You must drive along the Panamericana Sur and turn left at kilometer 101 and ask for the entrance to Lomas de Asia. It is a natural paradise of eight hectares, where it is possible to find a very special fauna. Traveling along the trails marked by the inhabitants of the Peasant Community of Asia, you will see vizcachas, black-breasted harriers and coastal foxes.
If you dare to explore the Lomas de Asia, you can choose between the nine routes designed by those in charge of protecting the hills. These can take over an hour, but are worth it. Green fills everything.
The area of Las Lomas de Asia was affected by nearby livestock activities and is now recovering, thanks to reforestation projects. To advance towards this goal, the community members installed a fog catcher system that allows them to capture water and store it in reservoirs. In this way they face the scarcity of this resource that affects them in summer.
Another of his priorities is to increase the population of Amancaes flowers, better known as Peruvian orchids, which are part of the representative flora of this place.
The first birdwatching-oriented records were made on February 7 and 8, 2015, during the dry season, by renowned photographer/conservationist Alejandro Tello Guevara, accompanied by biologists Pablo Merino and José Huaroto. They included both observations and identification of sounds, in the morning, afternoon and night.
37 species of birds distributed in 19 families were recorded. And most importantly, they reported the presence and abundance of four species of birds endemic to Peru: Coastal Miner, Thick-billed Miner, Cactus Canastero and Raimondi’s Yellow-Finch, among other birds.
From that moment on, they organized and began to receive groups of national and foreign bird watchers, developing a management plan for the existing species. It is currently highly visited due to the importance of this unique ecosystem.
In the hills amancaes, nettle, tobacco, chave, malva, oreganillo, chamomile, Hierbablanca, sanjuanito, wild potato, yuquilla, tara and guarango abound.
There are also lichens that only grow where the air is really clean: a gene bank of wildlife. In this habitat that surprises the visitor, starting in May and due to the effect of the Humboldt current, the humidity condenses between the stones, functioning as natural fog catchers. Then everything turns green, perhaps the color of life.
This special habitat is home to many species of birds characteristic of these habitats, many of them endemic and difficult to find elsewhere, such as the Coastal Miner, Thick-billed Miner, Cactus Canastero and Raimondi’s Yellow-Finch.
You may also see the elusive Short-tailed Field-tyrant and Variable Hawk, American Kestrel, Oasis Hummingbirds, Peruvian Sheartail, White-browed Blackbird, Vermilion Flycatcher, Mountain Parakeet and the abundant Burrowing Owl. In total you can see up to 48 birds.
Among the mammals you can see vizcachas and the Andean fox.
As in few places, you can find the original and typical flora of the coastal hills of Peru. One of them is the rare Flor de Amancaes that blooms once a year, it is also home to the Lima orchid, as well as the valerian and the tara and huarango trees. On the slopes of the hills, where the sea breeze does not reach, there is a great density of cacti and tillandsiales.
Fed by the fog that comes from the sea of the Asia district, this biodiverse bank that is home to a variety of flora and fauna is a paradise for researchers, nature lovers, walkers and bird watchers.
The trip does not demand major complications, since it is located at kilometer 101 of the Panamericana Sur; a fairly friendly route that will take you to the town of Rosario de Asia, where the Asia community office is located.
There is a minimum payment to enter the hills, but in return you will receive abundant information about the many attractions that await you.
Then go to the main bus stop. You have to cross La Capilla, Santa Rosa, the Cooperative and the Corner of Asia to see that renewed air that the hills have given to the place. Take the opportunity to have the Asian pork rinds for breakfast and fill your backpack with some essential supplies, such as water and fruit.
Iván Reyna Ramos will be the one who will guide you during the journey. He is one of the promoters and greatest promoters of this destination, to the point that he has written a book in which he describes the richness of the hills and the keys to traversing it and forming an idea of its importance, in just one day.
“If the physique allows it, we will travel the eight routes of this coastal paradise, each of which can be used in a different way: to observe birds, walk, see vizcachas and, if luck is right, run into the coastal fox”, Ivan warns.
During the ascent, we will appreciate diverse flora, we will understand the exact meaning of what wildlife is and we will learn all about the Amancaes flower, which colors the circuit yellow.
The viewpoints installed on the hills function as rest points, but, at the same time, they give us the view of the Asia Valley, which gives activity to an agriculture that had moments of great intensity; to the spa, which has generated so much commercial dynamics; and to the sea, which still employs hundreds of people in artisanal fishing. There is even talk of an eco-agriculture that still has much to reveal.
The valley and the sea have fed generations of Asians. The sweet potato is an emblematic product of its gastronomy. Try the sunny sweet potato and you will be captivated by its sweetness and flavor, but there are other proposals in which the sea contributes: dry ray charquicán is a Sunday dish that is previously caught in the Sarapampa sea, with nets and an ancestral technique. and prepared with local ingredients.
And if we have to talk about traditional foods, the valley preserves the chacalla, a drink that comes from boiling white corn and that, according to the oldest inhabitants, is the secret of its long life. The Hills of Asia have more than one reason to be included in our agenda.
In the Rosario de Asia town square you will find the community office. There they look for the guides for Las Lomas de Asia. The entrance costs between S/.3 and S/.5.
In Las Lomas de Asia you can camp. The cost of the use of the space, hygienic services and vehicle parking is S/. 15 and S/. 10 for the third of firewood if they require it for a campfire.
Many are the routes that take you to Machu Picchu, but none is like the Inca Trail Tours, the most famous pedestrian path in the Americas. After flying from the capital of Perú, Lima, you will arrive in Cusco to walk for four days along a path through forests and dense fog, millenary stone steps and discovering the ruins of ancient fortifications and Inca cities, and all the time enjoying majestic views.