Paradise blessed with the greatest biodiversity in the world, inhabited by native communities that still keep alive their ancestral traditions and live in harmony with nature. This fascinating destination is surrounded by beautiful landscapes and exotic animals in the Peruvian Amazon. Becoming an ideal place for those who love nature and like an experiential tourism when visit Cusco.
Its territory is one of the largest biological protection zones on the planet. Coveted in the past by the tappers and revered by Indians who populate its limits, the Manu National Park is a huge natural laboratory for researchers, and paradise for those seeking to decipher the great mystery of the jungle.
To visit the Manu Peru is to encounter life in its purest form. Life that flows, that pulsates towards the outside without obstacles and is visible in each tree, in the rivers, in the leaves, and in its inhabitants. The Manu National Park was established in 1973 and covers a total of 1,881,200 ha. Located between the departments of Madre de Dios and Cusco, to ensure protection as diverse as the puna areas over 4,000 meters above sea level, the humid forest, and the Amazonian plains. The Park is divided into three areas: a Core Zone, which is an intangible territory; a Reserved Zone or buffer zone, which serves to conduct controlled tourism activities and is the site of all investigations; and a Cultural Zone, which are public lands, where there is a stable human population.
The Manu National Park is located in the provinces of Paucartambo in Cusco and Manú in Madre de Dios. Its extension is 1716295.22 hectares. Its establishment seeks to protect a representative sample of the biological diversity, as well as the landscapes of the low jungle, the jungle edge and the Andes of the Peruvian south-east. Likewise, it aims to promote visit Peru based on ecological and culturally compatible criteria.
On the other hand, the Manu National Park also seeks to promote and facilitate research, education and recreation, as well as contribute to the preservation of archaeological heritage. Their presence contributes to the recognition and protection of cultural diversity, as well as to the self-determination of the indigenous peoples of the area.
The Manu National Park protects one of the most important areas of the planet in terms of the mega diversity of biological species. Its great extension crosses frigid punas - that surpass the 4,000 m.s.n.m-; wild forested mountains that give rise to a multitude of small gorges and valleys; cloud forests of high forest and finally the Amazon plain. This magnificent and unique scenario includes a wide and complex hydrographic system and guarantees the presence of a diversity of ecosystems little intervention by man.
In these circumstances the biological diversity that houses the Manu National Park is manifested in its full potential in a unique landscape on the planet. The tropical forests of the Manu have allowed ecological and evolutionary processes to be carried out almost without the presence of man, however, in the area there is also an enormous cultural wealth, represented by the current indigenous populations at different levels of contact with the outside, and an archaeological heritage not yet revealed in all its magnitude.
Since 1977 the Manu National Park holds the status of a Biosphere Reserve, which was awarded by UNESCO. On its borders is the Territorial Reserve of the Kugapakori and Nahua ethnic groups, the Megantoni National Sanctuary and the Amarakaeri Communal Reserve. At the same time, in 1987 it was declared a Natural Heritage of Humanity.
Much of the Manu National Park is indigenous territory. The communities of the Yora, Mashko-Piro, Matsiguenka, Harakmbut, Wachipaeri and Yine inhabit ancestrally between the forests and rivers of these jungles. The native communities of Tayakome and Yomibato are recognized within the area. Both are located in the upper area of the Manu River. In the southwest sector there is an association of farmers known as Callanga. In addition, in the northwest sector adjacent to Manu National Park (and inland) there is an undetermined number of indigenous populations in voluntary isolation.
Your visit is highly recommended, if not mandatory.
The Manu National Park is home to a large number of wildlife species. It has registered about 160 species of mammals, more than 1,000 species of birds (mostly residents), about 140 species of amphibians, 50 species of snakes, 40 of lizards, 6 of turtles, 3 of alligators and 210 of fish.
