Tourism News

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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