Exotic yet accessible, the Peruvian Amazon encompasses nearly half of the country and is home to the second-largest slice of the Amazon after Brazil. Packed with exuberant tropical rainforest, the beginning of the mighty Amazon River and home to an astounding array of wildlife, the Amazon in Peru offers a unique and unspoiled look into one of the wildest and most biodiverse places on Earth.
With more than one third of the entire world's animal species, the Amazon basin is home to an incomparable array of biodiversity. It has been estimated to contain the world's largest number of insects and fresh water fish, as well as over 1,500 species of birds and over 430 mammals. It is a paradise for wildlife and nature lovers alike and a true natural wonder of the world.
Covering such a large proportion of the country, the Amazon in Peru can be accessed from two areas: the steamy Amazon city of Iquitos in the northeast and the sleepy town of Puerto Maldonado in the southeast.
The river town of Puerto Maldonado, is the most popular starting point for any Amazon experience. Wild, remote and easily accessible, it offers access to a number of protected nature reserves such as the Madre de Dios Reserve, Tambopata National Reserve and the more remote Manu National Biosphere Reserve. Both the Madre de Dios Reserve and Tambopata National Reserve are peppered with remote eco-friendly lodges, which offer phenomenal wildlife opportunities and true jungle adventure. With the areas contrasting topography, a number of excursions can be enjoyed here. From hiking through verdant jungle trails, to canoeing along the murky Amazonian creeks and walking through the jungle canopy on a hanging bridge, there is plenty of ways to get under the skin of this pristine wilderness. See giant otters frolicking in the water, playful packs of monkeys swinging in the tree-tops and a plethora of neon-coloured birds fluttering through the canopy.
With no roads and consisting of flooded jungle, the Amazon surrounding Iquitos is best experienced on a cruise. Travelling down its winding rivers and flooded jungle, cruises venture deep into the protected Pacaya Samiria Reserve. It is the largest reserve in Peru and a biodiversity hotspot home to an extraordinary array of mammals and birds, as well as numerous ancient Amazonian tribes. On any cruise, time is spent exploring the river banks in search of wildlife, fishing for piranhas, exploring the dense jungle on foot and meeting with native communities to learn about the Amazon from an indigenous perspective. Amazon manatees, pink river dolphins and the black caiman can commonly be seen in these waters as well as an abundance of other wildlife critters.
As the world's largest and most mystical rainforest, whether you choose a cruise or a lodge, we highly recommend spending between three to seven days to maximise your jungle experience. All lodges and expedition cruises offer a comprehensive package during your stay which includes full board, accommodation, transfers from the nearest airport or city and all excursions with local English-speaking naturalist guides.
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