Tourism on the rise: Peru’s protected natural wonders to attract 2 million people in 2014


Tourism on the rise: Peru’s protected natural wonders to attract 2 million people in 2014

ParacasA splendid view of the ocean in Paracas
Photo by Yannina Peña Pinto

Tourism in Peru is on the rise. The National Service of Natural Areas Protected by the State (Sernanp) estimated that in 2014 approximately 2 million foreign and local Peruvian tourists will make trips to the 14 protected natural areas in the country.

The 14 protected areas of Peru include national parks Huascaran Yanachaga Chemillen, Tingo Maria, Manu; Chacamarca historical sanctuaries, forest Pómac; national shrines Mangroves of Tumbes, Lagunas de Meija, Ampay and national reserves Junin, Paracas, Ballestas, Lachay, and Pacaya Samiria.

Pacaya Samiria Lodge at Sunset Near IquitosSunset in Pacaya Samiria, close to Iquitos
Photo by Hazelbrae/Flickr

The head of Sernanp, Pedro Gamboa, stated that there has been a steady increase of travelers to Peru in recent years. He noted that annually the number of visitors has risen by approximately 20 percent.  “In 2013, there were more than 1.3 million people” Gamboa was quoted as saying by state news agency Andina. “We account much of this growth to the fact that visitors view these areas as a great place to find flora, fauna and nature, and where good conservation work is done” he continued.

11408734894_f1c3870cd2_kThe acrobatic Hyla Tree frog at the Manu National Park
Photo via Vil.Sandi/Flickr

In order for an area to be established as a protected natural area, it must be clearly identified as containing ecological, biological, environmental and/or cultural elements that are a priority for conservation. The ultimate goal is to avoid further human intervention in these areas and to maintain unaltered ecological processes.

One of the top destinations for tourists to Peru is the Ballestas Islands near Paracas. In 2013 alone, more than 250,000 people embarked on this trip in the Southern Ica province.

Islas BallestasWildlife spotting at the Islas Ballestas
Photo via South America Travel

The Paracas reserve is another favorite destination for both domestic and foreign tourists. This year, over 10,000 visitors made a trip here during the Christmas and New Year holidays alone.

Sernanp is aiming to sell 13 million soles (4.6 million US$) worth of admission tickets to the protected natural areas in 2014. The entrance fee to the protected natural areas will now range from 5 to 10 soles.

ChacamarcaUnique rock formations at the Chacamarca historical sanctuary
Photo by Orlando Tipismana

According to the popular magazine BIZ! USA Peru and Americas, Gamboa attributes the excellent preservation of these protected natural wonders to the outstanding work of the people working at Sernanp: “If you go to the Manu National Park… everyone says how well preserved it is because it is the work done by our staff.”

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About Author

Hendrika is Belgian but she considers herself a citizen of the world as she has lived in many different countries before moving to Peru. She fell in love with South America after her first visit to the continent in Bolivia, and has since then spent a lot of time traveling in the area. She especially enjoys Peru for its diversity, delicious food, and rich history.

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