Trip Reports
Butterfly-watching Holidays
Peru 2008
Section 2 - Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu seen from the Sun Gate trail  Adrian Hoskins
The following morning we had a short 20 minute bus ride along the steep and twisting road that leads to Machu Picchu, one of the most stunning scenes on Earth, and an absolute "must-do" destination for just about any serious traveller.

Rufous-collared Sparrow Zonotrichia capensis photographed at the Sun Gate  Adrian Hoskins

Peaks of Machu Picchu National Park, seen from the Sun Gate  Adrian Hoskins
After a fascinating guided tour of the archaeological ruins we walked to the Sun Gate, and along the route saw several fine cloudforest Satyrines including Corades argentata and Oressinoma sorata.

Machu Picchu seen from the Sun Gate trail  Adrian Hoskins
The first real excitement of the tour however began when we had our first glimpses of the dazzling Morpho lympharis, its glistening pale-ochreous wings reflecting shimmering blue when in flight. Even more exciting for me however was the appearance of the Swordtail Metalmark Chorinea sylphina, a stunning and most unusual species that I had wanted to see for many years.

Chorinea sylphina, Machu Picchu, Peru  Adrian Hoskins

We had a long railway journey back to Cusco, and were treated to an impromptu show as the train hostess transformed into a fashion model, turned the aisle into a catwalk, and paraded back and forth in various outfits, bringing a smile to the faces of the exhausted travellers, many of who had spent several days on the Inca Trail.

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