In the heart of the San Martín region, located between the Marañón and Huallaga rivers is a protected area that includes cloud forests of jungle eyebrow and high jungle, areas housing unique species in the world. We are talking about the Río Abiseo National Park.
Declared Cultural and Natural Heritage of Humanity by Unesco, and besides being a rich area in natural and landscape resources, with ecosystems that possess a great diversity of endemic fauna and flora, Río Abiseo does also have an important cultural value due to the archaeological remains found here, with millennia of history.
Dazzling geography, flora and fauna
This heritage has an area of natural formations called dwarf forests, which is characterized by having trees with branches covered with thick moss and populated by a legion of epiphytic plants: hundreds of varieties of delicate orchids, colorful bromeliads and thick lianas. It is very common to find tree ferns in Río Abiseo, which have giant begonias and leaves up to 26 feet above the ground.
1,134 species of plants have also been registered, featuring some very large trees, such as the renaco, rubber tree, sangre de grado and cat's claw; the last two being of great economic importance. There are also two species of trees considered to be in danger of extinction: the cedrela montana and the rosemary.
This park is home to the yellow-tailed woolly monkey, which was believed to be extinct and is found only in this area. It does in addition protect 900 species of wild fauna, distributed into 181 mammal species, 409 bird species, 17 reptile species, 30 amphibian species, 14 fish species and close to 250 species of invertebrates.
Abiseo Archaeological complexes
This natural area, protected since 1983, show vestiges of pre-Columbian occupation, 36 archeological sites having been found to date. Signs of the Chachapoyas culture include Gran Pajatén, a series of at least 26 circular stone structures above numerous terraces and steps; and the Los Pinchudos mortuary complex, built on the narrow cornice of a large bluff, and which contains wooden idols representing naked beings. There is also the Las Papayas complex, with about 100 structures, some made of carved stone; the archaeological site of Marcial (known as Pajatén II), also with more than 100 buildings; among others.
Rio Abiseo also has several natural attractions such as the Oros ravine, the El Oso, Velo de Novia, Shihui and Gemelas waterfalls, in addition to the Empedrada, Escondida, Colorada, Negra, Honda and Chúcara lagoons.
It also has rocky formations, a mountainous massif and U-shaped valleys in which you can appreciate the local fauna and flora.
- The Río Abiseo National Park is not currently open to the public. Admission is only permitted for study, research or documentation purposes, with prior authorization from the head of the national park, Sernanp offices or the National Institute of Culture (INC).
- Together with the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu, in Cusco, they are the only World Heritage Sites considered by UNESCO in the mixed category: cultural and natural.
- The book "Parque Nacional del Río Abiseo. Memoria viva del paisaje cultural andino amazónico" (Río Abiseo National Park. Living memory of the Amazonian Andean cultural landscape) was presented at the beginning of 2019, and contains texts by 16 researchers that capture the cultural and natural richness of the park on 464 pages.
Sources: Senanp/ iperu.org/ naturalezaycultura.org/ rumbominero.com