- Location: In Madre de Dios in the Cusco region
- Attraction Type: A National Park
- Significance: The largest national park in Peru includes a Biosphere Reserve and a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Best Time to Visit: From June to October
- How to Reach: By a one-and-a-half days journey by bus and boat from Cusco; alternatively by a 25-minute flight from Cusco
- Nearest Airport: Cusco Airport
Manu National Park is an outstanding destination in that it represents Peruvian flora and fauna at its verdant best. The reserve zone contains one of the most magnificent ox-bow lakes in South America. Cocha Lake on Manu River is the biggest of the thirteen ox-bow lakes formed by this river system. In the buffer zone of this Peru national park, you would get the opportunity of meeting Indian tribesmen many of whom still practice centuries-old traditions. In Peru Manu National Forest, you get the liberty and scope of surrendering yourself entirely to the tranquility of nature.
At Manu National Park, you would miss if you hurry. All expeditions to this reserved forestland should ideally be done at a very leisurely, thereby giving you enough chance to explore the surroundings at ease. There are not many Biosphere Reserves and UNESCO World Heritage Sites at the same location. Manu Biosphere Reserve is one such rare place. This astounding national park protects several ecological zones starting from about 150 meters to over 4000 meters. There is a stupendous inhabitation of over 15,000 plant species, more than a thousand varieties of birds and nearly 600 species of animals including reptiles and amphibians.
You would be baffled to note that Manu National Forest of almost 19,000 sq. km. has a biosphere reserve of 2,500 sq. km., a national park of over 15,000 sq. km., and a cultural zone of about 900 sq. km. In this cultural zone, you could interact with primitive Indian tribes who have inhabited these forests for centuries. Here you might discover more than 150 kinds of mammals, almost 100 varieties of reptiles, nearly 150 species of amphibians, and over 200 fish species in the Cocha Lake and Manu River. There is an incredible habitation of 650 beetle varieties and more than 1300 kinds of butterflies.
Staying in Manu National Park
Perhaps in very few places across the globe, you would have a more thrilling experience of staying in a jungle as in Manu National Park in Peru. You stay amidst the luxury of nature in tents with open wooden structures and thatched roofs. Built on raised wooden platforms and fully screened, each of these tents is equipped with twin beds. The toilet is shared and provided with showers and flush toilets.