At 20,800 sq km, this is the largest of Peru's parks and
reserves. Typically, Pacaya-Samiria provides local people with food and
a home, and protects ecologically important habitats. In this case 42,000
people live in and around the reserve. Juggling the needs of the human
inhabitants while protecting wildlife is the job of 20-30 rangers. Staff
also teach inhabitants how to best harvest the natural renewable resources
to benefit the local people and to maintain thriving populations of plants
The Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, second largest natural
protected area in Peru, covers an area of over 2,000,000 hectares and
has an amazing biodiversity and is home to a small number of native communities
that live off the Reserves resources. It is also the largest protected
flood forest in the Amazon region.
Located in the heart of Perus amazonian sub-equatorial
tropics, it is bounded on the north by the Marañon river and on
the south by the Ucayali-Puinahua. The Samiria, Pacaya and Yanayacu-Pucate
are the three main river basins within its territory.
The reserve is home of aquatic animals such as Amazon
manatees, pink and grey river dolphins, two species of caiman, Giant South
American river turtles, and many others. Monkeys and birds are abundant.
The climate of the region is tropical moist with an average
temperature of 27º C; highly humid; with an annual rainfall up to 3,000
mm; its surface is mostly flat, with seasonal floods, in a setting of luxuriant
vegetation and networks of winding rivers.
The best way to visit the reserve is to go by dugout canoe with a guide
from Lagunas or Bretana.