The fourth largest rainforest in the world, the Peruvian Amazon boasts remarkable biodiversity.
Although Peru is widely thought of as an Andean country in fact two-thirds of the land lies in the Amazon basin
The Peruvian Amazon boasts rainforests as far as the eye can see, with the largest selection of wildlife in Peru, from one of the world’s smallest monkeys, the pygmy marmoset, to the world’s largest rodent, the capybara. Giant otters, pink river dolphins, macaws, and parakeets will delight you, while fiercer creatures such as alligators, anaconda, and jaguars will likely (and thankfully) remain elusive.
In Peru there are two main gateways to the Amazon: Iquitos and Puerto Maldonado. Iquitos, the largest city in the world that cannot be reached by road, is in the far north of Peru on the banks of the Amazon River and Puerto Maldonado is in the South of Peru close to the border with Bolivia and Brazil. Both areas provide a great jungle experience and offer the opportunity for wildlife spotting.
Puerto Maldonado has great lodges ranging from rustic to the more luxurious and the rainforest is amazingly accessible from here. The Manu National Park, Tambopata National Reserve, and Bahuaja-Sonene National Park are in this area, some of the most pristine rainforests in the world. Excursions are easily done from the lodges such as canopy walkways, bird watching excursions, short jungle hikes, excursions to oxbow lakes and clay licks, fishing excursions (piranhas), evening excursions and lectures. 3-4 days is recommended at a lodge.
Iquitos is probably one of the most famous jungle cities and is a large trade hub. The most famous attraction here is the Amazon River. Although there are a few lodges 3-4 hours down river, the most popular option is to take a river cruise, again ranging from the rustic to ultimate luxury down the Amazon River.
Iquitos and the nearby Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve have a unique climate in comparison to the rest of Peru’s Jungle regions. Temperature and rainfall in this area remain relatively constant throughout the year. In Puerto Maldonado there are two seasons: the dry season during the months of May – September, and the wet season October – April.