The Dense Green Rainforests of Eastern Peru
What we call "Peruvian Amazon" are the eastern parts Peru, where many of the affluents of the mighty River Amazon can be found. This area in particular is characterized by dense rainforests, colourful wildlife, heat and lots of water...
The Amazonian areas of Peru are mostly distributed in the northeastern and southeastern areas.
The most popular big cities here are: Iquitos, Pucallpa and Puerto Maldonado. You will read more about them below on this page.
Travelers who want to visit the Peruvian Amazon are recommended to travel to either one of these 3 main cities and from there, explore the areas around.
The Peruvian Amazon is a very popular ecotourism and jungle tourism destination. Its vast rainforests, many rivers, swamps and abundant and diverse wildlife are the main elements that attract adventure-seeking visitors.
If you'd like to get a jungle wilderness experience, than Peru is one of the best place on Earth for you!
What You Can Do and See in the Peruvian Amazon...
There are many navigable rivers that cross deep across vast rainforests.
Sightseeing cruises, jungle tours even, eco trips are offered by specialized travel agents. If you are interested in such packages, then we recommend you check out the Tours/Trip Packages section within RediscoverMachuPicchu.com and search for companies offering river tours, but even hiking/walking trips.
Amazon River Trips
The most popular place for Amazon river boat trips is Iquitos and the area surrounding it.
Some trips are taken on well-equipped beautiful vintage boats with multiple decks. Usually 2 or 3. You can get your own room and there are clean, modern lavatories, even showers on these ships!
Trips can take
It is important that you pick a specialized agent and only travel in group! Keep in mind the dangers that exist...
It is a beautiful, warm, colourful, but dangerous area - you must understand this before wandering into this area of the country... Health risks and advice for travelers to Peru is provided in order to create a general image in your mind about what possible risks there are when travelling to Peru.
Animal Watching, Jungle Hiking Trips
The most popular place is Manu National Park, which is northeast of Cuzco, but is often approachable from Puerto Maldonado, which is southeast of this protected area...
The Manu National Park is a protected area where specialized travel agents organize periodical trips. They will take you to the best places they know, show you the most beautiful bird species, the most attractive views of the lush green forests.
Among the most renowned animal species that you will be able to see in the Amazonian natural reserves in Peru are: the giant otter, jaguar, caiman, spectacled bear, harpy eagle, various subspecies of macaw parrots, piranha and others.
Iquitos and the Surrounding Area
Most popular for Amazon river boat tours.
The city has its own airport where you can fly in from Lima or other cities.
Iquitos is the largest city in the rainforest-covered areas of Peru.
It has a population of about 370.000 people and is a river
transportation knot on the Amazon.
Iquitos is surrounded by the Nanay, Itaya and Amazon rivers. It is one
of the biggest ports in the Amazon Basin.
The city has become an important center in the shipment of lumber from the Amazon area. It is also important in food, such as fruit transportation, but also has an alcohol drink industry (mostly beer and rum).
Tourism is another resource of the city.
Although it is very difficult to approach Iquitos, it is a thriving big city with its own universities, scientific laboratories.
Attractions and Activities in and Around Iquitos
You can look around in Iquitos, it might be more interesting that you might expect from an Amazonian city! In addition, the jungle - wildlife tours and treks are great to try out.
It is a neogothic church painted mainly in yellow, yellowish drab colour, but some of its prominent features are painted in dark reddish-brown and white (mainly the contours of arches, windows).
The Iglesia Matriz of Iquitos is quite a new building. Construction works have begun in 1911 and in 1924 the building was standing.
It is a beautiful building with a single pointed high tower, which has a clock on it. The church tower is a clock tower too!
The clock was only installed in the tower in 1925. It was made in Switzerland... Of course!
Casa de Fierro (The Iron House)
It is between the Prospero and Putumayo streets, designed by Gustave Eiffel, it used to be a large residence built during the 19th century.
The Iron House was built during the so-called Rubber Boom at the
end of the 1800s.
The building is literally built out of iron plaques.
It was prefabricated in Belgium and then assembled in Peru.
Amazon River Boat Trips From Iquitos
As we have already mentioned on this page, Iquitos is famous for this kind of activity. Travelers come to Iquitos especially for this!
Stay at a Jungle Lodge
There are many jungle hotels in the proximity of Iquitos.
It can be an interesting experience to stay in a jungle lodge, but make sure that the travel agent ensures transportation to and from the lodge.
Some lodges are 30 - 50 km (18 - 30 mi) away, others as far as 200 km (125 mi) away from Iquitos... Deep in the wilderness!
Pucallpa and the Surrounding Area
The name of Pucallpa means Red Earth, literally, in Quechuan language.
It is located on the banks of the Ucayali River in eastern Peru. The
Ucayali is an important tributary river of the Amazon.
It is a young city, founded only in 1840.
It was relatively isolated until 1945, when its problems got solved
with the construction of a highway linking it to Lima.
Today, Pucallpa has over 200.000 inhabitants and is an important
infrastructural knot in central-eastern Peru. It is a commercial centre.
Products to and from eastern Peru often pass through here.
Pucallpa is less visited than Iquitos and Puerto Maldonado.
If you want to see the vast Amazonian rainforests by river, then pick Iquitos instead. If you want to see wilderness, then we recommend you the Manu National Park.
