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  Peru : Parks Guide : Naturally Protected Areas 

Naturally Protected Areas 


42 naturally protected areas exist in Peru that cover an approximate total of 127 thousand square kilometers, this corresponds to 4.3% of the surface area of the country.  According to their objectives and size, three category types of natural areas exist:  Intangible Zones, Controlled Use Zones and Reserved Zones.

The intangible zones are those that prohibit all direct use of resources.  Where they only permit scientific investigations to be realized and controlled tourism: national parks, national sanctuaries and historical sanctuaries.  In the controlled use zones you will find the natural reserves, communal and hunting reserves.  These are the areas in which the wild fauna takes advantage of the sustained ways under the supervision of the state. Finally the reserved zones, are the areas that are temporally protected meanwhile its category of more appropriate use is defined.


I. National Park

A generally extensive area, where diverse unique environments or representation of diverse natural biology of the country is not significantly altered by human actions or use of autos and that the species of flora and fauna or the geological formations are of special interest; educational, scientific or recreational.     

The objectives of the park are the preservation of natural environment samples, (of cultural and scenic traits associated to them), the continuity of the evolutional processes and the realization of educational, investigation and recreational activities.

  1. Bahuaja-Sonene
  2. Cerros de Amotape
  3. Cordillera Azul
  4. Cutervo
  5. Huascarán
  6. Manu
  7. Abiseo River
  8. Tingo María
  9. Yanachaga-Chemillen

II. National Reserve

The National Reserves are areas of protection intended for conservation of biological diversity and the sustainable use of resources like wild flora and fauna, aquatic or terrestrial.  Among the reserves commercial exploitation of the natural resources is permitted under approved management plans.  They are supervised and controlled by competent national authorities. 

4 national reserves exist that occupy an area of 3,221,376 hectares, equivalent to  2.51% of national territory.

  1. Calipuy
  2. Junín
  3. Lomas de Lachay
  4. Pacaya - Samiria
  5. Pampa Galeras-Bárbara D'Achille
  6. Paracas
  7. Salinas and Aguada Blanca
  8. Tambopata
  9. Titicaca

III. National Sanctuary

Nowadays in Peru there are six National Sanctuaries that include a total area of 48,113,10 hectares, which represents 0.037% of the national territory.

The National Sanctuaries are  protected areas of  intangible character. Within them are the protected habitats of a specie or a community of flora and fauna, as well as the natural formations of scientific interest.

  1. Ampay
  2. Calipuy
  3. Huayllay
  4. Mejía Lagoons
  5. Manglares de Tumbes
  6. Tabaconas - Namballe

IV. Historical Sanctuary

It covers an area of  41,279,38 hectares that represents 0.032% of the national territory. The Historical Sanctuaries are areas which protect with intangible character, the spaces of relevant natural value. It consists of an environment of special national significance due to it's samples of the monumental and archeological patrimony and for being a place where historical developments were made. 

  1. Pomac Forest
  2. Chacamarca
  3. Pampa de Ayacucho
  4. Machu Picchu

V. Reserved Zone

In actuality there have been fifteen Reserved Zones created that cover a total area of 7,849,583,71 hectares, which represents 6.11 % of the national territory.
The Reserved Zones are areas that bring together all of the conditions necessary to be considered Naturally Protected Areas. They require complementary studies to determine, among other things, the extension and category that they will correspond to.

  1. Algarrobal El Moro
  2. Allpahuayo Mishana
  3. Alto Purús
  4. Amarakaeri
  5. Apurímac
  6. Aymara - Lupaca
  7. Chancaybaños
  8. Colán Cordillera 
  9. Güeppi
  10. Laquipampa
  11. Manu
  12. Pantanos de Villa
  13. Rímac River
  14. Santiago Comaina
  15. Tumbes

VI. Protected Forest

At the present time six Protected Forests exist that cover a surface of 38,998,699 hectares that represent 0.3 % of the national territory.
The Protected Forest areas that are established with the intention of guaranteeing the protection of the high watersheds or river basins, the banks of the rivers and other paths of water and in general, to protect the fragile lands, that therefore require it. Among the land it is permitted to use the resources and develop activities which will not put the vegetation at risk.

  1. Aledaño a la Bocatoma del Canal Nuevo Imperial
  2. Alto Mayo
  3. Pagaibamba
  4. Pui Pui
  5. Puquio Santa Rosa
  6. San Matías San Carlos

VII. Communal Reserve

The Communal Reserves are areas intended for conservation of the wild flora and fauna, to benefit the rural neighboring towns. The use and commercialization of resources is done under management plans, approved and supervised by competent authorities and conducted by the same beneficiaries.  They can be established on grounds of capacity of greater agricultural, cattle, forestry or protection and over wetlands.

The country contains two Communal Reserves that occupy an area of 65,115,811 hectares, which represent 0.51% of the national territory.

  1. The Sira
  2. Yanesha

VIII. Landscape Reserve

They are areas that protect environments, whose geographic integrity shows a harmonious relationship between man and nature, sheltering important natural, esthetic and cultural values.

Scientific, recreational and tourist use of the landscape is permitted.  The modifications to the activities and traditional practices as well as the use of the non renewable resources, require specific authorization and careful monitoring. The activities which could make notable changes in the characteristics of the landscape and values of the area are excluded. The establishment and management of these areas, the participation of the government and local towns are especially considered.

New townships of dwellers are only permitted when the zoning and the planning of the area therefore anticipate it.

The country contains a Landscape Reserve that occupies an area of 22,126,848 hectares, which represent 0.17% of the national territory.

  1. Nor Yauyos - Cochas

IX. Enclosed Hunting Land

Nowadays the country has two Enclosed Hunting Lands that cover a surface of 124,735 hectares, which represent 0.1% of the national territory.
They are areas intended for exploitation of the wild fauna through the regulated practice of sport hunting.

  1. The Angolo
  2. Sunchubamba


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