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9. Looking into the Future ___

The planet’s deforestation is evident. In light of this, Peru’s protected natural areas are a reserve of biodiversity for the world, particularly the areas located in Amazonia such as the Manu National Park, the Tambopata National Reserve and the Bahuaja Sonene National Park, in the department of Madre de Dios; the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve and Gueppí Reserved Zone, in the department of Loreto; and the National Parks of Cordillera Azul and Purus that straddle the borders of more than one department.

These protected areas have a great future, since they are located in the planet’s last great tropical forest, with a few indigenous groups living in chosen isolation within these territories and numerous species of animals and plants, some endangered, spread out among these privileged spaces of nature.

Bird watching is also another theme which will gain many enthusiasts when the appropriate circuits, paths and lookout points have been implemented; currently there is only one company that provides this service, basically on the north coast in the Chaparrí Ecological Reserve, the only place in the world where the white-winged guan can be observed in the wild.

Deep sea fishing had an extraordinary peak of popularity in the 1950s, when the famous American writer Ernest Hemingway practiced this sport at Cabo Blanco, in the department of Piura. In fact, Peru still holds several world records, including for the largest black marlin ever caught. However, today this sport is only practiced in a rudimentary fashion and requires at the very least the construction of a marina.

Another potential gold mine is the spa industry. There are numerous hot springs distributed the length and breadth of Peru’s different geographical areas, particularly in the highlands of Lima (Churín, Huancahuasi), Arequipa (La Calera, Yura), Cajamarca (Baños del Inca), Cuzco (Aguas Calientes), Ancash (Monterrey, Chancos), Apurímac (Cconoc) and La Libertad (Cachicadán).

Alternative Medicine and Mystic Tourism go hand in hand and could become a good option for commercial development of the broad and ancient knowledge that Peru’s indigenous peoples possess, and some of the possible sites for visiting are at Las Huaringas (Piura), Salas and Túcume (Lambayeque), Cachiche (Ica), Pucallpa (Ucayali), Iquitos (Loreto) and Huasao (Cuzco). In fact, tourists already join in sessions organized as ‘Payment to Mother Earth’ in which an offering is made to the spirits associated with the forces of nature.

Among Peru’s future tourism plans is the development of the North Amazon circuit, which intends to provide a balance to the focus that is still centered almost entirely on the Southern Andes.

Once the highway is paved between the city of Cajamarca and Chachapoyas, a whole range of possibilities will open up from the rich historical background, the scenery and archaeology of the departments of Cajamarca and Amazonas. It is one of the ideas on the agenda to link the North Amazon circuit with its Moche treasures on the coast, the Cajamarca countryside and the fortress of Kuelap, with the exhuberant rainforests of Moyobamba, Tarapoto and Loreto that include a trip along the Amazon River.

As Peru undergoes the process of regional development, new circuits are being opened up with the support of local authorities. Infrastructure such as the international airport at Cuzco and the paving of the highway that links Cuzco to Madre de Dios, planned for 2006, are among the projects that will undoubtedly help to boost the tourism industry.

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Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.