The Peruvian Rainforest
If you're considering a trip to the Amazon rainforest on your next trip to Peru, first take a moment to decide which area of this vast region you'd like to visit. The three rainforest zones each offer unique opportunities for visitors to spot wildlife, connect with indigenous tribes and stay in impressive eco-lodges.
Tambopata National Reserve
Where: Southeastern Peru, near the border with Bolivia near the city of Puerto Maldonado.
Info: The Tambopata Reserve or the largest city in this area, namely Puerto Maldonado, is easily accessible by plane from Cusco with a direct flight. As a result, this is usually slightly cheaper in total than the Lodges and one travel day. Ideal in combination with a round trip.
Wildlife: Tambopata is a Wildlife hotspot. Visitors will be able to spot eagles, spider monkeys, macaws, agoutis, jaguars, capuchin monkeys and many more species.
Why visit? Tambopata offers plenty of opportunities to spot wildlife and is home to a number of high-quality eco-lodges. It is also easy to reach.
The Amazon Rainforest near Iquitos
Where: Northeast Peru
Info: Iquitos is the largest city in the world that is not accessible by road. Instead, you'll need to travel to this region via plane or riverboat from Lima or Cusco — a flight from Lima only takes a few hours.
Wildlife: If you're lucky, you'll spot Peru's giant river turtles, Manatee, giant otters, spiders, monkeys, and the amazon's incredibly rare pink river dolphins. For example, this dolphin does not occur in Tambopata Reserve.
Why visit? Iquitos is home to colorful mansions built by millionaires during Peru's rubber boom from the late 1800s to the early 1900s. The region boasts a range of incredible eco-lodges, a bustling jungle town, a range of activities such as Piranha fishing. There is also the opportunity to visit the indigenous Yagua villages and the only place in Peru where you can actually view the Amazon River.
Manu National Park
Where: Eastern Peru, in the transition area between Andes and rainforest
Info: Access to the Manu Reserve is possible by car or bus from Cusco. However, most lodges work with fixed departure dates, usually 1 time a week and certainly outside the high season departure is not always guaranteed.
Wildlife: Manu National Park is home to more than 15,000 unique plant species; 400 different species of mammals, amphibians and reptiles; and more than 1,000 different species of birds. Many bird lovers travel especially to Manu to see the famous Peruvian Cock of the Rock. Visitors can also spot giant otters, jaguars, black caimans and tapirs.
Why visit? Manu is known for its incredible biodiversity, the scenic journey through the Andean mountain pass of nearby Cusco and the relative unspoilt nature of the area as well as its unparalleled bird watching opportunities.