Manu National Park is located west of Puerto Maldonado. Access is easier and cheaper from Cusco. It takes a one and a half-day journey by bus and boat. A more comfortable but expensive option is a 25-minute flight from Cusco.
This area was declared a National Park in 1973 in order to protect its great diversity of flora and fauna and its expansive pristine areas. It was declared a Biosphere Reserve in 1977 and a World Natural Heritage Site in 1987 by UNESCO.
The success in preserving such a large tract of pristine rainforest is largely due to the inaccessibility of the area. Several indian groups continue to live inside the Park, some of which have not yet had contact with outsiders.
Visiting Manu requires time, money, and the acceptance of difficult travel conditions. You will need to be very flexible with your travel plans because trips may be delayed for many reasons. Wild fauna is elusive and you will need a visit of at least 6 to 8 days to obtain a good record of sightings.
The best time to come is during the dry season from June to October. It is cheaper to come with an organized group, but either way you should arrange your trip in advance.
Salvador Lake is one of the largest and most beautiful lakes in the Manu reserved zone. It has camping facilities.
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