Strike against new Peru law on archaeological sites temporarily strands Machu Picchu tourists

Train service to the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu has been suspended due to protests against a law that permits the private management of lesser known Peruvian archaeological sites.

PeruRail said it halted service from the highlands regional capital of Cuzco for security reasons during the 48-hour strike that began Wednesday. The strike also paralyzed bus service from the train terminus at Aguascalientes to Machu Miccho, Peru's chief tourist destination.

In Cuzco, police halted protesters who tried to march to its airport Thursday. Many tourists had to walk to their hotels.

Regional tourism chamber President Roger Valencia estimated losses at $1.5 million.

Authorities say the new law aims to better protect archaeological sites that have been largely abandoned.

Machu Picchu and other well-known nearby tourist destinations are not among them.