Have you heard of the 10 interesting Protected Areas in Cusco?
There is no doubt that visiting Cusco is always a pleasure. This city has so much to offer not only for its intriguing history, but also for its beautiful landscapes and charming people. The best season to go is during the dry season. Below we have prepared a list of the “10 most interesting Protected Areas in Cusco”. Join us on this exciting adventure!
What is the aim of the Protected Areas?
The protected areas are administered by the government. The main focus of these areas is the conservation of ‘wild nature’ for posterity and as a symbol of national pride.
Qosqoccahuarina Private Conservation Area:
This first Conservation Area is located in the district of Ollantaytambo, province of Urubamba, Cusco. It covers an area of 767.56 hectares and was declared Qosqoccahuarina Private Conservation Area on April 28, 2011.
Part of the Conservation area belongs to Rumira Sondormayo Community in Ollantaytambo.
Aim of the Conservation Area:
The main aim of the Conservation Area is to protect and reserve the biodiversity of the area, being the following the most important to be protected:
- Native Forests of Polylepis
- Pastures that are located in the high area of the Patacancha micro-basin (single source of water).
It promotes the assessments of water resources evaluating the balance hydrological balance. This is the basis of conservation projects, as it will allow us to have reliable and relevant information about the flow of water in Polylepis forests.
In Qosqoccahuarina you can enjoy a great variety of the flora and fauna, being the queuña the tree that stands out the most.
Ausangate Regional Conservation Area
- Created on December 12, 2018
- Aim: Preserve a representative sample of the Cusco Puna Central Andes ecoregion.
- Located in the district of Ocongate, Quispicanchi.
- It covers an area of 66,514.17 hectares.
You can observe: Ausangate snow-capped Mountain, diverse vulnerable species vulnerables and fragile to climate change ecosystems.
3. Choquequirao Regional Conservation Area
- Choquequirao Regional Conservation Area was created on December 23, 2010.
- Located in the districts of Santa Teresa and Vilcabamba, in the province of La Convencion, Cusco.
- The main objective is to preserve the biological wealth of the ecosystems of the moist montane forests, dry forests, and native forests. As well as to secure the water, cultural and archeological resources.
- It is located at an altitude between 1800 to 6000 m.a.s.l
- Water reserve of the Sacsarayoc, Qoriwayrachina, Abuela and Padreyoc glaciers, and the western slope of Salkantay Snow capped Mountain, part of the Vilcabamba Mountain range.
- Protects 16 endemic species approximately and almost 100 plants.
4. Tres Cañones Regional Conservation Area:
- Located in the districts of Coporaque and Suykutambo, in the province of Espinar, Cusco.
- Its main objective is to preserve the biodiversity, the beauty of the landscapes, the cultural identity and the archeological monuments,
- Strengthen the cultural identity of the locals.
- Protects endemic species of the area such as taruca(wildlife) and puya Raimondi (flora).
- Promote activities that are compatible with the aims of conservation such as environmental education, applied research, and sustainable tourism, among other contributions.
- It covers an area of 39,485 hectares and an altitude from 80 to 250 meters that belong to the area.
- Beautiful place to do many tourist activities
5. Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu:
- Located in the district of Machu Picchu in the province of Urubamba, Cusco.
- Covers an area of more than 35000 hectares.
- Aims of the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu: protect Machu Picchu citadel, Cápac Ñam route and Andean culture.
- It must conserve natural habitat of the important species of flora and wildlife in danger of extinction near the area.
- Among the animals in danger of extinction, we have the Cock of the rocks, Andean bear.
- Machu Picchu has 200 structures such as residence temples and other important constructions with religious, ceremonial and agricultural purposes.
- Machu Picchu is the dream destination of different tourist routes.
6. Manu National Park:
- Manu National Park was considered a national heritage on May 29, 1973.
- UNESCO recognised it as a Biosphere Reserve in 1977 and in 1987 it was recognized as a World Heritage Site.
- Located in the departments of Madre De Dios and Cusco in the provinces of Paucartambo and Manu.
- Covers an area of 1 909 806 hectares.
- Protects a variety of animal and plant species. 222 mammal species have been identified as inhabiting the Manu National Park and thousands of birds such as Cock of the Rocks, emblematic species of Peru
7. Otishi National Park
- Created by Supreme Decree Nº 003-2003-AG on January 14, 2003.
- Located in the Vilcabamba mountain range, in the districts of Rio Tambo and Echarate in the provinces of Satipo and La Convencion, in the departments of Junin and Cusco.
- Protect the northern tops of the Vilcabamba Mountain range, as well as the soils and water of the Ene, Tambo and Urubamba river basins, and the landscape beauty of this mountain range.
- Among the species that can be found are the Cock of the Rocks, and the Harpy Eagle.
- In the case of the fauna you can find orchids, polylepis and podocarpus trees, ferns and large areas of Montane forests.
8. Ashaninka Communal Reserve:
- Created by Supreme Decree Nº 003-2003-AG on January 14, 2003.
- Located in Vilcabamba Mountain range, in the district of Rio Tambo, province of Satipo in the department of Junin and district of Pichari, province of Convencion in the department of Cusco.
- The main objective of the Ashaninka Communal Reserve is to guarantee biological diversity conservation for the benefit of neighboring native communities of the Ashaninka Communal Reserve.
- Covers an area of 184 468,38 hectares.
9. Machiguenga Communal Reserve:
- Machiguenga Communal Reserve was created by Supreme Decree Nº 003-2003-AG on January 14, 2003.
- Located in Vilcabamba Mountain Range, Cusco.
- Covers an area of 218 905,63 hectares.
- Its objective is to conserve the great biological variety, which contributes to the development of Machiguenga neighboring native communities.
10. Megantoni National Sanctuary
- Megantoni was declared a National Sanctuary on August 18, 2004, under Supreme Decree Nº 030-2004-AG.
- Megantoni National Sanctuary is located in the Echarate District, La Convención Province, in the department of Cusco.
- Covers an area of 216,003 hectares.
- Aims: Protect the flora and fauna of the area in tangible form.
- Preserve the ecosystems that exist in the Megantoni Mountains.
- Protect the area where isolated indigenous live.
- Provide a safe zone for the indigenous of Sababantiari community. This will enable them to continue with their forest traditional use.
- Monitor the hunting impact.
Note: The best season to enjoy each one of these nature gifts is during the dry season, from April to October. It is also recommendable to hire the service of a tourist agency to make the most of the experience and avoid any inconvenience.
“Like all great travelers, I have seen more than I remember and remember more than I have seen.” – Benjamin Disraeli