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10 OUTSTANDING FLORA AND FAUNA ON THE INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU

10 OUTSTANDING FLORA AND FAUNA ON THE INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU

10 astounding flora and fauna on inca trail

Without a doubt, the Inca trail to Machu Picchu boasts an incredible variety of animals and plants; and now we will show you the most common ones that you can find while walking.

In addition, most of the following species are seen throughout the Peruvian high jungle. Therefore, no matter if you take the classic inca trail or the short inca trail, there is always a chance to appreciate the natural miracles.

Birds, mammals, butterflies, ferns, orchids and many more wild inhabitants of these lands embellish the inca trail to Machu Picchu route.

Let’s see which species might surprise you on your way from the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu!

Inca trail to Machu Picchu

FLORA ON THE INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU

1. Orchid (orchidaceae):

Did you know that along the inca trail to machu picchu 400 species of orchids were recorded?

This beautiful flower features many variants of color and symmetrical petals might blow your mind and by hiking the inca trail to Machu Picchu you could find many of them such as the “waqanki”. Meanwhile along the short inca trail you could appreciate the “wiñaywayna”.

As well, there are many stories about these flowers that you will hear from our tour guides!

butterfly_orchid

2. Peruvian pepper (schinus molle):

This endemic shrub grows throughout the Andean territory, so you will be able to appreciate it on the classic Inca Trail, specifically during the first 2 days.

They reach 6 to 8 metres in height, boast leafy branches and their resistance to high altitudes and dry climates allows them to grow in many South American countries. Furthermore, the Andean people often use its leaves for analgesic and curative purposes.

schinus_molle

3. Cedar (cedrus):

They reach a height of 25-50 metres and outstand for their ornamental function and fragrant wood. Although, cedar wood is widely used owing to its hardness and resistance to rot and fungus.

You will appreciate them when entering the high jungle of Cusco through the inca trail hike.

cedrus

4. Ferns (Pteridofitas):

Considered living fossils, ferns can adapt to different geographical conditions and are abundant in the Historical Sanctuary of Machu Picchu as well as along the inca trail.

Both the short inca trail as well as the longer one take you to explore the stretch of trail between Wiñayhuayna and Intipunku, where 15 species of ferns were recorded a few years ago.

pteridofitas

5. Carnations of the air (tillandsia aeranthos):

This impressive carnation species does not need soil to grow, as its leaves absorb water and nutrients from the environment. Therefore, nowadays its main use is as an ornamental plant.

In addition, the main feature is its flower with three pink and blue sepals. During the inca trail hike, you will be able to see more of these plants on the last days of the journey (on both inca trail programs).

tillandsia_aeranthos

FAUNA ON THE INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU

1. Butterflies (Lepidoptera):

Throughout the whole Machupicchu Historical Sanctuary there are butterfly species of many different colours, sizes and shapes. Actually, more than 500 species wait for your arrival.

10% of the butterflies that exist in Peru live along Machu Picchu!

They are mostly seen during the last days of the classic inca trail, when you are within the high jungle.

butterfly

2. Giant Hummingbird (patagona gigas):

It is the largest hummingbird on the planet because it can reach more than 18 centimeters. As well, they characterized by for their brown and white colour and their flight is not as fast as that of common hummingbirds.

It is not yet endangered!

Along the inca trail to machu picchu it is possible to see the giant hummingbird and many other species. Even, the short inca trail to Machu Picchu gives you a chance to appreciate these special birds.

giant_hummingbird

3. Andean frog (telmatobius):

This water frog measures 53 to 67 millimeters and appears mainly during rainy season.  It has an orange/greenish skin and prefers to live in wetlands, riversides and streams; the Andean frog is endemic of Peruvian highlands!

Along the classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu Tour, it is possible to see them, especially around the streams (mainly in January, February and March).

andean_frog

4. Royal cinclodes (cinclodes aricomae):

This endemic bird of Peru lives in the queuña (polylepis) forests as well as on the slopes of high jungle and mountainous regions.

It boasts brown feathers and white spots around its eyes. As well, it measures 22 centimeters and is endangered, due to its population is small.

This bird is widely seen along the inca trail hike and throughout the Machu Picchu Historical Sanctuary.

royal_cinclodes

5. Spectacled bear (tremarctos ornatus):

Popularly known as Andean bear, it is the only bear species throughout South America. It can measure up to 2 metres on two legs, has an herbivore feeding and solitary habits. In addition, this bear is the main topic of many Andean stories and traditions that our tour guide will explain you during the classic inca trail to the wonderful Machupicchu.

spectacled_bear

Get the chance to see these flora and fauna through our tours, just contact us.