Discover another universe in the Peruvian Amazon. You might be surprised to learn that Peru is home to the second largest percentage of the Amazon rainforest after Brazil, and 60% of the country’s territory is covered by this incredible biosphere. Anyone looking for an immersive nature or wildlife experience cannot pass up the opportunity to visit the Amazon in Peru, which is just a short plane ride from Cusco.
For those adventurers who prefer to get off the beaten path, choose the road less traveled by heading to Manu National Park, a virgin territory where you can experience the Amazon in its rawest form. The park, which was designated a World Biosphere Reserve in 1977 and a World Heritage Site in 1987, is home to an array of enigmatic wildlife including giant otters, black caiman, jaguars and tapirs, as well as 200 mammal species, more than a thousand varieties of birds and innumerable types of plants. The vast swathe of the park has mostly escaped the touch of modern forces, and indigenous native tribes such as the Mashco-Piro, the Machiguenga, the Yaminahua and the Yuras still call this untamed oasis home.
An eco-luxury lodge in front of Madre de Dios River, Reserva Amazonica is easily accessible by a 45-minute boat ride from Puerto Maldonado airport. The lodge has 35 wooden cabanas inspired in the Ese’Eja culture and a massage spa overlooking the Madre de Dios forest. You´ll have the option of choosing from a varied selection of à-la-carte excursions, including a visit to the Inkaterra Canopy Walkway, a bridge system at 30 meters above the ground, Sandoval Lake, wetlands and Rainforest Garden allowing you to enjoy a privileged view of the Amazon.
Deep within the heart of the Amazon – where the story of Inkaterra first began – lays Inkaterra Hacienda Concepción, located between the Tambopata National Reserve and the shores of the Madre de Dios River. Nineteen private cabanas sit majestically on stilts and are peppered around the property, as well as a six-room casa grande with high ceilings and a rustic thatched roof. An astonishing selection of activities are led by local explorer guides, offering first-hand knowledge of the Peruvian Amazon. Excursions include a visit to Lake Sandoval, a water mirror inhabited by Howler monkeys, caimans and giant river otters.
Posada Amazonas is a 30-bedroom rainforest lodge perfect for your first taste of the Amazon’s natural wonders. Despite being relatively close to Puerto Maldonado, the Posada Amazonas offers ample opportunities to see wildlife such as squirrel monkeys, howler monkeys, parrots and macaws. The lodge is also home to a family of giant river otters. It is one of the best places to spy dozens of macaws and other wildlife in a unique and biodiverse trail from the lodge. Other activities near the lodge include: canopy tower, jungle night walks, nature trail hikes, night Nape Ethnobotanical Center, Tres Chimbadas lake and much more.
The Tambopata Research Center is the only lodge that lies within the Tambopata National Reserve, making it one of the most remote lodges in South America! The lodge’s pristine location means that it’s surrounded by the best wildlife the Amazon jungle has to offer. It is a simple but comfortable lodge situated by the world’s largest Macaw clay lick, on the uninhabited frontier of the Tambopata National Reserve and the Bahuaja-Sonene National Park. The Tambopata Research Center is a must for those looking for access to pristine wilderness and in depth exploration of the rain forest.
The Amazon is a rainforest, and as such its climate is broken down into the tropical seasons of wet and dry. The best time to visit is during the dry season from May to October, but, seeing as this is a tropical rainforest, the chances of showers are quite high at all times. The rain is heaviest in December, January and February, so it is best to avoid visiting in these months. The Amazon maintains a fairly steady temperature of around 31°C (88°F) throughout the year, but with this comes high humidity, as is typical of jungles and rainforests. We will tell you everything you need to pack for your trip to the Amazon, including long pants and bug spray, so don’t worry. June, July and August are the best, but busiest, months to visit, as they are dry and an abundance of tropical birds can be seen at the water’s edge towards the end of the dry season.
Puerto Maldonado is the gateway to the Peruvian Amazon, and the most convenient, comfortable and safe way to get there is by plane. Flights depart daily from Lima and Cusco and fly directly to Puerto Maldonado’s Padre Aldamiz International Airport, taking about 1hr 45mins from Lima and just 45mins from Cusco. If your accommodation is situated further down the river from Puerto Maldonado as will likely be the case, a boat transfer will be arranged for you, and as you sail up the famous brown waters of the Amazonian river with one of our local liaisons in, you will be able to experience the wonder of the jungle first hand.
Accommodation is plentiful in the area around Puerto Maldonado, and accessed by a boat ride up the Tambopata or Madre de Dios Rivers. Many of the accommodations are lodges constructed in the vernacular style but with basic modern amenities to cater for tourists. Some, but not all, have hot water and electricity. Check with our travel experts about accommodation in the Amazon and we can tell you which lodge would be suitable for your trip. Transport around the rainforest is on foot or by boat. Private boats can be hired or a water taxi can be called to bring you around this incredible water world and its jungle. Fish is the order of the day, and there is no shortage of delicious restaurants offering locally caught river fish, venison or wild boar. Make sure and try ceviche, a classic Peruvian dish, and plantain, which you will see on many of the area’s menus. Keep an eye out for juane, a local dish typical of the Peruvian amazon.