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Discover the Wonders of the Amazon Rainforest Peru: A Complete Guide to a Thrilling Adventure

There are many fascinating opportunities for ecotourists in the Amazon Rainforest, the world’s largest jungle. Visitors can experience the local culture, fauna, and flora by venturing out into the rivers, trails, and canopies. Unwind at your comfortable jungle lodge after an exciting day of exploration.

Overview

The Amazon Rainforest is the best spot in Peru to see wildlife. Only about 5 percent of the population really lives in the beautiful jungle that encompasses roughly two-thirds of the country. Those looking for an adventure can stay at a rainforest lodge and use the services of a local guide to see the area. Sail the secluded waterways of the Amazon, meet the locals, swim with the pink river dolphins, and explore the treetop homes of monkeys, sloths, and birds.

Traveling to Peru isn’t complete for ecotourists unless they’ve experienced the world’s largest jungle. Ecotourism, wildlife viewing, and staying in secluded forest lodges are all possibilities no matter where you go. The best attractions in the jungle vary depending on the region you explore.

Let’s visit three of the Amazon’s most famous spots in Peru:

Puerto Maldonado

The Madre de Dios River cuts through the Amazon rainforest just south of Puerto Maldonado. Tambopata National Reserve, a variety of high-quality jungle eco-lodges, oxbow lakes, macaws at clay licks, and perhaps even a gigantic river otter can all be easily reached from this area. Just across the Amazon from Cusco in Peru is Bolivia to the east.

So why do you want to come here specifically?

Iquitos

So why do you want to come here specifically? Iquitos, located in the Peruvian rainforest to the northeast, is one of the most inaccessible cities in the world. This is the most convenient location from which to experience Peru’s Amazon River and the surrounding Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve. See the rich culture of the people who live in Peru’s greatest natural protected region, where you may see monkeys, sloths, and stunning pink river dolphins.

Manu National Area

So why do you want to come here specifically? Manu National Park stands on its own as a priceless find. Manu River provides excellent opportunities for wildlife observation, bird watching, and river exploration between Puerto Maldanado and Machu Picchu. The park features a diverse spectrum of biomes, from the ground-level forests to the tops of the highest mountains, thanks to its wide elevation variation of 150-14,000 feet (4,200-4,500 meters). It’s a one-of-a-kind cultural treasure trove at the crossroads of the Andes and the Amazon.

Port of Maldonado

Overview

A different aspect of Peru can be seen in Puerto Maldonado, a city in the bush. The Andean highlands are much warmer than this region. Transport by boat is the most convenient. The canals also serve as gateways to protected areas where exotic flora and fauna thrive.

amazon rainforest peru

Spending two, three, or more nights at a rainforest lodge is recommended for a true jungle experience. Daytime excursions can take you on hikes through the rainforest, up to observation decks in the canopy, or into remote lagoons inhabited by caimans, otters, and even jaguars. Hang out on a hammock while the nighttime breeze gently rocks you and contemplate the mysteries of the rainforest after dark.

Top Season to Visit

There are two distinct seasons in Puerto Maldonado: the dry (May–October) and the wet (November–April) (November-April). But, because it is a tropical jungle, rain can fall at any time. Many people prefer the dry season, yet each has its advantages and disadvantages.

During the dry season, you are more likely to observe parrots and macaws at the clay licks, and the trails are less muddy. The dry season has its drawbacks, such as higher temperatures, decreased bird activity on bright days, and more difficulty spotting amphibians.

The colder weather and increased visibility of reptiles and amphibians during the wet season are both positive aspects of this time of year. Mud, fewer sightings of birds at claylicks, and the potential for flight delays are all negative aspects of the wet season.

Environment and Climate

There are two distinct times of year in the Amazon rainforest of southern Peru: the dry season and the wet season.

The Dry Season

The months of May through October tend to be the driest in the Amazon. Friajes are brief periods of extreme cold that can occur between June and September and cause temperatures as low as 10 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit) for a few days at a time. Friajes are cold fronts that sweep down over the southern jungle from the Andes, having blown up from Patagonia.

