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Peru extends visitor capacity at Machu Picchu after tickets sold out

<i>ERNESTO BENAVIDES/AFP/Getty Images</i><br/>Tickets to visit Machu Picchu are sold out until mid-August
AFP via Getty Images
Tickets to visit Machu Picchu are sold out until mid-August

By Daniela Gonzalez-Roman, Karol Suarez and Jose Armijo, CNN

After Peru’s Ministry of Culture announced that tickets the country’s most iconic and in-demand site, Machu Picchu, were sold out until mid-August, the government on Thursday extended the number of people who can visit there.

It has expanded the number of visitors to 5,044 per day, Minister of Foreign Trade and Tourism Roberto Sánchez Palomino tweeted Thursday. That’s up from 4,044 visitors per day.

The increase in maximum capacity allows more tourists to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site, which the UN describes as “probably the most amazing urban creation of the Inca Empire at its height.”

This is not the first time this month that Peru has added capacity to the environmentally fragile site.

On July 17, the Ministry of Culture officially increased the admission capacity from 3,044 to 4,044 people per day.

In a Facebook statement, the ministry said of that previous increase: “This decision took into consideration the conservation of the property to avoid irreparable damage that compromises its outstanding universal value, following the recommendations that UNESCO issues to the Peruvian State.”

The ministry has urged tourists to plan their visit to the Inca city well in advance. You can go to Ticket Machu Picchu to see what’s still available.

Peru is hardly the only country in the world trying to maintain a delicate balance between tourism demand and preservation of treasured sites.

Staring in 2023, Venice, Italy, will be the first city in the world to require an entry fee, with a booking system to be set up for daytrippers. Only those holding reservations will be allowed entry into the city.

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Top image: View of the archaeological site of Machu Picchu in Peru. (Photo by Ernesto Benavides / AFP via Getty Images) CNN’s Forrest Brown contributed to this report.

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