Machu Picchu,a Cultural Traveler’s Dream

There are many places in the world that are extraordinary wonders of time and place. Machu Picchu is a cultural traveler’s dream. But Machu Picchu is at risk for peril because there are now so many people who travel to Peru to witness its amazing presence, surrounded by terraced hillsides. Tourism rose 30 percent in 2011, and the sheer numbers of tourists visiting Machu Piccuu affect its architectural integrity and fragility. In an article from Fox News, Machu Picchu is marked as one of ten places on the earth at risk.

UNESCO called Machu Picchu’s problems “urgent,” and rampant tourism is the biggest threat to Peru’s main attraction. Last year marked the centennial of Machu Picchu’s “discovery” by Yale history lecturer Hiram Bingham; 1 million visitors descended on the site, up 30 percent from 2010. With more visitors comes more construction in nearby towns like Aguas Calientes (already packed with hotels and restaurants), straining the fragile land: riverbanks are erosion-prone, and landslides and fires also threaten the site.

maccu picchu-photo by charles j. sharpe

Macchu Picchu- Photo by Charles J. Sharpe

2012 is the end of the Mayan Calendar. Maccu Picchu is a cultural traveler’s dream. If you have plans for going, explore how you can walk softly and sensitively on one of the earth’s finest places for cultural travel. You can read the full article on places like Macchu Picchu and 9 other precious places at risk here.

 

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