Before I decided to travel to south America I had read many histories of ancient cultures and mythic places, I had read about the Mayas and the Incas, but then I read about a little national reserve in Cajamarca-Peru called Parque Nacional San Andres, when they said there were many rare animals exotics plants and multicolor orchids as well as beautiful and a deep caverns, I kind of took my decision. I was always of the idea of going deep inside a cavern, especially when it has fishes and Guacharos, a large nocturnal bird that feeds on fruit and lives in Central and South America and looks like a nightjar.
To reach Cutervo, I, first had to land on Cajamarca that is the department that harbor the province of Cutervo. I was in Cajamarca a time no less than 2 weeks; there I did not visit Los Baños del Inca that is the main attraction for tourists in there. I did not come to visit cities. My goal was the adventure in inhospitable places, like I was heard Cutervo was.
When I decided to travel to Cutervo that is in the north of Cajamarca I did it in a car, a kind of taxi. I traveled in the break of dawn. The driver charged me 300 Peruvian soles. Lastly I discovered that it was a fair trade, even when he picked up some persons in the way, making the journey a bit uncomfortable.
The road to Cutervo was not really a road but a very rough and uneven trail, full of holes in the way and many abyss, making the driver very cautious and slowing down many times.. I parted from Cajamarca at 12am and arrived to Cutervo at 6am approx. The town is a small one but you can say it is calm and cozy. I did have a bit of difficulty finding a motel with internet and hot water, but there it was. They charged me 30 Peruvian soles per night. With my mind put on La Reserva Nacional de Cutervo and the animals that I expected to watch there, I decided to part there the next morning.
The guy who worked in the motel helped me a lot. He found a friend to transport me to the Reserve in a motorcycle. The guy charged me 200 Peruvian soles. We traveled through a very accidental trail again, this time we were to a far more distant location 2:30h approx. from the town. I must say that the faster way to travel through these trails is on motorcycles they call them motos lineales.
There a few more little towns in the middle of the way when the food is very cheap and they serve a plenty of food. I did not suffer from mountain sickness, called soroche over here. The average altitude here is 2500 meters upon sea level.
When we finally arrived to the Reserve, we searched for a guide to lead us to the best places and maybe to special places when I could watch some animals in its natural surroundings. The ascension to the Reserve was a lot hard for me (you have to ascend many hills), even worse the terrain was in extreme muddy, and I sink my feet in the muddy a lot of times. You have to have a good physical condition.
The first attractive that I watched was the caverns of the Guacharos, these big nocturnal birds that live inside the cavern… I must say that to get down to the cavern was very dangerous due to the muddy terrain and the slope you have to evade. Once there you can be witness of a very big cavern with a river that flows from the rocks and goes to the interior of the cavern (nobody knows the deep of this cavern). Some fishes live here the truchas, these fish can’t see. The guacharos make their nestles in the top of the cavern and I could not see them, only hear them.
I also visited a little cavern full of bats. I wanted to go farther in the Reserve but when I asked to a local man about the pumas and bears he told me that these animals had migrated far from the reserve due to gradually human colonization. I got disappointed.