David Ugarte, regional director of culture in Cuzco, predicts the tramway will open up to broader tourism not just Choquequirao but also other archaeological sites in the region. It is the first of 24 that President Ollanta Humala envisions building in each of Peru's states to boost tourism.
Not everyone is happy about it.
Arturo Almiron, of the travel agency Tours a Cuzco, believes it will put off the kind of tourist who wants to be thrown back spiritually to the epoch when the city was the Inca capital.
He fears visitors to Choquequirao will be robbed of the possibility of watching condors soar in the quiet stillness of untrammeled hills.
"Cuzco's very character is in the preservation of its historical center and archaeological sites," he said. "If we build a tramway, that preservation is altered. A touch of modernity is added that isn't very attractive. Authenticity is lost."
Mandy Kalitsis of Toronto, operations manager for the Cuzco-based Apus-Peru tour company, acknowledged that Choquequirao "will lose some of its charm."
"But as long as the government manages (the tramway) properly, I think it can bring some good into the area," said Kalitsis, whose company organizes treks to Choquequirao.
Peru's Housing Ministry and Apurimac's regional government are about to begin taking bids for construction. Companies from Switzerland and Andorra have already expressed interest.
Associated Press writer Frank Bajak contributed to this report.
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