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Crackdown! Naked tourists unwelcome in Machu Picchu

March 25, 2014 Destination Global, Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59Australians are among tourists prancing naked around the 15th-century Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, causing offence to locals and to Peruvian sensibilities.

Unseemly behaviour seems to be on the rise. In a pair of separate incidents this month, two Australians and two Canadians were detained for taking off all their clothes for pictures at Machu Picchu. Later, four American tourists were detained for stripping naked and posing for photos at the site, the Peruvian Times reports.Tourist Amichay Rab poses naked at Machu Picchu - from his website

America’s CNN network has referred to a 2013 incident in which a naked couple was videotaped by other tourists “while streaking across Machu Picchu’s grass field and bounding down a stone staircase like a pair of adolescent antelopes”.

Peru’s Ministry of Culture says visiting Machu Picchu naked is “disrespectful” and contrary to the region’s cultural heritage.

“There are places in the world that people can get naked, but not all places are (appropriate) for getting undressed,” Alfredo Mormontoy Atayupanqui, director of archaeological resources for Peru’s Ministry of Culture, told CNN.

“Nude behaviour may bring pleasure to a small percentage of people, but it causes discomfort and anger to others. We need to make sure other tourists don’t feel awkward.”

Cusco’s regional director of culture, Ricardo Ruiz Caro, issued a statement saying that park guards at Machu Picchu and other historic sites in the region would increase surveillance and crack down on naked tourism.

As well as nudity, overcrowding is a problem at the historic site, though nudity is more memorable.

One tourist travelling around South America, an Israeli man named Amichay Rab, regularly posts photos of himself naked at various sites around the continent, including Machu Picchu. His website, My Naked Trip, has achieved cult status among the world’s followers of naked South American tourism.

Rad does observe decorum, ensuring that vital portions of his anatomy are covered in his published shots – though that may not be enough to satisfy Machu Picchu authorities.

Written by Peter Needham

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