Among all wonders that Peru has, the Amazon River, and the place where it was born, means a privilege for the Inca country. This river, which gives its name to all South American jungles, is divided into many other effluents that will flow through all green areas of Peru, Ecuador, Venezuela, Brazil, and even Bolivia. For this reason, the Peruvian Amazon is more than beautiful rivers and lakes, the jungle means adventures, pleasant surprises, gastronomy, and nature, and it’s lovely and authentic. Do you want to visit it? So, Machu Travel Peru will give the most accurate information to make the best travel plan to Amazon. Let us inform you about the main virtues that saved the Peruvian Amazon.
Different reasons to visit the Amazon in Peru
- Peruvian Amazon location
- What to visit in the Amazon jungle
- Amazon Wildlife
- Best time to visit the Amazon in Peru
- How to get to Amazon in Peru
- What activities to do in the Peruvian Amazon
- What to taste in the Amazon culinary
- What to pack and more tips
- Peruvian Amazon tours
Peruvian Amazon location
The Amazon jungle is located in the east part of Peruvian territory, trapped between Brazil by the east and the Andes mountains by the west. Colombia and Ecuador cover the north, and Bolivia to the South. The Peruvian Amazon covers around 60% of the Inca Country. This percentage makes Peru the second country with the most Amazon areas, just behind Brazil. Perhaps, only 13% of the Peruvian population lives there. Which is the cause? The wild and inhospitable territory hosted a great variety of Flora and Fauna.
What to visit in the Amazon jungle
1. Puerto Maldonado
Madre de Dios (Mother of God) is a political region located in the south Peruvian area. This Peruvian department is the most important region in the south of the Amazon in Peru. It has a political capital department called Puerto Maldonado. As its name indicates, Puerto Maldonado is an important Amazon port for those who want to begin an adventure in the Peruvian jungle south. Trekking throughout the jungle, bird watching, canoe riding, inter alia, are some of the most important activities that have a point of start in this city. Also, Puerto Maldonado is very close to Cusco and Machu Picchu, without mentioning that it is surrounded by amazing nature parks and reserves, like Manu and Tambopata. Therefore, the tours in Puerto Maldonado can represent the beginning of a great adventure in the Peruvian Jungle.
2. Manu National Park
The Manu is the most famous national park in the country. The park has great biodiversity in all south of Peru with more than 1.7 million hectares and is divided into three zones that you have to know before arranging any tour there. The first one is the Manu National Park itself, a restricted area in which only the indigenous tribes and the park rangers can enter, besides some researchers and scientists with government authorization, of course. The Cultural Zone is the other one, this area receives the majority of tourists in Manu.
The advantage of this nature zone is that you can reach it by car from Cusco, in a complete full day because it has easy access by road. The disadvantage is that you can find areas with many people, due to it being located next to Cusco, and can lose its enchantment of tranquility and peace. The third one is the Manu National Reserve, which is located much deeper into the jungle, next to Brazil. To get there you have to take a flight from Lima or Cusco to Puerto Maldonado and from here, take a boat river deep into the jungle. However, it has a great variety of Flora and Fauna, and it is fantastic for those people who want to make specialist activities like Bird Watching or wildlife photography.
3. Tambopata National Reserve
The Tambopata region is one of the best refuges to appreciate animals in their natural habitat, you can enjoy excursions in places like Sandoval Lake, Chuncho clay lick, and much more. Tambopata tends to receive many more tourists than the Manu region because trips to Manu Park require much more organization and reservations in advance. Despite this, both Manu and Tambopata can be visited throughout the year. The National reserve has more than 1,000 square miles of rainforest. Therefore, you can find 595 species of bird and more than 1,200 species of butterflies, for example.
Besides, you can watch the birds in Tambopata, one of its principal attractions. Every morning, several multi colors of macaws and parrots arrive at the clay licks to feed in mineral salts; their blather and singing put the melody in the jungle at this time of the morning. Simply Amazing!