Rainy Time

Rainfall is possible at any time of the year in the Amazon because it is a rainforest. The region’s wet season, however, begins in November and lasts all the way through April. Rainfall tends to peak in November and December.

Highlights

Total Submergence in the Rainforest

In the southern Peruvian Amazon, Port Maldonado serves as the primary access point to the confluence of the Madre de Dios and Tambopata rivers. A voyage through the Amazon on a wooden boat propelled by a little motor is the perfect way to kick off your Amazon experience in Puerto Maldonado. The ecotourism business in Peru’s Amazon is growing rapidly.

amazon rainforest tour

Our company is pleased to work with resorts that participate in environmentally friendly initiatives (recycling, use biodegradable bath and cleaning products, utilize low-to-no energy devices). Supporting local people is important, but jungle lodges also play an important role in raising awareness of the ongoing importance of conservation efforts in the face of looming threats that cause irreparable damage.

Conservation Areas

Located in the south-east of Peru, the Tambopata National Reserve safeguards an area of Amazon forest measuring 275,000 hectares (680,000 acres). The reserve is a haven for a wide variety of plant and animal life, with picturesque Oxbow lakes and wooded areas. In addition to endangered species like giant otters, harpy eagles, and jaguars, this region is home to more than 670 bird species and 1,200 butterfly species. Several species of parrots and macaws congregate at clay licks along the reserve’s exposed riverbanks.

South of Tambopata National Reserve is where you’ll find Bahauja-Sonene National Park. The massive park safeguards some of the most biodiverse areas of rainforest and the only tropical humid savanna in the country. Bahauja–Sonene National Park has extremely restricted access.

Extreme Natural Variety

Did you know that the rainforest is home to a whopping 2/3 of all known plant and animal species? And new species are being found all the time! The Amazon is the largest jungle on Earth, and its incredible variety of plant and animal life fascinates nearly every intrepid tourist.

Animal encounters in the Amazon, ranging from cuddly to weird, are a pleasure of every trip to the jungle. Giant otters, about 1.8 meters (6 feet) in length, have made their homes in the Oxbow lakes, while howler monkeys can be seen soaring above. Even long-term researchers have a hard time seeing the endangered pumas and jaguars that live in these tropical jungles. Rainbow-hued macaws, parrots, and parakeets can be seen feeding at clay licks in southern Peru’s Tambopata and Manu national parks.

Jungle Walk

Guided jungle walks are a chance to soak in the surrounding nature you at a slower. Some trails meander old-growth forests of towering trees, others explore shin-deep waters. Along the way, your expert guide will point out hidden wildlife and share knowledge about the Amazon rainforest vegetation.

Licks lay

Discover some of the most spectacular birds in the Amazon. Clay licks are exposed areas of riverbeds where macaws and parrots assemble to eat the clay and socialize. When birds eat clay, why is that? Some researchers believe that the clay provides essential nutrients that are lacking in their diet, such as salt. Some researchers believe that birds consume the clay to counteract the toxic effects of the plants they eat. Guides may take you to a dry-lead camouflage covering or point out claylicks along the river so you can see these stunning birds in action as they consume clay.

Lakes that resemble Oxbows

These oxbow lakes can only be found in the southern Amazon basin of Peru. Over the course of centuries, these lakes arise as a river’s bends get isolated from the river itself. Paddle out on the lake first thing in the morning and see what you can find. If you’re lucky, you might spot caimans, a variety of birds, and even a family of huge otters that has made its home there.

travel atopy

Visit the jungle’s upper levels to see the Amazon from a different angle. The astonishing variety of plant and animal life changes not just with habitat but also with elevation above the rainforest floor. The Inkaterra Reserve Amazonia canopy bridge is 103 feet (31 meters) above the forest floor.

Community Stopping By

There are a lot of rainforest hotels that give back to the neighbourhood. Posada Amazonas is a prominent jungle lodge co-owned by the local Ese’eja community and Rainforest Expeditions. It is located close to Tambopata National Reserve. The best way to learn about the Amazonian people and how they coexist with their environment is to visit a local farm or traditional community clinic.

