Jaguar

(Panthera onca)
- © Graeme Ozburn

About Manu

Welcome to Manu!

Manu National Park was established in 1973 and in recognition of its uniqueness was designated a ''World Heritage Site” ten years later. Manu is internationally acclaimed as one of the most biodiverse areas on earth.

Approximately half the area of Switzerland, the Manu Biosphere is a complete ecosystem with protected watershed embracing Andean montage cloud forest, tropical lowland forest and the Alto Madre de Dios and Manu river drainage systems. The biosphere itself is subdivided into national park and two adjacent zones, one for tourism and the other for cultural subsistence. It is home to over 1000 species of birds, 15,000 species of plants, over 200 species of mammals, and untold numbers of insects.  Within its heart of the jungle remain indigenous peoples as yet untouched by our civilization.

Manu retains healthy populations of jaguar, tapir, anteater, black caiman, giant otter, and among the 13 species of monkey we find the unique pigmy marmoset, the smallest monkey in the world, and the nocturnal night monkey. Because of Manu's low human population and there is the continual use of traditional hunting techniques.  The animals in the park show little fear of man and are more readily approachable than in many other rainforest locations. Manu, therefore, offers unparalleled opportunities to sight animals.

Wildlife aside, however, the journey into the park itself is spectacular and not to be missed. Access to Manu is normally by road. The two day trip from Cusco to the entrance of the Manu Reserved Zone,  carries you over the Andes mountains to an elevation of 4000 m.a.s.l., past pre-Inca ruins and down through the cloud forest on the eastern side of the Andes, and finally into lush, lowland rainforest. Roads remain largely unpaved and wind their way precariously past cascading waterfalls, deep gorges, and precipices. Manu is truly a complete experience that any tourist will remember for their whole life