Protected Natural Areas of Peru – Amazon Wildlife

Peru, Natural Paradise – Amazon Wildlife:

Considered by the World Resources Institute in the select group of eight countries “mega-diverse”, it is estimated that in Peru is possible to find 84 of the 104 areas of life existing in the world, resulting in a series of world records that would astonish even the most skeptical researcher: about 10% of the species of mammals and reptiles of the planet, over 20% of the birds of the earth and between 40,000 and 50,000 species of vascular plants (the most advanced) of those just described half.

Insects deserve special mention. One tree in the jungles of Tambopata-in the southeastern Peruvian-have been registered up to 5,000 different varieties, of which include more types of ants that existing in the whole of the British Isles. Its complex geography, divided from north to south by the Andes Mountains, is undoubtedly the main cause of the astonishing diversity of this land of extraordinary beauty. The mountain range, to cut into countless side valleys, has produced a unique climate gradient that makes Peru a region full of contrasts: arid deserts and lush jungles; glaciers and sheets; flowering valleys and sandy beaches.

With its wealth and natural and biogenetic diversity throughout its history Peru has contributed significantly to improving the quality of life of mankind. Their contributions, to name only some of the most important, covering fields as varied as those of the pharmaceutical (from quinine to combat malaria in early century to cat’s claw to treat immune deficiencies present); medicine (with efficient healing, invigorating, antibiotics or anticancer); textiles (cotton Tangüis with the best quality in the world); and food with potato, tomato or pepper and endless Andean crops of high nutritional value (such as amaranth and maca, used as a food supplement for astronauts).

Currently, some of the natural areas of Peru enjoy worldwide recognition. Paracas is the case where such disparate creatures as huge flocks of migratory birds, colonies of sea lions, Humboldt penguins adapted to life away from the cold Antarctic environment and an extraordinary variety of fish share the beaches with the remains of an ancient culture that developed between the desert and the sea. Or Lachay, an unusual oasis of greenery immersed in the sand, which is full of flowers under the cover of fog. In the high Andean plains, over 4,000 meters, graze the vicunas in Pampa Galeras, attentive to the presence of the puma or mountain lion.

And on Lake Titicaca in Puno, the body of the world’s highest navigable water, golden reed boats glide over the cold waters, home of the Uros Indians. Also in the Andes is the highest tropical mountain range in the world and the Huascaran, a paradise of perpetual snow and clear streams; condors and deer; emerald lakes and old woods queñual that each year attracts thousands of visitors eager to conquer the impossible blue sky.

Lying on the eastern slopes of the Andes, cloud forests are erected next to the testimonies of ancient cultures. Finally, hidden in the magical Amazon jungle are the territories of Manu and Pacaya-Samiria, a natural paradise, a land of macaws and hidden waterfalls. There in the immensity of the most pristine part of the world, it seems the time has stopped, the river meanders slowly giving life to delicate orchids and giant trees, jaguars and eagles, alligators and anacondas that share the forest with indigenous ethnic groups he is known as anyone. We invite you to discover Peru, biodiversity reserve for humanity.

Natural eco-regions:

Long they divided experts to Peru in just three large natural regions: coast, highlands and jungle. Although this simple division reflects a level preliminarily -in general of Peru’s geography, the reality is rather more complex.

Because of special conditions such as the presence of large mountain ranges, wind from distant regions and proximity to large water sources, nature took particular characteristics that made certain regions of the country unique and distinct from other habitats.

Dr. Antonio Brack Egg, a specialist in biogeography, came to identify 11 different ecoregions in Peru. These range from the ocean to the mountains and rain forest, through the deserts and valleys, swamps and upland forests. Views separately, some of these areas could be considered poor or lacking a great diversity, but together constitute a true marvel of nature. The natural wealth of Peru is therefore based on its extraordinary diversity of environments and creatures.

Tropical Sea:

The warm current or tropical sea is present in a small portion of the northern coast of Peru. Its waters are considerably warmer than the rest of the country, favor the formation of large clouds become rain falling each year on the coast of Tumbes and Piura. Hence in these places the vegetation is abundant, even in the desert near the sea.

The warm waters also allow the existence of a set of plants and totally different from those who live in cold water animals. One of the most beautiful and unique ecosystems in the world owes its origin to tropical sea mangroves. Formed by the mixture of freshwater and sediment-laden rivers with the salty sea waters, mangroves grow in the same sea shore and form a tight jungle teeming with life and provides food and shelter to hundreds of species of animals and plants. Some of them are very rare, as the raccoon or silky anteater and the American crocodile.

