Bad weather prevented Peruvian authorities from opening the country's first base in Antarctica Saturday, the defense minister was quoted as saying from the Chilean port of Punta Arenas.

Defense Minister Enrique Lopez Albujar said fog and strong winds had made it impossible for the Peruvians to fly from Punta Arenas, at the southern tip of South America, for Antarctica.Lopez Albujar was originally scheduled to open the Machu Picchu base - named for an ancient Inca city in the Peruvian Andes - on King George's island off the Antarctic coast on Friday.