The Incan citadel of Machu Pichu, built in 1450–1460, is a bona fide Wonder of the World.
It only makes sense, then, that we do everything we can to pillage all traces of its existence more than half a millennium later.
We’ve been doing a great job already, of course. More than 1.5 million visitors walked their big dumb feet all over the ancient civilization’s ruins in 2017. That’s close to double the limit recommended by Unesco.
With a goal of seemingly reducing what’s left of the site to mere dust and left-behind selfie sticks, the Peruvian government plans to move forward with the construction of an airport right next to Machu Pichu. Bulldozers have already begun to prepare the land. Construction is slated for completion in 2023. Isn’t it enough that we’ve ruined Southeast Asia?
“The airport planned to be built in Chinchero, Cusco, endangers the conservation of one of the most important historical and archaeological sites in the world,” writes Natalia Majluf, a Peruvian art historian at Cambridge University. Majluf organized a petition against the development which has garnered almost 7,000 signatures as of writing. Furthermore, farmers will need to sacrifice their land in order to accommodate the new airport.
The next-nearest airport is in Cusco, just 80 kilometres away. It accommodates mostly stop over flights from Lima, the capital, and La Paz, Bolivia. The new airport, meanwhile, would offer runways to larger planes on international routes from across Latin America and the United States.
Stay tuned for a Uniqlo coming soon to the Inca Trail.