Common inhabitants of this area are earwigs or frigate birds, blue-footed booby or camanay, tropical birds, several species of sea turtles and even a sea serpent. The fish are plentiful and varied: from sharks and tuna to large conger eels, grouper and marlin. The shellfish deserve special mention: dozens of varieties of shells, clams and crabs, in addition to the familiar lobster and shrimp require warm water to survive.

The cold sea:

The Peruvian Current, also known as the Humboldt Current waters bathes the shores of our coastline from Tacna (Chilean border) to Punta Pariñas, in the northern department of Piura. The water is quite cold because from the south end of America and Antarctica.

Its influence on this part of the continent is so strong that prevents rains occur on the coast, which favors the formation of winter mists. However, its waters are extremely rich; Therefore, some scientists have defined it as a true “plankton soup.” This, combined with the presence of underwater outcrops, allows the development of a diverse animal and plant life, algae composed of many types, large mammals such as whales, sperm whales and dolphins, two species of sea lions and a rare otter or cat marine, known by the name of chingungo. Join the big marine life a legion of seabirds (including guano birds) and more than 300 different varieties of fish, among which the anchovy and sardine, an important source of industry in Peru.

Desert Pacific:

The desert of the Pacific is the most widespread along the Peruvian coast natural formation. It is found from the department of Piura, north to Tacna in the south of the country. Its climate is hot and humid in the summer during the winter, when there are frequent drizzle and thick cloud cover blocks out the sun. True oasis of life in the desert that serve as shelter to an abundant and varied wildlife: In some places, where the mists collide against the hills, a unique environment known as “hills” are formed. The winds are also important in this region, and quite hit its highest intensity on the coast of Ica, where they are known as Paracas.

The desert terrain is mostly flat, with vast plains, areas of dunes and hills rarely exceed 700 meters. Animal and plant life in this region is scarce; however, the monotony of the plains of sand and rock is interrupted stretch to stretch the fertile coastal valleys. A total of 52 rivers cross the desert of the Pacific in its final way to the ocean, giving life to the lands that bathe. Here the flora is represented by carob, huarangos, cactus and tillandsias. Among the typical animals include the coastal fox, the guanaco (one of two species of wild camels from Peru) and dozens of bird species. The coastal rivers are lavish in shrimp and several species of fish.

The Equatorial Dry Forest:

It is known as dry forest to a typical natural formation of the north coast in the predominantly plant species adapted to the harsh desert conditions: the carob and ceiba trees, common in the departments of Tumbes, Piura and Lambayeque, and vital for the survival of the inhabitants of this region, because they provide animal feed, building materials, medical applications, spirits and food products.

The weather is warm and dry, with summer rains that allow the development of a rich and unique vegetation. The dry forest extends from the edge of the sea to a distance of 100-150 km inland. The topography is generally flat, with extensive plains and low hills in coastal areas and small mountain ranges inland.

This is the land of the ceiba bellies, which accumulate water in their thick trunks and tree fine hard wood such as hualtaco and guayacán. It is also home to the gray deer, coastal foxes, white-winged guan and the anteater; animals that share the dry forest with large noisy flocks of parrots and parakeets emerald red forehead.

The Pacific Rainforest:

Peru exists in a small area populated by huge trees and lush forests; jaguars, crocodiles and howler monkeys, but curiously it located very near the sea. It is the tropical forest of the Pacific, a very special place nestled in the heart of the department of Tumbes. The climate in this area is very humid, with a well marked rainy season between December and March and a long dry season during the rest of the year. In this part of the coast it rains more than in any other region of the Peruvian coast, so the vegetation is abundant.

Many of the creatures that inhabit this forest have their origin in other natural regions such as the jaguar, the sloth and the red deer, from the Amazon rainforest; or the coastal fox and the gray deer, also present in the equatorial dry forest. Others, however, are specific to this particular environment and not found anywhere else in the country. This is the case preserve or howler monkey of Tumbes, northwestern otter, parrot wings tanned and many other species. Contribute to enhance the beauty of the landscape abundant orchids and large ceiba trees “bearded” decorated with long strips of a plant called salvajina.

The Serrania Steppe:

It encompass the territories of the western side of the Andes, and the starting around 1,000 meters, just above the cloud layer usually covers the coast. This is a land of great mountains and cliffs; fertile valleys and rushing rivers that have shaped the landscape for millions of years forming deep canyons. Its climate is dry and sunny, but cold at night. The rains are frequent in the highest, close to the high mountain areas, but decrease as one descends into the desert. They are common in these mountains various types of cactus and some bushes colorful flowers, as chinchircuma and La Cantuta, the national flower of Peru.

