Peru is home to some of the most beautiful and diverse climates and topography in South America. Beautiful coastline with endless deserts of sand dunes, high elevated mountain ranges with beautiful peaks like Ausangate or Salkantay, and of course the lush endless green vegetation that makes up the Amazon jungle. One of the most unique and magical features of the mountain ranges of Peru is the fact that eventually the mountain ranges turn into warm and humid jungle or the visually spectacular Salkantay Trek Cloud Forest of the Andes.
If one chooses to embark on the alternative Trek to Machu Picchu through the Salkantay route or trail, they will have a chance to witness the amazing bio-diversity personally when they begin their decent from Salkantay pass on the second day of the Salkantay Trekking. The decent from Salkantay pass takes a few hours but you will quickly begin to notice the change of environment as rocky slopes and icy crags give way to beautiful green lush vegetation shrouded in mystical clouds that hide the tops of the mountains. This beautiful area of the Andes mountains is called a Cloud Forest.
A Salkantay Trek Cloud Forest, like the one found on the third day of trekking the great mountain of Salkantay, is the home of thousands of orchids found only in Peru. The amount of species that exist in the cloud forest of Salkantay is still undetermined as more and more species of plants and animals are discovered very frequently.
Its hard to believe that within a few hours of Trekking Salkantay pass the scenery around you while drastically change, but you will quickly realize that the desolate and harsh reality that is the Salkantay mountain, and Salkantay pass, will eventually give way to one of the most beautiful natural wonders Peru has to offer. Peru and the Cloud Forests that thrive in the Andes are a must see. One of the best ways to experience the uniqueness of this natural phenomenon is to take the multiple day alternative hike to Machu Picchu on the Salkantay trek.