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National Sanctuary of the Mangroves of Tumbes

Tierras Vivas Travel > National Sanctuary of the Mangroves of Tumbes

In the north of Peru you will not only find beautiful beaches, there is also a place with extensive aquatic forests, in which the salt waters of the sea flow in harmony with the fresh water of the rivers. This is the National Mangrove Sanctuary of Tumbes, a destination that you can now visit following the biosafety protocols for prevention against coronavirus and complying with a capacity of 40%.

The Los Manglares de Tumbes National Sanctuary is located on the border coast with Ecuador, a unique place where the largest area of mangroves in the country is located. That is why the value of this ecosystem is not only due to its biological diversity, but also because many human populations obtain direct benefits through the extraction, marketing and consumption of the hydrobiological products they obtain.

The Sanctuary guards the majestic mangrove forest and protects a high biological diversity, in addition to encouraging recreation and increasing tourist flows in surrounding places. The mangrove is a type of ecosystem in tropical areas that takes its name from the mangrove, a tree physiologically and anatomically adapted to waters with high salinity and that grows only in places flooded alternately by the sea and the mouth of some freshwater source. In Tumbes it is located from the delta that forms the mouth of the Tumbes River to Punta Capones, on the border with Ecuador.


Protect the mangrove forest, which is home to a great diversity of aquatic invertebrates of economic importance. Protect endangered fauna species such as the American crocodile.


On March 2, 1988, by Supreme Decree Nº018-88-AG.


On the coast of the northwest coast of Peru, in the province and district of Zarumilla in the department of Tumbes.


2,972.00 hectares.

The Mangroves of Tumbes: five reasons that make it unforgettable

Below, we will tell you the reasons that make it one of the most exotic areas of the country and an unforgettable destination.

  1. Home of the mangrove

Between the sea and rivers grow twisted trees called mangroves, with enormous branches and roots that sink and protrude from the water and muddy soil. In the sanctuary you will see five varieties of this species, the most common being the red mangrove, which can measure up to 25 meters in height.

  1. Wide biodiversity

If you are attracted to fauna, in the Tumbes Mangroves you will feel in paradise, as there is a great variety of animals such as the mangrove bear, shell dog and mangrove crab. It is also the ideal place for you to see various types of mollusks and fish.

  1. Protected crocodile

You can also visit Puerto Pizarro, an artisanal fishing area located 15 kilometers from the national sanctuary, where there is a zoo where you will see around 350 Tumbes crocodiles in captivity, one of the endangered species that lives in this area. From Peru.

  1. Encounter with the birds

The Mangroves of Tumbes is a good place for bird watching, there are about 150 species living there, of which 19 you can only see in this region of the country such as the mangrove huaco, mangrove chicken, mangrove chiroca, white ibis, earwig and tiger heron. The Matapalo and Las Almejas islands are two places in this destination where you can see a greater number of these feathered birds.

  1. Exquisite ceviche

One of the delicacies of Peruvian gastronomy is found in the National Mangrove Sanctuary of Tumbes, it is the black shell, the main ingredient of one of the tastiest ceviches in Peru, a succulent dish that the locals accompany with a little onion, chili , yuccas and chifles.

For these five reasons, and many others that you should discover, give yourself the pleasure in the future of getting to know the 2972 hectares of this spectacular Tumbesian destination that awaits you on your next vacation. Remember that when you visit the Tumbes Mangroves, you must do so by demonstrating that you are a responsible and supportive Peruvian, complying with all the corresponding security measures. It depends on you that more compatriots are free of the coronavirus.

Flora and fauna

About 148 species of birds live in the sanctuary, of which 19 species are endemic to Tumbes, among them the mangrove huaco (Nyctanassa violaceus), the mangrove hen (Aramides axillaris), the mangrove chiroca (Dendroica petechia) and the ibis. white (Eudocimus albus). 37 species of birds live in the bush area and 43 birds are reported in the mangrove area. Likewise, 26 species are migratory from North America.

10 species of mammals have been identified, including the shell dog (Procyon cancrivorus), the northwest otter (Lontra longicaudis) and the mangrove bear (Cyclopes didactylus).

About 105 species of fish also live there, and another 40 visit it. 33 gastropods (snails), 34 crustaceans (prawns, crabs), 24 species of bivalves (shelled mollusks) and 9 species of reptiles have been reported. The American or Tumbes crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) deserves special mention, whose current absence from the protected area confirms it as one of the most threatened species.

Regarding the flora, the predominant species is the mangrove. Five types can be differentiated: the red (Rhizophora mangle), the red (Rhizophora harrisonii), the salty (Avicennia germinans) and the white (Laguncularia racemosa), and finally the pineapple (Conocarpus erectus) which is more associated with the equatorial dry forest. , which is located in the central parts of some islands and in areas near the mangrove swamp. You can also see bushy and grassy thickets.


Average monthly temperatures range between 18° C in winter and 30° C in summer. The sanctuary has a subtropical climate. The influence of the Peruvian or “Humboldt” currents and that of “El Niño”, together with the South Pacific Anticyclone, cause irregular periods of drought (100 to 300 mm per year) and rainy periods (2700 to 3800 mm per year). Although a visit is possible all year round, the rainless season from April to November is ideal. And if you want to see the mangrove in its two states, high and low tide, it is recommended to stay two days there.

Tourist activities

The tourist and recreational use area of the sanctuary is comprised of the Zarumilla estuary, at the height of the Camarones estuary, continuing through the Matapalo estuary to the La Envidia estuary, at the height of the El Palmal sector. It has a total area of 137.5 ha (4.61% of the area) and there you can visit the shores of the mangrove and tour the channels in canoes and/or kayak, observe birds and appreciate the extractive activities of hydrobiological resources (tourism experiential).

At the “El Algarrobo” checkpoint, located in the buffer zone of the protected area, is the Interpretation Center, whose visit is mandatory.

Best Trekking and Tours in Peru

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 Peru, 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.

If you want to visit Machu Picchu, we recommend you to book your Machu Picchu ticket in advance, so you will enjoy your vacation in Machu Picchu without any problem.

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