Peru harbors an extraordinary diversity
of bird species, and new species are discovered every
year in the cloud forests and Amazon jungle,
inaccessible mountain ranges and inter-Andean valleys. To
date, ornithologists have registered 1,730
species (nearly 20% of the world's total), of which
300 are found all over the country. Peru also posts world
records in species per area (650 in Tambopata) and
the record for the largest number of species sighted
in a single day (361 around the biological station
of Cocha Cashu, Manu).
Birdwatchers will find Peru to be a veritable
paradise of bird species which are limited to unique and fragile
habitats, migratory species from distant
parts of the planet, species which have disappeared in other
parts of the world and which abound in unexplored nooks of
Peru, as well as teeming flocks of birds which mark the life-cycle
of life in the sea, the jungle and Andean lakes.
in Cusco and Machu Picchu
The department of Cusco features a major diversity of species
that are appreciated by ornithologists from all over the world.
Lake Huacarpay or Lake Lucre (3,000 masl) is the best spot
for sighting the main bird species in the Cusco region. The
lake, with its tranquil waters, sprawling totora reed clumps
and flooded areas, is overlooked by hills studded with cacti
At the same time, the dirt road between Ollantaytambo and
the town of Quillabamba (Cusco cloud forest) offers visitors
a chance to cross over an incredible range of altitudes and
eco-systems, in addition spectacular views of nearby peaks,
particularly Mount Veronica (5,750 masl). The area known as
San Luis features many of the bird species found elsewhere
around the country.
The Machu Picchu historic sanctuary,
and particularly the forests that line both banks of the Urubamba
River, below the citadel of Machu Picchu itself, are home
to the habitats of an enormous variety of bird species, calculated
at more than 400, such as the cock-of-the-rocks (Rupicola
Peruviana), considered Peru's national bird. The area also
features brightly-colored orchids and tree-born ferns, considered
treasures of the sanctuary.
Climate: Rainy during the summer months (from December to
March). Sunny from May to September, although rain showers
are common. Temperatures reach a maximum of 27° C, and
rarely drop below 11° C.
- Lake Huacarpay is located 25 km south of Cusco.
- To reach the Abra Malaga pass, travelers should take the
road from Ollantaytambo (97 km from Cusco). - To study bird
species in the Machu Picchu area, watchers should take the
trail from Aguas Calientes (the town of Machu Picchu), continuing
downstream for several kilometers.
Remember to read our "Recommendations"
for your trip to Peru, as well as other important issues in
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