This document, the first of this type, highlights the work of the peasant communities in the upper part of the Vilcanota Mountain Range, where there are remnants of “Queuñales” (Polylepis sp.) forests, distributed from 3,500 to 5,000 meters of altitude, located in many cases at the foot of the snow-capped mountains.
These fragile ecosystems are the habitat of a great diversity of flora and fauna. There are lagoons, wetlands, proper of these ecosystems that provide different ecosystem services, among which we can mention the reduction of the carbon footprint, the reduction of erosion processes, and the balance of water flow during the year, as well as other ecological processes, fundamental for life.
In the upper part of the Vilcanota Mountain Range, there are communities that coexist with the forest and, because of the great importance of these resources, at the initiative of the inhabitants, conservation areas have been created, which are managed and administered by 16 communities, of which there are already 09 Private Conservation Areas, recognized by the Ministry of the Environment.
This guide presents 07 initial routes or vertebrae of multiple routes that can be made in these spectacular Cusco mountains of Vilcanota. Each route has a map that includes distances, services, and communities. In addition, it has introductory texts and photographs that show scenery, people, culture, biodiversity, and strategic conservation areas. We hope that this material can be useful to the visitor and motivate the greater understanding of the processes that are carried out in this area, being tourism a key element.