Cochahuasi Animal Sanctuary (Santuario Animal de Cochahuasi)
Many of the wild species that the sanctuary shelters are endangered or at risk, such as the Andean condor, which receives special attention. Via enthusiastic volunteers, the sanctuary educates visitors on the factors that caused near-extinction of these mighty scavengers, among the largest flying birds in the world: They are often hunted for their feathers, which are sold to tourists as souvenirs. Visitors learn about the sanctuary’s plans to implement a captive-breeding program (later releasing the birds into the wild) that can help avoid the bird’s extinction. A highlight of the tour is watching these giant birds, with 10-foot (3-meter) wing spans, fly around their enclosures.
Things to Know Before You Go
Cochahuasi Animal Sanctuary is a must-visit for wildlife lovers.
As the sanctuary is focused on short-term care, the animals present at any given time vary.
It is advisable to wear comfortable walking shoes when visiting.
How to Get There
Cochahuasi Animal Sanctuary is located in southern Peru’s Sacred Valley, a 20-minute drive from the city of Pisac. The sanctuary arranges shared and private (up to 10 passengers) round-trip transfers from Cusco, around a 40-minute drive away. Transfer tickets include entrance to and a guided tour of the sanctuary.
When to Get There
The sanctuary is open every day and runs two shared bus trips per day: one in the morning and one in the afternoon. If you are booking a private transfer or making other travel arrangements, you can visit any time—the sanctuary is usually open from morning through early evening.
The animal sanctuary is dependent upon the generosity of the volunteers who staff it. If you have a bit of spare time while visiting the area, you can contact them to ask how you can help. The sanctuary prefers potential volunteers to be able to spend at least three days on-site.
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