The Jungle center in Peru means a zone for relaxation and vacation for Limeños or Capitalinos. People who live in Lima, and take their cars to come to the cities of the jungle center. Therefore, Oxapampa receives more national tourists than Puerto Maldonado or Iquitos (Cities that host more foreign visitors). The place is famous to host many German and Austrian migrants since 1857, especially in a town called Pozuzo, where a Tyrol Architectonic style can be watched with its native people, descendants of German and Austrian inhabitants, with blue eyes and blonde hair.
All of them dressed in traditional customs and offered their typical drink, the Pozuzo beer. Now, their descendants are encouraged to show you their traditions, lifestyles, and coffee fields (they are great producers) among others. Besides them, you’ll enjoy waterfalls, trekking routes, and natural pools in the middle of the jungle! Also, you will find first-level tourist services like lodges, hotels, and tours inter alia. All of them are cheaper than the Jungle regions of the north or south, like Tambopata National Reserve, Manu, or Iquitos, which use to receive more foreign tourists.
This north jungle city has been growing touristically in recent years. Chachapoyas not only show nature attractions like trekking to Gocta waterfalls or Sonche Canyon, but also cultural jewelry like the Kuelap ancient city. Kuelap was the capital of the ancestral jungle pre-Inca culture called Chachapoyas. You will be impressed to see a stone city stand out among forested mountains, wetlands, and mist. During your tour along Peruvian Amazon, Chachapoyas will fascinate you!
Iquitos is located in the north of Peru, its border with Brazil in the southeast, with Colombia by the northeast, Ecuador by the northwest, with San Martin and Amazonas by the southwest. Iquitos is the most famous Jungle city on the Amazon in Peru. It is known as the largest city in the world unreachable by road, that’s why a rugged and wild territory surrounds the city, making impossible the construction of any road or land access. However, the flights and the riverboats are two forms to get there.
The majority of flights that depart from Lima have high costs, however, you can find promotional flights from time to time to get there. The city reached its maximum splendor In the early 20th century when many European people came to Iquitos and are part of the rubber boom. Of course, the rubber fiber didn’t last long, and they abandoned the city, to leave his house of European architecture style, many of which can be appreciated by visitors to the Historical Center of Iquitos.
Besides, If you’re looking for things to do in Iquitos, you will have many options, for example, the bird watching activities enjoying or sharing the main customs of a native tribe. There are many tribes are located surrounding Iquitos, they are accustomed to foreign people and always feel happy to share their ancestral traditions. Another option is the sighting of pink river dolphins, unique in the world, they can be seen through a trip by the Amazon River, and with the instruction of a specialist tour guide, you will enjoy the experience.
7. Pacaya Samiria National Reserve
With more than 20,000 square kilometers, Pacaya Samiria National Reserve is the second-largest Protective area in Peru, only after the Nazca Ridge Protective area. The national reserve is located in the south of Iquitos, with a distance of 308 kilometers. Its vast territory hosts a great variety of animals and plants; more than 1000 animal species and 965 types of plants. All these characteristics made Pacaya Samiria a perfect place to spend a relaxing vacation in the north Jungle.
Even more important are the activities that you can do there, like taking a cruise by the Marañon River, the most important tributary that the Amazon River has in this part of the Loreto Region. Seeing a beautiful sunset in El Dorado Lake, taking a walk by the border of Yanta Lake, paying attention to your guide about the different types of plants that are located there, or taking a walk at night through the jungle of Pacaya Samiria, inter alia, are many options for different pleasures.
782,880 square kilometers is the total area of the Amazon in Peru. This means more than 550 hectares of biodiversity in Peru. When we say that Peru is a “Mega diverse” country, we won’t lie; the first country in the diversity of diurnal butterflies (4,441 species), the third one in birds type (1,857 species) and amphibians (623 species), the sixth one in diversity of reptiles (469 species) and the fourth one in mammals type (559 species), makes to Peru in a “mega diversity” treasure at the world. If all these data are not enough, we have something else to say, the vegetal kingdom in the Peruvian Amazon, the flora diversity in Peru is made up of 19,147 species of plants, of which 7,590 of them are endemic.
