Peru to Build Aerial Tourist Tramway
Will reach the "cradle of gold"
Peru’s national government plans to install the country’s first aerial tramway to reach the ruined city known as the “cradle of gold,” located just 30 miles from Machu Picchu, the Associated Press reports. Officials estimate the $45 million tramway will bring in 3,000 tourists daily after it opens in 2015.
Authorities are hoping to shift the tourist burden away from Machu Picchu. To preserve the site, only 2,500 visitors are permitted to visit the city per day, and reservations are now required for people who wish to hike the famed Inca Trail.
Currently visitors to the “cradle of gold” must fly to Cuzco, the former Inca capital, drive for four hours on roads prone to landslides and flooding, and hike another 12 to 16 miles to the ruins. The site sees about five visitors a day.
The “cradle of gold” is believed to be the last refuge of the Incan rulers following the defeat of Manco Inca by Spanish conquistadors. Seventy percent of the site remains covered in vegetation.
The tramway project is one of 23 others that President Ollanta Humala intends to build throughout the country to boost tourism.