Machu Picchu, Abra Malaga, and
the Lima Coast

Day 3: 30 June 2006
Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu

This day started with the short walk down to the Ollantaytambo train station, with dippers and cinclodes seen along the creek on the way. We boarded a train to Aguas Calientes and counted Torrent Ducks during the ride. On arrival at Aguas Calientes, we more and less immediately proceded to the ruins at Machu Picchu.

Our local guide Lucretia Tejada was full of information about the Incas and their culture. She explained how the sun temple, shown below, enabled determination of the summer solstice.

Apparently the clear skies this morning were relatively uncommon, but they enhanced our visit to the site.

A photograph of the baby llama was a requirement of the visit. The llamas appeared to function as the lawnmowers of the ruins.

Other wildlife included a vascacha, one of the few mammals we would see on the trip..

Bird life included Inca Wrens in the bamboo near the ruins, Blue-and-white Swallows nesting in the stone walls, an American Kestrel hunting the grounds, and two Andean Condors that soared by overhead. Unfortunately, I got on the more distant of these, not realizing that there was a closer bird. It was when "my" condor vanished over the ridge top, not having shown me much of any identifying features, that I realized that there was another bird, since others were still watching a condor. By this time, however, this closer bird was now just another distant, large, black bird, heading toward and passing over the ridge top. Oh well. So it goes with birding.

Back in Aguas Calientes, we got set up in the Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel. The extensive grounds of the hotel were equipped with many hummingbird feeders (and banana feeder stations for the tanagers). Here is a (rather fuzzy) photograph of a male Booted Racquet-tail at one of the feeders.

A walk on one of the trails on the hotel grounds produced more birds, including this Highland Motmot.

We would explore these trails several times during our stay.


On to Day 4: Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel and the Urubamba River

Back to Peru 2006 Trip Home


This page was last updated on 23 July 2006.
Contact Geoff Williamson with any comments, updates or suggestions.