Biodiversity is a buzzword in Peru where species counts are in the thousands, be it butterflies, birds, or orchids. Peru’s vast and varying geography allows for 84 ecosystems to exist. This is great news for travelers hoping to catch a glimpse of everything from whales to the Andean cock-of-the-rock on their luxury Peru vacation.
With 1,830 species of birds, Peru is bird-watching territory par excellence. There are three prime regions for avid bird-spotters to explore during their private tour of Peru: the north (encompassing Trujillo, Chiclayo, Tumbes, and Iquitos), central (including Lima, Cusco and Puno) and south (Arequipa, Nazca and Ica). Each area gives travelers access to different endangered and regional species, and visits can be arranged by PAcha Perú as either day tours or for longer, multi-day tours.
SPOTTING WHALES & OTHER MARINE MAMMALS
Peru is fast gaining a reputation as one of South America’s premier whale-watching sites and gigantic humpbacks can often be spotted breaching the waters off the coast of Piura. In the central and southern regions, sea lions, penguins and sea otters can all be spied in the waters, while candy-colored pink dolphins and river otters patrol the central and northern Amazonian regions.
There’s nothing more exhilarating than catching sight of a muscular black jaguar padding softly through the jungle, hearing the chattering of monkeys in the trees overhead or patting a baby soft alpaca. And on Peru’s dry land, the chance of stunningly close encounters with mammals is pleasingly high. Whether you go to the coast, the jungle or the mountains (or all three!), you’re bound to see several of Peru’s 400 species of mammals during your customized tour.
Much like peacocks or brightly plumaged parrots, butterflies are one of those creatures that remind us just how sublime nature’s creations can be. Whether iridescent and shimmering or intricately patterned, their delicate wings are like works of art. There is nowhere better to study their gorgeous motifs than in Peru, where more than 4,000 multicolored species flutter through the skies, hopping from petal to petal. The best places for butterfly-spotting include Iquitos, the Madre de Dios department, Amazon (upper and lower jungle area) and Cusco.
For Orchids, being beautiful is important; they need to attract bees, butterflies and other pollinators with their tempting colors, shapes and smells. Peru has an impressive many-colored collection consisting of more than 3,000 orchid species. The most popular place for orchid observers is the San Martin Department, a place so full of the flowering plant, it has been dubbed the “Land of the Orchids,” though these stunning flowers can also be seen in the rainforest, cloud forests and the northern coast and just about anywhere you travel during your personalized trip of Peru. wikipedia: Identifying Orchids
Though there are a few rare amphibian and reptile species to be found in the higher elevations of Puno, it is Peru’s tropical regions – namely the areas around Iquitos, Tambopata and Manú rainforests – that are the go-to place for amphibian enthusiasts in Peru. Here, more than 100 different species hide in trees and hop around the undergrowth. With a bit of luck, you can capture them on camera though these creatures have a reputation for speed so you’ll have to be fast. Be on extra alert for unfamiliar creatures; new amphibious species are being added to Peru’s catalogue every year.