In the different natural landscapes of the Amazon, you can meet numerous endemic Amazon rainforest animals. Pink dolphins are one of the animals that you should know. They accompany the boats along the Amazon River, jumping over the water, an unforgettable spectacle. Some tours have the option to swim between them. While other places offer tours of the clay licks, where hundreds of macaws and parrots congregate. You will witness a spectacle of color and sounds. On the other hand, you can take guided night trekking through the jungle to see awesome insects like tarantulas, centipedes, and some snakes among other nocturnal animals. But the day is another item, during your raft ride, you’ll be able to see amazing jungle predators like jaguars, caimans, some howler monkeys, and sloths watching you from the river bank. The Peruvian Amazon guarantees a truly wild adventure.
Best time to visit the Amazon in Peru
This location causes it a tropical climate, with two well-different seasons during the year, the Dry Season and Rainy Season:
1. Dry Season
This period ranges from May to October. Humid climate and unusual lighter showers are present, however, if you want to visit the jungle in this season, you will find clear skies, strong sunshine, and beautiful sunsets.
2. Rainy Season
The heavy rains, some thunder, and warm conditions are the characteristics of this season that goes from November to March. If you don’t want to get dirty with mud or support annoying mosquitos, we recommend choosing the Dry season as the best time to visit Peru and the stunning Amazon area.
How to get to Amazon in Peru
The Amazon jungle covers a vast area of Peruvian territory. Everyone can think how easy it can be to reach the Peruvian Amazon, but it is not. The wild and dense nature of the area made it an almost inaccessible area for many years. However, due to the advancement of technology and construction techniques of tracks and highways, we can find many forms to get to the amazing Peruvian jungle.
1. By bus
If you are in the south of Peru, most probably in Cusco, you can take buses directly to Puerto Maldonado, the main entrance to Manu National Park and Tambopata National Reserve. There are many bus companies that you can choose from for reasonable prices to get Amazon tours from Cusco. The bus trip lasts approx 05 hours from the Imperial city and all of them depart from the Cusco land terminal (Via de Evitamiento 429 Avenue). There are main bus lines like Cruz del Sur, Civa, Tepsa, and Movil Tours, among others, and the cost usually is around $25 per person.
In case you are in Lima, the alternative is even greater but with the same popular and safe bus companies previously mentioned Cruz del Sur, Tepsa, inter alia. Each one has its own bus terminal in the Capital and the trip to Oxapampa or Tingo Maria (the closest jungle cities to Lima) is a shorter 3-hour trip, the costs are similar to the south bus companies.
2. By Plane
Puerto Maldonado has its own airport and receives direct flights from Lima every day and flights from Cusco twice a week. The airlines that arrive at the south jungle city are LATAM and Sky Airlines. The cost is usually around $80 per person.
In the case of the central jungle, the airport of Pucallpa receives the main quantity of flights from Lima. From this point, many connecting flights are distributed to Tingo Maria aerodrome. From these points, the visitors can get faster Oxapampa, the cost of flights is around $80 to $90.
In the case of Loreto, the northernmost jungle city, the flights are constant from Lima, due to this city doesn’t have terrestrial access, even its local airport receives international flights from Colombia, Panama, Brazil, and Center America. The flight cost from the Peruvian capital is around $90 to $100.
What activities to do in the Peruvian Amazon
These are just a few suggestions to bear in mind. But there are many other fabulous things that you can see and enjoy on your jungle adventure. Take the time to search for the best-guided tour offering what you want to see in the time frame you have available.
1. Shamanic rituals in the jungle
Another good reason to enter the Peruvian Amazon is the different shamanic rituals that are offered around. These are directed by local masters known as “Curanderos”. In the Amazon, shamanism was a practice passed down for generations and considered a community service where one can seek help for both emotional and physical ailments. We do not necessarily talk about Ayahuasca rituals, but you can find cleanings, plant diets, Wachuma, and much more local rituals.
The shamans offer different ceremonies and cleansing rituals that also include the use of the famous Ayahuasca. Although these ceremonies are not for everyone, there are also some more innocuous ceremonies and rituals. Being able to participate in these ceremonies is an excellent way to learn about the ancient traditions of the native peoples. Machu Picchu and Amazon tours offer these kinds of tours. Prepare to immerse yourself in the world’s most ancient teachings and traditions.
