Imagine an extensive area of almost 6,000 hectares, completely surrounded by the largest and densest formation of carob trees on the planet. And that this same territory is guarded by 36 pyramids - whose exact purpose is not yet known - that belonged to a millenary civilization. Animals that live in harmony with nature, which are the owners of the beautiful landscapes that can be seen in this area as beautiful as it is calm; as pure as enigmatic.
No, this is not the description of a paradise worthy of a science fiction book. You're not reading the synopsis of a million-dollar animated production either. The mention is about the Pómac Forest Historical Sanctuary, an area protected by the Peruvian State that is located in the province of Ferreñafe, which belongs to the Lambayeque region, in northern Peru.
This sanctuary houses an archaeological heritage of great importance, since the 36 pyramids found throughout the territory of the Batán Grande archaeological zone belonged to the Sicán or Lambayeque culture, which were among the most powerful civilizations in this area of Peru. Inside the pyramids, they have found various pieces made of gold that are linked to the legends of Naylamp, the priestess of Chornancap, the Lord of Sicán and the iconic Tumi de Oro.
That the main objective of the people who take care of this sanctuary is to preserve the landscape and natural wealth, speaks very well of what you can find in the Pómac Forests. Its extensive biodiversity -with more than 95 different species of birds, many of them endemic- and the dry forest ecosystem that you can find inside, make it the ideal place to preserve carob trees en masse, a tree of the legume family.
That is why biology lovers and tourists attached to bird watching choose the Pómac Forest as one of the favorite places to visit Peru. However, it is not necessary to be an expert in the field to appreciate the surroundings of this sanctuary, which is home to unique species such as the Peruvian branch cutter, the Tumbes swallow, the wild cat or the rice mouse, among others.
The fauna of the Pómac Forest Historic Sanctuary is typical and representative of the dry equatorial lowland forests dominated by carob trees on the north coast of Peru.
To date, 89 species of birds have been recorded, 16 of which are endemic to the so-called Tumbesian Endemic Region and 5 to Peru. Two that are not found in any other protected area, and are highly valued by bird watchers, are the endangered Peruvian Plantcutter (Phytotoma raimondii) and the Tumbes Swallow (Tachycineta stolzmanni), very rare in dry forests. Also highlighting the rufous tufted tuft (Myiarchus semirufus), another very rare species from the Peruvian coast, and the bandurria (Theristicus melanopis), rarely seen in the carob groves.
Also present are the coastal amazilia (Amazilia amazilia), the huerequeque (Burhinus superciliaris), the chilalo (Furnarius cinnamomeus), the magpie (Cyanocorax mystacalis), the cinereo finch or mote-billed finch (Piezorhina cinerea), the sandbank owl (Athene cunicularia), the Lineated Woodpecker (Dryocopus lineatus), the Cinnamon Sparrowhawk (Parabuteo unicinctus), the Chiroque (Icterus graceannae), the Chivillo Thrush (Dives warszewiczi), the Putilla (Pyrocephalus rubinus), the Rice-eater (Sicalis flaveola), the nightingale (Thryothorus superciliaris), and the carter.
Among the mammals, the presence of the wild cat (Leopardus colocolo) and the endemic species of Peru, the rice mouse (Oligoryzomys arenalis) stand out. Among the reptiles are the rattlesnake or sancarranca (Bothrops barnetti) and the macanche (Boa constrictor ortoni).
The main plant species are the carob tree (Prosopis pallida), the faique (Acacia macracantha), the sapote (Capparis angulata) and the angolo (Pithecellobium multiflorum).
Northeast route: It is the main and most frequent access route. From the city of Chiclayo, you pass through the Province of Ferreñafe and the District of Pítipo, until you reach the sector called La Curva. This route leads to the Interpretation Center of the Sanctuary. The approximate distance is 41 km in a time of 45 minutes.
West Route: From the city of Chiclayo you can enter through the District of Íllimo. It is about 40 km and 40 minutes, arriving at the checkpoint of the Íllimo lock.
In times of rain (January - March), to visit the Sicán site, it is recommended to enter through the Poma III gate, which is reached by taking the detour of the old Panamericana at the height of the Machuca Bridge, south of Pacora, with direction to Huaca Rivera and Poma III.
The climate is dry, warm and sunny most of the year. The rainy season occurs between December and May. It rains especially in the highlands and sporadically in the forest area, however the La Leche river increases its flow considerably, literally dividing the forest in two.
The warmest season is from December to May. The maximum temperatures in February and March are 33° C on average, and can reach a maximum of 36° C. The lowest is recorded between July and August, with 11° C on average.
Getting to the Pómac Forest no longer means a challenge: there are quite friendly routes, which make the trip pleasant. The first thing you should do is get to the Lambayeque region. There are flights from Lima, the capital of Peru, that only take approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.
From the center of Chiclayo (the capital city of Lambayeque) to the Pómac Forest, it is only necessary to make a route by car (through the province of Ferreñafe and the district of Pitipo) with a journey of around 1 hour and 20 minutes. Once you arrive at this sanctuary, you only have to prepare your photographic equipment to immortalize the unique moments that you will live and enjoy the wonderful experience.
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