Little is known about the Peruvian Amazon. Most of us, when we think of the Amazon rainforest, we generally think of Brazil. But did you know that the Peruvian Amazon extends over more than half of the country? The jungle runs east of the Andes mountain range and borders Brazil, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Colombia. And when we talk about activities in the Amazon, there is a whole range of things to do. You can enjoy river cruises, nature walks, exotic wildlife, and much more. Since all this and more you will find it in a tour of the Peruvian Amazon. And for that reason, together with the experts from Machu Travel Peru, we have prepared a small article about the Amazon Rainforest.
The Amazon of Peru is an incredibly magical and special place. And it is not surprising, since the Amazon rainforest has an incredible diversity of flora and fauna. Furthermore, many of the exotic species are indigenous to the area. For instance, no photographer does not fall in love with this enchanting visual landscape. The Amazon is such a large sector that it occupies a large part of the territories of Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, and Bolivia. In our country, the Amazon covers 60% of the totality of our national territory. And at the same time, it is the area with the least demographics compared to the coast or the Andes.
Everything you need to know about the Amazon rainforest
- How to get to the Amazon
- The climate in the Peruvian jungle
- The variety of flora and fauna
- Jungle cities to visit
- What to do in the Peruvian jungle
- Some recommendations to consider
- How to travel responsibly?
- Is it worth traveling to the Amazon in Peru?
HOW TO GET TO THE AMAZON
The Peruvian Amazon is such a vast area that reaching it can often be a real headache. Perhaps you can feel that the Amazon rainforest is remote and inaccessible. Or that you are concerned about how and when to plan a trip to the Amazon. Fortunately, there are numerous destinations to enjoy on the Amazon. And there are different ways to get to the starting points to enter the jungle. For example, the jungle town of Puerto Maldonado is easily accessible from the high Andean town of Cusco by road. There is even a new road that makes travel much easier.
In Cusco, there are many bus companies that you can choose from for reasonable prices. The trip takes around six hours and if you have the time it is a good way to get to know the countryside. The other faster way is to take a flight. The flight lasts thirty minutes and several companies offer services several times a day. This will cost you more, but you will get there faster, giving you more time to explore the jungle. On the different tours in Peru, you will not have to worry about how to get to the Amazon.
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.
THE CLIMATE IN THE PERUVIAN JUNGLE
The climate of the Peruvian Jungle depends a lot on the time you are traveling. The Peruvian jungle has very different dry and wet seasons. Most people recommend visiting the Amazon Rainforest during the dry season, which runs from May to October. Temperatures in the Amazon are high throughout the year. But May, June, and July are considered the coldest months. If you decide to go to the jungle during the rainy season, which is from November to March, you should look for discounts at the lodges as they try to fill the rooms. The rainy season comes with its challenges and there will be mud on most of the hikes you take in the jungle, so be prepared.
Among the Amazon regions in Peru, you can appreciate the low jungle and the high jungle. The geography of Peru is quite diverse and complicated, so depending on the territory and the altitude, the climate will change.
- The low jungle is the largest region in Peru, and this territory compromises heights ranging from 80 to 400 meters above sea level. That is about 260 feet to 1300 feet high. The low jungle is characterized by having a warm climate with high humidity. The region has abundant rainfall throughout the year.
- While the high jungle of Peru is located between the limits of the eastern Andes. The region has altitudes ranging from 400 to 1000 meters high, that is, about 1300 feet to 3280 feet. The region has a much cooler climate. And these regions are isolated from the rest of the Amazon region. The habitat is home to a large number of animal species.
THE VARIETY OF FLORA AND FAUNA
Not only the Amazon Rainforest in Peru, but the Andean country itself is home to a great diversity of animals. Peru is home to the largest number of bird species in the world. Only in our country, you can see approximately 19% of all bird species in the world. So this remote region is a paradise for those who seek it. Furthermore, it is one of the regions with the greatest biodiversity on the entire planet earth. So if you are a fan of nature or animals, you should include this destination in your itinerary.
- In the different natural landscapes of the Amazon, you can meet a large number of endemic species. Pink dolphins are one of the animals that you should know. 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. There are numerous Amazon Rainforest animals to spot and observe.
- But the Amazon not only has an enormous diversity of animals but also natural landscapes. From mountain wetlands to cloud forests are some of the scenarios that you will glimpse. You will also be able to observe the floating water lilies of the Amazon River. Hopefully, you can even get to know some of the 3000 species of orchids that grow in the place. Peruvian biodiversity is something you should not miss.
JUNGLE CITIES TO VISIT
Most people start their Amazon tours from Cusco. To get to Puerto Maldonado from Cusco there are several ways. The fastest and most comfortable way is to take one of the many flights that depart daily from the Imperial city. The flight takes around fifty minutes and you can see the jungle as you fly to Puerto Maldonado. The other alternative is to take the bus from Cusco. Although the road has improved a lot in recent years, it is still a long journey of around ten hours. Which will take a full day away from your jungle adventure. But you will also get to know some beautiful landscapes.
