Machu Picchu sanctuary is unique as it is home to some endemic species of wildlife in the world. If you ever visit this area, most likely, you will ind your path crossed by some Machu Picchu animals, birds, and reptiles. And unfortunately, the natural habitats of these species are endangered due to wildfire breakouts, inadequate handling of solid waste, and the increase of visitors.

In the following paragraphs. We will list some of the common animals found in Machu Picchu, as well as you can see them hiking the Inca Trail 4 days. With a little luck, most definitely you will get to see one of them.

LLAMA (Lama Glama) 

Although Machu Picchu is not llama´s natural habitat. They quite get used to living in the park. About 25 llamas graze all over the park, and this is more like resembling how Machu Picchu would look in the ancient Incan times. Also, archeological studies proved the presence of llamas in Machu Picchu. Therefore, it is something special to have llamas in the sanctuary. One thing you should be sure of is that you will see them.

Vizcacha (lagidium peruanum)

Vizcachas are rodent animals found in the vast Andean landscapes in all of South America. They are used to live in crevasses, under rocks, and in tunnels which they create. The countless rock buildings and boulders at Machu Picchu make a perfect habitat for vizcachas then they are a common sight. It may be misidentified as they look like a rabbit a little but also a squirrel by its tail.

viscacha at machu picchu

Lizards (Stenocercus ochoai)

While visiting Machu Picchu. It is common to be curiously observed by two species of lizards sunbathing on the side rock walls or the path. As they feel people very close up, they raise their heads and quickly lose themselves among the vegetation or wall clefts. 

lizard at machu picchu

Spectacled bear (Tremarctos Ornatus)

Among Machu Picchu animals, we also find the spectacled bears commonly known as Oso de anteojos, and sometimes these amazing mammals are spotted leaping in the terraces of Machu Picchu. But on the few occasions a bear appeared in Machu Picchu. The sight wasn’t long because it rushed quickly into the vegetation of the Andean jungle. Whenever you have a chance to witness them, don’t fear; they don’t harm people.

spectacled bear at machu picchu

Gallito de las rocas (rupicola peruvianus)

One of the beautiful birds in Perú is Gallito de las Rocas. These beautifully plumaged birds also settled in Machu Picchu as they did in various protected areas such as Rio Abiseo and Manu. One would be lucky to see them as there are very slim chances. Unless you are taking the Hidroelectrica – Aguas Calientes hike, perhaps there you might see them. Also, walking from Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu. Of course, sightings are not guaranteed. And by the way, this is only one of 423 species of birds. Machu Picchu sanctuary nests birds like a torrent duck, hooded siskin, blue and yellow tanager, giant hummingbird, green-tailed trainbearer, and among many others.

cock of the rock at machu picchu

Giant hummingbird (Patagonia Gigas)

The Giant Hummingbird is fairly common, in both, eastern and western Andes from southern Colombia all the way down through Argentina and Chile. It is kind of rewarding when one of these hummingbirds suddenly appear and flapping; Their wing beat is much slower than the other hummingbirds, like down to 15 beats per second which makes it easier to photograph during flight.  You might get lucky, and the bird might get your attention at Machu Picchu as well.

giant hummingbird at machu picchu

Jergon Andino (Bothrops Andeanus)

Encounters with these creatures can take place in the least expected time then you must be careful to avoid the deadliest snake bite. Also, there is another poisonous snake which is Coral (Micrurus Spixi). Apart from the two mainly feared species, others add to the list like Culebrita Andina (Tachymenis Peruviana) 

jergon andino at machu picchu


Butterflies represent the largest group of species found in Machu Picchu. Depending on the weather of the day. These butterflies fly all over Machu Picchu and around. For a closer and better explanation about butterflies, visit the butterfly house near the Aguas Calientes municipal camp on the way to Machu Picchu. You can visit it to get a little out of the hackneyed visit to Machu Picchu. 

Nowadays, species living near Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu are more prone to be endangered than others living away. But at the same time, the Machu Picchu sanctuary is about 32 500 ha in total, which shelters a lot more exuberant and exotic flora and fauna in different ecological niches.

butterfly at machu picchu

Here is a summary of the species of the Machu Picchu sanctuary:

  • 700 Species of butterflies  
  • 423 Bird species 
  • 125 Arthropod species
  • 53 Mammals species 
  • 22 Reptiles species 
  • 13 Fish species 
  • 12 Amphibian species
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