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372 Varieties of Orchids

Submitted by on May 17, 2010 – 12:10 amOne Comment
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Orchids are the stars of the landscape at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel at Machu Picchu Pueblo (formerly Aguas Calientes village), Peru. Of course, the iconic Incan citadel makes the place a typical tourist destination, but botany enthusiasts are drawn here for the flowers.

In addition to orchid tours and an orchid trail, the hotel itself has an orchid garden with some 372 different orchids. From the largest orchid flower in the world – the Phragmipedium caudatum — to tiny flowering specimens properly appreciated only through a magnifying glass, there are orchids to amaze both the aficionado and the expert. According to The American Orchid Society magazine (May 2001), “Inkaterra Machu Picchu’s Orchid Collection is probably the world’s largest orchid species collection set in a natural environment in a private facility”.

Hotel guests can arrange a personalized guided tour of the Orchid Trail by a nature specialists or, upon special request, with the hotel’s Resident Chief Biologist (a co-author of the book, Orchids at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel). Other excursions possible include a Nature Walk, Bird Tour, Twilight Walk, Tea Plantation and Tea House, Spectacled Bear Rescue Project, Native Medicinal and Aromatic Plant Garden.

The Andean cloud forest is a habitat which is home to a large diversity of orchids. Some of the most remarkable assembled at Inkaterra Machu Picchu are: the minuscule Lepanthes, Trichosalpinx and Stelis; some of the largest, like Phramipedium caudatum and Sobralia aff. setigera; and the fragrant Anguola virginalis, Lindley Ida locusta and Lycastemacorphylla. Plan ahead, Road Trips Gardeners, because the best months to visit are December through March.

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