Rio Abiseo National Park

The Rio Abiseo National Park is home to a large number of species of flora and fauna, as well as the location of over 30 pre-Columbian archaeological sites.

Since 1986, the park has not been open to tourism due to the fragile nature of both the natural and archaeological environment.

There are at least seven climate zones in the park, including montane forest, tropical alpine forest, montane rainforest, high Andean grasslands (puna), and dry forest.

The Yellow-tailed Woolly Monkey (Oreonax flavicauda), previously thought to be extinct, is known to live in the park and appears to be endemic to the region. It was mostly due to this monkey's critically endangered status that the area gained national park status and was placed on the list of World Heritage Sites.

The most famous archaeological site in the Rio Abiseo park is Gran Pajatén, a ruined settlement that has been occupied between 900 and 200 BC, and 200 BC-AD 600. This and other archaeological remains identified in the park are usually attributed to the Chachapoyas culture.


Community Reviews

Warren Church

My understanding is that the Rio Abiseo National Park is closed to tourism while a park management plan is being developed by Peru's Institute of Natural Resourses (INRENA) and National Institute of Culture. The natural environment and archaeological sites are extremely fragile. Lack of road access means that only backpackers will be allowed to enter, after paying a supervision fee. The archaeological sites and few points of access are all patrolled by park guards.

Again, this is my present understanding about access to the park. I usually keep informed of developments since I have been doing research at the archaeological sites. Those who wish more information should contact INRENA directly. A Web page listing publications devoted to the park's natural and archaeological resources can be viewed at:


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Site Info

Full name: Rio Abiseo National Park

Site History

  • 1992 - Criteria

    To include cultural heritage criteria (iii) as well
  • 1990 - Inscribed

    Reasons for inscription
  • 1990 - Referred

    Additional info on Archeological sites
  • 1990 - Revision

    Derived from 2 former TWHS: Pajaten Archaeological Complex and Rio Abiseo National Park


The site has 1 locations.

  • Rio Abiseo National Park


The site has 25 connections.



  • Anteaters southern tamandua
  • Bears spectacled bear
  • Cloud forest The cloud forest is considered a relic of the preglacial Huallaga Pleistocene refugium, and the reason for the area's high degree of diversity and endemism (UNEP-WCMC)
  • Critically endangered fauna species Yellow-tailed Woolly Monkey - "Fewer than 250 individuals are thought to survive today."
  • Orchids 
  • Rainforests 
  • Sloths brown-throated sloth, two-toed sloth



Human Activity


  • Built in the 4th century BC "constitute an outstanding example of pre-Hispanic human occupation at high altitudes in the Andean region from as early as the 4th century BC" (ICOMOS); Gran Pajaten is dated from -900-200 BC and 200 BC-AD 600, but the ruins that can be seen today were constructed in the Inca times (1200-1500 AD)


WHS on Other Lists

World Heritage Process