Easily accessible via flight from Cuzco or Lima, the main rainforest areas are Puerto Maldonado or Manu in the south and Iquitos further north. Puerto Maldonado, named after the explorer Faustino Maldonado who voyaged to the region in 1861, is the principle gateway to some of the main parks and reserves, just 55 kilometres from the border with Bolivia. Accessible via daily flights from Cuzco, travellers can stay along the Madre dos Rios River, one of the Amazon’s many tributaries, before heading south to Tambopata National Reserve. Tambopata National Reserve can only be reached by boat and offers a uniquely rustic and lesser visited jungle experience in an almost perfectly preserved environment.
Those looking to stay on the Amazon River itself should head for Iquitos, the northern area of the Peruvian jungle, only accessed by boat or plane, that offers a fascinating insight into Amazon life from the indigenous tribes that live there to the varied wildlife. A popular way to explore this area is by river boats, which explore the rivers and tributaries around Hullaga, Ucayali and Marañon before reaching the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. The largest of Peru’s reserves, some of the wildlife you may encounter here includes river dolphins, brown capuchin monkeys (just 1 of 13 monkey species), tapirs and countless birds, such as roosting flights of macaws, parrots and parakeets.
Manu Biosphere Reserve is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and offers some of the most intimate wildlife experiences and biologically rich areas in the continent, in a pristine tract of protected land. Manu is accessed either by light aircraft from Cuzco or two-day road and river journey.
By boat you may pass turtles lazing in the sun and colourful flights of clay picking parrots, as well as giant otters, caiman, capybara and anteaters, all with the help of our expert naturalists.