Reserva Ecológica Chaparrí Wildlife
Reserva Ecológica Chaparrí Wildlife information
This 34,000-hectare private reserve, located 75km east of Chiclayo, was established in 2000 by the community of Santa Catalina and the famous Peruvian wildlife photographer Heinz Plenge. It offers a completely unique atmosphere for this coast. This is one of the few places in the world where you can spot the rare spectacled bear in its natural habitat; 25 or so have been accounted for (there are also two in rehabilitation captivity).
This area is an ornithologist’s dream, with more than 237 species of birds, including rare white-winged guans, Andean condors, king vultures and several species of eagle. A large number of threatened species are also found here, including pumas, collared anteaters and Andean weasels. Nearly a third of these vertebrates are not found anywhere else in the world. And there’s a friendly fox or two.
You can spend the night in the wonderfully rustic Chaparrí EcoLodge where well-appointed adobe and bamboo bungalows await under the looming mountain of the same name. Advanced reservations are required. There’s solar-heated hot water and solar-powered electricity and each room has its own patio with hammock. It’s not fancy, but it’s nice enough that you’ll be sweetly surprised upon arrival. The food is of the homey Peruvian comfort variety served on a communal table next to a gurgling stream. It’s pretty ideal if you are a nature lover.
You can visit the reserve on your own as a day trip by catching a bus from Chiclayo’s Terminal de Microbuses Epsel to Chongoyape (S3.50), from where you must contact the local guide association, Acoturch (97-889-6377) and arrange a required guide and transport for about S140 for up to three people to tour the reserve. If you can’t get through to the association, pop in to the corner shop Fotografia Carrasco where the family can arrange everything as well as set campers up in a very rustic campground in a beautiful setting above Chongoyape.
Alternatively, Moche Tours and Sipán Tours in Chiclayo arranges day tours, including transportation and guide, for S130-140 per person (minimum four people).