Walking Peru and Jaguars Too!
Peru Ocelot - Jaguar
The elusive jaguar is said to be one of the hardest animals in the world to spot. However, that doesn’t stop millions of people from trying to catch a glimpse of one when walking Peru ’s jungles. Even during the Incan civilisation the jaguar was seen as a symbol of strength with the scary creator god, Apaec, donning jaguar heads and snakes to show off his machoism. Both feared and revered, spotting a jaguar whilst walking Peru is an experience that you definitely won’t forget:
The Cuzco Jaguar
If you’re walking Peru and searching for a jaguar it could actually be the case that you’re walking on a jaguar. Confused? Things might make more sense from the air. You see it’s believed that the ancient Incan town of Cuzco was designed to look like a jaguar. Cuzco is the ancient Quechan word for navel and during the Incan times it was believed to be the navel of the earth. The main plaza was the jaguar’s belly, the river Tullumayo its spine, the sundial it’s eye and the
nearby town of Sacsayhuaman as its head.
Sacsayhuaman is a great place to spend the afternoon walking Peru and the three large terraced walls of the fortress there, are said to represent the teeth of the jaguar. The fortress used to be a Royal House of the Sun and contains several ancient baths used for ritualistic bathing.
We’re sure that you’ve had a great time walking Peru, so why not give something back to the local community after your holiday? You can volunteer to work in jaguar conservation for a few days at the end of your holiday at the Puerto Maldonado Centre in Southeast Peru. You will conduct important wildlife surveys on jaguars and pumas inside the Amazon Basin and help to develop sustainable management strategies. Whilst we can’t guarantee that
you’ll be lucky enough to spot one of these big cats, most of your time will be spent walking Peru’s jungle paths and recording the animals you spot.
Jaguars at Lima Zoo
There’s only one place in Peru that you’re pretty much guaranteed to spot a jaguar and that’s at Lima Zoo. In fact, the zoo has recently had a new arrival and a black jaguar, or puma, was born in May last year. Jaguars are unusual in that they don’t breed litters like other big cats and instead give birth one by one. Lima Zoo has a
number of jaguars and now contains three that were born at the zoo in captivity.
Seeing a jaguar in the zoo isn’t nearly as rewarding as seeing a jaguar in the wild, so why not book a jaguar safari to coincide with the beginning or end of your holiday? Walking Peru’s rainforest with an experienced guide is a great way to catch a glimpse of these elusive cats. Your ranger will know exactly what signs to search for from paw prints on the rainforest floor, to overhanging boughs on trees.
Jaguars hunt mainly at night so you might be lucky enough to spot one fishing on a riverbank late at night. You’ll almost certainly be able to identify their hooting mating call and scent marks up against trees.
Whether you spot a jaguar or not, one thing’s certain, the search in itself is plenty of fun!
About The Author:
Tony Maniscalco is the Sales and Marketing Manager for Ramblers Worldwide Holidays. Operating since 1946, they now offer over 250 guided group walking holidays in more than 90 different countries.
While walking Peru with Ramblers Worldwide Holidays, you can see the most scenic locations &landscapes at the best value prices.