There is so much information across the internet on destinations, operators, lodges and excursions, that shopping online for your dream trip to Peru’s pristine Amazon tropical and subtropical forest habitats can be confusing.
In addition to being home to the legacy of the Incas and of the Spanish presence in the Americas, and the starting point for visits to Machu Picchu, Cusco is also the gateway to some of the most biologically diverse forests on Earth.
Just a twenty-five-minute scheduled flight from Cusco and a fascinating three-hour journey by road and boat from the jungle town of Puerto Maldonado, Tambopata National Reserve offers unspoiled Amazon rainforest habitat. Here in southeastern Peru, ecotourism projects like Tambopata Ecolodge work to ensure Peru’s forests will be around for future generations to enjoy. Pioneering ecotourism conservation projects like Tambopata Ecolodge, which was established in 1991, serve as a model for how responsible ecotourism can support conservation initiatives.
Tambopata National Reserve shelters enormous habitat diversity, ranging from primary old-growth Amazonian rainforest to bamboo stands, floodplains and wetlands, oxbow lakes and palm swamps. It is this variety of habitats that makes Tambopata one of the most biologically diverse places on the planet. Visitors to Tambopata can expect to see several species of monkeys and macaws, caimans, and several hundred bird species.
To access Tambopata National Reserve, you will need to fly or travel by bus to the town of Puerto Maldonado, in southeastern Peru. Puerto Maldonado can be reached by air from Lima, and by air or road from Cusco. Most travelers choose to travel by air from Cusco -after visiting the city, the Sacred Valley of the Incas, and Machu Picchu- and then fly out from Puerto Maldonado to Lima at the end of their Peru vacation.
The best way to experience the forests of Tambopata National Reserve is to book a stay with a lodge. Following time spent in Cusco and a visit to Machu Picchu, a stay at our own Tambopata Ecolodge, with comfortable hotel-style accommodation, fine food, and excellent naturalist guides, offers the perfect way to complete any travel itinerary in Peru.
In Puerto Maldonado, as lodge operators we meet our guests at the airport and escort them on the fascinating journey by road and boat to our Ecolodge. This time spent on the Tambopata River is one of the highlights of itineraries in this tropical forest ecosystem, offering the opportunity to observe native flora and look out for examples of Amazon fauna, with the help of an experienced naturalist guide.
While it can rain at any time of year in tropical forest ecosystems like Tambopata, the rainiest months are January and February. But even at the height of the rainy season, the forests of the Amazon offer unique attractions, and South America’s tropical and subtropical forests can be visited at any time of year.
To fully appreciate the forests of Tambopata and get the most from time spent in this unique natural setting, travelers should plan to stay for at least three nights. A four-day and three-night itinerary enables visitors to enjoy the main attractions of Tambopata National Reserve, including one of its macaw and parrot clay licks. Remember, the longer you stay in the forest, the more likely you are to see some of Tambopata’s 632 species of birds, 1200 butterfly species, 103 amphibians, 180 kinds of fish, 103 reptiles and 169 mammals.