Due to its special location in a region of Peru where the Andes and
the Amazon meet, the 32,592 hectares surrounding the citadel have
been declared a protected area in order to preserve the flora, fauna
and geological formations, as well as the archeological remains.
The Machu Picchu Sanctuary is a priceless example of Andean
archeology and culture, combined with a spectacular natural
environment home to species of fauna and flora unknown elsewhere in
Apart from Machu Picchu itself, there are 34 other archeological
groups in the Sanctuary, which are interconnected by the ancient
Inca Trail, an impressive original Inca route, which nowadays is
open to tourists.
Notable amongst these sites are the Inca constructions of Runquracay,
the ruins of Sacyamarca (similar to Machu Picchu), the citadel of
Phuyupatamarca ("Town above the Clouds"), the ruins of Wiñay Wayna
("Eternally Young"), the Temple of the Moon and the archeological
group known as the Gran Caverna ("Great Cavern").
The flora of Machu Picchu is exuberant, and in higher areas
different species of high-Andean grains are found. In the low areas,
trees such as the "aliso" Alnus jorullensis, "nogal" Juglans
neotropica, "intimpa" Podocarpus glomeratus, "Kisuar" Buddleja
incana may be found. There are also 30 genus and over 90 species of
Among the fauna of Machupicchu we can find birds such as the "condor"
(Vultur gryphus) and diverse species of hummingbirds, and mammals
such as pumas (Felis concolor), the "tigrillo" (Felis pardalis) as
well as a few species of monkeys and ophidians of the Bothrops
species. There are species in danger of extinction in the Sanctuary
as well, such as the "rock hen"
("gallito de las rocas"), the "spectacled bear" ("oso de anteojos"),
the otter and the mountain cat.
Perhaps the main attraction of the citadel is the degree of
technology that its builders achieved in stone work. The joins
between the stones in some of its buildings are so snug that it’s
impossible to insert even the tip of a needle between them. The most
fascinating stone is the "Intihuatana"
(hitching post of the sun), which served as an astronomical
Nevertheless, more interesting is the energy and peace you feel when
you get in this mysterious place.