Manu National Park, located in south-eastern Peru, is one of the largest parks in South America. The area of the park encompasses parts of the Andean department of Cusco and the jungle department of Madre de Dios. Manu protects over 2 million hectares (4.5 million acres) of territory rich in flora and fauna species in a variety of habitats including high Andes, cloud forest, and lowland tropical rain forests.
This natural paradise is officially recognized by UNESCO as a world heritage site. In 1977, they designated Manu as a World Biosphere Reserve because it contains the best existing example of biodiversity in protected areas of rain forest, as well as endemic areas of cloud forest.
The majority of forests in the world have been altered by humans. Fortunately, Manu has remained intact and untouched by civilization. Thus, we can observe a variety of animals in their natural habitats, including: Giant Otters, Black Caiman, the majestic Jaguar, the strange Spectacled Bear, the Tapir, the Ocelot, 13 species of primates, and an estimated one thousand species of birds including seven species of Macaws.
Manu also contains 10% of the world's vascular plant species, including several species of figs and palms, as well as countless species of medicinal plants that scientists are currently cataloguing. A single hectare of forest in Manu can have up to 220 species of trees, while a hectare of temperate forest in Europe or North America may only have 20 tree species. Manu National Park may be the most biologically diverse and protected park on the planet.