2. Cruise the Peruvian jungle
If you are near Iquitos, you cannot miss one of the best Amazon tours in Peru available. If you don’t want a rustic and comfortable approach, there are other possibilities to enjoy the Amazon along with the amenities offered in 5-star hotels. You can enjoy numerous exclusive ships and cruises where you can relax while enjoying the scenery. Aqua Expeditions and Delfin Amazon Cruises offer numerous luxury options to experience in one of the most pristine Reserves in northern Peru.
3. Luxury lodges
If you are looking for luxury on your Peru vacation, there is much to offer in the Peruvian jungle. You will find luxury hostels and lodges for those with money to spare. These properties offer comfort, style, and all the luxury you would expect from a five-star property. All lodges in the jungle offer a similar type of cabin, most built on stilts, over the river or gardens, and surrounded by beautiful rainforests. Some offer pools, balconies, and jacuzzis and have gourmet restaurants. The less expensive hostels have more basic accommodations but are still rustic-style cabins. All these, whether five-star or inexpensive, have beds with mosquito nets to keep insects out.
4. Camping zones
The camping zone is the most rustic activity to spend some days in the jungle. Many Amazonian communities offer little small explained close to their house for camping. If you choose this form of activity, you’ll be more in contact with the local way of life, sharing their customs and traditions. Without mentioning that you’ll have the possibility of waking up with the signs of howler monkeys, parrots, inter alia. Of course, this form of spending the night is not the most comfortable, but it will be worth it.
5. Other activities that you cannot miss
Let us give you some suggestions on what to do on your holiday to the Peruvian Amazon:
- Canoeing down the river is a great way to experience the mighty Amazon basin.
- Many lodges offer Piranha fishing as part of their programs.
- In Iquitos, the lodges have the opportunity to swim with pink Dolphins.
- In Puerto Maldonado you should take the time to see a Macaw Lick, the photos are spectacular.
- Enjoy the hike to Sandoval Lake and be amazed by the different animals that inhabit it.
- All the lodges have viewing platforms to see the jungle from above.
- Go on a medicinal walk through the jungle, and learn about the benefits of the jungle plants.
- Take a boat ride at night and see the caiman.
- Take the opportunity to visit a local community and see the way the local people live.
What to taste in the Amazon culinary
The cuisine of the Peruvian Amazon invites its delicious exotic dishes and attracts travelers. With its wide variety of culinary delights, it is not surprising that it is one of the reasons to visit the Amazon in Peru. In addition, you will find unique fruits to enjoy countless juices and other drinks. One of the best things to do in Iquitos is to experience new dishes. Besides, you can experience up to 3,000 types of fresh and native fruits. Do not miss this unique opportunity.
The dish originates from Moyobamba, a big jungle city located northwest of the Amazon in Peru. It is similar to a tamale, in which the rice covers, like a blanket, the boiled egg, and the seasoned chicken chunks. All of them are wrapped in banana leaves. A delicious culinary experience for you.
2. Tacacho with Cecina and Chorizo
Emblematic dish of the Peruvian jungle. This culinary wonder is made up of fried green bananas, which are pounded and mixed with lard. The preparation is accompanied by Cecina (dried and smoked pork meat) and Chorizo (A big sausage). The creativity put in the Amazon Peruvian cuisine.
A perfect dish for those who enjoy fish. This meal is prepared by an Amazon River fish seasoned with spices from the Peruvian jungle and wrapped in Bijao leaves (The Bijao is a traditional plan of the Amazon). After, this wrapping is cooked on charcoal. A very famous Amazon dish.
It is a traditional stew of the Amazon in Peru. Seasoned white and black beans with corn kernels and coriander intervene in its preparation. In some places, the dish is accompanied by pine nuts, even.
5. Inchicapi of Gallina with Mani
Exquisite Amazon soup with boiled free-range hen (The chicken has to be from free-range), blended or ground peanuts, corn, yucca, and coriander. A dish that will leave you with a pleasant surprise.
