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When you first enter the rainforest, your senses are overwhelmed by the lush greenery all around you. But spend a few days at a lodge in Peru and you will begin to regard this incredible ecosystem with new eyes and ears. These days, eco-lodges come with comforts that make a full Amazon immersion all the more incredible.
Walk in the shadow of giant trees, climb to the top of canopy towers, hop into a canoe and glide across mirror-like lagoons where caimans and otters bask in the sun while colorful parrots and macaws soar overhead. Travel to the Peruvian Amazon and marvel at nature’s boundless wonders.
Geography and weather conditions will affect how you get around and what wildlife you see.
The Peruvian Amazon has two major climate zones:
Instead of dry and wet, the seasons might be more accurately described as wet and wetter. It’s called the rainforest for a reason.
Two major hubs have been developed for research and tourism: Puerto Maldonado in the south and Iquitos in the north.
If you are going to the Amazon, chances are you will stay at a lodge or on a cruise ship. If this is the case, all meals are provided during your stay.
Meal style varies at each lodge, from buffet-style to a la carte service. Amazonian ingredients including fresh fruits, river-caught fish, and locally-grown plants and herbs add flavor and variety to standard menus of Peruvian and international cuisine. Vegetarian and other dietary options are often available upon request.
Flights and transfers are usually arranged so that you don’t have to wait too long to get to/from your destination, but if you find yourself with time to spare, here are some eating options.
Speak to your doctor or a travel medicine specialist several weeks before traveling to clear up any concerns.
On rainforest trails, the best way to avoid stings and bites is to keep to the center of the trail. Don’t touch trees or branches and be careful not to stand in the middle of a path of marching ants. During excursions, stick close to the group. You’ll have a better chance at spotting critters with the help of the guide and you don’t want to get lost in the vast rainforest.
Wildlife: Nearly every rainforest lodge program includes guided excursions to spot unique animals. Naturalist guides point out unique wildlife and teach you how to observe them without disturbing them or possibly endangering yourself. Stay on designated footpaths and do not get separated from your tour group. Turn off the flash on your camera when photographing.
Vast and geographically isolated, Manu National Park has no roads and requires some effort to access. The only way to get around is by boat. The Manu River and the Madre de Dios River form the southern and eastern borders of the reserve.
Iquitos is the 5th largest city in Peru. However, the difficult terrain makes road-building impossible, which means Iquitos is only accessible by air or by boat.
Amazon cruise ships are like floating boutique hotels with ever-changing views over one of the most majestic natural landscapes in the world. For travelers seeking to pair a rainforest adventure with luxurious comforts, a cruise ship is an excellent alternative to a lodge. Imagine yourself gliding down the Amazon River while soaking in a Jacuzzi on your ship’s observation deck. Or dining on a gourmet menu designed by one of Peru’s most exciting chefs Pedro Miguel Schiaffino. Inquire with to your travel advisor for more details about a Peruvian Amazon cruise.
General packing list for the Peruvian Amazon:
Space on the river boat to your lodge is limited. This means guests are allowed to transport a maximum amount of luggage to and from the lodge. Any excess luggage can be stored at the lodge offices either at the airport or in Puerto Maldonado.
Where you spend your Amazon getaway depends on how much time you have and your preferences.
The Amazon is a year-round destination. There are pros and cons to visiting during each season. The “best time” to visit really depends on your preferences or interests.
Jungle lodge tour packages typically include transportation to and from the lodge, park entrance fees, three meals a day, and guided excursions. Some activities may require additional fees.
You will have to be super vigilant to avoid getting mosquitos bites. Some might say that it’s impossible, but there are measures you can take to minimize the possibility.