How to Find Your Way to Puerto Maldonado

By Air: The Puerto Maldonado airport is small and only a short drive from the town square. Flying is definitely the easiest and fastest way to get somewhere. There are flights to Puerto Maldonado from LAN Airlines, Star Peru, and TACA. Flights leave every day. From Lima, it takes 1 hour and 30 minutes to fly straight to Puerto Maldonado. From Cusco, you can fly straight to Puerto Maldonado in 55 minutes.

By Road: The Transoceanic Highway, which just got finished, now connects Cusco to Puerto Maldonado on a paved road that is mostly comfortable but has a lot of turns. What used to be a hard 15-hour drive now only takes about 10 hours. The bus is a good way to get from Cusco to Puerto Maldonado if you have a longer and more flexible trip plan.

By boat, you can get to jungle lodges and faraway indigenous communities from Puerto Maldonado. When you get to Puerto Maldonado, your tour guide will pick you up and take you to the dock so you can take an open-air boat to your jungle lodge. Most jungle lodges near Puerto Maldonado can be reached in one to three hours.

Iquitos

Overview

Iquitos is a jungle city with a lot to see and do. Visit Belen’s local floating market. Sail to Isla de los Mons to have fun with the monkeys there. Swim with the dolphins. Walk around the city to find the buildings left over from the rubber boom at the start of the 20th century. To learn more about the native cultures of the Amazon, you can go to museums or book a tour.

Away from the city, Iquitos is where you can get to great jungle lodges up and down the river. It’s also where cruise ships leave to go to the headwaters of the Amazon.

When it’s best to go

Like any other place in the Amazon, the best time to visit the rainforest depends on your preferences. The Amazon is a place to visit all year long, and rain can be expected at any time. But Iquitos has high water seasons and low water seasons, and each has pros and cons to think about.

During the high water season (December to May), boats can go deeper into the jungle and reach more remote areas. During this time, you are likely to see more bird and mammal species living in the canopy. Cons: It rains more often (especially from December to March), there are usually more mosquitos, and there aren’t as many hiking trails.

The pros of low water season are that there are more trails to walk through the jungle, less mosquitos, a better chance of seeing migrating birds, and the best time to fish. The main problem with low water season is that you can’t go to remote lakes and small creeks that can only be reached by boat.

Conditions and weather

The Amazon has a warm, tropical climate with a lot of moisture in the air. Rain falls at all times of the year. In the northern part of Peru, the Amazon Basin has high-water months and low-water months. The rain and snowmelt runoff from the eastern slopes of the Andes Mountains cause the water levels in the rivers to change by as much as 12 meters (40 feet).

Highlights

Amazon River

Rio Amazonas is another name for the Amazon River. It is the second longest river in the world. The river and its tributaries wind through Peru, Brazil, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Colombia’s dense tropical jungle. From the city of Iquitos, travelers can take a luxurious cruise on the Amazon River, which runs through northern Peru, or stay at a jungle lodge on its banks. You can see wildlife from a canoe, swim with pink river dolphins, go paddle boarding, or fish for piranhas in the water.

amazon rainforest tour

Tour of the Amazon

Wildlife  Variety

While cruise packages on the Amazon are more expensive than stays in jungle lodges, they do come with benefits, such as access to opulent amenities and unending views of the jungle and river from the comfort of your cabin. Inquire with your travel agent about luxury Amazon river cruises.

There is a wide variety of life in the Amazon rainforest, both at ground level and higher up in the dense vegetation. There are big-eyed monkeys swinging among the trees, colorful birds, and sneaky river animals. It is possible to see pink river dolphins and other rare species at the national parks close to Iquitos, which are located on rivers that drain into the northern Amazon. Seeing these animals in the Amazon rainforest could be the highlight of your jungle trip, so keep your eyes peeled and your camera handy. The jungle lodges near Iquitos provide a convenient base from which to explore the secluded jungle areas in the area.

