This national park holds the key to the best wildlife-watching you will have anywhere in Peru. It kicks off in the eastern slopes of the Andes and plunges down into the lowlands, hosting great diversity over a wide range of cloud forest and rainforest habitats. Covering almost 20,000 sq km (12,427 sq mi), and is one of the best places in South America to see a stunning variety of tropical wildlife.
After Peru introduced protection laws in 1973, Unesco declared Manu a Biosphere Reserve in 1977 and a World Natural Heritage site in 1987. One reason the park is so successful in preserving such a large tract of virgin jungle and its wildlife is that it is remote and relatively inaccessible to people, and therefore has not been exploited by rubber tappers, hunters, oil companies and the like: a rare blessing anywhere in the world.