Stranded in Peru by COVID-19 pandemic, this tourist got to visit Machu Picchu all by himself

Jesse Katayama just experienced a major upside to being trapped in Peru for months due to the COVID-19 pandemic: a private tour of Machu Picchu.

The Japanese citizen, who had traveled to Peru in March to see the 500-year-old UNESCO World Heritage site in the Andes mountains, had been stuck in the nearby town of Aguas Calientes since the world went into lockdown mode in March. But on Saturday, he finally got his wish.

“He had come to Peru with the dream of being able to enter,” Culture Minister Alejandro Neyra said in a virtual press conference Monday, according to wire service Reuters and British newspaper The Guardian. “The Japanese citizen has entered together with our head of the park so that he can do this before returning to his country.”

The first visitor to Machu Picchu in over seven months, Katayama posted Instagram photos of himself posing in a mask at the site. Neyra also shared a thank-you video in which Katayama proclaimed his visit “amazing.”

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