Tourism News

Cusco Regional Strike Could Soon Re-emerge Even Worse

20 April – Cusco’s regional strike came to a close yesterday as streets in the city began to reopen even earlier than planned. (This is often the case in strikes in Peru.) Interestingly, buses companies began operating on the second day in complaint of taxi drivers not participating and still earning money.

The government signed agreements with the striking associations to hold more meetings this week and President Castillo had committed to coming to the region on Friday, but organizers are saying that there must be concrete actions from the administration or an indefinite strike will be called for Monday, 25 April.

The president of the Cámara de Comercio de Cusco (Cusco Chamber of Commerce), Edy Cuellar, said that according to the Cusco Chamber Business Studies Center, the total impact of economic losses from the 48-hour stop in the region would reach 100 million soles. Hardest hit were the micro and small businesses which comprise about 95% of the region’s tourism sector.

Protesters are demanding:

  1. Concrete measures against the increase in food costs.
  2. The implementation of a second agrarian reform which was promised by President Castillo as a major part of his campaign. This is a major grievance in the region (which gave Castillo massive electoral support) as nothing has been done by the administration so far.
  3. A review of the Camisea gas and PeruRail railroad contracts — another unfulfilled campaign promise.
  4. The possibility of refloating the southern gas pipeline.
  5. More jobs should be generated in the region, that citizens be properly attended to in public health, and that an honest fight against corruption be established.
  6. The implementation of a constituent assembly to work towards a new constitution..

According to Walter Torres, secretary of the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Agrarian Federation of Cusco (Fartac), there is no progress on even one of the six points.

“For this reason,” said Torres, “we have asked to consign the requests with the ministers, each one with its respective topic. We will also request concrete progress on the second agrarian reform….We are clear about things. If there is no solution, we will go into an indefinite strike on Monday.”

[The problem, of course, is that the administration so far has shown little, if any, capacity to deal with the various crises that are plaguing Peru at this time and the populace has little trust. If Castillo fails to show up as promised, expect an even stronger strike across the region that could last for much longer. In talking with various people across multiple economic sectors in Cusco, there is an almost universal belief that the Castillo administration is incapable to dealing with the problems the country is facing.]

Cusco Regional Strike Continues Today

19 April – Despite erroneous (and heavily criticized) claims by a Cusco Congressman yesterday, the large strike which has virtually shut down much of the region including Cusco itself as well as transportation to and from Machu Picchu will continue in its planned second day.

Yesterday the Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Trade and Tourism (Mincetur) signed an agreement with representatives of the various protesting associations to meet later this week to discuss the issues in question, but those associations met and refused to end the strike early. The biggest reason is a lack of confidence in the government to actually do something as well as dissatisfaction with the fact that President Castillo did not come to Cusco himself as demanded.

Roads across the region will continue to be blocked. Buses and interprovincial transportation will not be in service and trains connected Ollantaytambo to Machupicchu Pueblo will be suspended for a second day today.

There has also been a threat of even more radical measures in the future if the President does not come to Cusco later this week as previous promised or if the Council of Ministers do not abide by the agreement to meet on Friday.

The president of the Chamber of Commerce of Cusco, Edy Cuellar, told Diario Correo that for each day of stoppage in Cusco, the region loses an average of two million soles due to the closure of businesses and sale of products and services. Cuellar says that 75% of Cusco citizens benefit directly or indirectly from tourism — the sector most affected by the pandemic and demonstrations.

Cusco Meetings End with Government Announcement, but No Agreement from the Strikers Yet

18 April – The Presidency of the Council of Ministers (PCM) announced late this afternoon that the signing of agreements, including the installation of a working table for next Thursday and, the next day, the realization of a session of Decentralized Council of Ministers in the city of Cusco.

In addition, the document, which was read by the Minister of Foreign Trade and Tourism (Mincetur), Roberto Sanchez, established the beginning of a series of specialized technical tables where the different demands of the population will be addressed. The PCM committed to issue a resolution for the installation of these roundtables, which will allow addressing the demands made by the social organizations of Cusco, together with the Executive Power and the Regional Government.

Among the priority issues of these technical roundtables are health, transportation and communications, agriculture, culture and tourism, education, energy and mines, as well as the social issues roundtable, which includes public safety, women, social development and justice. These roundtables will meet from 10 a.m. on Thursday, April 21.

Immediately thereafter the various associations involved in the strike said they would consult with their member.

About an hour later at approximately 5:40 pm, the President of the Federation of Farmers Tupac Amaru Cusco, Walter Torres, said that his guild would continue the strike because they requested the presence of President Pedro Castillo himself to submit the measure. Prime Minister Anibal Torres’ presence was not enough.

“We are not going to allow another fraud,” said Torres. “Immediate attention for the agricultural sector, that’s what we are asking for and we are not going to permit the exploiting of other sectors either…We are not going to lift the agricultural stop.”

There were minimal protests in Cusco itself, but roads throughout the region were blocked and hundreds, if not thousands, of tourists have been left stranded. Police utilized their own buses to transport tourists from the airport today as well as reportedly establish a “tourist corridor” from the airport to the city’s historical center. [NOTE: I saw a LOT of unhappy tourists carrying luggage through the streets this afternoon.]

Trains to Machu Picchu were suspended today as protesters have blocked the railway in the community of Chilca a few kilometers outside of Ollantaytambo.

Complete Shutdown of Cusco Region Begins Today

18 April – The planned strike in the Cusco region has begun this morning despite the planned arrival of President pedro Castillo and a meeting with the Council of Minister in Cusco on Friday. Photos of roads blocked by stones and protesters are already being shared by news outlets and across social media.

Yesterday a meeting was held between local leaders and the Prime Minister which did not result in the hoped for suspension of the strike. Hours before the end of the meeting between government representatives and union representatives Germán Santoyo, president of one of the factions of the Departmental Federation of Workers of Cusco, said that the only way to suspend strike was for the president to arrive in the region in the next 24 hours.

