An Amazon cruise in Iquitos, Peru Photo by Marca Peru
At Latin America For Less we offer our clients some of the most pristine and inviting jungle destinations in the entire world. From Amazon waterways to dense cloud forests, Latin America’s jungles have served to inspire and amaze visitors for centuries. Luckily for all of us, with the development of tourism and ecotourism across the region, today there are more choices than ever before.
Opening the Peru jungle to the world
The Peruvian Amazon begins where the Andes end: to the east of the national territory. It’s a vast region that covers more than 60 percent of the country, from the southwester border with Bolivia, to the northern border with Ecuador and Colombia, and comprises the entire eastern border with Brazil.
The Peruvian jungle makes up the vast majority of the region, however only five percent of the country’s population lives in this area, meaning it remains a largely uninhabited. This lack of human activity makes it among the most important ecological zones on the planet.
Peru’s jungle consists of two distinct ecoregions: the lowland jungle and the highland jungle. The lowland jungle is where the Amazonian rainforest or Amazon basin is found. The highland extends to the eastern Andes and can reach as high as 3,800 meters (12,500 feet).
Puerto Maldonado is an amazon city in the Madre de Dios region of Peru. Most visitors to Peru get a taste for the jungle via Puerto Maldonado. That’s because of its proximity to Cusco, its superb accommodations, and excellent rainforest experience.
The city’s main industry is eco-tourism and Puerto Maldonado has numerous eco friendly resorts to chose from. Latin America For Less offers packages to the Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica, the Inkaterra Hacienda Concepcion, the Sandoval Lake Lodge, Posada Amazonas, Tambopata Research Center, Refugio Amazonas, Amazon Planet and Inotawa Lodge.
Since Puerto Maldonado is only an hour flight away from Cusco, many travelers chose to include a jungle escape as part of their southern Peru adventure. Compared to other Amazon jungle destinations Puerto Maldonado is a convenient and yet superb Amazon experience that won’t break the bank.
Manu National Park is a paradise for visitors who wish to see a rich array of wildlife, including an abundant amount of macaws, herons, cormorants, hawks, storks and many more. The national park is known for its populations of jaguars, tapirs, anteaters, giant otters, and the endangered black caiman. The park is growing in popularity as an ecotourism destination in Peru
In Manu National Park visitors can explore the heights of the cloud forest, get up close with the animals that make the rainforest ecosystem so unique, and climb to 11,000 feet while staying at two of the park’s most recognized and conveniently placed resorts: the Wildlife Research Center and Cloud Forest Lodge.
Manu is also located close to Cusco, therefore it’s an easy trip that will allow you to discover the best of Peru’s natural treasures.
Iquitos is the capital of the Peruvian Amazon and has the distinction of being the largest jungle settlement in the world accessible only by boat or air. It’s located on the Amazon River in northern Peru in the Loreto region. Iquitos offers a selection of activities such as Amazon boat rides, exquisite wildlife viewing and great fishing excursions.
What separates this city from the other Peruvian Amazon destinations is the presence of the Amazon River itself. The Amazon River, which is the seconds longest river in the world and passes through Colombia, Peru and Brazil, accounts for about one-fifth of the world’s total river flow.
Like Manu National Park and Puerto Maldonado, this jungle destination places visitors in a natural habitat populated by thousands of species of birds, monkeys, insects, and more exotic wildlife. It’s also one of the only places in the world where you can see the Amazon pink dolphins and learn about the efforts to conserve these beautiful creatures.
Unlike Manu and Puerto Maldonado, Iquitos is quite a long distance away from Peru’s most popular tourism destination Machu Picchu. There are few direct flights from Cusco to Iquitos, which means most travelers have to fly back to Lima airport before flying out to Iquitos.
Diego is a Colombian-American who was raised in Morristown, NJ. He started writing short fiction when he was a teenager and has pursued creative writing as a hobby ever since. After working for multiple publications in the U.S., he moved to Peru in January 2012. Since then he’s lived and worked in Trujillo, Cusco and Lima.