The Consequences of Overtourism in Machu Picchu

departures.com - 08-12

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High in an Andean cloud forest, surrounded by the myth and legend of an ancient Incan world, my first morning at Machu Picchu left me feeling lucky and #blessed. But it’s not at all what you’re thinking. I hadn’t been up to the Citadel, which is how the local tourism industry refers to the mountaintop ruins recognized around the world as the Lost City of the Incas. Instead I was at the Mariposario, a butterfly sanctuary across the Urubamba River from a dirt highway that links the Citadel to the tourist base camp, Aguas Calientes. Diesel buses, every one packed, rumbled past in both directions.