The lung of the planet extends through most of South America. Covering with its great green cloak a large part of various countries. Among all these countries, Peru is fortunate to occupy a part of this beautiful and unique green mantle. While Machu Picchu is considered the jewel of the Inca Empire, Manu National Park could be considered the cherry of the dessert in matters of the jungle and wild nature. It is a remote place and isolated from the biggest places in the cities. This beautiful park is one of the last bastions of this fragile ecosystem that is continuously attacked by companies. That is why together with Machu Travel Peru we have prepared a small article about the Manu National Park in the Amazon Jungle in Peru.
Everything you need to know about the Manu National Park
- Where is located?
- What is the Manu National Park?
- When to visit the park
- What to do within the Manu National Park
- Areas of the Park
- Alternative places
WHERE IS LOCATED?
The Manu national park in the Amazon jungle in Peru is located in the southeast of Peru, in the department of Madre de Dios, very close to Cusco. If you are in the surroundings of Cusco you can take the opportunity to enter one of the most amazing sectors within all of Peru.
One of the dreams of every traveler is to be able to enter the Amazon and see the varied biological diversity that is within it. Manu National Park is one of the most conserved sectors within the Peruvian Amazon. The Manu National Park is not the only sector protected from external influences, there are other wonderful places in the Peruvian Amazon to explore, such as the Tambopata National Reserve that borders Bolivia or even the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve in the north of the country.
WHAT IS THE MANU NATIONAL PARK?
The Manu National park in the Amazon jungle in Peru was created in 1973 and is composed of up to 2 million hectares. Thanks to its high biological diversity, it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1987 and a Biosphere Reserve in 1977.
This incredible reserve is made up of numerous landscapes. It begins by bordering the Andes mountains and extends to almost 4,000 meters above sea level and descends to 300 meters in the Amazon basin. It even goes through the cloud forest that is about 2,000 meters high. To be specific, it is one of the few parks on the continent that has the entire spectrum of ecosystems in the Amazon. Tropical forests, cloud forests, and the snowy Andes make up this incredible reserve within the Peru Amazon.
WHEN TO VISIT THE PARK
Normally, the Manu National Park in the Amazon jungle in Peru can be visited throughout the year. But it is recommended to visit most of the attractions in the dry season (May to September) Although inside the Amazon it is not usually completely dry because occasional rains occur, keep in mind that, in the Amazon, it usually rains throughout the entire year, even in the dry season. Inside the jungle, it is usually very humid and the heat can be unbearable. Even mosquitoes and other insects can be very annoying. Although the Reserve is a visual paradise, you must have good gear and certain clothes. That is why it is convenient to know what to pack for a tropical holiday.
AREAS OF THE PARK
The Manu National Park is divided into three main areas. These are known as the Manu Reserved Zone, the Manu Cultural Zone, and the Restricted Zone. Please note that depending on the tour you want to enjoy, it will be necessary to book your tour months in advance.
- Manu Reserved Zone: Visitors who seek to visit this area can only do so with a few tourist companies suitable to operate in the area. It is advisable to book a few months in advance if you want to know this area. If you plan to enjoy one of the many Machu Picchu and Amazon tours you will surely be visiting this area.
- Manu Cultural Zone: Access to the cultural zone can be independently, but it is always advisable to do it together with an experienced certified company. Inside you will have the opportunity to meet various local indigenous communities that are willing to receive tourists. If you were thinking of experiencing experiential tourism, this is a great opportunity to do so.
- Restricted Zone: The restricted zone is, as its name mentions, limited to the passage of local or foreign tourists. It is made up of large sections of the virgin jungle that are home to numerous indigenous tribes isolated from the outside world. The passage to this place is totally prohibited.
As you will see, the Manu National Park in the Amazon jungle in Peru is a place worth knowing. You will have many landscapes and wildlife to take photos and observe. You can’t miss this beautiful destination
WHAT TO DO WITHIN THE MANU NATIONAL PARK
After you decide to travel to Tambopata, it is a good idea to visit Manu Park. The great extension of the Manu National Park gives a great variety of options to enjoy. Among the wide range of activities, we can find the following.
- Photograph the cock of the rocks bird: If the birds in Tambopata weren’t enough, take a trip to Manu Park. The Cock of the Rocks is the national bird of Peru. It is known for having bright red color and a rather ostentatious courtship dance. A trip to the Park is the perfect opportunity to spot these bird specimens. If you are lucky, you will be able to appreciate the elaborate dances they perform in an attempt to attract a mate.
- Look at the macaws in clay licks: Any visit to the Manu National Park has to include a tour of the macaw salt licks. It is here that hundreds of brightly colored birds gather to obtain necessary minerals and salts in their diet. It is one of the best experiences available within the jungle. Anyone with an interest in birds will be fascinated.
- Enjoy a night walk: Being able to experience a mysterious walk through the jungle after dark offers a unique opportunity. You will have the opportunity to see nocturnal animals that are not usually active during the day. Among the different animals that you can see, you will find amphibians and exotic insects that only a night walk offers.
- Visit Lake Salvador: Within the depths of the Reserved Zone and quite far from civilization, is Lake Salvador. The experience may not compare to that of Sandoval Lake, but you will find an abundance of wildlife around. You will have the possibility of spotting monkeys, alligators, capybaras, and river turtles among other specimens.
- Visit local communities: Some of the most important settlements in the Cultural Zone have options to receive tourists. One of the best things to do in the jungle is to meet the different indigenous peoples that inhabit the area. You will have the opportunity to learn about the traditional ways of life of the communities. The option to visit local communities is included in very few tours in Peru. So it is an opportunity that you cannot miss.
- Take a canopy hike: If you are looking to see the jungle from a different perspective, then you have to try canopy walks. Being able to climb the treetops and enjoy the walks is an unparalleled experience. When it comes to the rainforest, a lot of the action happens above ground. And so a walk through the canopy gives tourists a deeper understanding of life in the jungle.
Within the many Peruvian Amazon tours, you will be able to know much more than the Manu National Park. If you want to enjoy other places, you can go to Iquitos on a wonderful combined tour. Although they are in quite remote places, they make up the essence of the tourist places of the Peruvian Amazon. Near Iquitos, you can visit the well-known Tambopata National Reserve and stay in a wonderful Tambopata lodge where you can live the best experiences with your family or partner. But if you are looking for other more luxurious and exclusive options, near Iquitos you can enjoy a luxurious cruise on the Amazon River. This experience is one of the most incredible in Peru. You will have the opportunity to know one of the most virgin and untouchable areas of the jungle along with the comforts of a 5-star hotel.
“MY FAVORITE THING TO DO IS GO WHERE I’VE NEVER BEEN”
Among the different jungle destinations, Manu National Park is one of its most incredible. Despite being a more remote place and more difficult to access, you will have the opportunity to see those elusive animals. In Machu Travel Peru, we hope to have encouraged your next travel plans. The Amazon is a magical and adventure-filled destination. You cannot miss this incredible park full of wildlife to observe!