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Tingo Maria National Park: places to visit in this paradise of the Peruvian jungle

Home / Travel Blog / Tingo Maria National Park: places to visit in this paradise of the Peruvian jungle
Tingo Maria National Park: places to visit in this paradise of the Peruvian jungle

Today the Tingo María National Park celebrates its 57 anniversary as a natural area protected by the State. Located 12 hours by land from Lima, this branch of Eden immediately captures attention for hosting a beautiful mountain range known as the “Sleeping Beauty”, which resembles the silhouette of a young maiden who rests looking at the sky.

 

The Tingo María National Park was created as a natural area protected by the State on May 14, 1965, with the aim of conserving the exceptional wild flora and fauna that it houses, as well as to guarantee the socio-economic development of the surrounding populations and promote the local tourism. It is the second protected natural area established in our country.

 

This protected natural area, which has an extension of 4,777 hectares, is located in the High Jungle or Peruvian Yunga ecoregion, in the district of Mariano Dámaso Beraún, province of Leoncio Prado, department of Huánuco.

 

The park protects the source of the Tres de Mayo, Oro and Quinceañera rivers, which makes it possible to maintain ecosystem services related to water supply, pollination, landscape beauty, tourism and recreation.

 

Biodiversity

The Tingo María National Park has an exceptional biodiversity that, in the case of wildlife, has as important exponents the cock-of-the-rock, an emblematic Amazonian bird of Peru.

 

It is also home to various species of parrots, guácharos, woodpeckers, toucans, among other birds. The most important places to observe birds are the tourist sectors Tres de Mayo, the Cueva de las Lechuzas and Quinceañera.

 

Among the mammals, the presence of the puma, the jaguar or otorongo, the ocelot, the aquatic opossum, the margay, the capybara, the otter, the peccary, the puffin and the common pichico is reported. In addition, there is a variety of reptiles, some of which are native such as the Enyalioides feiruzae, a new species of lizard discovered in 2021, in an area near the Tres de Mayo peasant community inside the Tingo María National Park.

 

A large number of butterflies have also been recorded in the Tingo María National Park, reporting approximately 320 species, highlighting the butterflies of the Morpho genus.

 

The flora present is typical of the high jungle. In the high parts (1,800 m.a.s.l.) of the protected area, the vegetation is dense, with diverse thickets loaded with mosses, lichens, bromeliads, and other epiphytes that cover the rocky outcrops.

 

As you go down in altitude (700 m.a.s.l.), the forest becomes higher, appearing tree ferns, which share the space with tree species of the families Lauraceae, Clusiaseae and Rubiaceae, and associated with these are numerous species of orchids.

 

On the lower slopes of the mountains, the forest is even higher and trees from families such as Meliaceae, Lauraceae, Myristicaceae, Moraceae, among others, are common. The best known species are the cumala, the white requia, the moena and the sapotillo.

 

Tourism Sectors

The Tingo María National Park has three established tourist sectors:

 

Owl Cave

It is the main tourist sector of the Tingo María National Park and is located 7 kilometers from the city of Tingo María, accessed through the highway towards the town of Monzón. On the tour we can be dazzled by the enigmatic rock formations, caves, galleries and the various freshwater streams on relaxing walks under an intense blue tropical sky and the captivating greenery of the Amazon forests.

 

Inside this impressive cavern we find large rocky protuberances known as stalactites, stalagmites, mantles and columns, formed over thousands of years by the action of humidity and wind. It also houses fauna in which an important colony of guacharos, bats, insects, porcupine, among others, stands out.

 

In this attraction, ideal for ecotourism, activities such as bird watching and other species of fauna and flora in general are allowed. It has tourist orientation services, photographic takings, toilets, handicraft shops, restaurants, a picnic and camping area, as well as a recreational area in the Cueva River spa. The entrance hours are from 8:00 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.

 

Third of May

It is located south of the Tingo María National Park, 14 kilometers from the city of Tingo María, on the section of the road to Huánuco, a 20-minute drive. This place is accessed through a suspension bridge over the Huallaga River in the Tambillo Chico hamlet.

 

At the beginning of the tour you can see an orchid garden, a butterfly garden, birds, medicinal, forest and ornamental plants. You can also see beautiful waterfalls of three falls of crystal clear waters such as Gloriapata, Sol Naciente and Salto del Ángel.

 

The permitted activities are bird watching, flora and fauna in general, hiking, community tourism and recreational activities in the falls. It has tourist orientation services, lodging, kiosks and restaurants. Check-in time is from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

 

Quinceanera

Located 7 kilometers from the city of Tingo María, on the section of the road to Huánuco, it is a life zone of the tropical premontane humid forest, surrounded by exuberant vegetation. This attraction is accessed through the crossing in a huaro over the Huallaga River, and after a 1-kilometer walk you will reach the Quinceañera waterfall, where you can enjoy a 43-meter-high waterfall.

 

In this attraction you can perform activities such as bird watching, flora and fauna in general, hiking and recreational activities. It has tourist orientation services, kiosks selling snacks and drinks, and a transportation service in Huaro. Check-in time is from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

 

Safe Travels

In May 2021, the Tingo María National Park received the international Safe Travels seal from the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism (Mincetur), which accredits it as a safe attraction against covid-19 for national and international tourism.

 

Likewise, this recognition will help to position this important attraction within the framework of the reactivation of the tourism sector.