Steppe mountainous area is also home to the puma and the gray deer; guanaco and the wildcat; the vizcacha, the skunk or Anas and the Andean fox. In its skies birds abound: hummingbirds, eagles and hawks, parrots and parakeets, and a variety of small birds seed eaters.


The Puna is located on the Andean provinces above 3,800 meters. It has a very harsh climate, characterized by large temperature variations: intense cold at night and hot during the day. It has a rainy season, known as “winter” in the mountains, which begins in December and lasts until March, although it was not unusual downpours.

Its terrain is mostly flat, with great plains or pampas topped by rugged mountain ranges. It is in the latter where glaciers and snow-covered, imposing masses of ice and snow that often surpass the 6,000 meters are located. There gaps abound emerald color, the great salt flats, and most of the rivers that run through our country are formed. The Puna is, above all, a land of extremes.

A place where inclement weather and lack of oxygen have limited the development of life, and where only some creatures especially adapted have survived braving the cold and taking advantage of the few resources that the environment provides them the kolle and queñual, species forests are the world’s highest; the wetlands and SIT, the vast grasslands of bunch grass and stands of Puya Raimondi.

This is the kingdom of the majestic Andean condor and the slender parihuanas or Andean flamingos; the graceful vicunas and the powerful puma; the playful vizcachas, related rodents with the rabbits, and the beautiful Andean deer, the largest deer of the Andes.


The moor is a sort of humid puna. A land of cold and very rainy, usually covered by a blanket of fog that gives the landscape a touch of mystery. It is found only in some parts of Peru, mainly in the mountains of Cajamarca and Piura.

Located more than 3,000 meters high, where the air is usually ice cream, extensive scrublands grow that alternate with curious forests of miniature trees: dwarf forests. Their trunks, twisted and always covered with a thick coat of moss, are home to the strangest creatures. One is the Pudu or sachacabra, a deer just 30 centimeters tall.

They are inhabitants of this place also the rare shaggy tapir or pinchaque, several species of bats, the spectacled bear or ucumari, deer of the wasteland and a small shrew, the only insectivorous mammal of Peru, recently discovered by scientists.

The High Forest:

The territories of the high forest or yunga extend along the eastern flank of the Andes Mountains, just over the Amazon basin. Its climate is warm and humid, becoming colder as it approaches the high Andes. It rains here more than anywhere else in the country (up to 5,000 mm per year), which allows forming numerous streams and waterfalls of crystalline water. Its terrain is mountainous and complex, with narrow valleys and deep gorges, always covered by an impenetrable jungle. At its highest, generally wrapped in fog and drizzle parties, cloud forests are located, while the lower areas are the hills that form the call “eyebrow mountain”.

The vegetation in the yungas is perhaps the most exuberant of the tropics, with many orchids, giant tree ferns and begonias. This is also home to the cock of the rock, the national bird of Peru; the spectacled bear, the only bear species in South America; the yellow-tailed woolly monkey, which until recently was thought to be extinct; quetzals, the torrent duck, more than twenty varieties of hummingbirds and several dozen species of birds fruteras.

Lower Selva:

The lowland tropical rain forest or the most diverse habitats on the planet, covers two-thirds of Peru. It lives most of the species of plants and animals in the world. It has a hot and humid climate, with rainfall between December and March, and frequent downpours along all year. Here there are great rivers (Amazonas, Ucayali, Madre de Dios), food source and communication between peoples. There are also numerous oxbow lakes, besides swamps or aguajales.

The flora of this region is composed of more than 20,000 species of plants (trees of fine wood, useful fruits to the man and medicinal plants). Wildlife, meanwhile, is extraordinarily rich and varied.

Among the most conspicuous inhabitants of tropical forest are monkeys, as the spider monkey and the preserve; felines like the ocelot, puma and jaguar; tapir or tapir, and the world’s largest rodent: the capybara. Its waters are populated by big fish like paiche and zúngaro two types of river dolphins and several turtles.

The forest floor houses about a thousand different varieties of birds: from the imposing eagle harpy to tiny hummingbirds; large reptiles like the black caiman and the anaconda; and yet unknown numbers of frogs, spiders and insects.

La Sabana de Palmeras:

At the eastern end of the department of Madre de Dios, right on the border with Bolivia, there is a small region with very special characteristics. His appearance is that of a vast plain of tall grass and palm trees is striking in the middle of the forests of the tropical jungle.

