Three quarters of Peru is in the jungle or Selva as it is known locally, which is divided into 2 parts, the high Peru jungle and the low Peru jungle. The high Peru jungle starts at the foot of the Andes and grows up the slopes of the mountains and the low Peru jungle is part of the largest jungle in the world and extends to nearly half of Brazil.
The Peru Amazon River is the longest in South America with a biodiversity the richest of any river in the world, it is said that the river contains over two thousand five hundred species of fish, many different species of mammals, amphibians and snakes also live in the river. Along the shores of the mighty Peru Amazon many species of animals exist, some in danger of extinction, but luckily the governments of Peru and Brazil have been working together to protect the river and the jungle and have projects in place to protect the endangered species. Probably the most famous inhabitant of the Peru Amazon river is the Piranha, the funny fish with the bad reputation, but in fact the fish actually helps to keep the river clean, a fun fact you may not have known about the Piranha.
The Peruvian jungle Indians were not really effected by the Spanish Invasion, but were more effected by the Europeans who discovered rubber in the region, the Europeans bought with them disease which had a heavy toll on the local jungle population. Today it is believed that there are tribes living deep in the Peruvian jungle that have never seen or meet white people.
Apart from the history and the biodiversity of the Peru Amazon, there are many interesting tours to do. The Puerto Maldonado and Iquitos regions of Peru are considered the main starting point for any Peru Jungle adventure, with lodges and resorts for any taste or budget, starting in Puerto Maldonado an hour flight from the high Andean town of Cusco, a thriving jungle port, you can start your jungle adventure with a boat ride to the many Peru jungle lodges.
Some of the many adventures you can have in the Peru jungle and the lodges of the Puerto Maldonado region are Piranha fishing, a few hours spent on one of the many lakes in the region fishing for this bizarre looking creature will be something to tell the folks at home, it is said that they love noise and red meat when you catch one on your line you will know as they tend to move around a lot.
Swim with the Pink Dolphins, yes this means you will have to get into the river, this may not seem appealing to some people but if there are dolphin around you will get in the water as these creatures are very curious about humans and the experience is well worth the fear you will first feel.
Visiting a jungle village and experiencing the way of life of these peaceful people is something not to be missed on any visit to the jungle in Puerto Maldonado. These people live their whole life in villages with stilted houses living off the water and the surrounding Peru jungle, the people are more than happy to open their home and share their lives with you for a day. The women of the village stay home and weave baskets and take care of the children all day while the men mostly work in the jungle. If you are lucky you may be able to take part in a local game of soccer.
Floating on a lake full of giant lilies can be a surreal to see but beautiful at the same time, they have been known to grow up to 8 feet long and can hold the weight of a human, in the wet season they can cover a whole lake making the lake a vision of green. But if you really want to see the lilies at their best go at night when the flowers open and the scent is incredible.
Visiting a local medicine man in the Peruvian Amazon can be an interesting and rewarding experience, full of knowledge and experience with the native plants and insects, he will have a remedy or cure for most ailments you may have. Sometimes you may even be able to take a walk through the jungle with the medicine man and hear about the plants and what they are used for.
Most of the lodges offer jungle walks as part of their programs, here the guide will take you deep into the jungle and if you are lucky you will see a variety of birds and animals. The walks are generally around 6 hours long but are taken at an easy pace, but the upside is when you return to the lodge after the walk a delicious lunch will await you and you will get a chance to rest in the afternoon.
But the thing you must do in any of the lodges is the night river cruise to spot Cayman, a gentle cruise down the river in the cool of the evening after the long walks of the day will be a delight for all. Your guide has an expert eye and can see the eyes of the Cayman on the dark river banks, if you are lucky he may even jump out of the boat and catch on for you to see close up, but remember to bring your flash light.
Moving onto the Iquitos region in the north of Peru, the jungle experience can be quite different. Starting with one of the most unique restaurants in Peru, Al Frio and Al Fuego. You have to take a small boat to get there and it is like an oasis floating in the middle of the Peru Amazon River. Not only is it a restaurant where delicious local cuisine is served but also a bar, pool and dancefloor, all this while watch the river life pass you by. Catering for the young and the young at heart.
If you are looking for a different Peru Amazon experience why not try one of the many rainforest cruises in the Iquitos region. These cruises offer you five-star luxury with rooms that have air conditioning and hot showers and the restaurants feature top chefs. These cruises reach destinations that you would not reach from the lodges and see parts of the jungle up close.
For one of the most unique Peruvian experiences, stay at the Tree house lodge. Stay in a tree top bungalow while viewing an array of exotic birds and monkeys that are guaranteed to wake you up every morning. All of the bungalows are connected by suspension bridges on top of the forest and all have bathrooms and electricity. This is a once in a life time experience and will make you feel a part of the jungle.
So consider the Peru Amazon for your next adventure holiday, these are only some of the amazing adventures you can have in the Peruvian Amazon.