands of trekkers pay a fee to walk the Inca Trail that takes them high into the Andes mountains before ending up at the ruins of Machu Picchu, an ancient Inca fortress.

During the last few years, there's been increasing controversy over erosion and overcrowding along the trail.

The trail and Machu Picchu are among Peru's most important tourist attractions.

In recent years, there have been a number of arguments between developers and conservationists as to what's best for the area.

The government-approved plan to build a luxury hotel near the site, as well as a cable car up to the ruins has in particular led to considerable dispute.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
Americas Contents

Country profiles
See also:

Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to other Americas stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Americas stories