(by Cesar Chacón Rosasco)

The Urubamba River flows through the Sacred Valley of the Incas for a hundred kilometers, fed by the melt waters of the high mountains of the Vilcanota-Urubamba range, which contains the Sahuasiray, Verónica and Chicón peaks. The many streams and springs that emerge from these and other mountains make the valley an ideal setting for rich ecosystems and fertile farmland.

The valley floor lies at between 2700 and 2900 meters above sea level. A number of distinct ecological levels exist, from the plains surrounding the river to the snow-capped peaks above 5800 meters. This enormous altitudinal range has created a series of microclimates, contributing to the broad diversity of local flora and fauna: around 144 species of plants, including epiphytes, mosses and flowering plants, and at least 68 bird species.

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