The Manu Reserve is located in the provinces of Manu and Paucartambo, which is in the Peruvian Amazon rainforest and is the home to an immense variety of animals, mammals, birds and plants. Even though the Peruvian part of the Amazon represents only 10% of the total area of the Amazon rainforest, it is the most wildlife-packed rainforest in the world. Manu is in close proximity to Cusco, so it makes it the perfect destination after you travel to Cusco and Machu Picchu.
The Manu Biosphere Reserve consists of 3 zones; Manu National Park, the Cultural Zone and the Reserved Zone. The Manu National Park is an impressive 3.7 million acre park that was formed in 1973. It contains over 1,000 species of birds, 13 species of monkey, 222 species of mammals, 99 species of reptiles, over 1,300 species of butterflies and an amazing 20,000 species of plants. You can also expect to see exotic animals such as, Jaguars, Armadillos, Pumas, Bears and many more.
Due to Manu’s extreme biodiversity, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature has declared it a World Heritage Site and is one of only 200 in the world. As a result of this, the majority of the park is closed off to the general public and is only accessible for licensed biologists and anthropologists. To get into the other part of the park, you will need to book a tour with one of the licensed tour operator companies. If you go with a private tour guide then you may risk not being able to get into the park by the rangers.
The Peruvian rainforest and Manu is home to different Indigenous tribes such as the Yaminahua, Machiguenga, Mascho Piro and Amahuaca, who have been living there for a long time.
The climate in the rainforest is hot and humid all year round and is generally little variation from midsummer in December to midwinter in June, which is due to the fact that Manu is only 12 degrees south of the Equator. During the day temperatures regularly reach into the mid 30°C’s, so be sure to pack light clothes. However, if you go in midwinter there can be the rare event of cold wind movements, so you should make sure that you pack some warmer clothes as well. The wet season is from late November to April, so if you go during these months, be sure to take your waterproofs.