The Peruvian Amazon rainforest, one of the last true frontiers on earth and the fourth largest plain of tropical rainforest in the world, is home to thousands of indigenous people who speak multiple languages, including some of the last groups with little or no contact with the outside world. This region comprises 60 per cent of the country (yet only 5% of Peruvians live here) and borders with Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil and Bolivia. The Peruvian Amazon is divided in to 3 parts, with a combination of river life, jungle trekking, birding and animal spotting. The city offers a mischevious, somewhat rowdy lifestyle for when you´re in the mood! Peru has the second largest portion of the Amazon rainforest after the Brazilian Amazon, it is larger than Western Europe and has been called `the lungs of the planet'. The biodiversity according to UNESCO "exceeds that of any other place on earth". The Peruvians have wisely protected the jungle, meaning that the biosphere of the Eastern flank of the Andes preserves very diverse flora and fauna reserves in the world as opposed to its neighbour Brazil where ecotourism is sadly not very popular, Peru has managed to protect its natural heritage for future generations.
The Peruvian amazon is an electrifying place for adventure. A place where you will find yourself crossing paths with rare animals, such as the howler monkey, 200 foot trees, and a few tarantulas!
At night the Amazon comes alive with the sounds of the rainforests animals, you may find yourself listening to the orchestra of animals, singing you to sleep, such as the castanet frog with his rhythmical click clacking. Then theres the monkey frog which makes a funny 'bonk' sound and one of the funniest sounds is the red howler monkey which can be described as a wooshy roar!
The first thing you will notice in the Peruvian Amazon will be the hot humid tropical air. Few are the roads and rivers that connect this large tract of jungle territory with the rest of Peru. Despite this the Peruvian Amazon is an increasingly popular destination. There are only three towns here: Pucallpa, which you can get to by paved road; Puerto Maldonado which can be reached by a rough, dirt track and Iquitos is not joined to the rest of Peru by road.
The Peruvian Amazon is an intense, colourful, mysterious and bold border district which is worthy of your time and aquaintance.
A meeting point for macaws formed on the river banks through an erosion process that encouraged the development of soil rich in mineral salts. At a height of around 50 metres and 500 metres long, it is considered to be the largest in the Peruvian Amazon. Six different species of macaws, parrots and parakeets collect here each morning. The colourful birds flock around the site before beginning the “colpeo” ceremony, eating the clay found in the ravine which serves as a food supplement. After spending between 25 - 30 minutes at this spot, the birds leave to return the next day. Occasionally, sachavacas (tapirs), ronsocos (capybaras) and squirrels can also be seen here. In the treetops, different species of monkeys can be seen, including the capuchin monkey, the titi monkey and occasionally the Peruvian spider monkey
Sandoval Lake is acclaimed as one of the most beautiful lakes in Peru, and it certainly lives up to its reputation. It is also a true surprise so close to major civilization - because of the ease of getting there and the ease of being there, and yet the wildlife experience far exceeds most rainforests .
You can actually say "Getting there is half the fun" and mean it! Fly into Puerto Maldonado, which is just a 35 minute flight from Cuzco.
Then transfer to the port (15 minutes) and then 30 minutes by motorized launch on the Madre de Dios River to their riverside port. Excellent, easy to negotiate steps up steep bank to wide, well groomed, level trail through the forest - at several points there are benches or palapas to rest or get in out of the sun or rain. You can stroll the trail with your naturalist guide or you can have the unique experience of an Indian rickshaw transfer.
Once at the end of the trail, small canoes take you 220 yards along a narrow canal to the Lake and special native catamaran for a leisurely float across the lake to the lodge pier and finally steps up to the lodge. Sounds like a lot but it is easy, interesting and "do-able".
Two hours northeast of Puerto Maldonado, across the Madre de Dios River from the Tambopata Reserve, is the oxbow lake of Lago Valencia. It is bigger than Lago Sandoval, but because it has a large community that can be reached by road, it has less wildlife. Also is good for piranha fishing and bird watching.
This national park was established in order to protect the only tropical humid savanna that exists in Peru. The park is located between the Madre de Dios and Puno departments in the provinces of Tambopata, Carabaya, and Sandia. It has an area of 1’091.416 hectares, and part of it is in Bolivia. The most important animals that can be found there are the maned wolf, the marsh deer, the giant anteater, the river wolf or giant otter, the bush dog, the black caiman and the harpy eagle.
The town of Atalaya is situated 280 km / 174 miles from the city of Cusco taking the Cusco-Paucartambo Highway (12 hours by 4x4 vehicle). The trip continues on the river to the town of Boca Manu (7 hours). Then, you have to navigate again on the Madre de Dios River to arrive at the park. It is also possible to get to the town of Boca Manutaking a small airplane from Cusco (45 minutes).
Manu National Park is spread out between two departments, Cusco and Madre de Dios, and covers an area of 1’692.137 hectares (or the entire Manu River basin).
Since 1977, the Manu National Park has formed the Nucleus of the Manu Biosphere Reserve, which was declared a Natural World Heritage Site by the UNESCO in 1987. Although no one is allowed to enter, visitors can stay in authorized lodges in the Reserved Area and in the Cultural Zone adjacent to the park.
The park has a great variety of animal species: more than 800 bird species like the harpy eagle, the jabiru stork, the Orinoco goose, the Andean cock-of-the-rock, and the roseate spoonbill, 200 mammal species like the common woolly monkey, the black spider monkey, the giant otter, the jaguar, the little spotted cat, the anteater, and the Andean deer, and over a hundred bat species.
In addition, there are trees over 45 meters high and 3 meters in diameter. The most characteristic species are the cetico, the topa, the cedar, the tornillo tree, the white kapok, and the mata palo.
Today, 30 Quechuan speaking farming communities are spread throughout the Manu National Park as well as numerous Amazonian native peoples such as the Matsiguenka, Amahuaca, Yaminahua, Piro, Amarakaeri, Huashipaire, and Nahua