Peru: Manu National Park draws over 9,000 tourists a year

More than 9,000 domestic and foreign tourists visit Manu National Park to enjoy its flora and fauna biodiversity in this 2 million hectare natural reserve located in Cusco and Madre de Dios regions.

John Flores Leiva, head of the park, explained that approximately 1,500 tourists come to the Amazon area of Manu river basin, while about 500 visitors are drawn to the Tres Cruces (Three Crosses) zone, located in the Andean part of the reserve.
However, he clarified the greatest flow of tourists is found in the buffer zone, offered by tour operators as Manu National Park or Biosphere Reserve, where about 7,000 visitors come each year.
The main reason of the mass flow into the buffer zone is the low prices and access easy access routes available for tourists.
“Entering Manu river takes three addition days. This is why operators sell different destinations and products such as Bosque Nublado (Cloud Forest), Alto Madre de Dios river basin and a route that runs to Puerto Maldonado through Colorado,” he said.
He said there is an airfield in Fitzcarrald district, in the indigenous community of Diamante. It has been out of service for several years and operators are not making the most of it on the Manu tour.
“The landing field used to easy the entry of tourists into Manu, but now the trip is made by land, mainly accessible from Cusco, and in small groups that take the Puerto Maldonado route through Colorado,” he continued.
The tourist package cost to visit Manu National Park for seven days is about US$2,000; however it varies depending on a series of factors.
Flores explained the price depends on the quality of service, number of days, type of package, operator, distance and tour duration. “Prices vary a lot”.
The National Service of Natural Protected Areas (Sernanp) has deployed 28 forest rangers in different points of the natural reserve, to increase surveillance in the area.
“Seven surveillance posts were created all along the areas where potential threats from agricultural activities have been identified,” he stated.
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