Cuzco Nature & Biodiversity
Peru and Cuzco undoubtedly, one of the world's top destinations for nature-lovers. Blessed with the richest ocean in the world, largely unexplored Amazon forests and the highest tropical mountain range on the planet, the possibilities for the development of bio-diversity in its territory are virtually unlimited. With a little over 10% of all species of plants and animals on earth and a surprisingly diverse range of climates and ecosystems, Peru has become a modern Noah's Ark for nature-lovers, who along with students from all over the world, visit Peru to chalk up more experience, gain new knowledge and to get to know unique varieties. The Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu, Manu National Park and Tambopata National Reserve are nature paradises.
Natural & Cultural World Heritage Site (UNESCO-1983). The park was established to protect the landscape of the renowned Machu Picchu archaeological site, founded by the Inca culture. It is thought that it was a royal Inca residence and was perhaps the centre for collecting coca from surrounding plantations. The site eventually fell into ruin, was covered by the encroaching forest, and "lost to science" until re-discovery in 1911. There are also the remains of the Qapac Ñan (Inca Trail) in the area, and local legends, including that of the spectacled bear, which is thought to serve as a messenger between the spirits of the high elevations and those of the jungle.
The best wildlife destination in the Amazon. Natural World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Manu Biosphere Reserve. Considered as one of the biggest and richest natural reserves in the world, the one that allows having intimate contact with nature in its most primitive and wildest state. The Manu National Park is the largest protected natural area of its kind in Peru.
The park is located in the provinces of Manu and Paucartambo (Departments of Madre de Dios and Cuzco respectively), comprising lands on the eastern slopes of the Andes and on the Peruvian Amazones. Intangible area, protection of the fauna and flora, and of the Andean oriental and Amazon scenic beauties, it embraces territories from the Andean puna and yunga in the department of Cuzco to the low jungle in the department of Madre de Dios, furrowed by the Manu river, high part of Madre de Dios river and affluent. Inside the park, areas enabled for tourists and visitors exist, and other areas are only restricted for the entrance of investigators. In the area for tourists, exist lodging facilities. Beside lodging, these lodges offer guided excursions for the tourists as well as housing facilities and work for investigators and scientific. The best option to arrive to Manu is via Cuzco via Paucartambo.
It is absolutely unnecessary for you to learn their scientific names because there are more than 3,500 species distributed among 240 genera. But we definitely recommend remembering that almost 800 of them can be found no where else in the world since they grow only in Peru, some even at altitudes of 4,500 m.a.s.l. (14,760 f.a.s.l.). Such wealth is explained by the amount of ecosystems existing in the country, a guarantee for the presence of hundreds of different forms, sizes and colors. You may want to write down on your trip diary the following name: Phragmipedium peruvianum, which has become Peru's representative orchid. It is believed there are some 350 native species in the Machu Picchu Sanctuary. More than a hundred of these may be easily seen in these orchid trails, in their natural habitat.
Bird-watching in Cuzco
The paradise route for birding is from Ollantaytambo to Quillabamba -the abra of Malaga-. Also you can found many species of hummingbirds in Machu Picchu.
Birds in Cuzco - Photo Gallery
- Andean Cock-of-the-Rocks
- Hummingbirds in Machu Picchu
- Birds in Machu Picchu
- Birds in Sacred Valley of the Incas
- Birds in Sacred Valley of the Incas 2