CERRO CHAPARRÍ PERU
You’ve read the books, loved the cartoon and seen the film – now discover the real Paddington Bear for yourself.
Except it’s not easy. Though some bears – notably the northern trio of black, brown and polar – are a cinch for any self-respecting ursophile, Andean or spectacled bears are elusive and increasingly rare. Most encounters, in either the humid cloud forests or soggy páramo that are their favoured habitats, are purely by chance, but there’s one place in South America where the odds are slightly higher.
It’s called Chaparrí, and it’s a community-owned reserve in the dry forests of northern Peru. In fact, this is not typical Andean bear territory, but they are an adaptable species that can be found everywhere from sea level up to altitudes of over 4,500m. Even if you don’t see a bear, you are unlikely to leave disappointed – the Tumbesian region is renowned for its bird life, and 39 of its 65 endemic species can be seen at Chaparrí. But if you do want your Paddington moment, don’t forget the marmalade.
Chaparrí Reserve http://bit.ly/1urOwBZ
The dry forests and mountains of the Chaparrí Reserve make a spectacular backdrop for bear encounters.