“We hope that in the proposal of the minister [Minister of Foreign Trade and Tourism Roberto Sanchez] to have a working table with the ministers and the president, we cannot trust with the simple proposal, we want it to be documented and serious. The strike is ratified by all the organizations”, said Santoyo.

According to Cusco Post, representatives of Tourism Graduates, Official Tourist Guides, Artisans Guilds, Travel Agencies Guilds, Transportation Guilds, Hoteliers Guilds, Inca Trail Porters Guilds, Chambers of Commerce and all those involved in the Tourism Sector, have united to ask for solutions to this serious crisis that directly affects their sector.

All of those involved have also demanded that President Castillo and the Council of Minister come to Cusco today to listen to the demands of the protesters and seek an immediate solution.

Instead of coming to Cusco today, however, President Castillo is scheduled to attend yet another photo op for the destruction of 16 tons of drugs seized by the national police (PNP). Apparently, the police are unable to destroy the drugs without his help leaving the complete shutdown of Peru’s — and perhaps South America’s — most significant tourist destination in a total lockdown for the next two days.

Peru’s Prime Minister, Anibal Torres, is expected to arrive in the region around 8 am this morning, but it is doubtful if he will be able to convince the protesters to abandon the strike.

Castillo received massive support in last year’s election, but the fact that his upcoming arrival is having no effect on the strike is another sign that the population has no confidence in the current administration.

Cruise Ships to Return to Peru

13 April – The Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MTC) announced that international cruise ships with passengers and crew members are allowed to enter Peru and the necessary port services will be available.

The statement issued by the MTC indicates that, according to current regulations, a health protocol is not a requirement for the reception of international cruise ships in Peruvian ports. The disembarkation of passengers is subject to current health requirements for entering national territory, such as proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test, as the case may be, and the use of face masks, among other provisions.

Cruise ships had previously arrived at various Peruvian ports such as Ilo, Matarani, Pisco, and Callao.

Cusco Protest Quickly Expands for April 18-19

After the regional association of farmers, Revolutionary Agrarian Federation Túpac Amaru (Fartac), announced a 48-hour protest and strike in the Cusco region on April 18-19, more groups quickly joined in assuring that the region will be shut down for two days immediately following Easter weekend.

The Board of Cusco Users (JUC), the Departmental Federation of Farmers of Cusco (FDCC) and the Provincial Federation of Farmers of La Convención Yanatile and Lares (FEPCACYL) — the most representative agricultural organizations in the region — have all said they will join.

Social organizations such as the Federation of University Students, the Regional Youth Assembly, workers of the Departmental Federation of Workers of Cusco (FDTC), transportation workers and other unions have said they will participate.

Besides road blockages and what appears to be a shutdown of public transportation across the region, large protest marches will almost certainly be held across the region centering on Cusco itself.

Anyone who has any plans to travel anywhere in the region including Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley during those days should immediately seek to change their plans.

The groups are protesting against the increase in the cost of the basic family food items, agricultural fertilizers, and fuels. They also demand that the congressmen for Cusco give an account of their actions in the first 250 days of their term of office and an urgent change in the constitution.

Another Protest Strike Coming to Cusco April 18-19

9 April – The regional association of farmers, Revolutionary Agrarian Federation Túpac Amaru (Fartac), have said they will stage a 48-hour protest strike on April 18-19 across the Cusco region.

While still over a week away, this strike will likely shut down all intraregional transportation in the region through road blockades meaning that tourists will be unable to visit places like the Sacred Valley or Machu Picchu. In the past, such protests have also usually resulted in suspension of train service.

Strikes, Protests, and Closures Continue Across Peru

8 April – Despite the social media claims that all is well in Peru, it is not. Yesterday traffic was snarled as protest marches continued, a strike among colectivos halted the plans of many tourists, and most markets were closed.

This national day of protest was promoted by the General Confederation of Workers of Peru (CGTP) and the Departmental Federation of Workers of Cusco (FDTC). The local faction of the FDTC did not participate but indicated that they would promote another protest on April 17-18 when they would call on more bases in all the provinces of Cusco.

Protesters are demanding a reduction in the price of take-away bread, gas and fuel, and rejecting the current role of the Government and Congress. (Keep in mind that this is occurring in a region where the current administration received over 90% of the vote.)

Similar marches occurred in Arequipa yesterday. The unions affiliated to the Departmental Federation of Workers of Arequipa (FDTA) held a massive march, which took up to 10 blocks in the historic center, in rejection of Congress and the price hike.

In Cajamarca, the region where President Pedro Castillo was born, members of several CGTP unions marched for the fourth consecutive day in the city of Cajamarca with banners and chants to demand the government to reduce the price of basic necessities and to reject the Congress.

Other protests were held in Trujillo, Chiclayo, Tacna, and Piura.

Transportation Strike Updates

7 April – Parts of Peru still suffer from the transportation strikes that have been continuing for about ten days in protest of the high fuel prices. La Republica is reporting this morning that stretches of the key Panamericana Sur highway are still blocked by protesters and conflicts between them and police are ongoing.

RPP Noticias is reporting this morning that at kilometer 272 of the Panamericana Sur, in the area of Barrio chino (Ica region), vehicular traffic has been released in both directions after the blockade by protesters.

Andina News is reporting that protesters opened up their blockades for five days. They say that the Panamericana Sur is clear at kilometer 290, in the Urban Expansion zone, at the entrance to the Salas Guadalupe district where violent confrontations took place yesterday, leaving one dead and several injured. Traffic is also free at kilometers 275 and 278, in the area of Barrio Chino, where there were also acts of violence by demonstrators. The passage of vehicles is now slow due to the fact that the stones and other materials that impeded free transit have not yet been removed. There is a National Police presence in the area.

The regional governer of Ica, Javier Galllegos, said that the Minister of the Interior, Alfonso Chávarry, “has not acted forcefully to unblock the Panamericana” which remains occupied by striking agricultural workers.