He is known as the Pampas del Heath, due to the river that runs through and forms the border between the two countries.

The climate here is very hot and humid, with a marked rainy season during the summer. Sometimes the rains are so intense that come flooding large tracts of savannah to turn it into a huge lake; only the tops of palm trees and termite nests remain as refuge for the smallest creatures.

Many of the animals and plants that live in this region are unique and are adapted to survive without problems in the great pastureland: the marsh deer, the largest deer of Peru; the rare maned wolf, which resembles a fox of long legs; Toucan peak (the largest in the country) yellow, and the elusive white carpenter. Also they coexist in this ecoregion tapir, jaguars, giant anteaters and colorful macaws.

Protected Natural Areas of Peru

Peru has a land area of ​​approximately 1,285,215 km2. Additionally, the country has territorial rights to an area of ​​60 million hectares in the Antarctic. Peru, in their desire to preserve representative samples of their -flora nature, wildlife and landscapes, has developed a series of oriented biodiversity conservation mechanisms.

These efforts are channeled through the National System of Protected Natural Areas by the State (SINANPE), established in 1990 and whose administration is in charge of the General Directorate of Natural Protected Areas and Wildlife, National Institute of Natural Resources (INRENA). To date, the SINANPE consists of a total of 50 natural areas or conservation units, covering approximately the 10% of the national territory.

These areas are in turn divided into various categories of use: parks, reserves and national sanctuaries, historic sanctuaries, reserved zones, game preserves, protected forests and communal reserves. Of these, the most important are the top five. The following is a representative sample of them.

National parks:

These are areas for the protection and preservation as a matter of intangible, natural associations of flora and fauna and scenic beauty they contain. National Parks in both the direct use of natural resources such as human settlement are absolutely prohibited.

In these conservation units users to enter scientific, educational, recreational and cultural (tourism) purposes under special conditions and control is allowed. There are now seven national parks, which protect the national territory 1,85%.


Located in the rainforests of the departments of Cusco and Madre de Dios, Manu is the biggest natural treasure of Peru, both the number of species they contain and the diversity of ecosystems protected. It was established in 1973 on an area of ​​1,532,806 hectares, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1987. It covers the entire Manu River basin, plus an extraordinary altitudinal transect ranging from the 4,300 meters high Andean plain to 200 meters from the Amazon plain. Inside they inhabit various known ethnic groups – Amahuaca, Huachipaire, Machiguenga, Piro, and yaminahua- yora plus other without any contact with the modern world. The park is the natural habitat of more than 20,000 vascular plants, 1,200 species of butterflies, 1,000 birds, 200 mammals and yet unknown number of reptiles, amphibians and insects.

Climate: It has a marked rainy season from December to March, even if it is not rare downpours. The months of May to August with temperatures above 30 ° C, are the most suitable for your visit.

Access and Services: A dirt road leaves from Cusco and leads to the towns of Atalaya and Shintuya (9 and 12 hours respectively), points from which you can start the trip by river (5-6 hours). There are also small plane flights linking Cusco and the town of Boca Manu (30 minutes), from which it is necessary to continue by boat (4-6 hours). Only the number of tourists to the Reserved Area and through one of the companies authorized to operate in the area is allowed. The tourist infrastructure is rustic and basic, so you can also choose to camp.

Length of Stay: The ideal is to stay in area seven or eight days, approximate time required to observe a good representative sample of species of wild fauna.


Located in the department of Ancash, in the Cordillera Blanca, the highest tropical mountain range in the world. It was established in 1975 on an area of ​​340,000 hectares and declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1985. The park protects one of the most amazing high mountain ecosystems World: 663 glaciers, 269 lakes and 41 rivers and numerous mountains, 26 of which exceed 6,000 meters. Inside he finds refuge an abundant and varied flora and fauna, including about 800 species of plants and dozens of animals.

The park is also the scene of 33 preíncas archaeological sites (as Wilcahuaín), and home to dozens of peasant communities who speak Quechua and practice agriculture and livestock using traditional techniques.

Climate: The climate in the Cordillera depends on two major factors: the humid and warm winds from the Amazon basin, which generate heavy rains during the months of December to March; and a marked dry season between May and October, with sunny days that reach 25 ° C and nights of intense cold where are frequent frosts and temperatures below 0 ° C.

