TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Peru opened archaeological and tourist sites this week in the Andean country after months of being closed during the coronavirus outbreak.
Sites such as the pre-Incan ruin of Pachacamac on the southern outskirts of Lima, opened. The ancient ruins are all that remain of an important religious centre that was built more than 1,000 years before the Inca empire.
Sightseers were also able to visit the Sacsayhuaman archaeological park that, like the ancient Incan citadel of Machu Picchu, is a popular tourist destination.
Huaca Mateo Salado - named after a French Lutheran who hid amid ancient ruins until the Spanish Inquisition found and burned him alive - also opened to the delight of locals who said it is important to embrace Peru’s heritage.
The site features the remains of an Incan road and layers of more recent history, like a burial site for Chinese indentured labourers and the rose gardens of flower merchants who have squatted in the archaeological site and refuse to leave.
Peru is rich in archaeological treasures. Until the arrival of the Spanish in the 1500′s, the Incas ruled an empire for several centuries that stretched from Colombia and Ecuador in the north to what are now Peru and Chile in the south.
The South American country was hit particularly hard by the pandemic, though infections and deaths have slowed in recent weeks. Peru, a nation of 32.6 million people, has more than 856,000 coronavirus cases and over 33,000 deaths.