Construction has begun for a new airport in Peru, located between Machu Picchu and the city of Cusco.

The Peruvian government hopes that the new Chinchero Cusco International Airport will make the ruins more accessible to tourists, who up until now have had to trek long distances on foot to reach the iconic citadel.

Archaeologists, academics and locals, however, have petitioned the government to cease construction due to concerns that the airport could do irreparable damage to the surrounding area of the Sacred Valley.

Overtourism is already a significant problem for Machu Picchu. As one of the most visited tourist attractions in the world, the citadel attracts over a million tourists each year, approximately 1.5 million in 2017, which is more than double the number of visitors recommended by UNESCO.

For a more sustainable alternative to the Inca Trail, consider taking a less explored route like the Salkantay Route, which is both stunning and significantly less crowded.