Perhaps the most famous nature reserves of Peru may be in the south of the country, but the far north of Peru also has a number of natural treasures that deserve attention. The north coast of Peru offers countless special beaches and nature reserves. We list a few of the best places in the North Peruvian region of Tumbes.
From Lima, you fly in an hour and fifty minutes to Tumbes, the capital of the region of the same name on the coast of Peru. Tumbes borders on Ecuador and is the place for fresh fish, marshy mangrove forests and a few days of relaxing on the beach.
Beaches of Tumbes
For sunny, sandy beaches and a pleasantly warm temperature, the beaches of Tumbes are very suitable. Zorritos, a 30-minute drive from Tumbes, is perhaps the beach in the Tumbes region with the finest sand and good sea temperature (around 26 degrees). Besides palm tree beaches and waves that beat the hearts of many a surfer, the boulevard of Zorritos is a wonderful place to wander over. Do not leave Zorrito without tasting one of the many fish dishes or catching a fish yourself.
A little further south is Punta Sal, a beach for those looking for a truly relaxing holiday. You can dive well here and between July and October, there are expeditions for whale watching.
About fourteen kilometers from Tumbes you will find the fishing village of Puerto Pizarro. Instead of a coastal desert, as much of Peru has, you will find special mangrove areas here. Puerto Pizarro is perfect for windsurfing and kayaking. Rent a boat from this beach to discover more of the mangrove, including the endangered Tumbes crocodiles, which can grow up to five meters.
Discover the mangroves of Tumbes
The Manglares de Tumbes nature reserve is named after the mangrove, the most common trees here. Not only the flora is very special here, but also the exotic animals that occur here are a reason to visit this reserve. Those looking for birds can indulge in the “Bird Island”; Isla de Los Pajaros, where more than 120 bird species can be found. Look for a forest ranger at the El Algarrobo visitor center, if you want to visit more than the core of the reserve.
A piece of culinary advice when you visit this area: a mangrove ceviche with scallops; not only the specialty of Northern Peru, but it also seems to have aphrodisiac properties.
Tropical forests and hills
For those who do not like the mangrove, there are the ‘Cerros de Amotape’ or the hills of Amotape. This area is very diverse and has a part of the tropical rain forest and is also partly in the Andes. For great hikes, there are several paths available to discover this part of Tumbes. Only an hour and twenty minutes drive and you will see a completely different part of Peru.