Access and Services: The most advisable route to access Huaraz and the Callejon de Huaylas all the land is part of Pativilca (km 210 of the Panamericana Norte) and ascends into the mountains reaching heights of up to 4,100 meters (Quñuqqucha, origin Santa river), so it is advisable to take precautions against altitude sickness. The total distance of the route is 410 km from Lima (6-8 hours) on a road of many curves that is in perfect condition. There is also a small airport receives charter flights.

Length of Stay: A minimum of three to four days is required to travel leisurely major sectors of the park.


Located in the departments of Piura and Tumbes, it covers an area of ​​91,300 hectares of equatorial dry forests provide shelter for a rich and unique flora and fauna. It was established in 1975 in order to protect the vast forests of the Cordillera de los Amotapes and adjacent valleys, subject to intensive extraction of forest species and valuable hard wood such as hualtaco and guayacán.

Among the species of wildlife that find refuge in this ecosystem are the American crocodile and the otter of the northwest, both threatened and endangered species. They are inhabitants of dry forest, also, the howler monkey of Tumbes, white-tailed deer, ocelot and over 100 species of birds, many of them endemic (such as the white-winged guan and the northern magpie).

Climate: Dry and very hot for much of the year with temperatures above 28 ° C. Rainy season between December and March that drastically intensifies with the occasional arrival of El Niño. The best months to visit are from April to September.

Access and Services: There are several dirt roads that go deep into the forest starting from the cities of Piura and Tumbes, which is accessed by a regular air or through the Panamerican highway. We recommend using ATVs, seek the services of a local guide and stock up on water and food.

Length of Stay: three to four days, preferably equally divided between north and south park areas is recommended.


Newly created on the jungle territories of Puno and Madre de Dios, the Bahuaja-Sonene National Park (Ese’eja names of the rivers Tambopata and Heath respectively) protects those who are perhaps the last uninhabited tropical forests on the planet. Its 537,053 hectares of rain forest adjacent to the Madidi National Park in Bolivia adjacent, in addition to a small area of ​​savannah palm (previously protected as the Sanctuary of the Pampas del Heath) to form one of the most diverse corners of the Earth.

According to Charles Munn, a member of the New York Zoological Society and rated by TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people of the next century, in the forests of the park there are more species of plants and animals than anywhere else in the world: close 20,000 plant species, a thousand species of birds and hundreds of mammals, reptiles and fish. These are the ancestral lands of ethnic Ese’eja an endangered ethnic group that was almost completely devastated during the rubber boom of the century.

Climate: It has a marked rainy season from December to March, even if it is not rare downpours. The months of May to August, with temperatures above 32 ° C, are the most suitable for your visit.

Access and Services: From Puerto Maldonado (city with regular commercial flights from Lima and Cusco) it is necessary to trace the Tambopata River by boat rental. There are some shelters in the area with rustic accommodations that provide the necessary services to tourists.

Length of Stay: Due to its easy access, four to five days are enough for a good tour of the area.

National Reserves:

They are natural areas for the protection and propagation of wildlife whose conservation is of national interest. In the National Reserves wildlife resources whose status so permits may be used only by the state. There are currently eight national reserves, protecting about 2.3% of the country.


Established in 1975 on an area of ​​335,000 hectares, Paracas is the only natural area SINANPE protecting the sea off the cold Humboldt current. Located in the coastal desert, this unique area has one of the richest seas in the world, favored by the occurrence condition of marine outcrops that rise to the surface large masses of plankton, vital food for many fish species. Paracas is the land of the guano birds and big colonies of sea lions; Annual site visit dozens of migratory birds, and the last refuge for a number of endemic and endangered species, like the marine cat or chingungo, Humboldt penguins and flamingos or flamingoes.

Paracas was also the scene of an important pre-Columbian civilization, whose legacy -shaped spectacular textiles and garments ceramios- amazes us even today.

Climate: Typical desert, with temperatures above 30 ° C. Sunny during the summer months (December to March) and even for much of the winter, when temperatures can drop considerably at night (up to 10 ° C ). High winds are common -known locally as paracas afternoon.

Access and Services: Getting to Paracas by the Panamerican Highway is really simple. Once in Pisco (240 km from Lima) is required to take the paved road leading to the reserve, which has a network of dirt roads allowing easy access to the beaches and main attractions.

Length of Stay: We recommend two to three days. For a truly direct contact with nature, we suggest camping in one of its beaches.


An explosion of greenery in the arid Peruvian coastal desert. The hills are a unique natural formation in the world, caused by the condensation of winter fog over coastal hills west-facing. In parts of the coastal strip moisture dragged into the mountains by the trade winds is deposited as droplets on the sand, allowing the emergence of a wide range of seasonal plants and with them, a unique wildlife associated .

