The jumping off points for the Amazon can be quite the attractions themselves. If you happen to have a couple extra days before or after your trip to the rainforest, there are plenty of activities to enjoy in some of these key spots. Let’s take a look at a few of those options below.
Puerto Maldonado is the place you’ll begin your visit for the southeastern section of the Peruvian Amazon. Founded in 1902 at the place where the Tambopata and Madre de Dios Rivers meet, it’s the spot from which most visitors start their journey to their Amazon lodges. There is an airport here, but don’t expect to drive to your rainforest destination. The transportation method of choice here is by boat!
The city offers several nature options for those who still want a taste of the Amazon forest without traveling too deep into the jungle. On your way to or from the airport, plan to visit the Butterfly Farm. You’ll get great shots of these very colorful flyers. If you came to see the animals, head to Monkey Island, a place where you’ll find many different species that are not shy about making friends, and borrowing your belongings.
If sightseeing is up your alley, get a great view of the town and surrounding forest at the Obelisk. The Plaza de Armas, or central plaza is a great place for people watching and souvenir purchasing.
Puerto Maldonado Lodges
Posada Amazonas – The perfect lodge for those who are looking for a comfortable Amazon jungle experience. The open-air design allows you to see and hear the surrounding wildlife. With it’s eco-friendly approach, this lodge will ensure your stay or not only authentic, but responsible as well.
Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica – One of the most luxurious lodges of this part of the Amazon. Explorer the jungle from bottom to top, then retire to your private cabaña. The Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica gives you adventure and comfort at the same time!
Another Peru Amazon travel option is Iquitos. Nicknamed the Capital of the Peruvian Amazon, this city offers a really unique side of Peruvian life. It can only be reached by plane or boat and has large sections of neighborhoods that have canals instead of streets. The downtown section is a great mix of heritage and history due to the rubber boom at the end of the nineteenth century that brought visitors from all over the world. It became a draw for wealthy Europeans, some of whom built properties that still remain today. Even Gustace Eiffel (of the Eiffel Tower in Paris) built a famous one – Casa de Fierro, meaning House of Iron. It’s a fascinating city with a rich history you’ll love to explore.
In Brazil, the main city you’ll pass through on your way to the jungle is Manaus. This city also benefited from the rubber boom and blew up with ornate buildings constructed with the most lavish materials available. You can still see the wealth of the old days in the opulent Opera House, Mercado Municipal (which is a replica of the famous Les Halles food market in Paris), and a host of other grand buildings. Make sure to visit both of those and the Rio Negro Palace, a cultural center and theater, for a beautiful step back in time. More of the outdoors type? Well, you’re going to love the Meeting of the Waters. Probably the most famous attraction in Manaus, this natural phenomenon happens when the Amazon River meets the Rio de Negro. Because of their differing temperatures, speeds and density makeup, they run side by side without mixing for miles. The muddy, light brown waters of the Amazon and the dark, almost black waters of the Rio Negro make for quite a show riding side by side. While you’re riding the river, watch out for the pick dolphins. These freshwater swimmers are quite the fun, friendly types and are a thrill to see in the wild. There are a number of day trips you can take to lead you out in to the forest to see some flora and fauna, but it will take several hours journey to reach an area completely untouched by humans.
Manaus Amazon Lodges
Ecopark lodge – The Amazon EcoPark Lodge provides the rustic, authentic experience you craved when visiting the Amazon… with some nice comforts.
Juma Lodge – An excellent superior Brazilian Amazon Jungle option. This unbelievable lodging sees you living in stilted bungalows with incredibly immersive views of the surrounding nature. It’s an experience in and of itself.
Ariau Amazon Towers – The Ariaú Amazon Towers have a one of a kind style that’s been enjoyed by Hollywood celebrities and the crowned heads of Europe.
Speak to one of Class Adventure Travel’s Destination Specialists to decide whether one of the Peruvian or Brazilian Amazon lodges fits you best!