Peru is a diverse country: it has excellent food, world-famous archaeological sites, and many ethnic groups with different customs. Although Peru is not known as a first-choice destination for nature lovers, it is a great country to enjoy nature and wildlife. Its biodiversity includes 84 of the 117 life zones that exist on Earth. Could you imagine that?
If you enjoy impressive landscapes, observing wildlife and learning about plants, you will love wildlife tours in Peru. If you are still not sure whether to visit Peru or not, here we will dispel your doubts. These are the 5 nature expeditions you shouldn’t miss on your next trip to Peru.
#1 Manu National Park
Considered the most biodiverse National Park on Earth, Manu National Park is an incredible place to have a real explorer’s experience. This vast park has successive tiers of vegetation rising from 150 to 4200 meters above sea-level. Its remote location makes it one of the country’s best-preserved national parks, making it easy to observe animals in their natural habitat. Manu is a paradise for birdwatchers since more than 1000 species of birds have been identified within the park. Lodges inside the park have everything that tourists need to feel comfortable. Still, they are basic enough to impact the environment as little as possible.
#2 Tambopata National Reserve
Tambopata is one of the most popular national parks in the country because it offers well-preserved natural areas in a very accessible location. The most visited place in Tambopata is Sandoval Lake, where sunsets are breathtaking. When taking a canoe ride on the lake, the main attraction is a family of giant otters, considered an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. There is only one lodge inside Tambopata National Reserve, the famous Tambopata Research Center. Although it is not as accessible as the lodges around Lake Sandoval, the chances of seeing animals such as ronsocos, jaguars, macaws, and others are so high that the long boat ride is worth it!
#3 Paracas National Reserva & Ballestas Islands
Paracas National Reserve is the second most visited national park in Peru (just after Machu Picchu). Its Mars-like landscape is the perfect habitat for more than 200 species of birds. This is also the area where the “Paracas” pre-Inca culture used to exist, and it is possible to learn more about them in the Julio C. Tello Museum, located inside the reserve. Ballestas Islands is only one hour by boat from Paracas. This unique place is home to hundreds of sea lions, which tourists can appreciate relaxing on the rocks and playing in the ocean.
#4 Pacaya Samiria National Reserve
Pacaya Samiria is also called “the jungle of mirrors” because the dark color of its rivers reflects the sky as clearly as a mirror. This huge reserve in the middle of Peru’s northern jungle offers tourists some of the best Amazon landscapes. The best way to enjoy Pacaya Samiria is on board a luxurious cruise. Tourists get to enjoy the warm and humid jungle while tasting some delicious dishes prepared by the chefs on board. Besides the fantastic cruise experience, all the itineraries include stops at communities, where tourists can learn more about local culture and buy souvenirs. This is a lifetime experience!
Illescas is probably the least-known destination on this list. Also called the “Paracas of the North,” this animal sanctuary protects several birds, mammals, and reptiles. What makes Illescas an exceptional place is that it is one of the few coastal areas where it is possible to find the Andean Condor. Not only that, scientists believe it is the only place on the coast of Peru where Andean condors nest. Besides the incredible spectacle of watching a condor fly, Illescas is also a great place to relax and enjoy a pristine beach.
Are you convinced now? If you want inspiration to start planning your trip to Peru, visit the Nature and Wildlife section on our website.