Among the most common plant species include sturdy tara trees and stick addition to flowers, cacti and numerous fast-growing shrubs such as nettle and wild snuff. At the site there have been about 60 species of birds, besides the coastal fox, white-tailed deer (recently reintroduced), skunks and several species of rodents and lizards. The coastal hills were visited and utilized by the Peruvian man since time immemorial. Traces of the presence of nomadic hunters and gatherers are preserved in cave paintings engraved in the rocks.

Climate: Two very distinct seasons. A (ideal to visit the reserve) winter between August and October, where the hills are green; and other drought (the rest of the year). It is recommended to wear warm and waterproof. Lachay temperatures rarely drop 12 ° C in winter, and reach 25 ° C in the summer.

Access and Services: At Lachay can be easily reached by taking a detour stated that some 3 km to the kilometer 105 of the Panamericana Norte. The reserve has marked, barbecue and camping areas and toilet facilities, plus an interpretation center trails.

Length of Stay: One full day.

Lake Titicaca – Puno:

Created in 1978 in order to preserve its flora and fauna and scenic beauty, as well as to promote the rational use of resources and tourism, 36 180 hectares of the reserve of Titicaca are, almost entirely, in the world’s highest navigable lake.

Titicaca Reserve is divided into two separate parts: the first, in the Bay of Puno, it protects the reeds that provide sustenance to the Uros-Chulluni communities; the second, located in the area of ​​Huancané retains extensions totoral less visited but equally rich and interesting. In its vicinity there have been 60 varieties of birds, among which the endemic Titicaca diver; 14 species of native fish and 18 species of amphibians, including the giant Titicaca frog and toad species of water.

Climate: The climate of the Titicaca is extreme, with large variations in temperature between day and night. The ideal season to visit is between May and October, when the days are sunny, very rare rainfall and diurnal temperature reaches 25 ° C. The nights, however, are always cold (although rarely below 0 ° C). We recommend bringing sunscreen, shelter and take precautions against altitude sickness.

Access and Services: There are scheduled flights to the city of Juliaca, about an hour’s drive from Puno. From the main port of the latter depart many boats that go deep into the lake and lead to the main islands. The infrastructure (accommodation and meals) is abundant in the lake.

Length of Stay: A minimum of three days, passing through at least one in one of the lake’s islands (as Taquile, Amantani and Suasi).

Pampa Galeras – Barbara D’Achille:

Bastion of the wild vicuna in Peru, Pampa Galeras is the scene of an aggressive campaign to recover this species from extinction. Established in 1967 on an area of ​​6500 hectares in the highland plains of the peasant community of Lucanas, Ayacucho, the reserve is the main focus for the protection of this endangered species. In recent years, thanks to the efforts, especially in legal matters, the national herd of vicunas increased from 5 000 to 70 000 individuals. Pampa Galeras is also home to wildlife species typical of the highlands, such as the Andean condor, the puma, the Andean deer or Andean deer, white-tailed deer, skunks or Annas, vizcacha and the Andean fox. In April 1993 the original name of the book by Pampa GalerasBárbara D’Achille was changed in honor of the late journalist specializing in environmental issues.

Climate: Typical puna, with a rainy season from December to March and a dry season or summer, mistakenly known as “summer” between May and October (the most recommended for your visit). Because of its altitude (3800 m), the Pampa Galeras nights are extremely cold, temperatures below 0 ° C. and often have

Access and Services: From the coastal city of Nasca (450 km south of Lima), taking a newly paved road up to the town of Puquio (90 km). The tour takes about two hours. No book exists in a service infrastructure.

Length of Stay: One full day. If you wish, you can spend the night in the nearby town of Puquio and return to the reserve in the morning.


The natural jewel of the northern Amazon of Peru. Pacaya-Samiria, with 2.08 million hectares, is the largest reserve in the country. It was established in 1982 to preserve the abundant and varied wildlife, which features a huge variety of fish, the main source of protein in the region.

Countless lakes, swamps and natural springs provide shelter to 130 species of mammals, 330 bird species and still unknown number of reptiles and amphibians. Among its main attractions are the huge turtles charapas, the manatees, river dolphins, giant otters, black caimans and paiche-the largest freshwater fish in the world, all endangered species.

Climate: Typical of tropical forest: hot and humid, with temperatures often exceed 34 ° C. It has a “dry” or summer (May to October) season for your visit and a heavy rainy season (December to March).

