Peru is one of the most ecologically diverse destinations. In a land containing 82 percent of the world's ecosystems, it is home to approximately 3,000 of the world's estimated 30,000 species of orchids. Come see orchids in the wild during the highlight of their blooming season.
For 2016, INCA is introducing a special tour combining rich cultural heritage of the Incan Empire with the spectacular array of wild orchid species found in the Sacred Valley, the high Andean jungle, and among the ruins of Machu Picchu.
Leading this tour is Roger Valencia Espinoza, renowned professor at the Graduate School of Tourism, lecturer and orchid specialist. Roger collects orchids for the Vargas Herbarium of the National University of Cusco, named after the late Julio Cesar Vargas Calderon, Peru's eminent botanist and the person responsible for Roger’s academic introduction to the world of orchids. Roger has led orchid collecting trips for the late Eric Christenson, renowned American botanist and orchid authority, as well as collecting and lecturing for the Orchid Growers Association of Carpinteria, California and the Santa Barbara Orchid Association. Roger rediscovered an orchid species thought to have been extinct: Madevallia davisii (pictured right) in Quelcanca, Ollantaytambo. Roger is equally passionate and engaged in Peruvian cultural preservation projects both within country and internationally. In 2015, Roger was responsible for recreating an Inca rope bridge on the National Mall in Washington DC for the Smithsonian Institution.
Guests on this eight-day adventure will enjoy exploring off-the-beaten-path walks in the hidden side canyons of Urubamba and Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley. They will travel up to the spectacular Abra Malaga pass (elevation 14,229 ft.) and down into the lush jungle near Santa Teresa where new orchid species have been discovered. They will then spend two days exploring Machu Picchu, learning about these famous Incan ruins and looking for orchids in the surrounding area. A guided tour of Cusco caps this rich adventure, with a final free day to enjoy Cusco's lovely colonial and Incan splendor, rich history and tantalizing food before returning to Lima and onward connections.
For complete details, dates and prices, see our Wild Orchids of Machu PIcchu tour