ACTIVITIES TO DO AROUND PUERTO MALDONADO
Most of the lodges within the Amazon tours have many options for you to enjoy during your stay. Take jungle hikes where you will learn about the plants and animals of the jungle region. Enjoy an evening boat ride and see the alligator and other animals that live on the riverbanks. Walk to one of the many lakes that surround the lodges and go piranha fishing. Most of the cabins have canopies that you can climb and see the jungle from above the trees. Visit local communities and see the way people live their daily lives. If you’re lucky, your lodge will be near a Macaw Clay Lick. Here you can see the birds come to feed, all this included in the price of your jungle tour. Also be sure to visit the Tambopata National Reserve, one of the best places to spot animals.
Another interesting city to visit in the Peruvian Amazon Rainforest is the city of Iquitos. If you want to take a luxury cruise through the Amazon, you will have to travel to Iquitos in the northern part of Peru. Especially when this river city in northern Peru offers many river cruises and jungle retreats to suit all budgets. Iquitos is a typical jungle town and the starting point for all luxury cruises. Depending on your budget, there will be a cruise for you and prices vary quite a bit. From the cheapest to the most luxurious and exclusive. Expect to be pampered with delicious food and specially designed cabins, some with floor-to-ceiling windows to watch the world go by. You will have to take a flight from Lima to get to Iquitos.
From Iquitos, some companies offer cruises on the Amazon River. Typically these cruise ships are luxurious and typically last two to five days. The ships offer gourmet food and beautifully decorated cabins. An Amazon River cruise may be the answer for a special occasion like a honeymoon or a special anniversary. Besides, sailing through the Amazon Rainforest for a few days is the perfect way to relax and disconnect from the stress of your normal life. Without a doubt, one of the best things to do in Iquitos.
WHAT TO DO IN THE PERUVIAN JUNGLE
ANIMAL WATCHING TOURS
It is a shame that, due to human presence, the animals in the Peruvian jungle are not as abundant as before. But, If you are staying in one of the many shelters around the Tambopata National Reserve, expect to see some animals. In this reserve, you will see many different species of birds in Tambopata, monkeys, and perhaps the occasional sloth. This reserve is located near Puerto Maldonado or Iquitos.
Within a river cruise, you will see alligators basking in the sun. They will be on the riverbank. And if you are fortunate, you will even see a pink dolphin. To have the best chance of observing wildlife you have to head to Manu National Park. Here it is not as popular as Iquitos or Maldonado, and the Peruvian government heavily protects the park. You cannot visit the park without a permit and a guide. You will have to arrange accommodation and transportation before leaving Cusco, but you will be able to see more animals and many sections of the virgin jungle.
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 surrounded by beautiful rainforest. Some offer pools and have gourmet restaurants. The less expensive hostels have more basic accommodations but are still rustic-style cabins. All cabins, whether five-star or inexpensive, have beds with mosquito nets to keep insects out.
SOME 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, 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
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. Also, take the time to search for the best-guided tour offering what you want to see in the time frame you have available.
SOME RECOMMENDATIONS TO CONSIDER
- 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, remembering that you are in the jungle. Not only good shoes are essential for your jungle hikes, but also 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. And 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. There is no best time to visit Peru, but when you do, make sure you are vaccinated.
- 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.
- Visit the jungle during the dry season. The season runs from May to October, in these months there is less rain, but 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.
HOW TO TRAVEL RESPONSIBLY?
As we have already mentioned, this jungle site has been protected by the community, the government, and the companies operating there. To protect the forest, we advise using organic and non-toxic products including repellents and sun cream. We recommend not bringing plastic bottles to the jungle and always bring with you your reusable bottle. Don’t ever leave your garbage in the jungle during the tours. Also, don’t touch the animals or try to catch them. We are at their homes; we should respect it! Most people want to combine Machu Picchu and Amazon tours, as well as the many other attractions of Peru. The country is full of wonderful attractions to enjoy. When in Peru, you shouldn’t miss the incredible Machu Picchu. As well as the tour of the Inca Citadel where you will learn the history and some interesting facts that you may not know.
IS IT WORTH TRAVELING TO THE AMAZON IN PERU?
Traveling to the Amazon Rainforest is an experience that is truly worth undertaking. Not only will you be able to know a remote region without the human factor present, but you will also be able to enjoy sightings of exotic animals. Hikes, adventure tours, and sighting tours are some of the things that await you at the site. But first of all, you must choose a travel agency in whom to place your trust. They will make your experience much easier and more fluid.
The Amazon Rainforest in Peru will leave you enchanted with everything it has to offer. And if you have the opportunity to enjoy this site, you must do it. It will be an experience that will live in your memories for the rest of your life.
“DO NOT CALL THE FOREST THAT SHELTERS YOU A JUNGLE.”
As you can see, the Peruvian Amazon is a vast region to explore. Therefore, if you are interested in this incredible place in Peru, you’d better spend a few days on it. In addition, if you decide to organize your trip with Machu Travel Peru, we will be happy to organize all the details for you. Remember that you can ask about our different jungle tours with our qualified advisors. They will be happy to help you schedule the trip of your dreams.