Access and Services: Access to the reserve is only by river. Starting from the city of Iquitos (which has regular flights schedule) upstream of the Amazon navigate to Nauta (3-4 hours by speedboat). From there it is necessary to cross the Maranon to the Pacaya River channel through Puinahua (other 4-6 hours). There is no tourist infrastructure on the reservation. It is recommended to hire the services of a local guide.

Length of Stay: It takes six to seven days, three of which will be spent on access to and exit from the area.

National Sanctuaries:

Are areas to protect intangible matter of a species or specific community of plants and / or animals and natural formations of scientific and landscape interest. There are now six national sanctuaries, to protect the national territory 0,11%.


Located in the northwest corner of the Peruvian coast, the mangroves of Tumbes are the southern limit for many species of flora and fauna associated with this particular ecosystem. The sanctuary was created in 1988 out of a total of 2972 ​​hectares in order to protect the largest mangrove forests in the country and, in particular, to the abundant and diverse animal community that thrives on them. Stand in the sanctuary invertebrate fauna composed of an enormous variety of mollusks, among them the famous negras- shells, 34 species of crustaceans, 33 of snails and more than a hundred species of fish. The sanctuary is also a key role in the reproduction of commercially important marine species such as shrimp. Birds, migratory and resident, as well as the endangered American crocodile and the swamp bear, are among its most interesting inhabitants.

Climate: Tropical and sunny most of the year, with average annual temperatures of 25 ° C. sporadic rains between December and March, which are accentuated by the arrival of El Niño.

Access and Services: From Tumbes, reachable by a regular air or through the Panamerican highway. The sanctuary is located a few 24 km north of the city, taking the route to the border with Ecuador. Numerous boats made guided walks. We recommend bringing mosquito repellent and sunscreen, as well as inquiring about the hours of sea change, especially if you want to camp.

Length of Stay: One full day. It is easy to visit again because of its proximity to the city of Tumbes.


Established in 1987 on an area of ​​3,635 hectares, the sanctuary protects intimpa older forests of the Peruvian highlands. The intimpa is the only native conifer Peru and forms dense forests that are, in turn, as a refuge for a diverse and unique wildlife, composed mainly of birds. The sanctuary also has a series of glacial lakes and crystal clear streams from the majestic snow Ampay summit that dominates the region and the name of this protected area.

Weather: Sunny and dry during the winter (May to October), but with very cold nights (not rare frosts and temperatures below 5 ° C). Rainy between December and March.

Access and Services: We entered the sanctuary touring one of the many trails that start from the village of Tamburco, on the outskirts of the city of Abancay, which is accessed by road from Cusco (6 hours) or from Andahuaylas (3 hours). There is no tourist infrastructure. We recommend the services of a local guide and stock up on water and food in Abancay.

Length of Stay: A minimum of three days camping in the lakes of the sanctuary.

Historical Sanctuaries:

These are areas to protect intangible matter of natural scenarios that have been developed glorious events of national history. There are now three historical sanctuaries, to protect the national territory 0,03%.

Macchu Picchu:

Much of the beauty and charm surrounding Machu Picchu, the largest tourist attraction in Peru, due to its spectacular natural environment: the mountain forests of the sanctuary. Established in 1981 on an area of ​​32,592 hectares, it serves to preserve a peculiar flora and fauna, and scenic beauty of the surrounding forests and contribute to the protection of archaeological sites located there. Machu Picchu is home to some spectacular creatures like the cock of the rocks national bird of Peru and the Andean bear or ucumari, the only úrsido South America. Also they find refuge in the rare dwarf deer or sachacabra, taruca tanka and over 300 species of birds. The flora is particularly diverse and interesting: near 200 species orchids have been recorded in the sanctuary, many of which are seriously endangered by action of the annual burning and illegal trade. Sanctuary dominates the landscape of the majestic Salkantay (6271 m), the highest mountain snow of the Cordillera Vilcanota, revered by locals as Apu or tutelary deity. Machu Picchu combines the majesty of a natural setting of great beauty with the attractiveness of the most famous pre-Hispanic ruins in the world.

Climate: Rainy during all summer months (December to March). Sunny between May and September, but even then showers are not uncommon. Maximum temperatures reach 27 ° C, while the minimum rarely drop of 11 ° C.

Access and Services: From Cusco leaves a train linking the city with the Machu Picchu station, in a beautiful trip that takes about four hours each morning. Cusco also depart helicopters that can reach the citadel in tourist flights of 30 minutes.

