Manú Road: A Birder’s Paradise in Peru

Story and Photography by Mercedes Benavides

 

Manú Road is a leading birding route that begins in the city of Cusco, in what was the capital of the Inca Empire, and journeys through deep valleys, lakes and mountains all the way into the rainforest, deep in the Manú National Park of Peru. One could even think of traveling this road as a pilgrimage: while there is one starting point and one direction, there are many paths along the way and plenty of stops to admire the breadth of avifauna and flora amidst dramatic settings as one travels up and over the Andes Mountain Range down to the Amazonian plain, all of which make Manú Road a spiritual experience for sure. As one of the top ten mega-diverse countries in the world, Peru holds the second spot in number of bird species at over 1,800, and is within the top five spots in amphibians, mammals and plants.  Manú Road is representative of this biodiversity.

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Visit Lima as a nature destination

Story and photographs by Mercedes Benavides

Peru is one of the top 20 mega-diverse countries in the world. Its capital city of Lima contributes to this through its beautiful landscapes, flora and fauna. To the west is the Pacific Ocean. On the east is the foot of the rising Andes Mountain Range, and on the north and south is desert. Millions of years ago when the Andes were created gorges formed on the western side of the Andes through which rivers flowed into the Pacific Ocean. Those gorges today are fertile valleys along the coastline of Peru, and it is in one of them, on the alluvial fan of the River Rimac, that the city of Lima is located.

Lima has many natural and man-made nature locations, but here are four of the best. The first is the Zona Reservada Pantanos de Villa, a Ramsar Site, which is designated a Wetland of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention, an intergovernmental treaty. Ramsar Sites are recognized as being of significant value not only for the country or the countries in which they are located, but for humanity as a whole. The Zona Reservada Pantanos de Villa is a coastal wetland and a location for feeding, nesting, rest and safe harbor for resident and migratory birds. Migrants fly in from Chile and Argentina to the south; from the United States and Canada to the north; and from over the Andes to the east. More than 200 bird species exist at this site, and one of them is the Many-Colored Rush-Tyrant (Tachuris rubrigastra), a favorite with nationals and foreign visitors.

Pantanos de Villa

Many-Colored Rush-Tyrant

A second location includes the cliffs of the Costa Verde which are a magnificent site that show the face of the desert and overlook the Pacific Ocean. Continue reading