Best Wildlife Tours in Peru
With more than 32 million people inhabiting the country, Peru is the 43rd most populous country in the world. Peru is widely thought of as a destination to explore Ancient Incan empires including Machu Picchu, as well as to dive into Andean culture and history.
Peru is a magical place full of color, and not surprisingly, wildlife! Whether you travel to see the tall mountain peaks or head to the Peruvian Amazon, you will come into contact with diverse wildlife and unique experiences.
Animals you can see in Peru:
Pink River Dolphin
Although the pink river dolphin is found in other countries than Peru, if you are traveling to Peru’s Amazon, you’ll want to keep an eye out for these guys in the river! The Peruvian pink river dolphin can weigh up to 400 lbs, and reach up to 9 feet in length. They are very playful and if enjoying a cruise along the river, you may notice one curiously come to check you out. The Dolphins are considered endangered on the IUCN Red List.
Best places to see pink river dolphins:
We don’t recommend actively seeking them out due to their endangered status. Interacting with a pink river dolphin is not recommended, namely, swimming with them. Please help to keep wildlife wild by keeping a safe distance.
Consider a small group trip with Bamba Experience to visit the Amazon Jungle. Enjoy exciting excursions and trips along the river for your chance to see pink river dolphins!
The Spectacled Bear is the only bear found in South America, and may not be there forever. These bears are facing ever-increasing losses in their habitat, as well as being the target of illegal trade and trafficking. They are considered a vulnerable species. The cartoon character Paddington Bear is known to come from Peru.
Best places to see spectacled bears:
Your best chance to see a spectacled bear is at a wildlife sanctuary or rescue center. There may still be some in the wild, however, they are very difficult to find and due to their vulnerability, we recommend not seeking them out.
If you can’t make it to Patagonia, you can still have the amazing experience of seeing penguins in Peru. The Humboldt Penguin is a medium-sized penguin that is identified by their black heads and black breast-bands. They are a vulnerable species and are at risk due to over-fishing, ocean-acidification, and climate change. This species is well known due to a cheeky penguin who escaped from the Tokyo Zoo for 82 days before it was captured and returned to the zoo.
Best places to visit to see Humboldt penguins:
The best spot to visit that you have an opportunity to see Humboldt penguins is the Ballestas Islands of Peru. These islands are located near the town of Paracas and are composed of huge rock formations.
Perhaps one of the most interesting of rodents found in Peru is the vizcacha. These animals are related to the chinchilla and though they are not closely related, they most closely resemble the rabbit. The Northern vizcacha of Peru is a grey colour with bushy tails and tall ears. While they tend to feed in the evenings, the vizcacha spends its days laying out on the rocks soaking up the sun.
Where to go to see a Northern vizcacha:
The vizcacha enjoys high elevations just before the snow lines. You may have luck finding them if you are planning to visit Machu Picchu, where they spend a lot of time climbing across the rocks.
Consider traveling with Lost World Adventures as they discover the incredible biodiversity of Peru. From cloud forests to mountainous towns, the experience is incredible.
The puma carries a strong significance in Peruvian history. These large cats were once regarded as the symbol of life on Earth, as well as power and strength. It is said that Cuzco was built in the shape of a puma, which would honor the sacred animals.
The puma is not considered a vulnerable species, although their habitats are getting smaller and smaller due to growing cities and loss of habitat.
Where to visit to see pumas:
The puma is always moving around, though you may spot one high in the Andes. Your best chance, however, is to visit a nature reserve.
The term anaconda refers to a group of snakes, most recognized is the green anaconda. They are the heaviest snakes in the world and second largest in size. The green anaconda is not a venomous snake and is often found in or around water. They consume large animals including tapirs, jaguars, caiman, deer, and more, by coiling around the animals and suffocating it.
Where to visit to see anacondas:
If you are feeling brave, you can often find anacondas in the Peruvian Amazon rainforest close to marshes, rivers, and swamps.
Consider an Amazon Jungle wildlife tour in Peru that can get you close to the habitats of an anaconda!
The Andean condor is the largest flying bird in the world and has a measured wingspan of 3.3 meters. While there are other birds with a larger wingspan, the Andean condor’s combined weight and wingspan make it the largest. They are scavenger birds which feed on carcasses of cattle or deer, and have a long lifespan of up to 70 years.
The Andean condor is a near-threatened species with threats of habitat loss, poisoning, and hunters. It is estimated that there are only 6700 Andean condors left in the wild.
Where to see an Andean condor:
Colca Canyon is considered the best place in Peru to observe Andean condors. The birds tend to nest in high elevations up to 16,000 ft and out of sight.