Peru is one of the richest countries in the world when it comes to Mother Nature’s unspoiled sceneries and rich diverse wildlife which is why it has been declared amongst the top 10 “megadiverse” countries in the world. Supporting this statement is the fact that the Andes divide Peru into 3 distinct geographic regions, the dry desert coast, the snow-covered highlands and the tropical jungle in the Amazon, all of which offer greatly varying climates and ecological sectors that put together make up 10 percent of the world’s flora and fauna.
Hence therefore Peru is home to several hundred different plant and animal species that are unknown to the rest of the world. What is more is that 50 percent of the Peruvian territory is made up by forested land (69 million hectares) out of which 80 percent has been classified as primary forest counting rainforests, pine forests, dry forests and even a rock forest, all of which nurture their own distinctive flora and fauna. The selection of Peruvian National forests is wide and they all make ideal and interesting holiday destinations, perfect for bird watching, fishing and exploration of nature and its adjoining wild life. Five of these forests are highlighted below as some of the best in Peru and a must see for any nature loving soul.
The first forest to begin an adventurous vacation in is the Manu National Park which was founded in 1973 and belongs to the districts of Madre de Dios and Cusco. Manu covers a protected area of 2 million hectares and surrounds the Manu Biosphere Reserve, making it the largest natural reserve in Peru. The large territory of Manu is like Peru divided into 3 different sections; tropical lowland rainforest, tropical mountain rainforest and puna vegetation (grasslands) causing vegetation to differ greatly within the Park. Furthermore Manu is located in the western part of the Amazon, near the foot of the Andes where the rainforest’s flora and fauna density is the highest and the most diversified in the world. Therefore Manu National Park is home to an amazing wildlife counting more than 200 different mammals, 12 species of monkeys, more than 15,000 species of flowering plants, and over a thousand different bird species setting the perfect conditions for a different and interesting vacation of bird watching or jungle exploration.
Another potential holiday destination is the Pomac Forest Historical Sanctuary located in Batàn Grande in the Lambayeque region of northern Peru, which recently celebrated its 10th anniversary. Pomac is unlike Manu and is a dry forest and it is home to the Sican Archeological Project which protects the pre-Inca pyramids constructed by the Sicàn culture which once inhabited the territory. Additionally the forest around the archeological ruins possess a very diversified flora and fauna with ancient carob trees and thousands of bird species which has influenced the Ministry of Foreign Trade to include the Pomac Sanctuary in the “Bird Route of Northern Peru” – a project initiated this year. This new tourist attraction project together with the plans of an onsite museum covering the Sicàn culture is expected to add to last year’s growing number of visitors which totaled at 19,305 domestic and foreign tourists.
For a different experience visit the Stone Forest Huayllay, which in reality is not a real forest but merely resembles one with its 20 meter plus high rock formations spread out over around 6817 hectares. It is located near the city of Huayllay in the Andes at approximately 4310 meters (14 140 feet) above sea level. The unique stone creations displayed in the Park originate from the Cenozoic age when the area was part of the ocean floor, over 70 million years ago. Since then the rain and the wind have shaped the over 4000 remarkable stone formations turning Huayllay Stone Forest into the largest natural geological museum in the world. The peculiar rock pillars resemble humans, faces, beasts, towers, sphinxes and animals such as elephants and dinosaurs amongst other things, creating a perfect environment for creativity and adventure.
A great place for an active camping trip is the Pine Forest and the Porcón Farm in Cajamarca which is an Evangelic community that runs the Atahualpa Jerusalén Cooperative, Porcón Farm. The farm covers 10966 hectares and it is home to approximately 1200 inhabitants who run an agricultural forestry and dairy production plan which invites visitors to participate in the local community work alongside with them. There are also possibilities to go horseback riding through the beautiful pine tree covered area or go fishing for trout.
For a more traditional rainforest experience, The Pacaya Samiria National Reserve with its recently celebrated 41st anniversary as a protected National Area sheltering its rich biodiversity, beautiful landscapes, unique ecosystems as well as the indigenous communities living within its borders, is an excellent choice. Moreover it is the second largest reserve in Peru with more than 20,000 square kilometers which makes up 6 % of the entire Loreto region, the area in which the reserve presides. The main focus of Pacaya Samiria Reserve is to conserve the astonishingly beautiful protected area and secure its proper development thus making it a very important destination for nature lovers and bird watching enthusiasts in Latin America.
With this amazing selection there is no reason not to grab your binoculars and your trekking boots and head out on an adventure in one of the incredible Peruvian forests. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a great offer or tailor your own trip fitting your specific personal needs and preferences.