A Japanese tourist who had been stranded in Peru for nearly seven months amid a corona virus outbreak has finally been able to visit the famous ruins of Machu Picchu – which was reportedly opened only to him.
Jesse Katayama, 26, was interested in visiting the 15th-century Inca castle, perched on a 7,970-foot mountain range when he arrived in the Andeans in March, but had other plans for the deadly bug, The Guardian reported.
“He came to Peru with a dream of being able to enter,” Culture Minister Alejandro Neira told a virtual press conference on Monday.
“The Japanese citizen entered with the head of our park so that he could do this before returning to his country,” he said, after a long-standing visitor submitted a special request and stayed in the nearby town of Aguas Caliandes.
Peru, which has so far reported 33,305 corona virus-related deaths, has the highest individual mortality rate from any country in the world, the report said.
International flights have recently resumed, but only to seven Latin American countries.
“This is so amazing! Thank you! ”Said a happy Katayama from Osaka in a video recorded at the top of Machu Picchu Mountain after entering the ancient site on Saturday.
Although he did not specify a date, Neira announced that the UNESCO World Heritage Site would reopen to everyone in November. According to security protocols, the site will allow up to 30 percent of its regular capacity to 675 people per day.
“We are still in the midst of an epidemic,” Neira said. “This will be done with all the necessary care.”
Kattayama, boxing coach, CNN He spent his considerable free time exploring local places such as Mount Pudukuzi and Calientus Falls.
He also taught boxing to local kids, and practiced his own moves as he planned to open a boxing gym when he returned home on Friday.
“I used to run every morning and I could see Machu Picchu in the distance,” Katyama told CNN. “I thought I would never do this to Machu Picchu because I expected it not to open within this year. But I was fine here because I was fine here.”
In a celebratory Instagram post, Katyama wrote: “Peruvians are very affectionate. thank you very much! ”