25 Aug 2012

Plans for new airport for Machu Picchu visitors

9:14 am on 25 August 2012

Peru has announced plans for a new airport near Cusco to boost tourism to the Inca ruins of Machu Picchu.

President Ollanta Humala said the government will invest $US460 million in the project.

At a ceremony on Wednesday, President Humala enacted a law that allows the expropriation of land in the town of Chinchero where the new international airport would be built. The existing airport has limited daytime flights.

Machu Picchu is Peru's top tourist attraction and a world heritage site. Currently, entrance to Machu Picchu is limited to 2500 visitors per day.

The citadel of Machu Picchu, located 2500m above sea level, was built in the 15th Century by the Incas.

Cusco is the main starting point for visitors, who make the 112km journey either on foot or via bus and train.