updated 2/16/2010 11:31:39 PM ET 2010-02-17T04:31:39

Peru is hoping to reopen Machu Picchu to tourists by April 1 after landslides and flooding cut off access to the Incan citadel perched in the Andes.

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Officials are trying to restore a damaged rail line to Peru's biggest tourist attraction after the tracks were washed out in late January.

Tourism minister Martin Perez says the rail repairs are advancing and that officials hope to be ready for tourists by the start of April.

Other than a days-long hike, the train is the only route to Machu Picchu and some 4,000 tourists were stranded for up five days in villages near the ruins when floods hit.

An estimated 600,000 foreigners visit Machu Picchu each year.

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