Peru Opens Machu Picchu For Single Tourist Trapped During Pandemic

by : Niamh Shackleton on : 13 Oct 2020 12:52
Peru Opens Machu Picchu For Single Tourist Trapped During PandemicPA Images/Sky News

We’ve all waited long periods of time for something we really want; whether waiting 45 minutes for your pizza to arrive, or waiting seven years for the PlayStation 5, and evidently this guy really wanted to visit Machu Picchu. 

In light of the ongoing health crisis, the popular tourist attraction closed its doors to visitors, but Jesse Katayama was determined to see the iconic landmark.


Having planned on only staying in Peru for a few days, Jesse ended up staying in the country for seven months due to the coronavirus outbreak. He had visited the country with the dream of visiting Machu Picchu, so was understandably devastated when it was closed to tourists.

PA Images

In a bid to gain access to Incan citadel, Jesse got in touch with the village mayor and government over the duration of his stay, to see if there was any way he could still visit the monument – and it worked.

Jesse ended up becoming the first person to visit Machu Picchu since it closed its doors in March, and was given a private tour with the head of the park on Saturday, October 10.


Alejandro Neyra, Peru’s minister of culture, told The Guardian, ‘He had come to Peru with the dream of being able to enter. The Japanese citizen has entered together with our head of the park so that he can do this before returning to his country.’


Jesse himself took to Instagram yesterday, October 12, to express his excitement of finally seeing the historical place for himself.

Along with pictures of himself at Machu Picchu, he wrote:


I got a lot of messages from the people of Peru and the Japanese people living in Peru. I thought I couldn’t go anymore, but everyone asked the village mayor and the government. I was allowed to go super special.

All the people in Peru are too kind […] thank you very much!!!

People who went to Machu Picchu with the village mayor. After the closure, I was the first earthling to go to Machu Picchu.

People commented their congratulations to the tourist with one person writing how lucky he was.


Despite Jesse visiting the park, it’s still closed to national and foreign tourists. Neyra stated that it’s their intentions to reopen it properly sometime in November, but will only allow 30% of its normal capacity to visit at any one time. It’s usual capacity is 675 people a day.


I guess good things really do come to those who wait.

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Niamh Shackleton

Niamh Shackleton is a pint sized person and journalist at UNILAD. After studying Multimedia Journalism at the University of Salford, she did a year at Caters News Agency as a features writer in Birmingham before deciding that Manchester is (arguably) one of the best places in the world, and therefore moved back up north. She's also UNILAD's unofficial crazy animal lady.

Topics: Life, Pandemic, Peru, Tourism, Travel


The Guardian
  1. The Guardian

    Peru opens Machu Picchu ruins for one tourist