Length of Stay: Minimum two days. Remember to almost a full day to enter and leave the area.

Subject areas:

The reserved areas are areas that strict protection is granted on a temporary basis, while studies to define the most appropriate to their conservation requirements (land management) management procedures are carried out. In Peru there are eleven reserved zones. Often reserved areas are set on large portions of territory subject to different forms of use of resources and with an area of ​​particular ecological importance.

Pantanos de Villa:

The only protected area of ​​Lima. Swamps or wetlands Villa, composed by extensive reed beds, lakes and grasslands, water originate from outcrops Rimac basin. Due to its strategic location on the west coast of the continent, the swamps of Villa are an important refuge for wild birds. More than 150 species of birds have been recorded in the reserved area; stand among them 30 migratory species from as far afield as the Arctic Circle, the Caribbean or Patagonia.

Climate: Typical of the coast, with a winter season characterized by gray skies, high humidity and soft drizzle between May and September, and a warm or summer between December and March.

Access and Services: Just 18 km (15 minutes) from the city of Lima, Villa is accessible by taking the Huaylas Avenue (exit south). In the book there is a network of marked trails, lookouts for bird watching and an interpretation center.

Length of Stay: It requires only two to three hours to make a complete tour of the marshes.

Other Categories:

National Forests: forest areas are declared fit for permanent production of wood, other forest products and wildlife whose use may be made for industrial and / or commercial by the State and exceptionally by private companies under contract to transferable logging. In Peru there is a total of four national forests.

Protection forests: forest areas are, by their nature and location, serving mainly for conservation of soil and water. In Peru there are six protection forests.

Hunting Reserves: are areas of wildlife management for hunting (sport hunting) in lands of public or private domain. In Peru there are two game reserves.

Communal Reserves: are areas for the conservation of wildlife for the benefit of neighboring communities (Native and Rural Communities in the highlands, jungle and forest). In Peru there are two communal reserves.

Biosphere Reserves: They are an integral mode of management of natural areas, conceived under the Programme on Man and the Biosphere (MAB) of UNESCO. This international standard is an instrument to promote the implementation of comprehensive multidisciplinary work to guide the use and management by man of the natural resources on which they depend for welfare and environment, in order to make them sustainable in the long term. In these areas under strict nature protection (zones nuclei, usually a national park), under sound management areas (buffer zones) and areas of intensive use of resources (cultural areas) are included.

Since 1977 UNESCO recognized in Peru three Biosphere Reserves: Northwest, Huascaran and Manu, whose core areas consist of a national park.


Always seek the support of local guides or rangers. Their service has a high cost and can enjoy their knowledge and the proverbial hospitality of the local people. Also, do not forget that you need to have a permit issued by the country office or regional offices of the National Institute of Natural Resources. Also remember that, generally, the tourist infrastructure is scarce or nonexistent in protected natural areas, so you need to hire the services of a company with experience in the region or see if you can camp in the area.

On the coast…

… Almost it never rains, but the drizzle and fog are common between April and October. At this time the nights are usually very cold. The summer months-December through March are ideal to tour. Always bring water and sunscreen.

In the Sierra …

… Rain between November and March, with the months of April to October the most recommended to visit. Always wear sunscreen and plenty of shelter. Altitude sickness usually occurs above 2500 meters. Take precautions: rest the first day, plenty of fluids and avoid heavy meals.

In the jungle…

… Rain between November and March, with the months of April to October the most recommended to visit. Never travel without insect repellent, waterproof sunscreen lotion. the use of long sleeved shirts and long pants are recommended to avoid insect bites. The yellow fever vaccine is mandatory. There is availability of vaccination against malaria, tetanus and hepatitis A and B, as well as outpatient treatment for leishmaniasis (uta) and malaria.

Requirements for admission:

Information on the conditions of access to protected areas can be collected at the offices of the General Directorate of Natural Protected Areas and Wildlife (DGANPE) INRENA. In cases where they are required, entry permits are managed by specialist agencies operating tours in protected areas. If you want to visit an area where operating agencies must fill out a form and accompany necessary to enter the desired area documentation and cancel the applicable amount for rights of entry, which varies by area to visit ( 0-15 dollars per day). However, in a number of cases the entrance fee can be canceled simply by entering protected areas.

Some areas are only suitable for researchers, so they must accompany your application for membership with a copy of the project to develop (it is recommended to specify the reasons why you wish to travel well, as there are extra payments for film crews and professional photography ). Others, however, do not require authorization to enter or assume authorizations issued directly in the inland.