Peruvian Amazon Tours and Activities
The sprawling Peruvian Amazon covers nearly 60 percent of the entire country, stretching from the Andes Mountains to the borders of Brazil, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Colombia. The expanse is generally divided into two ecological regions—the lowland jungle and the highland jungle—with two main gateways, Iquitos and Puerto Maldonado.
A vast wilderness of lush rainforest, the Peruvian Amazon is an ideal destination for adventurous travelers who like to explore nature for days at a time. If you begin in Iquitos, you’ll head into the northern Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve. One popular option is to visit the area on a multi-day Amazon cruise. If you’re starting in the south, you can embark on hikes through Bahuaja-Sonene National Park, Tambopata National Reserve, or the UNESCO-listed Manú National Park.
Most tours include overnight stays at jungle eco-lodges as well as journeys on wide and winding rivers. Roundtrip airport and hotel transportation and expert guides are also often included.
Things to Know Before You Go
Most areas of the jungle require that you travel with a guide. Some areas only require a permit, but guides are indispensable when it comes to navigating, communicating with local tribes, and facilitating a safe trip.
Book tours far in advance of your trip, especially if you want to explore Manú National Park.
Peruvian regulations dictate that you must never take any items from the rainforests (or other natural areas) or remove them from their natural settings.
Make sure to bring hiking shoes and weather-appropriate clothing.
Before visiting, check with your doctor about recommended vaccinations.
Some tours require a lot of strenuous physical activity.
How to Get There
The Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve, is 115 miles (180 kilometers) south west of Iquitos, and the entry point is in the town of Nauta. To access Tambopata National Reserve and Bahuaja-Sonene National Park, head to the city of Puerto Maldonado. Manú National Park is very remote, and trips start in Boca Manú, which you can reach on a charter flight or via a 10–12 hour bus ride from Cusco, followed by a long boat ride.
When To Get There
Visitors can explore the Peruvian Amazon all year round. The rainy season runs from December to May; during this time, the rivers are at their highest and the wildlife is at its most active. The dry season, from June to November, offers the benefit of fewer mosquitoes; during this season, some of the smaller rivers can be difficult to navigate, and tours may involve more trekking.
Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve
Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve, in Peru’s northern Loreto region, is the country’s largest and most pristine protected area. Roughly the size of New Jersey, the reserve is bordered by the Maranon and Ucayali rivers and is one of the most biodiverse places on the planet: 500 bird species, 300 fish species, and 13 primate species, as well as pink and gray river dolphins, sloths, manatees, black caimans, tapirs, and more all make this region their home.
22 Tours and Activities to Experience Peruvian Amazon
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