Manu National Park
The Manu National Park is one of the most extraordinary places known worldwide for having the greatest biological diversity on the entire planet and for being recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve.
It is located in the south eastern region of Peru. Its area comprises part of the mountain range of the department of Cusco and the jungle of the department of Madre de Dios, with more than two million hectares.
Its great biological diversity is due to its strategic location that extends from the Andes to the Amazon. This altitudinal range results in a variety of habitats such as: Puna, cloud forests, forests of the Amazon plain, rivers and cochas. In its ancient forests you will find huge trees that exceed 40 meters high and among the native animals you can observe the Jaguar, the River Wolf, Spider Monkey, Gallito de las Rocas, Black Cayman, Harpy Eagle and seven species of Macaws; In addition to beautiful butterflies, colorful frogs, amazing insects and much more.
It is one of the few areas in the world that still houses groups of people living in an ancestral way in harmony with their surroundings.
BIODIVERSITY IN CUSCO
The Manu National Park was established to protect part of the most biodiverse area of the planet that covers areas from the mountains of the eastern Andes to the lower areas of the western Amazon basin.
This region is known as the Biodiversity hotspot as it contains a variety of habitats ranging from 3,800 m.a.s.l. to the lowland forests at 200 m.a.s.l. harboring the greatest natural diversity in the world. This makes it a great tourist attraction for the person interested in nature.
This great biodiversity is reflected in all taxonomic groups with more than 5,000 species of plants, equivalent to 1/6 of all the world’s flora. The amazing figure of 1,437 species has been recorded in only one area within the Cocha Cashu research station.
The best known group are vertebrates, with 221 species of mammals (5% of the world’s total), 1,025 birds (10%), 150 species of amphibians, 100 species of reptiles known to date.
New species of all groups have been described in recent years and there are undoubtedly many more to discover. 210 species of fish have also been documented in the rivers and cochas of the park.
Among the invertebrates are: 1,307 species of butterflies (15% of the world total), 136 of dragonflies, 650 of beetles and more than 300 species of ants, among others. In total it is estimated that the Park can house more than 500,000 species of living organisms, becoming the most biodiverse protected area in Peru, probably in the world, and whose accessibility allows visitors to appreciate it in all its splendor.
POPULATION OF MANU
Manu hosts local populations, including native communities, Andean settlers and indigenous groups that live in isolation according to their traditions.
The Matsiguenka (also written as Machiguenga) is the main group that lives in the Manu National Park established in four communities and with an approximate population of 700 people. There are other Matsiguenka families near these communities that form small settlements that live in a traditional lifestyle. Other Matsiguenkas groups live in the area between the Piñipiñi and Mameria rivers.
In the buffer zone of the park you can find several Matsiguenka communities; like Santa Rosa de Huacaria, Palotoa and Shipetiari. The Matsiguenka live mainly from cassava cultivation, hunting and fishing.
Other native groups
Other groups that are in the lower parts of the Amazon such as the Yine that live in the community of Diamante and the Harakmbut who live mainly in the community of Shintuya near the Alto Madre de Dios River.
Also, the areas farthest from the park, such as the headwaters of the Manu River, are temporarily visited by the Nahua and Yora to collect taricaya eggs and fish. The Mapacho river valley in the high Andean area is home to Quechua-speaking communities that grow potatoes, corn, fruits and coffee. These communities border the Park, with the exception of Callanga, which is located in the area of an old hacienda within the Park.
Discover extreme biodiversity, consult the Manu National Park to Travel Agencies or Tour Operators
Manu National Park offices
Monday to friday from 9.00 to 18 hours.
Address: Cinco los Chachacomos Avenue F2-4, Larapa grande. San Jerónimo, Cusco. And extension Integración Avenue, barrio Vista Alegre s/n. Villa Salvación, Manu.
E-mail: [email protected]
Phone: +51 84 274509
Website: Official Website of the Manu National Park