Machu Picchu is such a pregnant ecosystem, that it is difficult to include or categorize the many beautiful plants that you encounter. I have decided to arbitrarily divide descriptions of the plants into several posts; orchids, flowers, plants and herbs. The combination of the humid tropical greenery with the towering peaks of the eastern mountain ranges gives Mach Picchu a unique and remarkable quality. As one travels by train from Ollantaytambo to the Ecological Reserve of Machu Picchu, the Andean landscape transforms into a deep canyon festooned by a dense tropical jungle that seems impossible to penetrate through its soaring slopes. The valuable 32,592-hectare Reserve has an enormous ecological variety. That is why there is such scientific interest in their original genetic diversity. The primary forest ecosystem has an incredibly diverse flora with a lush forest vegetation (such as cedar, romerillo, laurel, among others), shrubs, ferns and ancient tall palm trees. In the higher parts, endemic mountain species can be found such as the beautiful queñual tree or Polylepis. It is pretty much impossible to describe it all but I hope these posts will form a helpful beginning.
When we traveled to Sydney from Las Vegas, we took an overnight stopover in a small hotel near the airport, the Jetpark Hotel. While the hotel was clean and perfectly suitable for an overnight stay, the garden and landscaping outside was something special. Although I asked to meet the gardener, we never managed to connect. Even so, the plants were neatly labeled and the variety was extensive and representative of New Zealand. It was clear that someone took a great deal of pride in this landscaping. Even though this was not a “botanic garden”, I thought I would share the pictures I took.