Sprawling across South America and covering more than 2.7 million square miles, the Amazon Rainforest reaches into nine different South American countries with Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia accounting for the Amazon’s westernmost periphery. More than two-thirds of Peru’s territory lies within the Amazon basin, and some of the most biodiverse national parks on earth are located within this extraordinary region. Peru is also the source of the Amazon River, which scientists have determined begins near a glacial peak in the southern Andes.
The Lungs of the Planet
As the most expansive rainforest on the planet, the Amazon’s 15,000 species of trees account for 50% of the earth’s rainforests. Known as the “Lungs of the Planet,” this incredible region creates more than 20% of the earth’s oxygen and is home to more than half of the world’s species of plant and animal life. For ecologically-minded travelers with a passion for Mother Nature, the Amazon is the Shangri-La of tropical adventure destinations.
While the Amazon basin is certainly one of the earth’s most spectacular wonders, by no means is this remarkable territory devoid of human populations. As Roberto Unger stated, “The Amazon is not just a set of trees. It is a set of 25 million people.” Within this nearly impenetrable mass of lush-green jungle, millions of people have forged their existence, often using the Amazon River and its tributaries as their primary means of transportation. In the deep forests of the Peruvian Amazon, there are some indigenous groups that have still yet to make contact with modern civilization to this day.
Amazon Practical Information:While many travelers long to be immersed in this tropical dreamland, putting the pieces of the Peruvian Amazon puzzle together is a steep task. Luxury lodges in the Amazon are few and far between, the remote regions are difficult to access, and the easily-accessible zones often do not provide the “true Amazon experience.”
Fortunately, we are connected to the top guides, lodges, and riverboats in the Amazon and have deep-rooted connections in Manu, Iquitos, and beyond. We introduce our guests to the Amazon in a comfortable and responsible fashion, working only with top-notch naturalist guides and taking strides to preserve the delicate ecosystems that lie within this astonishing region.
The Peruvian Amazon is a vast territory with a variety of different areas available to visit. The three main Amazon attractions in Peru are Iquitos, Puerto Maldonado, the Tambopata National Reserve, and Manu National Park. These areas all vary drastically and have their own unique characteristics, so deciding which region of the Amazon you would like to visit depends on your desired experience and the amount of time you have to visit.
Iquitos & the Amazon River
Connected to the outer world only by air and river, Iquitos is the largest city in the world that is inaccessible by road. Though experiencing the day-to-day life in this vibrant Amazonian metropolis is interesting to some, most travelers set out for the surrounding jungle upon arrival. We recommend Iquitos for travelers that want to experience the true Amazon River and do not mind traveling by boat for several hours to reach the untarnished biological zones.
Manu National Park
Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Reserve, this enormous park is home to an incredible variety of life and is one of the most biodiverse nature reserves on the planet. Unlike the Puerto Maldonado and Iquitos areas, the influence of the Andes can still be felt at Manu National Park. This area begins in the high cloud forests along the eastern fringes of the Andes near Machu Picchu and expands eastward into an abyss of unadulterated jungle. This is a great option for eco-travelers that don’t mind taking a step down in the caliber of accommodations since Manu luxury hotels are virtually nonexistent (at least by Western standards).
Puerto Maldonado and Tambopata
Located to the east of Cusco along the meandering Madre de Dios River, the Tambopata National Reserve boasts an incredible diversity of life. Accessed via Puerto Maldonado, we recommend this area for travelers that are looking for easier access to amazing flora, fauna, and animal life. The Tambopata area also has some of the best luxury lodges in the Amazon and makes for a strategic post-trip extension to a Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley Tour.