Gallegos told Nada está dicho of RPP Noticias that in the morning he spoke with Chávarry about meeting with the leaders of the strike that had been scheduled for 5 pm, but the MInister left shortly after arriving in the region and flying over the blockade zone.

“He arrived at 10 in the morning [and] I received him,” said Gallegos. “He made a helicopter flight to verify the place, then I called him but he has not answered us. At this hour he is already in Lima. He has not gone to visit the site in situ…It seems that he was doing coordination work with the general, but he has not shown up (to the meeting), I have called him ‘N’ times. So far he has not answered me. It worries me. It seems that he has no intention of dialoguing.”

Gallegos also says that he has seen evidence of infiltrators armed with rifles in pistols among the protesters.

The General Confederation of Peruvian Workers (CGTP) confirmed to RPP Noticias that today they will mobilize in the Cajamarca province of Jaen to demand President Pedro Castillo fulfill his campaign promises.

Lima/Callao Lockdown Lifted Early?; Protests Rock Lima

6 April – After announcing the lockdown of Lima and Callao in the middle of the night by Pedro Castillo, the President was forced to walk it back and announce the end of the curfew in the late afternoon yesterday after widespread condemnation came from all sides.

Gestion and Peru21 report that Castillo left his meeting with Congressional leaders to sign the Decree ending the lockdown after refusing to do so digitally and stay in the meeting. No such Decree was published, however, leaving it in place until midnight last night. The meeting was then suspended after members of Castillo’s party, Peru Libre, interrupted and disrupted the meeting then refused to leave.

Lima and other large cities across the country endured large protests. In Lima they turned violent as there was much destruction and 25 police were injured as thousands tried to storm the Congress building where President Castillo was meeting with Congressional leaders. Later protesters damaged the outside of the Superior Court of Lima on Avenida Abancay and reportedly were able to break in to the building from an unguarded rear entry before police dispersed the crowd with tear gas.

Large protests against President Castillo will likely to continue in Lima and smaller protests should be expected in other cities. (Schools have already been cancelled in Lima this morning.) There’s no word in any of the media of the transportation strike which was originally expected to last only 48 hours. Hopefully it will not be in effect today, but transportation gridlock has been going on for over a week now despite many announcements.

Lima and Callao Under Lockdown Today

5 April – Last night at midnight Peruvian President Pedro Castillo announced that Lima and Callao would go into lockdown (“social immobilization at 2 am last all day Tuesday, April 5, in response to protests which have resulted in violence and looting across those provinces.

“The Council of Ministers has approved the declaration of citizen immobility (curfew) from 2 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, April 5 to safeguard the fundamental rights of all people, which will not prevent the supply of essential services to all Peruvians,” said Castillo.

According to the Supreme Decree Nº 034-2022-PCM published in El Peruano, during the mandatory social immobilization, those working in the following areas will be able to continue providing services: health, medicine, continuity of water, sanitation, electric power, gas, fuel, telecommunications and related activities, cleaning and solid waste collection, funeral services, cargo and goods transportation and related activities.

Almost immediately opposition was voiced across the country including the timing of the midnight announcement that will come as a surprise to millions when they awake this morning. Cries of “dictatorship” responding so harshly to legal protests were voiced overnight and will likely grow much stronger today as the Castillo administration finds itself unable to deal with the issues behind the protests.

(Already this morning at 6 am there are reports of people trying to reach their place of work because they are not aware of the lockdown.)

In the middle of the night, Lima’s Jorge Chavez Airport announced that they would be operating, but recommended that passengers contact their airlines to know the situation regarding specific flights. They also recommended carrying boarding passes and identification if trying to reach the airport today and be aware that transportation may be restricted.

As written, the Decree makes no allowances for travel to and from the airport meaning that flights will likely be suspended today leaving thousands of travelers stranded.

The Urban Transportation Authority (ATU) for Lima and Callao said that all public transportation routes in Metropolitan Lima and Callao, as well as the concessioned services of the Metropolitano and Complementary Corridors will not be operating.

The ATU said that the measure is established in response to the traffic restriction ordered by the government and that taxis along with special school, tourist and workers’ transportation will not be able to provide service as well.

The president of Congress, Maria del Carmen Alva, said that the President and the Council of Ministers do not have the authority to interfere with Congress and that the legislature will operate normally today. She also reiterated Congress’ request that President Castillo come to Congress at 3 pm today.

Government Creates “Commission” to Dialogue With Transportation Strikers

1 April – The Peruvian government announced on Thursday the creation of a “dialogue commission” to address the demands of heavy load transport carriers, which four days ago began an indefinite strike in several regions of the country in protest against increases in fuel costs.

“The Government is willing to dialogue with them (transporters), to which effect a ‘dialogue commission’ is being appointed for the immediate attention of their demands,” the Council of Ministers wrote on Twitter, after affirming that it respects their right to strike and clarifying that “neither they nor anyone else can block the roads.”

Shortly before, President Pedro Castillo had declared from the department of Piura that the government would put order “in the next hours” in the face of this strike, which he labeled as “malicious” and of being “paid by some leaders and ringleaders”.

On Monday, the heavy load transport unions began an indefinite strike to protest against the increase in fuel prices and to urge a dialogue with the government to negotiate a reduction in the cost of oil and oil derivatives.

The protest, which on Tuesday blocked 40 roads nationwide, continued this Thursday in spite of the agreements announced the day before by the Prime Minister, Aníbal Torres.

Torres said that the Ministry of Transport and Communications had reached agreements with the National Union of Transporters and the Peruvian Confederation of Transporters to lift the strike and unblock the highways, where dozens of vehicles have been stranded for days.

“That agreement consists in that the State commits to simplify, accelerate the refund to the Selective Consumption Tax that used to last 70 days, but now it can last 30 days,” said Torres in a press conference.

Torres also mentioned that the fuel increase is not an entirely national issue, but also “for the rest of the world, and it is due to the war between Russia and Ukraine, which has determined the increase in the price of oil and fuels in general”.

