If you are looking for wildlife then Peru should be on top of your must see list. With the Amazon Rainforest that is largely untouched and teaming with wildlife the whole area is a nature lovers paradise. Normally when you think of Cusco, you may think of the Inca Ruins of Machu Picchu but there is so much more to the area than you have imagined. You can take Amazon tours from Cusco either by road or air so getting to the jungle is easy.
Not far from Cusco is the Manu National Park, which has been described as the best wildlife destination in the Amazon. Manu Biosphere Reserve has been named a Natural World Heritage Site by UNESCO and is considered the richest natural reserve in the world. The park is located in the departments of Cusco and Madre de Dios on the edges of the Peru Amazon, the park is a protected area featuring some of the best flora and fauna you will see anywhere. With the Peruvian government now taking care of its assets, there are selected areas that tourists can visit and areas off limits and that entry is only permitted for investigation teams. Besides the jungle lodges that offer guided excursions for the tourists there are housing for the scientists that study the jungle.
Some of the wildlife you will see in the Manu Biosphere Reserve is the Woolly Monkey, named for the bushy fur, well known for its ability to swing from tree to tree with its strong tail. Because of its fur, it has been in the past the target of smugglers, but today it is protected and the numbers are growing. Manu is also home to Howler, Spider, Capuchin, Squirrel and Tamarin monkeys. The Howler monkey is well known for its loud voice so you will hear them in the jungle trees.
Not only are there monkeys in the Manu area but also many species of birds including the cock of the rock which is considered by some the be the national bird of Peru. The birds mating ritual is in August and September where you will see the male hopping around fluffing its colorful feathers trying to impress a female or two.
Also close to Cusco is Puerto Maldonado and the Tambopata reserve, the area is on the Madre de Dios River, the river is teaming with aquatic life and the amazing Caiman crocodile. The Tambopata National Reserve, in the Amazon basin close to Bolivia is a great place for spotting black caiman, the largest of the caiman while the smaller more common spectacled caiman is easily spotted on the banks of the river near Puerto Maldonado. The area is also famous for tapirs, capybaras and the occasional jaguar. The Tambopata reserve has over 14500 animal species and around 1800 birds’ species. You can visit these areas on a Peruvian Amazon tour so contact your travel agent for more details.
There are two season in the Peruvian Amazon these are the high water season, December to May and the low water season, June to November. In both seasons, the chances of seeing wildlife are great. Here are a few tips for choosing which season to travel to the Amazon.
- You will see wildlife, birds and plants any time of the year in the Amazon
- There will be rainfall whatever time of year you choose to travel as you are in the jungle.
Therefore, what is the best time to visit the Amazon? According to some, it seems that December to May may be the best choice for seeing wildlife. The rainforest is lushest and the slightly cooler temperatures in these months will aid in your comfort especially on any jungle walks you may take.
Travel by train from Cusco to Machu Picchu and you will find some of the most beautiful scenery anywhere in the world. The wildlife also is in abundance with many different birds to see. Do the Inca trail and you will be pleasantly surprised at the ecosystem of the area. One of the most protected areas in South America the Sanctuary of Machu Picchu has more than 370 different bird species many of which cannot be found anywhere else on the planet. For those of you who prefer animals there are 50 different mammal species found and over 750 known butterfly species. IF you are very lucky then you may see one of the bear species found along the trail, people have been known to see the rare Spectacled Bear, so keep your eyes open while in the area. It is considered good luck if you spot an Andean Condor, so from time to time look skyward, but always remember to watch where you are walking. Look out for the many different humming birds at Machu Picchu; you will see them in abundance at the ruins.
The area between the Sacred Valley and Quillabamba, is considered to be a bird watchers paradise with much bird life to see in the area. Therefore, as you can see on any Cusco Peru Travel tour, wildlife and nature are plentiful. For the nature lovers among you a trip to Cusco Peru will be like no other with varieties of animals like no other on the planet. Book your tour today.