Puerto maldonado & Manu -South Peru
The Southern Amazon Jungle of Peru
Although throughout the world jungles have existed for hundreds of millions of years, it is only within the last 100 years that they have been on the decline. It has been estimated that during the course of the last century we have managed to destroy half of the world’s rainforest and, based on current forecasts, we look set to destroy the rest within the next 25 yearsunless we dramatically do something to stop this destruction. Over the last 20 years the practice of eco-tourism has developed throughout Peru. As more people visit the jungle and learn about its flora and fauna, more people will become involved in the race to save them. Local people and governments will also see that the long term value of the rainforest may be worth more if the rainforest remains intact. Peru currently has roughly 5 percent of its territory protected by a system of around 50 national parks, reserves, sanctuaries and other designated areas, a process which has developed extremely well since it was begun in the 1960s. Two of these protected areas, the Manu Biosphere Reserve and the Tambopata-Candamo Reserved Zone, can be found in Peru’s southern jungle while the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve can be found in the northern jungle and accessed from Iquitos
Manu Biosphere Reserve
No other park in the world can equal Manu for species richness. Over 1000 birds have been identified, 15000 plants and 13 species of monkey as well as millions of insects. In Manu there are healthy populations of jaguar, tapir, black caiman and the giant otter. These animals have not been subjected to widespread hunting as they have in many other jungle areas and are therefore less fearful of humans, increasing the possibility of actually catching a glimpse of them. Access to the Manu Biosphere Reserve is from Cusco Manu begins at 4000 meters above sea level. A steep mountain dominates the landscape, and a frigid wind sweeps unceasingly across the exposed ichu (a type of grass indigenous to the area). The majestic Andean condor watches over the land from unreachable heights. The people from this region are known as Apu Kanahuay, which means”He who is close to God.” In the heights of Paucartambo, an Andean enclave east of Cuzco, nature created the greatest natural balcony on the planet. Known as “Three Crosses,” or Aacjanaco, this place offers a spectacular view of breathtaking beauty. The clouds literally at the viewer’s feet emerge from the junglein their ascent to the mountains.
A number of jungle lodges in the Tambopata Candamo Reserved Zone offer an excellent alternative for those travellers who don’t have the time or money to visit Manu. This giant reserved zone contains some of the richest rainforest in the world and includes the entire watershed of the Rio Tambopata which is currently at the forefront of tropical rainforest conservation. Access is from Puerto Maldonado ( half an hours’ flight from Cusco)
The number of species identified until now have truly scored world records: 1,234 types of butterflies, 592 species of birds, 152 varieties of dragonflies, 135 kinds of ants, 127 species of amphibians, 103 types of mammals, 94 species of fish, 74 kinds of reptiles, 40 species of termites and 39 varieties of bees. Amongst these are 13 endangered species including the jaguar (panthera onca), the giant otter (pteronura brasilensis), the ocelot (felis pardalis), the harpy eagle (harpia harpyja) and the giant armadillo (priodentes giganteus). One of the highlights of the reserve is the Colpa de Guacamayos which is one of the largest natural clay licks in Peru. These copper-colored cliffs attract hundreds of macaws and parrotseach day who come to feed on the mineral salts contained in this area. The Reserve can only be accessed by boat, usually from the town of Puerto Maldonado the capital of the Madre de Dios department. There are daily flights from Puerto Maldonado to and from Cusco usually arriving and departing early in the morning. Most of the tours start and finish in Puerto Maldonado although transfers to and from the airport for connecting flights are included. There are several airlines operating this route
You can safe a flight if you do the jungle tour at the end of your journey thru Peru .You can fly from Puerto Maldonado over Cusco to Lima !
For more information about Manu and Tambopata ,look at our jungle tours on this website !!