"Peru is considered one of the World’s mega-diverse countries. Recent studies have shown that a region just south of Iquitos has the highest concentration of mammals anywhere in the world."

Peru’s biodiversity is truly outstanding, with many different ecosystems, ranging from dense rainforests in the east, to stunning Andean mountains and endless coastal deserts on the Pacific coast.

Peru is an ideal setting for nature lovers and birders. With Nature protected within dozens of reserves and national parks it offers a wide variety of options for those who are looking for a nature travel adventure of a lifetime. In addition, Peru’s cultural heritage from ancient Inca heritage is still alive everywhere, and chances are always there to explore villages and markets to learn more about this Andean culture.

Peru Birdwatching & Wildlife Tours

Birds and Wildlife of Northern Peru

Endemics of the Tumbesian Region
10 Days - 9 Nights
Birds and Wildlife of Southern Peru

The Pacific Coast, Tambopata, Machu Picchu and Colca Canyon
16 Days - 15 Nights

Main Features

Situated in western South America, the Republic of Peru is a unitary semi-presidential representative democratic republic divided into 25 regions and the province of Lima. Different types of plains ecosystems cover Peru’s territory. Tropical forests in particular occupy more than 94% of the country’s forested territory, being the third largest extent of tropical rainforests on Earth, after Brazil and the Democratic Republic of Congo. These are some of the most biologically diverse forests in the world. There are still 730,000 km2 (282,000 sq. mi.) of natural forests in good condition, 80% of which are classified as primary forest.

 

Geographical Regions

Peru counts 84 different types of ecosystems, but forests are Peru’s main geographical features. They range from cloud forest in the south to low-lying plains Amazon forest in the north, spanning over nearly two-thirds of its territory. It is believed that Peru’s Amazon rainforest holds the greatest diversity in the world. These are certainly Peru’s main ecosystems, but despite 60% of the country being Amazon rainforest, only about 5% of its human population live there.

The Andes are perhaps the second most prominent geographical feature in Peru; one that it shares with most other western South American countries. The cordilleras (mountain ranges) in central Peru are among the highest in the country. North of Lima, the Cordillera Blanca stretches for 200 km (124 mi.), with several peaks over 5,000 metres (16,400 ft.) tall. The highest of them all is Huascarán, reaching an altitude of 6,768 metres (22,205 ft.). In the southernmost part of Peru, the Andes yield to the Altiplano; arid plains, sitting above at 3,300 meters (11,000 ft.) high. It is here, at 3,830 metres (12,566 ft.) above sea level, where Peru and Bolivia share the largest lake in South America and the world’s highest navigable body of water: Lake Titicaca.

But most of Peru’s largest cities and the vast majority of its human population are situated on the Pacific coastal region –a narrow strip of land made up almost entirely of desert, which runs from one end of Peru to the other for some 2,200 km (1,400 mi.). Coastal Peru is also home to one-third of the dolphin species of the world.

 

Biodiversity

Peru’s territory teems with a staggering 10% of the world’s plant species, around 2,000 species of fish, 1.868 bird species (following IOC 8.1 species list standards); 380 species of amphibians, 460 species of mammals and 365 species of reptiles.

 

Climate

Peru’s diverse climate is generally tropical, but it’s largely ruled by a combination of mountain ranges and topography variations, and it’s highly affected by two ocean currents: Humboldt and the world reputed El Niño. There are 28 different climates are recorded in Peru, but they can be grouped in three main climate zones: a desert coastal strip – called La Costa– with a mild climate, cloudy and foggy in winter and pleasantly warm in summer; the Andean zone called La Sierra, more or less cold depending on altitude, and finally the large eastern area covered by the Amazon Forest, known as La Selva, with a hot and humid climate throughout the year.