Pucallpa's area is famous for flash floods. These rapid floods occur especially during the rainy season and arrive with striking force and have devastating effects over everything in their way.
Attractions and Activities in Pucallpa and the Area
Overall, Pucallpa doesn't boast with architectural attractions. It is a rather new city mostly with houses. Much of it is covered by poor houses.
Plaza de Armas
The San Martín Fountain is there, a clock tower and so is a modern catholic church.
The clock tower is lit with blue light during the night.
Ucayali Boat Trips and Jungle Trips, Jungle Lodges
Although less popular than Iquitos and Puerto Maldonado, Pucallpa is another place where you can start a rainforest trip. There are less agents and the area is also, less covered with wide rivers, so don't expect the
Puerto Maldonado and Nearby National Reserves
Located in southeastern Peru, Puerto Maldonado is another Amazon tributary port.
The area is renowned in Peruvian eco tourism, adventure travel enthusiasts love to visit this part of the country.
Attractions and Activities in and Around Puerto Maldonado
Puerto Maldonado is situated at the confluence of the Tambopata and the Madre de Dios rivers - both tributaries of the Amazon.
Puerto Maldonado is the capital of the Madre de Dios Region of Peru.
Manú National Park, Tambopata National Reserve and Bahuaja-Sonene
National Park are major protected areas in this part of Peru.
The city of Puerto Maldonado doesn't have many attractions itself, but
is is an important river transportation knot and it is a good starting
point for those wanting to venture into the Amazon - not alone, of course!
Not recommended... You might imagine the tremendous dangers...
Jungle trip seekers come to Puerto Maldonado mainly by air and take trips to nearby jungle lodges, take river cruises and go wildlife watching.
Plaza de Armas
Beautiful with palms. However, you will feel it is a small city.
There is a peculiar clock tower in the centre of the square. It is painted in yellow and greenish-blue.
A rather industrial-looking concrete tower with a box-like top, which has windows on two rows all around.
This tower is 8 storeys high and you have to pay to get up there. From
the Obelisk you can take a look at the skiline around... Perhaps
immortalize it with several photos.
Manú National Park
Peru's most famous reservation. Protected animal species live here.
Manú National Park is an impressive place where you can see many colourful bird species and other animals.
The closest city to Manú National Park is the city of Cuzco. But many approach it by boat from Puerto Maldonado, therefore we have put this national reservation under Puerto Maldonado and the area...
Manú National Park is a biosphere reserve in the Madre de Dios and
Paucartambo regions of southeastern Peru.
In 1977, UNESCO listed Manú National Park as a biosphere reserve and in
1987 it was also placed on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list.
Most of the park is located at low level: about 150 m above sea level.
These parts are included in the Amazon Basin. But, some parts, which are
included into the Puna grassland are up to 4.200 m high!
There are over 15.000 plant species and about 250 tree species on an average hectare in Manú National Park.
Bahuaja-Sonene National Park
The Bahuaja-Sonene National Park is southeast of Puerto Maldonado.
The park contains over 20.000 plant species, over 600 bird species, 174 mammal species, over 100 reptile and amphibian species, over 232 fish species, over 1.200 butterfly species!
Fantastic rich wilderness!
The Tambopata River flows through, it being the main artery of life in this protected area. It flows from southeast to the north, towards Puerto Maldonado.
Tambopata National Park
Tambopata National Reserve is another protected area in this part of Peru.
It is situated southeast of Manú National Park very close to Puerto Maldonado. If you look on the map, you will find a thin stretch of marked protected area, just north of the Bahuaja-Sonene National Park. That thinner east-west stretching area is the Tambopata National Park.
I is called this way, because the Tambopata River runs across it.
The jungle area covered by the Tambopata National Reserve extends
further south into Bolivia.
Tambopata National Reserve is one of the most famous jungle habitat
reserves in the World!
The best way to get to Tambopata National Reserve is to fly in from Cuzco to Puerto Maldonado. Then, by boat you can take a wonderful trip of a lifetime!
Getting to Amazonian Peru
Here below we explain how to get to the 3 main cities.
It is almost impossible to reach Iquitos by road.
There is no rail system.
You can either fly in by airplane or travel by boat, but the latter is
Iquitos' airport receives flights from the capital Lima. Many of these flights are not direct. Some are operated via Tarapoto.
Average prices for single-direction flights are 55 - 100 USD. Flight time is about 2 hours.
You can get there by road, it is connected through a highway to the capital, Lima. But the driving time from Lima takes at least 2 days for experienced drivers. Expect 3 days, if you drive by yourself. You will need much rest, believe us!
You can get there by river, like from Iquitos or Puerto Maldonado, for
Flights are operated from Lima, which will get you to Pucallpa fastest, safest.
It is quite isolated on land, don't try getting there by road vehicle. It would be an adventurous, dangerous experience. Not to mention: the road from the closes road-linked big cities, like Cuzco, would be very long.
By river it is accessible from Brazil, nearby Bolivia and you can get there from as far as Pucallpa and Iquitos.
The best way is to fly to Puerto Maldonado from Cuzco or Lima.
The flight from Cuzco takes about half an hour, the one from Lima about 2 hours.
LAN Peru and Star Peru are the two airlines operating flights to Puerto
Maldonado from the two mentioned cities.