Peru's national parks are run by SERNANP, protected areas cover 12.7% of the entire country. There are 10 national, parks as well as several national reserves and santuaries. Here are some of the highlights:
Manglares de Tumbes National Sanctuary- This is Peru's only swamp forest and it covers 8,320 acres near Tumbes. There is quite a bird of aquatic wildlife that inhaits the mangroves such as snails (33 species), creustaceans (34 species), mollusks (24 species), and fish (105 species), not to mention green iguanas, crab-eating raccoons, and many, many species of birds.
Cerros de Amotape National Park- Located in the Tumbes and Piura regions, this national park covers 255,600 acres. This is the only area of protected equatorial dry forests in the country. There are four different life zones, which contain many species of plants that are quite rare in Peru, especially or chids, bromeliads, and epiphytes.
Paracas National Reserve- Covering 938,000 acres in the Inca region, 609,000 of which are marine enviroments. The diversity of birds here is great, both of migratory and endemic species. Most of the birds can be found along the coastal area, where you will also encounter two species of sea lions, and the endagered marine otter.
Huascarán National Park- Establised in 1975, this is one of the most visited parks in Peru. Just north of Huaraz, it encompasses almost all of the Cordillera Blanca, evering 952,000 acres. There is a wide variety of microclimates, which have given life to 779 species of andean flora. This is a popular destination for hikes, climbers, and other adventure enthusiasts. The park contains many of the highest mountains in the Americas, including ther highest of all, Huascaran, at 22,195 feet.
Machu Picchu Historical Sanctuary & Natural Monument- This was declared a UNESCO world Cultural and Natural Heritage site in 1983. It covers 91,250 acres in the Cusco region, wich altitudes ranging from 6,500 to 13,000 feet. A variety of rare flora and fauna inhabit the cloud forests found in this range. Palms, evergreens, cedars, and ferns are among the many plants you will find. As for orchids, this is an incredible place. There are nearly 200 species from 30 genuses. Threatened creatures such as the Andean cock-of-the-rock, the spectacled bear, and the pampas cat make their home here.
Salinas and Aguada Blanca National Reserve- This reserve near Arequipa covers over a million acres, with snow capped mountains, volcanoes, lagoons, meadows and forests. There are several inactive volcanoes such as El Misti (19,089 feet). Chachani (19,680 feet) and Picu Pichu (17,387 feet). The Salinas lagoons are home to a number of endangered flamingos and other aquatic birds. Around pampa Cañahuas and Tocra you can see large herds of vicuñas roaming about.
Titicaca National Reserve- This reserve in the Puno region spans 101,000 acres on or around Lake Titicaca. There are more than 60 species of birds that livein the lake, such as Puna ibis, plovers, ducks, herons, and flamingos. Nearly 20 types of frogs are found here as well.
Pacaya Samiria National Reserve- This is the largest reserve in the country, the second-largest in the entire Amazon, and the fourth-largest on the continent. The 5,824,000 acres in the Loreto region contain a wide variety of flora and fauna, some of it endemic to the reserve. There are 132 mammal species, 330 bird types, 150 reptiles and amphibians, and more than 200 varieties of fhis. Several rare and endangered species live in the park, including the clack spider monkey, the yellow-chested spider monkey, the woolly monkey, and the giant otter.
Manua National Park- This park is one of the most amazing and diverse natural areas in the entire world. It was named a UNESCO Natural Heritage Site in 1977. The national park covers 479 million acres going from 490 to 20,664 feet above sea level. An incredible variety of ecosystems exist within the park. There are 850 species of birds, 200 mammals (100 of wich are bats), 120 types of fish, and countless reptiles, amphibians, insects and other creatures. The gigant otter, Andean spectacled bear, all of Peru's big cats, armadillos, anteaters, macaws, toucans and many other species live here.
Tambopata Candamo Reserve Zone- This extends over 769,000 acres and is located in the Madre de Sios area near Puerto Maldonado. The diversity of this park is truly astounding and many world records have been noted here 1234 types of butterflies, 592 species of birds, 152 varieties of dragonflies, 135 kings of ants, 127 species of anphibians, 103 types of mammals, 94 types of fich, 74 different reptiles, 40 termites and 39 varieties of bees. The park is home to the Colpa de Guacamayos, one of the largest natural clay licks in the world, which draw a thousands upon to thousands of parrots on most days.
Bahuaja Sonene National Park- This is in the Madre de Dios and Puno districts, in the provinces of Tambopata and Sandia, respectively. There are 255,710 acres in the park, bordering the country of Bolivia and its Madidi National Park. Like Tambopata-Candamo, which is not far away, there is a diverse population of flora and fauna. Rare species include the giant otter, the harpy eagle, the savannah dog, and the black caiman. The Ese' Eja indigenous population also lives on the land, and is permitted to subsistence hunt.