The Tambopata area of southeastern Peru’s tropical and subtropical forests is a magical, adventurous and fascinating travel destination, where you could spend weeks experiencing the fauna and flora of the Amazon basin. But few travelers have weeks to explore our rainforests, so here’s how to make best use of your time!
Tambopata is somewhat seasonal. The dry season runs from April to November, although of course it can rain at any time of year in the rainforest. Whatever time of year you travel you’ll need to pack sunscreen as well as a rain jacket! The heaviest rains fall in January and February, but that still doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a rainforest experience during those months.
Of course, if you visit Tambopata in the dry season, there is less chance that you will miss any of the activities in your rainforest itinerary due to heavy rainfall. You will probably be drier on your walks and the forest trails are likely to be less muddy.
But there are also definite advantages to visiting Tambopata during the rainy season. At this time of year. The rainy season is also the fruiting season, and so many species of fauna, including Tambopata’s many species of monkeys, are particularly active. Fruit on trees also means more birdwatching opportunities. And among Tambopata’s incredible birdlife, which includes more than six hundred species, most people who travel to Tambopata hope to see some of our forest’s several species of macaws. The macaw species of Tambopata nest during the rainy season, and they visit the Tambopata National Reserve’s famous clay licks frequently.
In addition to some of South America’s largest and most active macaw clay licks, the forests of Tambopata offer visitors many other fabulous attractions. Because Tambopata is home to eight different types of Amazon forest ecosystem, it harbors incredible biological diversity, including 632 species of birds, 1200 butterfly species, 103 amphibians, 180 kinds of fish, 103 reptiles and 169 mammals. And so, to give yourself the best chance of experiencing the best of Tambopata, as part of your Peru vacation try to make time for an itinerary lasting at least 4 days and 3 nights. The longer you stay in the rainforest, the more you will see!
During your stay, make sure you visit at least one of Tambopata’s oxbow lakes as part of the itinerary you select, and give yourself the opportunity to see and photograph the many aquatic and terrestrial species that gather at these essential sources of fresh water and food. You might even be fortunate to spot a resident family of giant river otters, one of the rainforest’s most graceful and beautiful apex predators!