Jesse Katayama had planned to end a journey around the world 8,000 feet above sea level at Machu Picchu, the sprawling 15th-century Inca citadel high in the Andes Mountains.
Then the coronavirus happened, stranding Mr. Katayama, a 26-year-old Japanese citizen, in Peru and shutting down tourism sites as a lockdown was imposed across the country.
On Sunday, after a wait of seven months, Mr. Katayama finally got to visit the UNESCO world heritage site. And aside from a few guides, he got it all to himself.
“After the lockdown, the first man to visit Machu Picchu is meeeeeee,” he wrote in a post on Instagram that included photos of him with a park representative.
Alejandro Neyra, Peru’s culture minister, said in a virtual news conference on Monday that Mr. Katayama had been granted special access to the site in recognition of his patience.
“He had come to Peru with the dream of being able to enter,” Mr. Neyra said. “The Japanese citizen has entered together with our head of the park so that he can do this before returning to his country.”
Before the pandemic, Machu Picchu welcomed thousands of visitors a day. Tourists typically have to apply months in advance for permits to enter an Inca trail that leads to the ancient fortress.