Peru is located in the subtropical area of South America, for its location the climate varies mainly between hot and humid, thanks to the Andes Mountain Range, the complex system of marine currents and the movements of air masses, generates a rich variety climatic, geological and ecological, which gives it the quality of a mega-diverse country. In Peru we can find 84 of the 114 life zones identified in our planet; its rich biodiversity is represented in the Peruvian Amazon by 1,700 varieties of birds, large number of mammals and all kinds of animals. The Peruvian flora has given the world the largest variety of domesticated plants, among them, for example, more than a thousand varieties of potatoes. The Peruvian nature reserves are the richest source of natural resources in the world.
Cusco has one of the richest ecological systems in the world, such as the Manu National Park and the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu, both Natural Patrimony of Humanity, with different ecological levels and a great variety of climates and ecosystems that offer unique places for the observation of fauna and flora. They emphasize the diversity of species of native orchids, butterflies and bird watching areas that are paradises for nature lovers.
Destinations of Nature in Cusco:
Manu National Park
Natural Heritage of Humanity (UNESCO – 1973). The Biosphere Reserve of Manu is located between the provinces of Manu and Paucartambo (Departments of Madre de Dios and Cusco, respectively), which includes the lands on the eastern slopes of the Andes and the Peruvian Amazon. It is an intangible area, exclusively destined to the protection of the fauna and the flora with all its natural and cultural wealth. It covers the territories of the Andean puna and inter-Andean valley in the department of Cusco to the lower jungle in the department of Madre de Dios; crossed by the Manu river, the upper part of the Madre de Dios river and tributaries. Within the park, there are enabled areas for tourists or visitors and other areas. In the area of tourists, there is accommodation facility. The lodgings offer guided excursion services, as well as housing and work facilities for researchers and scientists.
Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu
Natural and archaeological area, created to protect endangered species, such as the spectacled bear (Tremarctos ornatus) and the Cock of the rocks (Rupicula peruviana), as well as the archaeological remains present.
Declared Natural and Cultural Heritage of Humanity (UNESCO – 1983), the sanctuary has an extension of 32,592 hectares and was created in 1981, it has a great landscape beauty and a rich variety of fauna and flora distributed in the diversity of ecological floors ranging from 1,800 to 3,800 m.a.s.l.
Inside the sanctuary, highlights one of the New Seven Wonder: Machu Picchu and archaeological sites located along the renowned Inka Trail, like Intipata, Chachabamba, Wiñay Wayna, Phuyupatamarca, Sayacmarka, Runkurraq’ay, Wayllabamba, Patallacta and Qoriwayrachiwa, and others not less important that stand out in other areas of the Sanctuary such as Torontoy, Waynaq’ente, Machuqente, Pulpituyoc and Palccay.
Abra Málaga – Quillabamba
Abra Málaga and the Area of Private Conservation is located in the north-eastern part of the Cusco region. Abra Malaga is at a height that varies between 2,200 meters and 4,400 meters above sea level, which allows you to appreciate a great diversity of birds living in different ecosistems, ranging from the “cloud forest” at the lowest altitude, to perpetual snow at the base of Verónica snow mount, at the highest point.
Much of this area was declared a Conservation Area with the intention of recovering and giving sustainable use to the natural resources of the area that were in an accelerated process of deterioration; as well as for the protection of lands considered fragile; all this with the direct participation of the native communities settled throughout the area. Because of its proximity to the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu, this territory must also comply with its purpose of buffer zone, which has currently generated a significant flow of tourism with a better awareness of conservation; that is, a responsible and sustainable tourism.
Abra Malaga is also very important because it is an ecosystem that is made up of the last forests of Queuña (Polylepis sp.), extremely fragile, being also the place where the most endangered flora and fauna in South America live. These native trees of the high Andean zone, are characterized by a fairly strong trunk that is swollen annually 1 millimeter and whose bark when falling serves as fertilizer to the same tree.
Although the forests that are within this Conservation Area are popular and highly prized by specialists and amateurs for the practice of bird watching, the diversity of these has diminished considerably in recent years, even so endemic birds can be seen, as the Inca wren, Marcapata spine tail, Creamy crested spine tail, White browed tit spine tail, Chestnut breasted mountain finch, Vilcabamba tapaculo, Royal cynclodes, White tufted sunbean, among others.