Until recently, few outside of Peru knew about Tingo Maria National Park. It sees very little international visitors each year. Wanted to share it with you. Let me know if it might be a fit with something you are working on, or if you have questions or need images! Thanks.
Peru has and remains an aspirational mystery to many Americans. Machu Picchu was not rediscovered until 1911. Since then, Peruvian culture, cuisine, art, music and fabric constantly yields new surprises and experiences for the world and adventure traveler. Take Tingo Mario National Park. Never heard of it? Well, most people outside of Peru have not, but it’s a national treasure.
Peru’s Tingo Maria National Park in Huanuco is one of the oldest protected natural areas in Peru. It’s remote. It is located in the High Jungle of the Peruvian Yunga region. Tingo Maria features abundant flora and fauna, waterfalls, wildlife including 364 species of birds, 320 species of butterflies, otter, jaguar, parrots, capybaras, and many other species, as well as outdoor adventure and hiking. The climate is tropical and rainy with an average temperature of 76 degrees.
Here are five of the top things we recommend you check out during a visit:
Owls Cave: This is a beautiful cave inhabited by macaws, bats and other animal species. The interior is filled with stalagmites, stalactites and columns. Insider tip: Visit close to dusk to see the wildlife as they leave the cave.
Sleeping Beauty: One of the geographical characteristics that distinguishes the park is the formation of a mountain range that looks like a woman lying down, known as “Sleeping Beauty”. The mountains seen in the distance, give the impression of a woman lying on her back admiring the beautiful city sky.
At its base flow the Monzon and Huallaga rivers and its inhabitants tell the Inca legend of the young Cuynac, who was deeply in love with princess Nunash. She was transformed into a butterfly and he into a stone. When she could not return to her human form, she perched forever on her beloved. Insider tip: Best viewpoint of Sleeping Beauty is at the cross on San Francisco hill.
Hiking: The most beautiful hike in the park begins by crossing the Huallaga River by suspension bridge. Waterfalls such as Gloriapata, Salto del Angel and Sol Naciente are along this route. Insider tip: Have your bathing suite in case you want to take a dip. You can even bring a tent if you want to spend the night. If you don’t prefer camping, bungalows are available for rent.
Gloriapata Waterfall: A gorgeous waterfall with a height of almost 45 feet. Insider tip: It is a 50 minute walk to get there, but is stunning with the diversity of flora and fauna. You can also find the famous Cock of the Rocks birds here as well.
Sulver Water Spa in Jacintillo: This rock formation forms a pool with waters that average 64 degrees. The natural pool is accessible to visitors and has curative properties due to the high level of sulfur, an element they say therapeutically helps the human body.
Recently the National Park started working with local communities on conservation efforts to protect its natural resources and generate income and improve quality of life for locals in a sustainable way, mitigating the negative impact on the environment. This work was awarded the Green Destination Story Award for the destination’s biodiversity and commitment to caring for the environment from ITB Berlin. These efforts include:
The sustainable use of butterflies as a natural resource for the production of handicrafts, souvenirs and accessories.
Protocols for raising and extracting melipona bees for the production of honey and pollen with medicinal properties and their sale in eco-stores.
Using local crops such as coffee, cacao, banana, passion fruit, camu camu, lemon for the production of artisanal ice cream, thus linking agricultural products to the tourism sector.
For more information, visit Peru Travel.