The Latest on What Roads are Blocked in the Transportation Strike

31 March – The strike of heavy load transport carriers continued for the fourth consecutive day in regions such as Arequipa, Apurimac, Junin, Ancash and Piura. The Highway Police reports 24 blockades throughout the country.

Arequipa

Traffic on the Panamericana Sur, the entrance road to the city of Arequipa and exit to the regions of Lima, Moquegua and Tacna, continues to be restricted. Only private vehicles and ambulances are allowed to circulate.

The situation is different at kilometer 22 of the Arequipa-Puno highway, where some 200 truck drivers do allow interprovincial buses, minivans and private vehicles to circulate for the time being. The truckers warned that if no dialogue with the government is reached, they will radicalize their measures.

A group of transporters blocked the access to the center of Andahuaylas and was dispersed by the Police.

Apurimac

On the fourth day of protest, a group of carriers blocked with stones, sticks and tires the main streets of the city center, to prevent the passage of urban transport vehicles of cabs, motorcycle cabs and combis causing vehicular chaos.

Two police contingents from the Special Services Unit cleared the roads causing huge traffic congestion.

There are more than 100 carriers in Andahuaylas divided into three groups that block the roads of the province that communicates with the Ayacucho region, Cusco and the regional airport, where dozens of passengers walk with their luggage to reach their destinations. The protesters have placed sticks and burning tires to prevent passage.

Ancash

At least 40 teachers have not been able to travel to their work centers in the Callejón de Huaylas due to the strike of transporters, informed the Prefect of Ancash, Manuela Méndez. She said that educators living in Huaraz cannot travel to the provinces of Yungay, Huaylas and Carhuaz, since inter-district transportation has been suspended.

According to the Superintendencia de Transporte Terrestre de Personas, Carga y Mercancías (Sutran), in the highlands of Ancash, there were five sectors blocked by the transporters. The protesters interrupted traffic at kilometer 590 of the Huaraz-Casma highway, at the Mullaca bridge, at kilometer 541 of the Recuay-Huaraz highway, at the Bedoya bridge.
As well as at kilometer 138 of the Casma-Huaraz highway, in the Urpay sector, at kilometer 140 of the Casma-Huaraz highway, at the Raimondi bridge, and at kilometer 595 of the Huaraz-Huaylas highway, from the Cruce Taricá sector to the Marcará bridge.
However, these areas have been cleared and private vehicles, buses and trucks are passing through, but several sections of the Yungay-Huaylas highway are still interrupted.

On the Panamericana Norte highway, at the height of Cerro Partido, in the district of Nuevo Chimbote, in the province of Santa, the transporters blocked the transit of vehicles for half an hour andthe route is not reportedly open

Piura

A group of 40 people blocked with stones and sticks the national road that communicates the province of Sullana with the province of Talara and the region of Tumbes. This happened at the Mallaritos population center, in the district of Marcavelica, and in the district of Ignacio Escudero. The Highway Police reported that these points were released at 1.50 p.m. yesterday.

In other northern regions such as Lambayeque and La Libertad no blockades have been reported since Tuesday’s liberation of the Panamericana Norte.

Junin

Four days after the beginning of the strike of farmers and transporters, the highways of the region continue to be blocked by pickets, mainly in Huancayo, Jauja, Tarma and La Oroya.

According to the latest report from the National Police, seven points are blocked in the province of Jauja, including the Stuart Bridge, as well as the districts of Paccha and San Lorenzo.

Demonstrators and police clashed in the vicinity of La Breña Bridge, which remained closed on the fourth day of the indefinite strike of farmers and transporters, in the Junin region.

Transportation Strike Still Blocks Much of Peru

30 March – Many major highways across Peru are blocked by heavy cargo carriers demanding government action on fuel prices and road tolls. Bus transportation has been stalled and thousands of travelers across the country have been stuck as their buses are trapped in traffic lines which can extend for many kilometers.

ANCASH

In Ancash, transporters have blocked several stretches of the road leading to Callejón de Huaylas. The Prefect of Ancash, Manuela Mendez, reported that the protesters prevent the transit of heavy cargo vehicles and buses in some sectors of the national road Huaraz-Pativilca.

Some of the points without access are the road to the district of Cátac, in the province of Recuay; Tacllán, Willcahuaín and at the Amarillo bridge in the province of Huaraz. Blockades are also reported on the road that connects with the cities of Caraz and Carhuaz.

In the city of Huaraz, some transportation companies have suspended ticket sales to the cities of Lima, Trujillo and Chimbote. Also, in Casma there was a blockade and since 10:00 a.m. traffic has been flowing normally.

Cajamarca

The city of Cajamarca, for the second consecutive day, continues with the roads blocked, which prevents the passage of minor vehicles. Heavy load carriers have divided into two pickets, one at the Pariamarca crossing, paralyzing access to cities such as Piura, Trujillo and Cliclayo; and the other on the Cajamarca – San Marcos highway, at the Los Sapitos sector, in the Namora district of Cajamarca province.

La Libertad

Heavy load carriers freed kilometer 707 of the Panamericana Norte highway acorrding tothe regional manager of Transport and Communications of La Libertad, Edith Chuco. Vehicles can circulate without problems from Trujillo to the province of Chepén and other cities in the north of the country. Chuco added that the roads to the provinces of Viru and the highlands of La Libertad remain clear.

Arequipa

The heavy load transport strike continues affecting the passage of buses, minivans and private cars, whose access is restricted at kilometer 48 of the entrance road to the city of Arequipa. In this area there are more than 20 buses arriving from Lima, Moquegua and Tacna and dozens of passengers, including children and senior citizens who remain stranded and must walk four kilometers to reach their destinations.

Apurímac

Heavy load carriers block the entrances and exits of the province of Andahuaylas which communicates with the regions of Ayacucho, Abancay and Cusco; and with the regional airport.

