Machu Picchu’s Orchids: An Adventure of the Senses

The misty cloud forests of Machu Picchu are like one vast and beautiful breeding ground for orchids. This unique flower blooms in all varieties of color, shape, and scent throughout the grounds. You’ll spot them sprouting along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and at the forested fringes of the famous citadel during your tour of Machu Picchu. Essentially, where there’s nutrient-rich soil and an abundance of birds and butterflies at the ready to pollinate, you can bet that there’s an orchid nearby. In this blog post, we share a few varieties (of the 400+) to keep your eyes peeled for during your Machu Picchu adventure tour.

Wiñay Wayna Orchid – Epidendrum secundum

Mainly located around the ruins of the same name, Wiñay Wayna means “forever young” in Quechua. Its essence is actually said to preserve youth and vitality. You’ll know you’ve spotted one by its thin white and fuchsia blooms. It will likely stop you in your tracks too, even with Machu Picchu beckoning in the near distance.

Paradise Orchid– Sobralia Dichotoma

Spotting the paradise orchid during your visit or trek to Machu Picchu is almost a guarantee. It’s the most prevalent of the orchids in the region and its deep pink and white blooms will likely photo bomb a few of your pictures of Machu Picchu, especially if you’ll be trekking Machu Picchu Mountain where they’re most often popping up.   

Waqanki Orchid – Masdevallia Veitchiana Rchb. f.

Meaning “you will cry” in Quechua, this orchid of orange petals and purple spots comes with a tale.  As the legend goes, this flower was born out of the tears of an Inca princess’ forbidden love. Where they fell, the flower grew. Today, you’ll most likely spot it climbing out of rock crevices.   

The Best Time of Year to See Machu Picchu’s Orchids

The best time of the year to glimpse Machu Picchu’s orchids is between December and March during the rainy season when the majority of the more than 400 orchid species are in flower. Yet another incentive to visit Machu Picchu during the low, albeit wet, season.

Book Your Machu Picchu Tour or Trek for Orchid Season

It really is an amazing time of year to finally visit this magnificent world wonder without the crowds and when Machu Picchu’s orchids are in full bloom.  Get in touch with our Explorandes team to learn more about the treks and tours we offer to Machu Picchu.

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