The Manu National Park is one of the most extraordinary places and is known worldwide for having the most remarkable biological diversity on the whole planet and recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage of Humanity and Biosphere Reserve.
It does locate in the southeastern region of Peru. Its area includes part of the mountainous 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 Puna, cloud forests, Amazonian plain forests, rivers, and cochas. In its ancient forests, you will find enormous trees that surpass 40 meters in height. Among the native animals, you can observe the Jaguar, the River Wolf, the Monkey Spider, Cock of the Rocks, the Black Caiman, the Arpía Eagle, and seven species of Macaws as beautiful butterflies, colorful frogs, unique insects, and much more.
It is one of the few areas in the world that still houses groups of people living traditionally in harmony with their surroundings.
The Manu National Park did establish to protect part of the planet’s most biodiverse zone covering areas from the mountains of the eastern Andes to the lower reaches of the western basin of the Amazon.
This region is known as a Biodiversity hotspot as it contains a variety of habitats ranging from 3,800 m.s.n.m. To lowland forests at 200 m.s.n.m. It houses the most extraordinary natural diversity in the world. Madre de Dios region makes it a great tourist attraction for those interested in nature.
The most well-known group is vertebrates, with 221 mammals (5% of the world’s total), 1,025 birds (10%), 150 amphibians, and 100 reptiles.
This fantastic 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 astonishing number of 1,437 species has implied recorded in only one area within the Cocha Cashu research station.
New species from all groups have continued to be described in recent years, and there are undoubtedly many more to discover. There are also 210 species of fish documented in the rivers and cochas of the park.
Among the invertebrates are 1,307 butterflies (15% of the world’s total), 136 dragonflies, 650 Coleoptera, and more than 300 species of ants. It estimates that the park can house more than 500,000 species of living organisms, becoming the most biodiverse protected area in Peru and probably the world. Its accessibility allows visitors to appreciate it in all its splendor.
According to their traditions, Manu local People, including native communities, Andean settlers, and indigenous groups living in isolation
The Matsiguenka (also known as Machiguenga) is the leading group living in the Manu National Park, established in four communities and 700 people. Near these communities, other Matsiguenka families form small settlements with a traditional way of life. Other Matsiguenka groups live in the zone between the rivers Piñipiñi and Mameria.
In the park’s buffer zone, several communities in Matsiguenka, Such as Santa Rosa de Huacaria, Palotoa, and Shipetiari. The Matsiguenka live mainly from cultivating cassava, hunting, and fishing.
Other Native Groups
Other groups do found in the low parts of the Amazon, such as the Yine, who live in the community of Diamante, and the Harakmbut, who live mainly in the neighborhood of Shintuya near the Alto Madre de Dios River.
Also, the areas more distant from the park, like the headwaters of the river Manu, are visited temporarily by Nahua and Yora to collect taricaya eggs and fish. The Mapacho river valley in the high Andean zone is home to the Quechua-speaking communities that grow potatoes, corn, fruits, and coffee. These communities border the park, except for Callanga, located in an old hacienda.
Discover the extreme biodiversity, see through the Manu National Park to Travel agencies or Tour operators