Manu National Park rounds out the great nature reserves of central South America. Arguably the most important wildlife park on the continent outside of Brazil, Manu is even more isolated than its counterparts to the east if that is possible. Located at the westernmost end of the Amazon Rainforest, it abuts hard up against the Andes Mountains, providing a phenomenal ecosystem that draws from both regions.
The Manu region is one of the least inhabited places in South America. Few people lived there in pre-Coloumbian times, and westerners took little interest in the area, leaving it essentially untouched well into the 20th century. In order to protect it Manu was designated as a national park in 1973 and a world heritage site in 1987.
Manu is a mix of Amazon Rainforest and thick jungle-covered mountain highlands. It draws the best fauna of both regions, including the Giant Otter, Giant Anteater, several species of Armadillo and Deer, and large cats including Puma and Jaguar. The forest is thickly populated with doxens of types of Monkey, including Capuchin, Tamarin and Spider.
Manu National Park is the largest wildlife reserve in Peru, and one of the largest in South America outside of Brazil. It covers a little over 17,000 square km approximately fifty miles north of Cuzco. Despite this proximity, road access to Manu is extremely limited. As of this writing no visitor information was available. Web: http://whc.unesco.org (official UNESCO site).
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