Peru is a country of great diversity, possessing 87 out of the world’s 104 climate zones, including the world’s most rich oceanic current and most extensive tropical mountains. The country reaches from dry deserts to the second wettest area of the earth, making Peru a natural and nurturing breading place for birds. With over 1,804 registered species (approximately 20% of the world’s total), 300 of which are endemic, the country is home to more bird species than North America and Europe combined, making it an unparalleled paradise for birdwatchers.
Imagine travelling through the land of the Incas with its ancient indigenous cultures and traditions, experiencing the unique fusion cuisine and local folkloric arts and crafts, while enjoying the excellent bird watching opportunities that Peru has to offer along the way.
Highlighted as some of the best places to experience Peru’s rich wildlife of birds are, Machu Picchu, which is one of the areas with the highest concentration of endemic species, Colca Canyon, home to the world’s largest flying bird, the condor with a wingspan of over 3 meters, and last but not least the many protected Peruvian forests and reserves. The reason for these areas’ extraordinary birding conditions is the rich flora and fauna flourishing within them giving the Peruvian government all the more reason to protect and preserve this national treasure of nature. One way of doing this has been to create a network of 67 protected natural areas, 13% of the entire Peruvian territory, sheltered from industrial destruction. This conservation effort has proven highly successful, seeing as many species meant to be extinct, have reappeared in these preserved ecosystems of the national forests. Further proving the success are the protected areas of Manu and Tambopata which are best known for their extraordinary bird watching environment; the former holds the record of most species located in a single place (650) and the latter, the record for most species seen in a single day (361). In the intense and beautiful settings of these jungles you can observe collpas and over 300 macaws in their natural habitat.
When mentioning the best bird watching places in Peru, it is a shame not to mention the northern regions of the country, which offer bird watching environments, unlike any other place in the world. These said regions stretch from the coast with Tumbes, Piura, Lambayeque and La Libertad towards the east and Cajamarca, the Amazon basin, San Martin and of course Loreto. Moreover they all possess an unparalleled biodiversity and if put together under one big region, it would hold over 1600 bird species, which totals 85% of all the 1840 bird species in Peru. And due to the complex combination of different climates and geographical conditions in the north the remarkable diverse fauna includes are more than 75 threatened and near-threatened species endemic to the north. A great example of a bird watching location in the North is the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, located in the before mentioned Loreto region between Lambayeque and Tumbes. This dry equatorial forest is the second largest natural reserve in Peru, making up 6 % of the area of Loreto, with more than 20,000 square kilometers sheltering rich biological diversity, beautiful landscapes and unique ecosystem. The impressive environmental conditions within the reserve have fostered the “Endemic Birds’ Route”, which has turned the protected area into an even more important destination for nature lovers and bird watching enthusiasts in Latin America.
Weather choosing the coast, highlands or jungle as the back-drop for your bird watching activities, you are in for a unique and impressive experience in guaranteed beautiful settings. And with the many choices and excellent bird watching conditions that Peru offers, there is no reason not to head out on an adventure in the Peruvian territory.
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