Machu Picchu, with its many microclimates, provides a safe habitat for many animals. That explains why Machu Picchu is home to many interesting and spectacular species.
On the way to the magnificent citadel of Machu Picchu, many animals, including llamas, spectacled bears, and birds like the Andean Cock-of-the-Rock, are common.
One of the animals that can be seen most often in Machu Picchu is the llama (Lama glama). They are a member of the camel family. An adult llama weighs between 120 and 180 kilograms and measures 120 meters at the shoulder, giving them a slender appearance.
Llamas are used by Andeans to transport goods weighing 50–60 kilograms up mountainous terrains for distances of up to 30 kilometers. They can tolerate extreme climate conditions. They need little water and have a healthy diet made up mainly of plants, grass, and other vegetation.
Although they are useful as pack animals, llamas are also valued for their fiber, wool, dried dung, and tallow for candles.
Vizcachas, which resemble little squirrels, are related to chinchillas. When hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, you will often see them on the rocks and the ground. These cute-looking Vizcachas weigh about 2-3 kilograms as adults. They have dense black or gray hair covering every inch of their bodies.
Most of the time, they eat fruits and herbs and make efforts to blend in with their surroundings by hiding among gray rocks. Vizcachas are typically hunted for their skin, which is used to produce belts, purses, and other goods.
The Andean cock-of-the-rock (Rupicola peruvianus), from the cotinga family is a must-see Machu Picchu bird. The males are the most distinctive, with blazing orange plumage and a big, puffy disk-like crest, while the females are dark brown.
Typically, they eat mice, tiny reptiles, and fruits. The Andean cloud forests, particularly the Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge in Manu National Park, are the greatest places to see these incredible birds.
The only surviving species of short-faced bear in the world is the spectacled bear (Tremarctos ornatus). They are sometimes referred to as the Andean bear! They have mostly blackish brown fur, with occasional beige or ginger spectacled markings on their face and upper chest.
The adults typically weigh between 35 and 100 kilos. The males are heavier than females. They mostly eat plants and fruits, with meat making up only approximately 5% of their diets.
Unless there is threat to themselves or their cubs, theys are typically gentle animals that avoid human contact.
With a wingspan of 21.5 centimeters and a length of 23 centimeters, the Giant Hummingbird (Patagona gigas) is the largest member of the family. The Giant Hummingbird weighs between 18 and 24 grams. It is ten times more heavier than the Bee Hummingbird, the smallest of the hummingbird species.
However, they fly slowly for a hummingbird with an average of 15 wing beats per second. The Giant Hummingbird also encouraged the Nazca people to draw the Nazca hummingbird geoglyph.