More than 100 carriers divided into three groups blocked the national roads with their vehicles from very early in the morning, allowed passage only to students and teachers, as well as health sector workers. Hundreds of other passengers traveling in interprovincial companies from the regions of Ayacucho and Lima had to walk to reach their destination.

Puno

In Puno the president of the Association of Transporters and Truckers of the city of Juliaca, Edgar Tito Ponce, announced that there will be a truce between midnight and 5 o’clock tomorrow morning.

A contingent of National Police officers remain in the sector called Central Esquen, 6 kilometers from the city of Juliaca on the road that connects with Arequipa, to avoid confrontation between heavy load and public service carriers. During the night, a small group of carriers burned sticks and tires to prevent passage to Arequipa.

Cusco

On the third day of the strike, the heavy load transporters have stopped their measure of force after the intervention of the National Police and the Public Prosecutor’s Office. Likewise, the five access points to the city of Cusco are free, after the work carried out by at least one thousand police officers, informed the director of the Police Macroregion, General Pedro Villanueva Nole.

The northern zone with access through the Tica Tica arch was cleared Monday afternoon while the southern zone, where the largest number of pickets were reported, was cleared Monday evening.

Colonel Edson Cerron, head of the Police Division of Order and Security of Cusco, indicated that police officers remain in at least four points vulnerable to blockades.

Cusco’s Rainbow Mountain is Closed

11 March – Rainbow Mountain, the extremely popular tourist site several hours southeast of Cusco, is closed once again due to disputes among the surrounding communities. District authorities of Pitumarca and Cusipata decided to close the access to the tourist attraction for an indefinite period of time.

In recent weeks there have been disputes resulting in some violence as both the community of Chillihuani and the Condori family claim to be the owners of the mountain and charge 20 soles for admission to this attraction.

The mayor of the Pitumarca district, Benigno Vengoa Caro, denied the ownership of these lands and said that these are properties that should be administered by the State through the creation of a “tourist ticket”.

“We ask to install a technical table of dialogue,” said vengoa, “so that, in the future, at least Pitumarca, has to be administered by the State to avoid the misuse and exploitation of families and communities.”

The mayor requested the presence of a delegation from the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, headed by Premier Aníbal Torres, to initiate a dialogue with regional and local authorities. He even requested the intervention of the Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Peruvian National Police.

Rainbow Mountain has two accesses through the Cusco provinces of Canchis and Quispicanchi and receives between 400 and 600 visitors per day. Before the pandemic, the number of tourists was as high as 1,500 per day.

Since it became a very popular attraction, economic interests generated conflicts that led to confrontations and complaints between community members and authorities. The mayor of Pitumarca hopes that the conflict will be resolved as soon as possible. In the meantime, he asked tourists not to travel to the seven-colored mountain, also known as Vinicunca, until the conflict is resolved.

Peru Extends Ban on Flights From South Africa

27 February – The Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MTC) on Sunday extended the suspension of passenger flights from South Africa until March 31 in response to the state of the COVID-19 pandemic at a global level.
The suspension was extended from March 01 to 31, 2022, through Ministerial Resolution 128-2022-MTC/01 published in the Official Gazette El Peruano.

US Embassy Press Release About Hallucinogens in Peru

18 February – The United States Embassy American Citizen Services Division released the following press release on their Facebook page:

Traditional hallucinogens, often referred to as ayahuasca or kambo, are often marketed to travelers as “ceremonies” or “spiritual cleansing,” and typically contain dimethyltryptamine (DMT), a strong hallucinogen that is illegal in the United States.

U.S. travelers participating in Ayahuasca and Kambo ceremonies should be aware that numerous persons, including U.S. citizens, have reported that while under the influence of these substances, they have witnessed or been victims of sexual assault, rape, theft, serious health problems and injuries, and even death.

Please do not engage in these activities for your health and safety.

Keep in mind that this is an unregulated industry in Peru usually operated by people with zero medical training or experience and, despite their claims, minimal understanding of traditional practices. For the most part it’s all about getting your money and, if there’s a problem, you may be on your own or simply disappear. The anecdotal stories of that happening are many. The claims by the Embassy of those experiencing “sexual assault, rape, theft, serious health problems and injuries, and even death” are not made up or scare tactics. They are real and well-known among that “industry”.

Land Borders To Open Soon?

16 February – The Minister of External Relations said in a press conference that the government is working with those countries around Peru to reopen land borders, but he did not state a specific tmie frame and so far there has been no official announcement.

Remember that just before the latest wave of COVID-19 fueled by the Omicron variant, borders were about to open, before the administration rescinded the decision indefinitely. It does not appear that any new variants are on the horizon to interfere so this time it is likely that land borders will soon be open again.

US: Peru Moved to “No Travel” Level 4

January 25 – The U.S. State Department announced that the Travel Recommendation for Peru increased from Level 3 “Consider Travel” to Level 4 “No Travel” due to the current situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in the following statement from the U.S. Embassy in Lima.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Health Warning for Level 4 travel for Peru due to COVID-19, indicating a very high level of COVID-19 in the country. Your risk of contracting COVID-19 and developing severe symptoms may be lower if you are fully vaccinated with an FDA approved vaccine. Visit the Embassy’s COVID-19 page to learn more about COVID-19 in Peru.

The State Department recommends US citizens not to travel to Peru due to COVID-19 and be more cautious in Peru due to crime and terrorism.

For more information visit: https://travel.state.gov/…/International…/Peru.html

If you decide to travel, sign up for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive timely alerts on the evolution of health and safety conditions. Also continue to monitor travel.state.gov, and our social media platforms (@usembassyperu on Twitter and Instagram) for additional information on the evolution of the situation.

Measures to be taken

Peru government requires KN95 mask to be used when leaving home. If you don’t have a KN95, wearing the double mask is mandatory, one of the masks should be surgical, while the other can be fabric or surgical too.

Proof of vaccination is required to enter all closed spaces in Peru, including shops, hotels, restaurants and places of worship.

Stay tuned for updates from local media. Traffic restrictions can change unexpectedly and with very little time in advance.

