One exciting thing about traveling is being able to see animals that you can’t find at home. Peru is ripe with interesting birds and mammals due to its diverse regions. From the Pacific Ocean to the AndesMountains to the infamous Amazon Rainforest, you can travel far and wide to see incredible creatures roam these habitats.
1. The Humboldt Penguin
These famously cute, tuxedo-wearing animals are a crowd favorite. The Ballestas Islands are the only place in Peru to witness these little guys. The islands have the nickname of the poor man’s Galapagos, a sit is home to many animals, including plenty of pelicans and sea lions.
2. Amazon River
DolphinWhen thinking of Peruvian animals, I bet dolphin wasn’t the first to come to mind. The Amazon RiverDolphin is not your average dolphin either. Commonly referred to as a “pink” dolphin due to the hue of their skin. Similar to humans blushing, the river dolphin has capillaries on its skin that causes a pink hue when they get excited. The best chance of seeing these guys is taking a tour from Iquitos as they live in the Amazon.
3. Andean Condor
The king of the Andes Mountains has to be the Condor. With a wingspan of up to 11 feet, they are the largest flying animal in the world. These birds thrive in high altitudes. They fly, eat, and nest at 16,000feet above sea level. One of the best areas to spot these majestic creatures would be Mirador Cruz delCondor, at Colca Canyon outside of Arequipa.
4. The Puma
The elusive puma will be a difficult one to find in the wild, like most other big cats. But these stunning creatures play an important role in Andean folklore and you can see that in the ancient buildings and paintings. It’s even believed that Cusco was built in the shape of a Puma. The best chance to see this large feline would be at Tambopata Reserve, although there are still some roaming the Andean highlands as well.
5. The Andean Cock-of-the-Rock
Even if you don’t consider yourself a “bird watcher,” the Cock-of-the-Rock puts on quite a show during mating season. With vibrant orange and black feathers, that they puff up when trying to impress, these little birds are worth spotting. Your best bet to of seeing these brightly-colored birds are in the Andean cloud forests of the Manu Biosphere Reserve. And if you’re lucky you might even find them along the trek to Machu Picchu.
6. The Macaw
The macaw is a fluorescent, rainbow-colored bird (the kind you’d imagine hanging around pirates).These birds fly throughout the Amazon, but you’re most likely to see them at Tambopata NationalReserve, as it is ripe with clay licks that the macaw likes to eat.
7. The Jaguar
If you thought seeing a Puma would be difficult, then catching a glimpse of the jaguar is going to be theOlympics. This beautifully spotted cat is nearly impossible to spot as it avoids humans and likes to keep to itself. If you want to try your luck, then the Manu Biosphere Reserve would be your best bet.
8. Peruvian hairless dog
These dogs may not win best-in-show, but they are remarkable. These Peruvian pups have adapted to survive the difficult desert climates by freeing themselves of fur. They play an important role in the country’s cultural heritage and have been revered by the Inca for thousands of years. Although some are kept as pets throughout Peru, you can find them roaming near the Pacific coast, like Trujillo or the ancient ruins of Chan Chan.
9. The Caiman
Kind of like alligators, but fun-sized. These mean-looking guys are commonly found in the Amazon. They often spend their days basking in the sun and their nights hunting for food in the water. They are resilient and can live up to 40 years in the wild. They can be found anywhere throughout the Amazon but the Tambopata National Reserve is the best place to spot caiman.
These feisty fish with razor-sharp teeth are found in the Amazon. Typically any riverboat cruise fromIquitos will include fishing for piranha on the itinerary. Catch one and enjoy frying one up for dinner.Piranha soup is also a local favorite.
11. Llamas and Alpacas
Arguably the most famous of all Peruvian animals are the fluffy and adorable llamas and alpacas. No trip to Peru would be complete without a selfie with these cuties. They play important roles in Peruvian society, as they are consumed for their tender meat and their wool is spun and used for clothing. It would be near impossible to travel through the Andes without seeing a llama or alpaca. You can even see them with their wool brushed and dolled up as a tourist attraction in the streets of Cusco.
Peruvians love and respect nature and this earth, Pachamama, so it makes sense that there are a lot of protected nature reserves. This allows visitors like us to be able to witness the extraordinary animals that call this diverse country home. Grab your binoculars and reach out to our team today!