The Southern Interoceanic Highway is one of the most biodiverse roads in the world. The Survial Highway, as this road is called, crosses several different life zones like the coastal desert, sometimes exclusively composed of sand and dunes as Cerro Blanco, and in others, of huarango trees, thorns and cactus that resist the extreme dryness of the place. In the highland plateaus, however, the wide and horizontal landscapes welcome camelids, vizcachas, a great diversity of birds and vegetation consisting mainly of bunchgrass and shrubs.
The inter-Andean valleys, like Lucanas, Chalhuanca, Curahuasi or Limatambo share both striking similarities and differences. Some, like the first two, are narrow, dry and have rich farmlands. The other two are spacious, green and bright. In the middle of them some snowcapped mountains and hills covered with vegetation appear hovering in the distance. Some, like the Salkantay, are sacred apus in the Andean world, allowing for rich adventurous experiences.
Thus, the Survial Highway crosses several protected areas. On the Pacific coast there is the Reserved Zone of San Fernando that takes care of guanacos and condors. In the highland plateaus we have the National Reserve of Pampa Galeras with the largest population of vicuñas in Peru. And next to Abancay, hovering over the clouds, we can see the National Sanctuary of Ampay, where a rare sort of prehistoric conifer, the intimpa or Podocarpus abound, between deers and spectacled bears.