Always wear your mask when you go out. Peruvian laws require the use of masks. You can be fined if you don’t wear a mask or don’t comply with the curfew and quarantine rules. At the moment there are no exceptions for vaccinated people.

Peruvian quarantine regulations may cause travelers who test positive for COVID-19 lose their originally scheduled flights and stay in Peru for up to 10 days. Currently there are no exceptions for vaccinated people.

Wash your hands frequently and respect social distancing guidelines.

Bring with you a photograph ID.

Check the Embassy’s COVID-19 website for more information on the conditions in Peru.

Visit the CDC’s Traveler Health Page: https://www.cdc.gov/…/trave…/map-and-travel-notices.html

Sign up for the Informed Travelers Registration Program (STEP) to receive updates: https://step.state.gov/

Machu Picchu to Receive 1.1 Million Visitors in 2022

12 January – If you were hoping to visit Machu Picchu during the pandemic and avoid the crowds, you may have missed your chance.

According to projections from Peru’s Ministry fo Culture, Machu Picchu is expected to receive more than 1.11 million visitors this year. (Currently the site is limited to 3,044 visitors each day.)

Cusco’s Decentralized Culture Directorate (DDC) reported that Machu Picchu received 447,800 visitors in 2021 even though it was closed in February due to COVID-19-related pandemic restrictions.

COVID Testing at the Lima Airport

27 December – COVID testing is available at the Lima Jorge Chavez airport for both rapid (antigen) and molecular (PCR) tests.

According to the airport’s information page, results will be delivered by email in under 30 minutes for the antigen test and in under 12 hours for the PCR test.

Appointments can be made at this website: https://unilabs.joinnus.com/. (I don’t know if walk-up appointments are allowed as they are at some other airports such as Puerto Maldonado.)

Though not confirmed, numerous passengers report that the prices are:

  • Antigen (rapid) test – 100 soles
  • PCR (molecular) test – 185 soles

Getting the PCR test really isn’t all that useful for departing passengers unless you have a very long layover. Almost every clinic in Peru can give you a test and email you the results for varying prices.

Major Rules to Go Into Effect on December 15

30 December – In case you missed it, I want to share again the rules that are going into effect in Peru on December 15.

Domestic air passengers over the age of 45 will now be required to show physical or digital proof of fill vaccination at least 2 weeks prior to boarding or a negative molecular (PCR) no more than 72 hours prior to boarding. (This is the same policy now in effect for interprovincial land passengers.)

Also, on December 15 anyone over 18 will be required to provide physical or virtual proof of vaccination when entering “enclosed spaces” and, in the case of restaurants, mass are required except when actual “ingesting” food/drink.

New Rules Announced for November 29 – December 12

28 December – This morning the Peruvian government announced through Supreme Decree 17-2021-PCM new rules that for the country that go into effect tomorrow and will continue through December 12. The biggest change is the opening of some land borders described below and coming new requirements for air passengers over age 45.

Most of the country remains under the Moderate Risk Alert Level designation, but the following provinces (noted with their region in parenthesis) will be at the High Risk Alert level for the next two weeks

  • Chepén (La Libertad)
  • Concepción (Junín)
  • Huamanga (Ayacucho)
  • Santa (Ancash)
  • Sullana (Piura)
  • Piura (Piura)
  • Sechura (Piura)
  • Huancavelica (Huancavelica)
  • Talara (Piura)
  • Virú (La Libertad)

In the moderate alert levels, the curfew continues form 2:00 – 4:00 am each day.
In the high alert levels, the curfew is extended from 11:00 pm – 4:00 am each day.

Land borders with Chile and Ecuador will be opened for the first time in nearly 2 years. Those wishing to enter Peru must meet the following restrictions similar to international air arrivals:

“Those over 18 years of age who wish to enter the country must prove, physically or digitally, that they have completed their vaccination scheme in Peru and/or abroad. In case they do not have the complete scheme, or cannot prove it, they will be allowed to enter if they prove they have a negative molecular test (PCR), the result of which was obtained within 72 hours before entering Peru. Those persons who show symptoms upon entering the national territory are subject to compulsory isolation, according to regulations on the subject.”

– Section 15.3

Land borders with Colombia, Bolivia, and Brazil will remain closed except for cargo transportation as before.

Also, a new rule will go into effect on December 15 for domestic air passengers over the age of 45:

“As of December 15, 2021, passengers of the national air transport service over 45 years of age, in the four (4) alert levels, will only be able to board if they accredit their complete vaccination dose in Peru or abroad; otherwise, they can present a negative molecular test with a result date no more than 72 hours before boarding.”

Section 14.9

This is in addition to the same requirement previously announced for domestic interprovincial land passengers also beginning on December 15.

Also on December 15 anyone over 18 will be required to provide physical or virtual proof of vaccination when entering “enclosed spaces” and, in the case of restaurants, mass are required except when actual “ingesting” food/drink.

UPDATE: Here are charts released by the Council of Ministers detailing the restrictions in effect through December 12:

Major Change to International Travel Rule

31 October – The Peruvian government announced changes to COVID-19 pandemic rules effect 1-14 November. The biggest change is that fully vaccinated international arrivals no longer are required to present a negative COVID test.

Here are the rules:

  • Beginning November 15, 2021, all passengers age 45 and older using commercial transportation to travel between regions by land must present proof of vaccination to travel.
  • International Air Travel – Peruvians, resident foreigners, and non-resident foreigners 12 years of age or older must present proof of being fully vaccinated 14 days prior to boarding at their point of origin.
  • Peruvians, resident foreigners, and non-resident foreigners 12 years of age or older who are not fully vaccinated must present a molecular test with a negative result (within 72 hours) prior to boarding an incoming flight to Peru, in accordance with current health regulations.
  • Children under 12 years of age must only be asymptomatic prior to boarding an incoming flight to Peru.
  • Peruvian citizens and permanent residents who have traveled from or transited through South Africa must quarantine in their home, lodging, or isolated space for a period of 14 days.
  • All non-Peruvian citizens and non-permanent residents who are traveling from or transiting through South Africa are barred from entering Peru.​

Work on New Cusco Airport’s Terminal to Begin in November

20 October – (Ministry of Transportation Press Release) The construction of the Chinchero International Airport outside of Cusco continues at a steady pace. The start of construction of the passenger terminal is scheduled for the last quarter of 2021. This was reported by the head of the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MTC), Juan Francisco Silva, who said that next November 19 he will be in Cusco for the groundbreaking ceremony.”

