MANU NATIONAL PARK THINGS TO DO
The Manu National Park is the most diverse in Peru and the world, in this place you can explore and enjoy the diversity that this place offers you.
The Manu National Park, Biosphere Reserve and Natural Heritage of Humanity, is ideal for amateurs of nature and the biodiversity of the Amazon rainforest; tourism for scientific purposes, bird watchers, flora and fauna; interested in mysticism and native communities and for those who are passionate about navigating the rivers of the Amazon.
One of the main attractions of the Park are the collpas, habitat of flocks of guacayamos, as well as other species of fauna, that come in search of food. The park is home to some 221 species of mammals, such as the otorongo, black tiger, sachavaca, sajino, deer, ronsoco, black maquisapa, among others. As for birds, the harpy eagle, jabiru, pink spatula, jungle goose and cock of the rocks stand out.
For a spectacular view it is recommended to reach the Tres Cruces viewpoint and appreciate the sunrise, as well as two opposite landscapes: the Andean mountain range and the cloud forest.
Manu National Park Things to do
Visit the Tres Cruces Viewpoint
The Tres Cruces viewpoint, at the southern end of the Park, allows you to appreciate spectacular sunrises over 3,600 meters above the Amazonian plain. Through an optical phenomenon – especially between May and August, when the sky is clear – one has the impression that the sun appears twice in the same dawn. In addition you can see two opposite panoramic views: the mountainous area to the south and the impenetrable cloudy forest to the north. From this place you can take a signposted pedestrian circuit of approximately 7 km (3 h) of route, from the Acjanaco surveillance post to the Pillahuata farm
An ideal place for birdwatching is the clay licks on the banks of the rivers, where several species of macaws and smaller parrots feed on clay during the sunrise. It is speculated that this behavior is due to the fact that the minerals they consume counteract the toxins of certain leaves and fruits from which they feed.
The descent to the cloud forest of Manu is also an ideal place to see the cock of the rocks, the national bird of Peru. The dance performed by the males to court the female is an extraordinary ritual that a bird lover should never miss.
Inside the Park there is a metal tower 18 meters high and a raised path with platform that facilitates the best bird watching and the immensity of the forest from the treetops.
The Manu National Park is home to a large number of wildlife species. It has registered about 160 species of mammals, more than 1,000 species of birds (mostly residents), about 140 species of amphibians, 50 species of snakes, 40 of lizards, 6 of turtles, 3 of alligators and 210 of fish .
Among the large mammals are the otorongo (Panthera onca), the black tiger (Felis yagouaroundi), the sachavaca (Tapirus terrestris), the huangana (Tayassu pecari), the sajino (Tayassu tajacu), the deer (Mazama americana), the deer ash (Odocoileus virginianus), the river wolf (Pteronura brasiliensis), the ronsoco (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris), the monkey boar (Alouatta seniculus), the black maquisapa (Ateles paniscus), the woolly monkey (Lagothrix lagotricha), the white machin monkey ( Cebus albifrons) and the black machin monkey (Cebus apella).
On the other hand, the number of insects in the Manu National Park is very high. It is estimated that there are about 30 million species. At the same time, more than 1,300 species of butterflies, 136 of dragonflies, at least 300 of ants (more than 40 species were found in a single tree) and more than 650 of beetles have been recorded.
The Manu National Park things to do include a wide variety of circuits and trails to appreciate the beauty of the rainforest. In the lower basin of the Manu River there are three lookouts or breakwaters, a metal tower 18 m high in Otorongo lake and a high path with platform in the Limonal sector.
Walk through the forests on the banks of the Manu River
Another attraction is the forests on both banks of the Manu River, where it is not only possible to observe a great variety of flora, but numerous associated fauna.
The tropical forests of the Manu have allowed the ecological and evolutionary processes to be carried out almost without the presence of man.
The great extension of the National Park of the Manu crosses frigid punas – that surpass the 4,000 m.s.n.m-; wild forested mountains that give rise to a multitude of small gorges and valleys; cloud forests of high forest and finally the Amazon plain. This magnificent and unique scenario includes a wide and complex hydrographic system and guarantees the presence of a diversity of ecosystems
Visit the Research Center
The Manu National Park has one of the most renowned research centers for the tropics: the biological station of Cocha Cashu.
Cocha Cashu is a tropical ecology field station, unique in that it is situated in a vast region minimally impacted by man, providing critical insights into the biodiversity and processes of a healthy, intact rainforest.
In addition to Manu National Park things to do, you can visit the Interpretation Center located at the El Limonal surveillance post.
Travel by boat on the Manu River
Also noteworthy are the horseshoe lakes or lakes where it is possible to observe species that have disappeared in other ecosystems, such as the river wolf and the black lizard.
The short boat trip by river can always offer us an exciting bird show. Perhaps we will see a family of capybaras, the largest rodent in the world, which looks like a giant guinea pig while browsing the river, or if we are lucky, a lone jaguar could hide majestically from the beach towards the forest, moving the tail with disgust for our intrusion.