Air fares cut to Peru

The Peruvian government has announced a plan to cut air fares and hotel rates for travellers in a bid to boost tourism even though the country's biggest lure, Machu Picchu, is still closed to visitors…


Peru's tourism Minister Martin Perez said the promotion begins on Thursday and will be extended first to domestic tourists before being offered to international visitors.

The offer includes up to 50 per cent off air fares to Cuzco as well as rooms at some of the city's main hotels.

Officials are trying to restore a rail line to Agua Calientes – the main stop for visitors to the UNESCO World Heritage Site – that was cut off for five days due to rain-induced landslides and floods in late January.

Perez added that the rail repairs are advancing and that officials hope to be ready for tourists by the start of April.

Pitched high above the Urubamba river, the ruins themselves were not damaged by the floods but the local village itself was heavily affected with roads washed away and buildings damaged by mudslides.

Some 858,211 tourists visited Machu Picchu in 2008. Foreign visitors pay $43 just to enter the site.