6. Drinks of Peruvian Amazon
There are many different drinks, some of them are Chapos, a drink prepared with ripe bananas that are boiled, and smoothies with milk and sugar to taste. Aguajina, a refreshing drink with Aguaje (native fruit north of the Peruvian Amazon), is diluted in water and mixed with sugar. Masato: Drink elaborated with fermented yucca, which is rested for several days with the objective that its starch becomes sugar.
What to pack and more tips
Also, we want to give you some recommendations to pay attention to before taking a flight to Amazon in Peru.
- When packing for your tour, there is much to consider. Please remember to bring your lightweight breathable, quick-drying clothing. It is best to bring long sleeves and long pants to protect yourself from the insects that will bite. Also, remember that you are in the jungle. Good shoes are essential for your jungle hikes, such as a hat, a water bottle, mosquito repellant, sunscreen, and wet wipes. For your jungle walks, it’s very handy to bring a lightweight backpack to carry your needs for the walk.
- When in the jungle, there is no way to get money from the bank. So, before you fly to the jungle, make sure you have enough money for the time you are there. The lodges will provide all your meals, but you will need to buy snacks and drinks while you are at the jungle lodge. Most lodges offer a tour in Puerto Maldonado that includes a visit to the local Market. So, you might want to consider taking some money for that excursion.
- Being vaccinated is a great idea if you plan to visit the Amazon. Depending on what country you are from, you will need to check with your doctor about the requirements to re-enter your home country after being in the jungle.
- As mentioned above, there are pesky insects in the jungle. Mosquitoes are many in the Peruvian Amazon. In the jungles of South America, you should know that the bites will leave large red welts. There are risks of dengue fever and Zika. You must bring repellents that contain Deet, this will prevent bites. Also, make sure to wash your hands after using the repellent and make sure to cover all parts of your body.
- Exploring the jungle during the dry season, from May to October, will be recommendable. Between these months, you can avoid the heavy rains. But remember, the rainforest is always warm, and the humidity is very high.
- Take the time to search for the best-guided tour offering what you want to see in the time frame you have available.
Peruvian Amazon tours
We recommend planning an organized itinerary where you are clear about the activities you will undertake. It is also a good idea to find out about the infrastructure of the destinations we will visit. Either about the lodging alternatives as well as the transportation options throughout our trip.
1. Adventure in Machu Picchu and the Jungle 7 Days / 6 Nights
This complete group tour guarantees a visit to the Peruvian capital, Lima, with its historic center, quaint churches, and cozy squares. After that, the Andes mountains with Cusco, the Incas Imperial city, will be the next stop, with an unforgettable city tour and a visit to the most important Incas archaeological rest in the Sacred Valley. Of course, Machu Picchu could not miss this tour, the visitor will have the tour of the main Inca citadel with all necessary services included. Finally, the Amazon jungle will be the final stop with attractions like Puerto Maldonado, and the Tambopata National Reserve, wildlife, beautiful landscapes and unforgettable remembers will wait for you on this tour!
2. A Paradise to be Discovered 11 Days / 10 Nights
This is another alternative option to visit the amazing South American jungle. In this case, the services will be private, but the emotions and experiences will be the same as the previous tour. All will begin in Lima, the entrance door of Peru, with a complete and awesome City Tour. The next stop will be the Imperial city of Cusco, with its magical churches and impressive Inca rests. Machu Picchu will be the icing on the cake, with an expert tour guide, luxury trains to get there and the most high-quality services, this part of the tour will be simply unforgettable. Finally, the South American jungle and Amazon will be waiting for you with private lodges, the best local cuisine, and awesome experiences like trekking through the jungle, riding a boat, and canopy among other activities.
“A BRAVE HEART AND A COURTEOUS TONGUE. THEY SHALL CARRY THEE FAR THROUGH THE JUNGLE”
As you see, the Peruvian Amazon is a real natural treasure that contains a great variety of plants and animals. It goes without saying, of course, about the Peruvian native people of its forests; traditions, and customs that the visitant can share and feel. Certainly, the Amazon in Peru has much to offer and Machu Travel Peru can help you to arrange the perfect plant to visit the Amazon. Of course, don’t hesitate about your style of trip, birdwatching, trekking, canopy, cruise river, inter alia, we will be glad to guide you into the best way to get your dream in the Amazon.