Among the large mammals are the otorongo (Panthera onca), the black tiger (Felis yagouaroundi), the sachavaca (Tapirus terrestris), the huangana (Tayassu pecari), the sajino (Tayassu tajacu), the deer (Mazama americana), the deer ash (Odocoileus virginianus), the river wolf (Pteronura brasiliensis), the ronsoco (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris), the monkey boar (Alouatta seniculus), the black maquisapa (Ateles paniscus), woolly monkey (Lagothrix lagotricha), the white machin monkey ( Cebus albifrons) and the black machin monkey (Cebus apella).
On the other hand, the number of insects in the Manu National Park is very high. It is estimated that there are about 30 million species. At the same time, more than 1,300 species of butterflies, 136 of dragonflies, at least 300 of ants (more than 40 species were found in a single tree) and more than 650 of beetles have been recorded.
As regards the flora of Manu National Park, the number of plant species is very high. The various registers indicate that there are at least 162 families, 1,191 genera and 4,385 species identified. In a single hectare, up to 250 varieties of trees were found. The forests of aguajales are one of the most outstanding ecosystems, where the palms of aguaje (Mauritia flexuosa) and huasaí (Euterpe precatoria) are the dominant ones. They develop over areas that are almost permanently flooded, especially on the right bank of the Manu River.
It also highlights the presence of the cedar (Cedrela sp.), The cético (Cecropia sp.), The screw (Cedrelinga catenaeformis), the chestnut (Bertholletia excelsa), the lupuna (Chorisia sp.) And the jebe (Hevea brasiliensis).
The climatic conditions of the Manu National Park are highly variable. The climate is generally very rainy and the rainfall varies according to the altitude. In the southern zone (which is the highest) is recorded from 1,500 to 2,000 mm per year. In the middle sector it increases from 3,000 to 3,500 mm. The highest record is reached in the northwest sector with more than 8,000 mm.
In the dry season, from May to September, rainfall decreases and the temperature decreases. The thermal regime is also very variable, since the Amazon area is warm, with an average annual temperature of 25.6 ° C, and the Andean zone is cold with an average annual temperature of 8 ° C.
In the lower basin of the Manu River you can appreciate the exuberance of the Amazonian plain. Five zones have been allocated for the visit, where a high diversity of flora and fauna is concentrated, these are: Salvador, Otorongo, Juárez (these three are cochas), Pakitza and Limonal. In these areas there is a wide variety of Peru Amazon tours to appreciate the beauty of the rainforest. Also noteworthy are the horseshoe lakes or lakes where it is possible to observe species that have disappeared in other ecosystems, such as the river wolf and the black lizard. Another attraction is the forests on both banks of the Manu River, where it is not only possible to observe a great variety of flora, but numerous associated fauna. A landmark of attraction are the colpas, where many species of fauna flock. The aguajales also enable the concentration of typical fauna, such as the macaws.
The Manu National Park has one of the most renowned research centers for the tropics: the biological station of Cocha Cashu. Likewise, in the lower basin of the Manu River there are five camping areas, three lookouts or breakwaters, three shelters for cession of use, a metal tower 18 m high in Otorongo lake and a raised path with platform in the Limonal sector.
In addition, you can visit the Interpretation Center located at the El Limonal surveillance post.
The Tres Cruces viewpoint, at the southern end of the Park, allows you to appreciate spectacular sunrises over 3,600 meters above the Amazonian plain. Through an optical phenomenon -especially between May and August, when the sky is clear- one gets the impression that the sun appears twice in the same dawn. In addition you can see two opposite panoramic views: the mountainous area to the south and the impenetrable cloudy forest to the north.
Most tourist agencies in the city of Cusco contemplate a two-day tour to Paucartambo. The Manu tours from Cusco begins at the first hour, starting with a private mobility to Paucartambo, but not before visiting the archaeological complexes and pre-Inca chullpas in Ninamarca. Already in the district, you can appreciate the temple of the Virgen del Carmen or the museum of typical dances. The trip to the Mirador de las Tres Cruces takes place during the night, with a short trekking route to this place