Manu National Park, located in southeastern Peru, is one of the largest parks in South America. The area of the park encompasses parts of the Andean department of Cusco and the jungle department of Madre de Dios. Manu protects over 2 million hectares (4.5 million acres) of territory rich in flora and fauna species in a variety of habitats including high Andes, cloud forests, and lowland tropical rain forests.

UNESCO officially recognizes this natural paradise as a world heritage site. In 1977 they designated Manu as a World Biosphere Reserve because it contains the best existing example of biodiversity in protected areas of rain forest, as well as endemic areas of cloud forest.

Humans have altered the majority of forests in the world. Fortunately, Manu has remained intact and untouched by civilization. Thus, we can observe a variety of animals in their natural habitats, including: Giant Otters (Pteronura brasiliensis), Black Caiman (Melanosuchus Niger), the majestic Jaguar (Panthera onca), the strange Spectacled Bear (Tremarctos ornatus), the Tapir (Tapirus terrestris), the Ocelot (Felis pardalis), 13 species of primates, and an estimated one thousand species of birds including seven species of Macaws (Ara sp.).

Manu also contains 10% of the world’s vascular plant species, including several species of figs and palms, as well as countless species of medicinal plants that scientists are currently cataloguing. A single hectare of forest in Manu can have up to 220 species of trees, while a hectare of temperate forest in Europe or North America may only have 20 tree species.

Manu National Park may be the most biologically diverse and protected park on the planet.

Flora

More than 20,000 species. 40% of the park is Amazonian lowland tropical rainforest, including varzea, oxbow lakes, Mauritia palm swamps, and upland forest types.

Fauna

The Manú Biosphere Reserve has a very rich wildlife. Larger species of the lowland forests include jaguar, puma, ocelot, giant otter, giant anteater, southern tamandua, giant armadillo, nine-banded armadillo, brown-throated sloth, Hoffmann's two-toed sloth, Brazilian tapir, capybara, pacarana, lowland paca, collared peccary, white-lipped peccary and several deer species, like South American red brocket, and South American brown brocket. The marsh deer, actually rather a savannna animal, has also been confirmed. There are 14 species of monkeys. These are Goeldi's marmoset, pygmy marmoset, shock-headed capuchin (Cebus albifrons cuscinus), tufted capuchin (Cebus apella peruanus), Brown-mantled tamarin, emperor tamarin, moustached tamarin, black-capped squirrel monkey, black-headed night monkey, brown titi, Rio Tapajós saki, Bolivian red howler, Peruvian spider monkey, and gray woolly monkey. Confined to the mountainous areas above ca. 2000 m are Peruvian white-tailed deer, dwarf brocket, culpeo, mountain paca and spectacled bear. The puma also reaches very high elevations of up to 3450 m.

*Mammals : 222 species
*Reptiles : 99 species
*Amphibians : 140 species
*Birds : 1000 species
*Fish : 210 species
*Insects (numerous undescribed species not included)
- Butterflies : 1307 species
- Ants : 300 species
- Dragonflies : 136 species
- Beetles : 650 species

Guest comments

Excellent guides and staff. As a course instructor, I really appreciated their attention to detail, their professionalism and their warmth. I am happy to do this course again with this group. Gracias!!...

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