Located on the northern coast of Peru is a wonderful place protecting ecosystems and species that are unique to Peru. Its characteristics have made it a favorite destination for photography, adventure tourism and bird watching. We are talking about the Cerros de Amotape National Park.
The specific location of this protected natural area is between Contralmirante Villar (Tumbes) and Sullana (Piura); along with the Tumbes National Reserve and El Angolo Game Preserve, it is part of the Northeast Biosphere Reserve. Most of it is crossed by the Tumbes River, the only navigable river on the coast.
Located on the right side of Cerros de Amotape is the Pacific Tropical Forest, the only place on the Peruvian coast where it is possible to see forests with trees over a 100 feet tall and covered by giant begonias, orchids, lianas and Spanish moss. The Equatorial Dry Forest is on the left side, which besides its enigmatic and overwhelming landscape with lagoons and wetlands has an important historical past, since some of our pre-Hispanic cultures such as the Moche, Chimú and Sicán cultures, among others, settled here.
Unique flora and fauna
Thanks to the influence of the Amotapes mountain range, this natural area has developed a fauna and flora with unique characteristics; with the greatest biological diversity endemic to the dry forest of northern Peru. This is why it is considered a world center of plant diversity and an area of international importance for birds.
It features animals such as the northwestern otter, the red deer, the sajino, the jaguar, the tigrillo and the Tumbes coto monkey. The latter is located in the Las Pavas ravine and communicates by means of a complex system of screams, which is why it is also called a howler monkey. Cerros de Amotape is in addition home to about 400 species of birds, including the gray-batched hawk, the gray-cheeked parakeet, the blackish-headed spinetail and the slaty becard.
As for the flora, it is possible to find endemic species of ceibo, carob tree, hualtaco, angolo, guayacán and palo santo; the last two being have great commercial value.
Other natural beauties
In addition to being an excellent place to hike and observe diverse flora and fauna, Cerros de Amotape has very attractive places for visitors.
Rica Playa. This is the main entrance to this natural area. It houses the Bocana Carrillo, where you can travel along the Tumbes River, fish and go canoeing. In Ucumares and Guanábano you can also camp, and observe the mud volcanoes in Jaguar del Monte.
La Angostura ravine. Its great attraction is the crystalline waterfall in the Huarapal ravine, which is located in the tropical rainforest and provides a unique contact with nature.
El Caucho. One of the best areas to appreciate all the beauty of the Pacific Tropical Forest. This is starting point to tour the nearest ravines, such as the Faical Ravine, which has an incredible landscape surrounded by steep slopes covered by humid forests in an excellent state of conservation.
The best places to observe birds are La Poza del Pato and Campo Verde.
Did you know?
- The Pacific Tropical Forest and the Equatorial Dry Forest are part of the 11 ecoregions that are recognized in Peru. The other nine include the cold sea, the tropical sea, the coastal desert, the steppe highlands, the puna, the páramo, the high altitude rainforests (high jungle), the Amazon rainforest (low jungle) and the palm savannah, many of which are home to protected natural areas.
Sources: Sernanp/ La República/ peru.ecologico.com