Mandor: Gardens and waterfall in Machu Picchu

Throughout the geographical area of Machu Picchu, you can find different destinations such as thermal baths. Other destinations, surely more surprising, are found in the depths of the jungle. One way to experience these trails and hopefully encounter the wildlife of Machu Picchu is to hike up to Mandor Falls. The walk to this place is not very complicated and allows a tour of the train tracks. So it can be an excellent option if you decide to do the route through Hidroeléctrica. Let’s learn more about this incredible destination near the district of Machu Picchu Pueblo.

Sign to enter the Mandor Falls and Gardens

How is the geography of Machu Picchu?

The archaeological site of Machu Picchu belongs to a natural reserve area. This entire sector is known as the Machupicchu National Archaeological Park – Machupicchu Historic Sanctuary (SHM – PANM). All this natural area, protected by the Peruvian State, has an average territorial extension of 37,302 hectares. Within this extensive territory, you can find a great diversity of life forms. It also crosses different altitudinal floors that foster more than 13 life zones or ecosystems. That is why you can see a great variety of flora and fauna.

Before moving further away from the destination that motivates us, just mention that the Mandor Falls are located at an altitude of 2040 meters above sea level. That is why it has a semitropical climate. The presence of rain without prior notice and a humid environment are present during almost every day of the year. The rains and therefore a strong amount of mist can be found during January, February, and March. Both the wonder of the world and the district of Aguas Calientes or Machu Picchu present new experiences, precisely because of the presence of these rains and mist.

Mandor Falls, you just have to follow the path on foot to Machu Picchu. But before crossing the bridge to continue with this walk, you must follow the train line path. The walk is quite simple, but yes, a bit long. You must walk for 2 hours until you reach the same falls. Something of 2 kilometers on average. This destination can be visited by those who decide to do the hiking route from Hidroeléctrica since to get to Mandor Falls, you have to take a detour. From this detour, the entire landscape changes considerably because we will enter a private nature reserve that is also known as Los Jardines de Mandor, which is precisely where the waterfall is located.

The Gardens and flora of Mandor

One of the paths through the gardens of Mandor

As we mentioned above, it is possible to reach Mandor Falls after a walk of 2 kilometers or what is equivalent to 2 hours, approximately. Once we pay our entry fee, those in charge of the care and maintenance of this place will open the doors for us. From the entrance to the Mandor Gardens, we will be able to appreciate the great diversity of the flora. Especially due to the presence of large trees, fruit trees, and some small sectors with the planting and exclusive care of orchids. To get to Mandor Falls, you only have to follow the well-signposted path that it has.

To have a proper tour of all the gardens and better appreciate all the flora of this place, it is recommended to walk calmly. On the side of the path, either on the left or on the right, you can find various plants arranged in sectors. The most representative plants have their names and in some cases, a brief description. As we mentioned before, you will be able to appreciate a great variety of plants because it is located in the high jungle. For this reason, it is possible to find some of the endemic varieties of orchids.

This Mandor Garden is also known as a botanical garden. It is that, in the same way, it serves as an area of control and care for other plants. Among these, the fruit trees, some ferns, and even the presence of some fungi stand out. The presence of fungus occurs in some trunks that collapse or are in a state of decomposition. Almost all the flowers and other plants that can be found manage to survive again thanks to the presence of a great variety of birds and insects that are in charge of pollinating and leaving the seed in fertile soil through their eyes or their displays. Here the butterflies will stand out as we will see.

The fauna that can be found on the way to the Mandor waterfalls

The fauna that can be found on the way to Mandor Falls is abundant and at the same time rewarding. Abundant because you can find many species, from insects to some mammals. In addition, colorful birds such as the cock of the rock could not be missing. The great presence of this varied fauna is gratifying, because from this road a protection area is established that allows some endangered species to live freely.

Mandor Falls, various species of hummingbirds or hummingbirds can be found to a great extent and with a lot of patience. Among these would be the giant hummingbird, the long-tailed hummingbird, and the normal hummingbird. One way to see these birds is by looking for plants with abundant flowers. You especially have to look for the kantus or cantuta flowers, which are their favorite plants. Another species that it is possible to appreciate is the watchmaker or Andean momot. A bird with greenish plumage. Although it is not a large bird, it is possible to see it because it is not very shy and is always on the lookout for insects.

Another species of fauna that it is possible to find, but this time going as far as the Urubamba River, are the otters. These small mammals are known by the locals as mayupumas, which are known as otters or “little rivers”. It usually feeds on fish and some small birds. But being a great swimmer, it seems that his favorite food is fish. Another species that can be found, more in the depths of the river, is the presence of larger otters. These animals and others inhabit areas little explored by humans and where they can only be seen with camera traps.

Mandor Waterfalls

Panoramic view of the Mandor waterfalls

The tour of the Mandor Botanical Gardens culminates upon reaching the Mandor Waterfall. This waterfall is one of the most interesting natural attractions to visit on a hiking trail from Aguas Calientes or on the way to this district from Hidroeléctrica. It is a 30-meter-high waterfall. An interesting detail is that the entire garden and the waterfalls themselves are located on the slopes of the Huayna Picchu mountain, so that, during the tour, it is possible to appreciate the entire altitude of said mountain.

Although the falls are the main attraction of these gardens. It is impossible not to take a proper walk through the gardens, with the necessary calm to also appreciate the wildlife of the place. All this route and the maintenance of the tracks and the plants themselves are due in large part to a group of volunteers from different countries. This project began in 1998, thanks to the goodwill of Nelly Alagón, who founded this project under the name of “Jardines de Mandor “. Together with a group of volunteers and relatives, she was in charge of creating the route or path to the waterfall.

If you want to experience the peacefulness and tranquility of nature, we recommend you consider this tour. During the walk through the gardens you will be able to hear the song of some birds, the slight whisper of the wind in the leaves of the different plants and flowers that decorate the entire garden. The entire Machu Picchu Nature Reserve is home to 400 types of orchids, all of them of different shapes and colors. The entire Machu Picchu Nature Reserve is home to 400 types of orchids, all of them of different shapes and colors.

Suggestions to get to Mandor Waterfalls

  • To make the walk to Mandor Falls, it will be necessary to wear comfortable shoes.
  • The entrance to the Falls and Gardens of Mandor, has a price of 5 to 10 soles.
  • The cost of 5 soles is for national tourists.
  • The cost of 10 soles is for foreign tourists.
  • You can wear comfortable clothes, preferably baggy.
  • Mosquito repellent and sunscreen.
  • You can request the camping area (but it has a higher cost).
  • If you are going to bathe in the falls, bring a towel and a change of clothes.
  • Remember that the route is easy to do, but it is always necessary to carry a hydrating drink.
  • It is also prohibited to damage or uproot the plants or illegal hunting attempts.


By Imachupicchu – Last updated, August 28, 2023

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