On November 19 we will come to lay the first stone in the passenger terminal and thus we will move forward,” said Minister Silva last Tuesday, after inaugurating the first Digital Access Center (CAD) in the district of Huaro, province of Quispicanchi.

The Natividad de Chinchero Consortium will be in charge of the execution of the passenger terminal, the runway, the control tower and other infrastructures that make up the main work of the future airport. The AICC Consortium will be responsible for the supervision of these works.

In an inaugural ceremony, the main South Korean authorities, MTC authorities, regional and local authorities, representatives of the Project Management Office (PMO), the Contractor’s Join Venture and the Supervisor’s Join Venture will start the activities that will make the construction of the airport terminal a reality.

Currently, earth moving works are being carried out, which are necessary to continue with the construction of the main works. According to a report at the end of September, there is a 30% level of progress, which exceeds the original goals.

At the present time, the excavation of topsoil among others, is being given greater impetus, with an accumulated progress of 100%. Mass excavation of land is also being carried out, with an accumulated progress of over 40%; and the installation of PVD prefabricated vertical wicks (known as vertical drains) in the soft soils, with an accumulated progress of over 20%. The vertical drains make it possible to drain the clay soils, and to collect and evacuate the water.

To carry out this important airport work, to date, some 269 yellow line units (i.e., excavators, tractors, dump trucks, among other vehicles) and three highly sophisticated drills are operating on the site, which are necessary for the installation of the vertical drains. These three machines were imported from South Korea, as there is not enough supply in Peru.

Changes to Curfew and Interprovincial Travel Requirements

14 October – Last night the Minister of Health, Hernando Cevallos, announced two big changes regarding curfew hours and Interprovincial travel. The new changes will be included in a Supreme Decree expected at any time as the current rules regarding COVID restrictions expire in 3 days.

The curfew across the country will be from 2 to 4 am. The new regulations will allow businesses such as restaurants to operate later and still give their employees time to return home.

Also, Cevallos announced that people over 45 years of age will need to have two doses of the covid-19 vaccine for interprovincial travel. He also said that this requirement will not go into effect for one month to allow people time to get their vaccination doses.

“Although the vaccine is voluntary, no one has the right to infect others. If you travel in an interprovincial bus, usually for several hours, the person sitting next to you should be less likely to infect you,” he said.

It was not clear if this applies to all interprovincial travel or just land travel.

[UPDATE: The new rules will be in effect 18-31 October. The rules regarding interprovincial travel applies to land travel only and to ALL passengers.]

Tourist Alert: Health Emergency Declared for 51 Jungle Provinces Due to Dengue

11 October – People planning trips to many rainforest provinces should be aware that the Peruvian government has declared a health emergency with Supreme Decree Nº029-2021-SA in fifteen regions of Peru due to outbreak and imminent risk of dengue outbreak. The Minister of Health, Hernando Cevallos, indicated that the administration has arranged immediate measures for the fight against this disease in order to protect the population.

“Dengue is advancing. That is why the central level decided to declare 51 districts of the country in emergency in addition to providing the necessary resources for the regional health directorates and care units to take the appropriate measures to protect the population,” said Cevallos from Piura where he has been developing a work agenda together with local authorities.

The Decree establishes the declaration of emergency in 51 priority districts in the departments of Piura, San Martin, Loreto, Huanuco, Junin, Cajamarca, Cusco, Madre de Dios, Ayacucho, Lima, Amazonas, Ucayali, Pasco, Tumbes and Ica. The measure has a term of 90 days and will allow the implementation of the prevention and control plan for this disease.

“More than 16 million soles have been made available to address the fight against dengue. Let us hope that each of the regional directorates assume with all responsibility the resources that are going to reach them, direct them specifically to fight against dengue in our country. We must not wait for dengue to win the game and spread”, said Cevallos.

He also said that the Ministry of Health (Minsa) has provided technical assistance in the regions of Ica, Junin, Piura, Ayacucho, and this work will be extended to the other departments where a health emergency has been declared.

Cevallos added that “It has been arranged that technical teams will go to the different provinces to help control and supervise the entire fight against dengue; this cannot wait.”

The National Center for Epidemiology, Prevention and Disease Control (CDC) of Minsa reported that up to week 30 of 2021, 35 021 cases of dengue were registered, presenting an increase of 42.6% compared to the same period of 2020 with the departments of Piura, Ica, San Martin, Loreto, Huanuco, Junin, Ucayali, Cajamarca, Amazonas and Madre de Dios making up 82.2% of cases nationwide.

In the 51 prioritized districts, 711,920 homes will be treated with larval control and 123,300 houses will be fumigated. In addition, 228 campaigns will be carried out in 31 implementing units. Community surveillance and epidemiological surveillance activities (information analysis) will also be carried out. People will be attended through diagnosis and treatment for dengue and communication strategies for dengue prevention will be applied.

The 51 prioritized districts are: Chulucanas, San Juan de Bigote, Morropón, Tambogrande, Castilla, Piura, Sullana Lobitos, El Alto (Piura); Tarapoto, La Banda de Shicayo, Juanjui, Nueva Cajamarca, Rioja, Bellavista (San Martín); Yurimaguas, Contamana, Barranca (Loreto); Perené, Chanchamayo, Pichanaqui, San Ramón, Satipo, Río Negro, Pangoa (Junín); Callería Yarinacocha, Manantai, Raymondi (Ucayali).

