Tour in the captivating Otishi National Park in Cusco and Junin
Otishi National Park is a protected area in Peru, located in the regions of Junín and Cusco. It protects part of the Vilcabamba mountain range, preserving the wildlife and geological formations in this area. One of the species that are protected we find “The Cock of the Rocks, national bird of Peru”. In the case of the flora, we can find a great variety of orchids. Join us in this beautiful tour in the captivating Otishi National Park in Cusco and Junin.
It is 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.
Otishi National Park is located at an altitude range between 750 m.a.s.l to 4185 m.a.s.l.
The Otishi National Park covers an area of 305,973 hectares.
Climate and Temperature:
Since Otishi National Park is located between two departments of Peru, the climate varies. The average temperature is 25ºC with annual rainfall from 3000 to 5000 mm.
You can visit Otishi National Park any time of the year. Although you can come any month, we recommend going from April to October since the weather during those months is perfect to go hiking and enjoy the view.
Aims of the Otishi National Park:
- Protect the northern tops of the Vilcabamba Mountain range, as well as the soils and water of the Ene, Tambo and Urubamba river basins
- Preserve the landscape beauty of this mountain range, including the Pavirontsi natural bridge and the system of waterfalls.
- Allow to protect water for human consumption.
- Preserve and protect the representative samples of the humid forest in the central jungle of the Vilcabamba Mountain Range.
- Take care of the erosion area and the soils.
- Contribute to the well being of the different ethnic groups and aboriginal peoples situated in Vilcabamba.
- Among the species that can be found are the Cock of the Rocks, the Harpy Eagle.
- In the case of the fauna you can find orchids, polylepis and podocarpus trees, ferns and large areas of Montane forests.
The Otishi National Park was created by Supreme Decree Nº 003-2003-AG on January 14, 2003. This area protects the Vilcabamba mountain range and rivers Ene, Tambo and Urubamba.
Otishi, covering an area of 305,973.05 hectares, has a large biological diversity and is connected to other important biological areas as part of the Vilcabamba-Amboró Binational Corridor. It provides important living zones, evidence of endemic species and a great diversity of ecosystems.
The fauna in the Otishi National Park is quite diverse as it is home to a large quantity of bird species, small and big mammals, amphibians, insects, butterflies, etc. They live in a zone of vegetation made up of tropical pastures, locally known as pajonales, queñual forests (Polylepis spp.), and mixed low forests of small trees.
It is worth mentioning that this region is inhabited by some native communities that belong to the Arahuac family, mostly to the Asháninka and Machiguenga ethnic groups. However, there are also some inhabitants of the Yines and Caquintes ethnic groups. All of them are committed to the sustainable use of natural resources.
What can you observe?:
- A great variety of fauna and flora
- Microclimates and a great diversity of ecosystems.
- Native communities
- Vegetation made up of tropical pastures, locally known as pajonales.
- Diverse geological and topographical areas.
Flora in the Otishi National Park:
Among the most significant species that are found in the Otishi National Park, we can name the following:
- Orchids: There is a great diversity of orchids species of Cusco, some restricted to their natural regions. The diversity of microclimates in Peru allows a great variety of orchids. They represent elegance, seduction, beauty and sensuality.
- Ferns: They are perennial plants without secondary growth. This means they do not produce flowers or fruits. Ferns live in fresh, humid and shady places. These plants can grow up to an average size, despite presenting a palm-like figure in tropical areas, where they can reach a 20-meter height.
- Montane forest: It is an ecosystem found in mountains. It gets affected by colder climates at moderate elevations. In these areas dense forests are common. In Mountain Forest, rainfall and temperate climate leads to change in natural vegetation.
Wildlife in the Otishi National Park:
- Anteater: They eat 35,000 insects a day being the main food ants and termites. They reside on grasslands, as well as in vast tropical rain forests.
- Spectacled bear: Also known as andean Bear or Ukumari. The name “spectacled” is widely embraced due to the creamy-white colored line of fur encircling its eyes. They are primarily vegetarian, harvesting fruit, berries, cacti, and honey. Furthermore, they have big claws which help them to climb trees and cliffs. Unfortunately, they are in danger of extinction.
- Taruca: or north Andean deer, is a species of deer native to South America. It has beautiful and long antlers. Its habitats normally include rocky areas of sparse vegetation. This explains the sandy gray coloring of their coat, which provides excellent camouflage in this type of environment.
- Puma: is one of the most well known and important animal for the Andean culture. It is part of the Andean Trilogy. Pumas live in groups and are carnivorous.
- Cock of the rocks: it is considered as “the national bird of Peru”. Male Andean cock-of-the-rock has a bright red-orange head, neck, breast, and shoulders. It has a black body, gray wings, and a large disk-shaped crest of feathers that extends over its bill. The female is a brownish-orange over her whole body and has a smaller crest. In both sexes, the wings and long tail feathers are black with a row of gray feathers along the inside edge. Unfortunately, it is in danger of extinction.