 

Sustainable Destination

The Tingo María National Park was recognized by the international organization Green Destinations, in October 2021, as one of the nine destinations in Peru and one of the 100 most sustainable on an international scale on the planet. It is a global recognition that distinguishes the most respectful tourist places with the ecosystem and a minimum impact on the environment and local culture.

 

With this world distinction, the Tingo María National Park and the other eight sustainable destinations have important promotion opportunities regarding the use of the "Top 100" logo in their social networks and on their web pages, as well as being included in the recognized world web of travel Good Travel Guide.

 

In March 2022, during the ITB Berlin, the leading trade fair for the world tourism industry, the Tingo María National Park and the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve were highlighted as the most inspiring and innovative good practice stories of sustainable destinations from around the world in the categories Decarbonization of the supply chain (Tingo María National Park) and Nature and ecotourism (Pacaya Samiria National Reserve).

 

Celebratory Activities

The program of activities to celebrate the 57th anniversary of the creation of the Tingo María National Park includes a day to collect solid waste in the vicinity of the Cueva de las Lechuzas, to be held today, May 12.

 

The forum called "Biodiversity and tourism in the Tingo María National Park" is scheduled for Friday, May 13, to be held in the main hall of the Universidad Nacional Agraria de la Selva, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

 

For Saturday the 14th, the central day of the anniversary, the Global Big Day 2022 will take place, from 5:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the Cueva de las Lechuzas and Tres de Mayo tourist sectors of the Tingo María National Park. Then, the gastronomic contest "The flavors of Sleeping Beauty" will take place in the Cueva de las Lechuzas sector, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.

 

Places to visit in the Tingo María National Park

Surrounded by the natural beauty of our jungle is one of the most beautiful parks in our Peru: the Tingo María National Park, located in the Huallaga Valley, in the department of Huánuco.

 

Sleeping Beauty

An iconic figure of Tingo María is that of "Sleeping Beauty" which is nothing less than a large mountain behind the city and has the curious silhouette of a woman lying looking up at the sky, that is why it is known as "The city of sleeping beauty." Don't hesitate to take photos of this amazing view! In this mountain of thick and bright Amazonian green, we can find some of the most characteristic places of this region, such as the Cueva de las Lechuzas.

 

The Cave of Owls

The famous Cueva de las Lechuzas is located on the slopes of the beautiful chain of mountains called “La bella durmiente”, due to the silhouette that forms a sleeping woman and that you can see as soon as you arrive in the city of Tingo María. It is known that this cave extends 400 meters into the mountains, but it has never been fully explored, so its real extent and whether there are other entrances or exits to it are still a mystery. The tourist route is marked by a path, so that it gives us the unique opportunity to enter this dark crevice inhabited by thousands of guácharos, a bird very similar to owls -hence the name of the place- as well as bats and other birds. and insects that rest and feed there.

 

But what attracts the most attention are the capricious stone shapes that, thanks to water and time, have formed inside, such as stalactites and stalagmites of different sizes and shapes. After the walk, you can refresh yourself with water from the spring that is located in the vicinity of the cave. Pure water that will make you feel like new! Finally, don't miss going through the cave during sunset to see a beautiful spectacle: when hundreds of guácharos leave the cave towards the forest in search of food in the trees, forming a colorful and bustling postcard.

 

The Sulphurous Waters

It is a turquoise lagoon that is born from a fissure in a giant rock on the slopes of Cerro Cotomono, just seven minutes from the city. Its waters have a high concentration of sulfur and have an average temperature of 18 ºC. This is why healing properties are attributed to it, especially for skin diseases. If you come here, prepare your swimwear and enjoy these waters surrounded by the dense jungle vegetation of Tingo María.

 

Santa Carmen and Gloriapata Waterfalls

If you are looking to cool off, you can go to one of the many waterfalls that Tingo María has. The Gloriapata waterfall is a 25-meter-high waterfall that ends in a crystal-clear pool where visitors can bathe in peace. The course of the waterfall then allows a second drop to form, only four meters high. The waterfall is surrounded by thick vegetation that gives it a special charm due to the diversity of orchids, trees and medicinal plants that can be found there, and in addition, you can see a diversity of insects and birds. As data we tell you that after 4:00 pm. you will be able to see the flight of the macaws or spot Gallitos de las Rocas. To get to Gloriapata it is necessary to take a walk of approx. 3 km where you must cross the hanging bridge of Tambillo Grande, a long and beautiful bridge that gives you a panoramic view of the vegetation.

 

On the other hand, the Santa Carmen waterfall is another beautiful waterfall of 30 meters, distributed in three descents, but when it flows out, the water forms a natural pool approximately two meters deep. As well as Gloriapata, it is surrounded by a green setting typical of the Peruvian jungle and here you can also take a refreshing dip. In addition, in this waterfall you can practice adventure sports such as caving in the caves that are around it or -depending on the time of year- trekking, canopy, rock climbing, among others. An unforgettable experience awaits you at these beautiful waterfalls!

 

Jacintillo Lookout

And if you want a panoramic view of Tingo María, there is a place specially designed to show you the greatness of this beautiful destination. The Jacintillo viewpoint is a place located in the Rupa-Rupa district in the province of Leoncio Prado, and it has this name because it is located on top of the Jacintillo hill, a plain that rises 772 meters above sea level. The view that you will get from here will leave you impressed because you will be able to see the Huallaga valley as well as the river of the same name in its entirety, the green flora of the jungle and the contrast with the city of Tingo María. If you come here, you can't forget to bring your camera and take amazing photos!

 

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