The Otishi National Park (Spanish: Parque Nacional Otishi) is a protected area in Peru located in the Junín Region (84,5%), Junín Province and Satipo Province, Río Tambo District and in the Cusco Region (15,5%), La Convención Province, Echarate District
The Otishi National Park was created by Supreme Decree Nº 003-2003-AG on January 13, 2003. It is located in the upper zone of the Vilcabamba Mountain Chain, between the Río Tambo district, province of Satipo (Junín region) and the Echarate district, province of La Convención (Cusco region), covering an area of 305,973.05 hectares.
This territory is mainly mountainuous, with virgin woods and abundant biological diversity. Therefore, its protection is priority to guarantee the stability and integrity of the soils and water of the Ene, Tambo and Urubamba river basins.
This region is inhabited by some native communities that belong to the Arahuac family, mostly to the Asháninka and Machiguenga ethnic groups; however, there are also some inhabitants of the Yines and Caquintes ethnic groups. All of them are committed themselves to the sustainable use of natural resources.
The Otishi National Park has a large biological diversity and is connected to other important biological areas as part of the Vilcabamba-Amboró Binational Corridor. It provides important living zones, evidence of endemic species and a great diversity of ecosystems.
The fauna in the Otishi National Park is quite diverse as it is home to a large quantity of bird species, small and big mammals, amphibians, insects, butterflies, etc. They live in a zone of vegetation made up of tropical pastures, locally known as pajonales, queñual forests (Polylepis spp.), and mixed low forests of small trees.
In this complex ecosystem the 'Pavirontsi' stands out as the largest natural bridge in the world. When this bridge is crossed by the Cutiviren river, it forms a huge tunnel over 219.82 feet high, 721.78 feet long, and with an opening of around 206.69 feet wide. The zone reaches a maximum height of 13,123.36 feet above sea level and has hundreds of waterfalls around the Cutivireni river basin. Some of the main waterfalls are the Hectariato, the Maisanteni, the Cubejas, the Tsillapo, the Parijaro, the Piarontsini, the Kimayonicabeni, the Sariteto, the Tankoari, the Patsani and the Jetariato, among others.
The Otishi National Park has the following main purposes: to protect the northern tops of the Vilcabamba Mountain Chain, as well as the soils and water of the Ene, Tambo and Urubamba river basins; to preserve and protect the representative samples of the humid forest in the central jungle of the Vilcabamba Mountain Chain; and to protect the landscape beauty of this mountain range, including the Pavirontsi natural bridge and the system of waterfalls.
The Otishi National Park has a special value for the communities, mainly for those of ethnical homogeneity, because of its religious and magic connotations. The equilibrium between the flora and fauna in the forest constitutes a cultural value expressed in mythologycal representations; for example, those representing the owners of animals or of vegetables, as deities who give these resources.
There is a millenarian transmission of knowledge and culture from generation to generation, which has had an important role in shaping and distributing these cultures, as well as in determinig the way they are related throughout time and space.