Located in the tropical forests of southeastern Peru, close to the borders with neighboring countries Bolivia and Brazil, Tambopata National Reserve is acknowledged as one of the most biologically diverse places on the planet.
Since 1990, this protected natural area has ensured the continued existence of more than one thousand square miles of lowland Amazon rainforest habitat, riverine forest and Amazonian wetland ecosystems. This area of extraordinary biodiversity is watered by the Madre de Dios, Malinowski and Tambopata rivers, and its broad range of typical rainforest habitats is home to more than one thousand species of butterflies, in excess of one hundred species of mammals, over 600 species of birds, and thousands of species of insects, trees and other plants.
These rich forests were traditionally home to the Ese-eja people, many of whom continue to live in the protected area’s peripheral buffer zone. Within the Reserve area itself, the only permanent places of human habitation today are the Tambopata Research Station and the handful of ranger stations staffed and run by the Peruvian authorities.
The vast area we now call Tambopata National Reserve was granted protected status in 1990 after being identified by biologists as one of the last remaining intact areas of largely unspoiled lowland and foothill forest in both Peru and the entire world. The protected natural area now designated as the Tambopata National Reserve is also bordered by cloud forest and savannah ecosystems in Peru, as well as by the more recently established Madidi National Park in Bolivia, making this part of South America’s Amazon basin the largest protected natural area anywhere on the continent.
Because Tambopata National Reserve serves as a wildlife corridor between the cloud forests of Peru and the lowland forests of Bolivia, it is home to an almost unprecedented range of Amazon fauna, including thriving populations of jaguars, pumas, tapirs, giant river otters, caiman, and at least fifteen species of macaws and parrots, as well as harpy eagles, egrets, kingfishers and many other examples of tropical wildlife.
In fact, the fauna which finds a safe refuge within the borders of Tambopata National Reserve is so abundant that the reserve is the holder of several world records: it is known to be home to 623 species of birds within an area of just 5500 hectares, 180 species of fish, 169 types of mammal, 151 species of dragonfly and 29 species of tiger beetle.
For those seeking an authentic South American rainforest experience, there is no finer destination on the entire continent.