Machupicchu Info.- In one of the most spectacular settings on earth, the great Inca ruler Pachacutek built a royal and sacred center that is known as Machupicchu. Commenced in the middle of the fifteenth century, it was used by Pachacutek and his “panaca” (Royal corporate family group).
The Machu Picchu or MachuPijchu is a Quechua Word which means old peak or Old Mountain; Machu Picchu is located at 112km northeast of Cusco city; it’s a XV century Inca site which probably was built as an estate for the Inca emperor Pachacuti (1438–1472). Often referred to as the “Lost City of the Incas”, it is the most familiar icon of Inca civilization.
Machu Picchu is a mystical place, a stunning place with awesome landscape, where people can feel that they are a creation of God. The high sense of spirituality that inhabits this place seems to transport its visitors to a place where anything is possible “in an unimaginable way.” It is a place where strange forces of nature allow people to reach an incomparable cosmic state, a state that can only be experimented in Machu Picchu.
Arrival and Accommodation at Machu Picchu Pueblo or Aguas calientes town:
If you arrive by train, you’ll get off at Machu Picchu Pueblo station, the nearest town to the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, which has experienced explosive over the last decade or so and is occasionally still referred to its older name, Aguas Calientes. You walk down the steps from the station and over the bridge, where you can catch one of the buses for 25 minutes up to Machu Picchu.
Many people who want to spend more than just a day at Machu Picchu base themselves at the settlement of Machu Picchu Pueblo known as Aguas Calientes town, which is connected to the Inca sanctuary of Machu Picchu by bus and has good accommodation, restaurants and shops.
It’s warm, humid climate and surrounding landscapes of towering mountains covered in cloud forest make it a welcome change to Cusco, but the main attraction apart from Machu Picchu Inca sanctuary, is the natural thermal bath, which is particularly welcome after a few days on the Inca trail or a hot afternoon up at Machu Picchu.
There is also a recently restored narrow trail up to sacred mountain of Putucusi, starting just outside of the town, a couple of hundred yards down on the left if you follow the trail track toward Machu Picchu; the walk offers stupendous views of the town and across to Machu Picchu.
Machu Picchu’s Biodiversity – Machu Picchu Information
The Inca Sanctuary of Machu Picchu is situated in a region that is part of the High Jungle or “Brow of the Jungle”. It’s surrounded by fully vegetated mountains and the Urubamba valley-river; it is an area with great environmental heterogeneity that, together with its jagged relief and its climate, makes the existence of numerous life zones possible, in accordance with the Holdridge classification system, between 2,000 and 6,000 m. above sea level.
The ecology of the Inca Sanctuary of Machu Picchu is very diverse and complex, since it includes ten wildlife zones, from the low, dry mountain forest – by the side of the valley- to the level of the mountain range summits. In terms of altitude, this means that it reaches from 1,725 m. at the level of the Urubamba River, up to 6,271 m. at snowy Salkantay’s summit. As a consequence, these geographical variations, and the singular topography, originate a really wide range of flora and wild fauna.
Flora and Fauna at Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu is also a national pack recognized by the UNESCO as a national park by natural and cultural resources that stretches over 36,532 hectares of ground in the eastern part of the Andes Mountain range, including ten different micro regions. Due to its location, the rugged geography is home of great biodiversity of fauna and flora. The natural surroundings and the strategic location of Machu Picchu lend a fusion of beauty and balance to the historic creations of the ancient Incas, and the evolutionary whims of nature.
Biologists have recorded over 300 species of orchid in the Machu Picchu Sanctuary. Ornithologists have recorded over 400 species of birds here, including the biggest hummingbird in the world (Patagonia gigas), known as the Giant Hummingbird. If one takes into account that, due to the rugged terrain, only 40% of the land has been studied by specialists so far; future studies of the remaining 60% of the land will surely reveal many more wonderful surprises.
Several species exclusive of the zone stand out, like the “spectacled” bear (the Andean bear or “ucumari” – Tremarctos ornatus), the only “ursid” in South America, the rare miniature deer (Mazama chunnyil), and the “sachacabra” (Pudu mephistopheles). This is why the Peruvian government has declared the zone a Protected Nature Area. Otherspecies of mammals live here, like the puma (“concolor” Puma), the Andean fox, the river otter, the “tanka taruca”, the wildcat and the ferret.
Reptiles in Machu Picchu
Among the reptiles we can find the “jergón bothrops” and the “choral micrurus”, dangerous because of its strong poison; lizards, frogs, chiroptera and a large Andean and Amazon “entomo-fauna”, making the Sanctuary a place where observation and study adds attraction for both tourists and researchers.
Among more than 423 species of registered birds, some are outstanding: the “Gallito de las Rocas” (“Rock Cockerel”, Peruvian Rupicola) -Peru’s national bird- the quetzal (Pharomacrus auriceps), the “Pava del Monte” (mountain turkey hen, Penelope montagnii), the condor (Vultur gryphus), the caracara, hummingbirds, the torrent duck (Merganetta armata) and a bird of very restricted distribution: the “Cucarachero Inca” (Thryothorus eisenmanni); parrots and other smaller birds of varied colors.
Among more than 450 species of registered birds, some are outstanding: the “Gallito de las Rocas” (“Rock Cockerel”, Peruvian Rupicola) -Peru’s national bird- the quetzal (Pharomacrus auriceps), the “Pava del Monte” (mountain turkey hen, Penelope montagnii), the condor (Vultur gryphus), the caracara, hummingbirds, the torrent duck (Merganetta armata) and a bird of very restricted distribution: the “Cucarachero Inca” (Thryothorus eisenmanni); parrots and other smaller birds of varied colors.