La Cueva de las Lechuzas

Central Highlands

The 'Cave of the Owls' is, despite its name, known for the colony of oilbirds that lives inside. In addition, there are stalactites, stalagmites and bats around the cave entrance, but the oilbirds are undeniably the main attraction. It is probably Peru's largest show cave, and visits here are very popular. The admission fee also gets you entry to the bathing spots dotted in the vicinity, some in lovely waterfalls.

The caves are about 6km above Tingo on the Monzón road; taxis can take you there. Guides will show you around during daylight hours (6am to 6pm). The best times for park visits are in the morning, when sunlight shines into the cave mouth, or dusk, when the oilbirds emerge. Don’t use your flashlight to see the birds, as this disturbs their sleeping and breeding patterns.

Avoid the temptation to carry on along the road to Monzón. It is well known for its cocaine production, and you don't want to clash with drug traffickers while out for a weekend jaunt, do you?

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