The Eastern parts of the tropical Andes – where Machu Picchu is located – are one of the world’s most biologically diverse areas. Within the Machu Picchu Sanctuary, there is up to 10% of Peru’s whole biodiversity! There are more than 400 species of orchids, about 700 species of butterflies and more than 400 species of birds registered inside the Sanctuary.
Compared to other areas: out of the 9000 known bird species, Europe and North America together have some 1400 species, whereas in Peru more than 1800 species are recorded!
The Machu Picchu Sanctuary has such rich biodiversity due to a combination of factors.
First, the wide altitude range provides a great range of temperatures. In addition, the high mountain ridges create microclimates favourable to the evolution of certain species and subspecies. Finally, thanks to the ever-present rainfall of the Amazon Basin and the mist that creeps up the sheltered valleys, there is humidity year-round.