Learn About the Culture of the Area

Experience the rich cultural heritage of the Yaguas and Bora communities by traveling by boat from Iquitos. A native resident will serve as your tour guide and fill you in on the culture and history of the area. The local men, women, and children are happy to teach guests about their culture by teaching them their language, dances, and forms of art during a visit. Local craftsmen create and sell a wide variety of exquisite jewellery, weavings, and works of art.

Places to Stay in the Rainforest

Staying at a secluded jungle resort reachable by river boat from Iquitos is the greatest way to take in the breath-taking scenery and abundant species of the Amazon rainforest. Don’t worry; a genuine jungle experience doesn’t require you to rough it. Our vetted rainforest lodges include hot showers, comfy mattresses, and delicious food. For lodging options and rates, please refer to the Hotels section below. During the day, visitors can go on animal, canopy, walking, cultural, and river trips in the nearby national reserves.

Exploring Iquitos’ Local Neighbourhoods

From the central Plaza de Armas, the city spreads out along streets dominated by moto-taxis. Evidence of the wealth brought to Iquitos during the rubber boom era may be seen in the Iron House, which sits on a corner of the main plaza, and the several elegant homes which line the city’s riverfront malecon. Check out one of the city’s museums to learn about Amazonian history and culture. Take a break from sight-seeing at a local cafe or restaurant and enjoy the ambiance of this bustling jungle hub while sitting in the shade.

Deb Down’s Photographs

Check out Iquitos’ Belen District.

Visitors can get a taste of the local culture by taking a tour of the Belen market and the surrounding slum. The best time to go shopping at the Belen market is early in the morning, when it is less busy. Your tour guide will likely take you through Shaman’s Alley, where people sell traditional Amazonian medicines and exotic fruits and vegetables utilized in jungle cuisine. The next step is to rent a boat or canoe and paddle about Belen, a community in which many of the homes are constructed on balsa wood rafts or stilts over the Itaya River.

Directions to Iquitos

The Coronel FAP Francisco Secada Vignetta International Airport welcomes passengers arriving in Iquitos via airplane. Around 10 kilometers (6 miles) to the southwest of the Plaza de Armas is where you’ll find the city’s airport. ATMs, restaurants, and gift stores are just some of the amenities for visitors. Daily flights to Iquitos are available from LAN, Star Per, and Peruvian Airlines. It takes 1 hour and 40 minutes to fly nonstop from Lima to Iquitos.

The city of Iquitos is linked to jungle lodges and other small port towns in Peru’s northern Loreto region by boat via the Amazon River and its waterways.

There are no roads leading to Iquitos. You CANNOT take a bus or a car to go to Iquitos.

When you get to Iquitos, your tour guide will pick you up and take you to the pier where you’ll catch an open-air boat to your rainforest hotel. The journey time from Iquitos to rainforest lodges is often between 20 minutes and 1 hour.

amazon rainforest peru

Top Season to Visit

Remember that you are in a jungle, where rain can fall at any time. From December to March is the official wet season. The months of May through August are warmer and drier than the rest of the year.

Environment and Climate

The severe topography of Manu results in a wide range of microclimates. Temperatures are around 35 degrees Celsius during the day and 25 degrees Celsius at night in the lower elevation locations. Temperatures are typically lower in Manu’s higher elevation zones. Temperatures will be mild throughout the day and cool at night.

After a storm, the temperature might drop to as low as 10 degrees Celsius (50 F). When arctic winds from Patagonia blow up the mountains and into the rainforest, a meteorological phenomena known as a “surazo” or “friaje” develops. Lows of 8 degrees Celsius are possible (46 F).

Advice for Travelers

Packing List

Clothing.

Swimsuit

Footwear

Raingear.

Poncho

Repellent to insects

Electronics.

Documents.

WiFi Connection

Advice on Maintaining Security

Vaccines

Mosquitos

Animals of the Amazon

Water for Ingestion

How to Reach Your Hotel