Also included are the districts of Jaén, Pucará, Namballe, San Ignacio (Cajamarca); Bagua Grande, Nieva, Bagua, La Peca (Amazonas); Santa Rosa, LLochegua (Ayacucho); Constitución (Pasco); Nazca, Vista Alegre, Túpac Amaru Inca, Ica (Ica); Tambo Pata (Madre de Dios); San Juan de Lurigancho (Lima); Kimbiri, Santa Ana (Cusco); Tumbes (Tumbes); Rupa Rupa and Castillo Grande (Huánuco).

Machu Picchu Capacity and Route Expansions

5 October – Machu Picchu will now will be able to receive up to 3,500 tourists each day as part of the government’s plan to revive tourism.

“It has been extended, in a prudent way, the new capacity will be of 3,500 approximately per day,” said the Minister of Culture, Ciro Galvez.

Alternate routes within the main site and access routes are being expanded as well including Machu Picchu mountain and Huayna Picchu. Among these are:

  • Machu Picchu Mountain which will expand by 400 visitors per day;
  • Huayna Picchu Mountain through four groups of 50 visitors per schedule for a maximum of 200 visitors per day;
  • Huchuy Picchu Mountain through nine groups of 22 visitors in nine schedules for a maximum of 200 visitors per day;
  • Inca Trail Network No. 4, which will allow access to 200 visitors per day.

Further expansions are being evaluated.

Update on Lima Airport Expansion

1 October – Actual construction of the Jorge Chavez International Airport’s new passenger terminal is expected to begin in December as part of what will eventually result in basically a new airport by 2025.

The massive expansive program will include a new 3,840m runway set to open in late 2022 and a new 65m air traffic control tower whose construction is clearly visible on the opposite side of the current runway. Other improvements will be 10 km of taxiways and a 250 hectare advanced mid-field apron area to increase the slots available for aircraft parking.

It will also add new operational facilities for fire and rescue services, surveillance systems, as well as beacons and navigation support equipment. A new fueling system will allow the airport to convert the JET A1 aviation fuel supply chain from the current tanker trucks model to dedicated pipelines.

Minsa Releases Statement on Vaccination Requirements for international Arrivals

20 September – Peru’s Ministry of Health released a “Official Statement” saying that “Presentation of COVID-19 vaccination card is not a mandatory requirement to enter Peru.”

This statement, published at 11:50 pm late last night, contradicts the official Supreme Decree published two days ago that requires arrivals to be fully vaccinated along with a PCR test results within the previous 72 hours before departure. This continues the amazing confusion and apparent inability of the current administration to function.

In response to the consultations made to the Ministry of Health on the application of number 8.7 of Supreme Decree No. 152-2021-PCM, the following is reiterated:

Peruvians, resident foreigners, and non-resident foreigners whose final destination is the national territory, as passengers and regardless of the country of origin, must have a negative molecular test with a result date of no more than 72 hours before boarding at their point of origin and without mandatory presentation of the vaccination card of the country where vaccinated.

– MInistry of Health, 11:50 pm, 19 September, 2021

Other government ministries continue to remain silent this morning on Supreme Decree No. 152-2021-PCM which was published Friday morning.

Peru Extends State of Emergency Through October 31

17 September – Starting October 1, Peru has extended the state of national emergency through the month of October as published in the Supreme Decree No. 152-2021-PCM published this morning in the official newspaper El Peruano.

Of note is that the decree explicitly states that:

“Peruvians, resident foreigners, and non-resident foreigners whose final destination is the national territory, as passengers and regardless of the country of origin, must have a negative molecular test with a result date of no more than 72 hours before boarding at their point of origin and have completed the respective doses of vaccines according to the requirements of the country where they were vaccinated. Those persons who show symptoms upon entering the national territory are placed in mandatory isolation, according to regulations on the matter.”

8.7 Los peruanos, extranjeros residentes, y extranjeros no residentes cuyo destino final sea el territorio nacional, en calidad de pasajeros e independientemente del país de procedencia, deben contar con una prueba molecular negativa con fecha de resultado no mayor a 72 horas antes de abordar en su punto de origen y haber completado las respectivas dosis de vacunas según las exigencias del país donde se vacunó. Aquellas personas que muestren síntomas al ingresar a territorio nacional ingresan a aislamiento obligatorio, según regulaciones sobre la materia.

– Supreme Decree No. 152-2021-PCM


This is a change from what has been reported that fully vaccinated arrivals were not required to be tested prior to arrive, but the new decree clearly says molecular tests and vaccinations are obligatory.

Chile Opens Borders

15 September – Chilean health officials announced that borders will open to vaccinated foreigners as of October 1 after several weeks registering a significant decrease of cases and a positivity rate that does not exceed 1% at national level.

Foreigners traveling to Chile must have a negative PCR test no more than 72 hours before boarding, a private medical insurance, and a vaccination certificate from their country of origin.

“It is important that people entering the country must comply with these measures, carry out self-reporting, as well as respect self-care measures”, said the Undersecretary of Public Health, Paula Daza.

In addition, Daza said that from October 1 there will be no transit hotels and that people arriving in the country must remain isolated for five days in case they have a Mobility Pass – a document obtained by certifying complete vaccination – and seven days in case they do not have the accreditation, always at the declared address.

It must be noted that this is a Chilean change and does not affect the closed land borders with Peru. Flights to Chile have not been banned by Peru so it can be assumed that they will only flights will resume after October 1.

Peru Extends Ban on Travel from South Africa

15 September – Peru has extended the suspension of flights from South Africa until September 30 Through the Ministerial Resolution No. 877-2021-MTC/01, issued by the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MTC).

This resolution prohibits the entry “into the national territory of non-resident foreigners coming from the Republic of South Africa, or who have made a stopover in that place in the last fourteen calendar days.”

The government has extended the state of health emergency for COVID-19 until March 1, 2022, due to a possible third wave of the pandemic, which, according to the Minister of Health, Hernando Cevallos, will arrive in the last week of September.

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