National Reserve of Manu

Reserva Nacional del Manu

It is a protected space located in the southeast of Peru between the departments of Madre de Dios and Cusco, in the provinces of Manu and Paucartambo. With an extension of a total of 1 909 800 hectares.

It expands from 300 meters above sea level, at the junction of the Manu river with the Madre de Dios river up to 3800 meters above sea level at the peak of the Apu Kañajhuay mountain peak, some researchers believe that in the virgin areas of the reserve is the Paititi or Lost City of the Incas.

This national park was created on May 29, 1973, in 1977 UNESCO recognized it as a Biosphere Reserve Park and in 1987 it was declared a Natural World Heritage Site.

Colonial and Inca History

There is evidence of ancient cultures in the Manu Biosphere Reserve as the petroglyphs of Pusharo, are a set of engravings of which there is still no explanation of their origin and the meaning they have. These petroglyphs were first reported by Father Vicente de Cenitagoya in 1921, which are located on the right bank of the river Shinkibenia, Oroyo of the Palotoa River, other petroglyphs are found in the Qeros River, on the large rock "Xinkiori", Legendary for the huachipaeris. There is also an archaeological site in the Mameria area, located at the headwaters of the Piñi Piñi e el Alto Tono river.

The Manu has a history marked by the arrival of the foreign people, from the time of the Incas, where the Inca Pachacutec and Tupac Yupanqui attached this area to their empire until the arrival of the Spaniards who shortly after the invasion of Cuzco was founded a town in Paucartambo. Where haciendas and encomiendas were established, in the same way King Carlos III of Spain ordered a construction of a bridge which facilitated the trade of the products of the area; in this way this valley began to supply Cuzco with products such as coca, sugar, cotton, chili, wood, among others.

Reserva Nacional del Manu


On the initiative of Celestino Kalinowski in 1967, the creation of a National Park in the Manu was recommended to the Peruvian state. In 1968, it was declared a National Forest and later the National Park of Manu established on May 29, 1973.

In order to preserve a natural and cultural heritage for the benefit of present and future generations, this same purpose determined for Unesco's knowledge of the Manu biosphere reserve, which today covers a territory of 1,881,200 kilometers. square, which includes the provinces of Paucartambo in Cusco and Manu in Madre de Dios. These limits were established applying the principles of natural limits and the domain of watersheds. Likewise the limit of the Park in the same river Manu had to stop in the confluence with the Panagua river because there was an oil exploration.

Reserva Nacional del Manu


From the high peaks to 3500 m that are covered with pastures, where the temperatures vary according to the months reaching from -9 ° C to 22 ° C between the months of October and April; it descends by an extensive strip of transition called "forest scrub" which descends to 2,600 meters above sea level, the point at which the vegetation forms a forest, in which until now about 450 species were identified of plants and the fat one where the pluvial precipitation can reach between 500 and 1000 mm.

The "Montaño Bajo" forests develop between 2200 and 1650 meters, in which you can find trees that are 25 meters high, which are covered with fern orchids that grow on the walls of the deep precipices. These forests are covered in mists has a cold climate and a landscape between shadows that are constantly humid.

The forests "Montaño Lluvioso", better known as "cloud forests", which is between 600 meters above sea level and 1,650 meters, is full of vegetation. In this part you can find trees up to 30 meters which also they are invaded by orchids and ferns forming an interrupted forest at the moment it is believed that this zone contains at least 200 species of trees.

The "humid tropical forests" also called low jungle which extends over the Amazonian plain from 300 to 600 meters above sea level, this is the most representative and extensive landscape of the reserve. This is the area of ​​the serpentine Manu river.

Reserva Nacional del Manu

Flora and fauna

It is one of the most biodiverse areas in the world, in Manu you can appreciate the variety of ecological floors that exist in the Amazon, this makes it one of the most protected and appreciated areas. On a single hectare, around 250 species of trees were found. Likewise, 222 species of mammals, 1005 of birds were recorded, and it has a world record of diversity of amphibian species 155 and reptiles 132.

Reserva Nacional del Manu

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