The beauty of the orchids attracts thousands of people keen to see these flowers in their natural setting.
Wild orchids is Best For
Directions to Wild orchids
The beauty of the orchids attracts thousands of people keen to see these flowers in their natural setting. Their color, shape, size and scent are determined during pollination and curiously, many species of orchid resemble the shape of the insect that pollinates them.
Peru's varied geography and microclimates are hosts to 3,000 species of orchids that grow in the tropical rainforests on the eastern slopes of the Andes, in the high jungle area and in the clouded forests. Orchids also grow on the north coast in the departments of Tumbes and Piura. In the mountains of Áncash and Huancavelica visitors can admire rarely beautiful orchids of exceptional color and size, like the Cattleya maxim, with its large and violet flowers. A wide variety of orchids can also be found in the San Martín department, an area known as the 'land of the orchids'. Here swallow species abund (Cattleya rex) and are considered the most emblematic flower of the region's wild flora.
Specialized agencies offer tourists orchid observation trips in different regions of Peru. The Machu Picchu Historic Sanctuary, which houses over 200 varieties, is the perfect setting to combine both natural and historic tourism.
The climate and location of the capital of the Amazonian department favors the growth of beautiful and exotic flowers. To enjoy the flora, one can visit the Santa Isabel orchid nursery, with 150 varieties, located just ten minutes by car from the city. The Soldiniopsis Tigroid and Pragmipedium Caudatum are particular highlights. The nursery has a bird bath where hummingbirds can be seen.
A second nursery is located in Choctamal, and another large nursery is located at the 17km mark on the road to the Kuélap archaeological area. At this nursery species such as the Tricho Centrum, the Telipogon and the Maxilaria Kohelerii can be admired. The nursery is maintained by the community.
A rich variety of orchids can be found in a natural setting on various trekking routes and along tourist access roads on the way to the Gocta waterfalls. In the Molinopampa area, there is an orchid forest, but it does not have a road leading into it.
May-San Martin River
Heavenly is the only word to describe the number, color, quality and shape of the orchids that grow in the area. Traveling along the Mayo River in the high jungle region, visitors find varieties of the epyphyte Cattleya rex, called 'Christmas Flower' or 'Swallow' by the locals, with creamy-white sepals and petals and a dark red labellum with yellow spots on the sides, measuring up to 15 cm (6 inches).
Orchids are particularly abundant in the areas surrounding the cities of Moyobamba and Tarapoto. A 4-day visit is recommended for tourists to enjoy the main attractions of the department and to observe the orchids in their natural habitat.