When you plan a Peru vacation, and you start thinking about your Cusco visit and whether you should take the train to Machu Picchu or walk the Inca Trail, it’s worth remembering also that around 60% of Peru’s land area is Amazon forest. Incredibly, half of all the life known to exist on planet Earth lives in the Amazon basin.
In the Peruvian Amazon, several large tracts of tropical forest are protected by national parks. Among these protected natural areas, the accessibility of Tambopata National Reserve, where we operate our guided ecotourism programs, makes it the best option for travelers with 3, 4 or 5 days to spend in the rainforest as part of their Peru vacation.
A refuge for hundreds of species of animals and plants, Tambopata is one of the most biodiverse places on the planet. And so, what animals live in the rainforest and what can visitors expect to see? Well, among the most outstanding animals that Tambopata’s forests are home to, visitors have an excellent chance of seeing the following:
Macaws: Tambopata is famous for its clay licks, where several species of parrots and macaws gather to feed on the mineral deposits they need in order to regulate their diet.
Felines: The forests of Tambopata are home to many feline species, including margays, ocelots, pumas and jaguars. In fact, the jaguar population in our forests has been increasing in recent years, and sightings have become more frequent.
Monkeys: At least eight species of monkey are known to roam our forests, from the noisy howler monkey to night monkeys, the world’s only nocturnal primate species.
Fish: And beneath the surface of the Tambopata River and in the area’s many rainforest lakes and streams, more than 200 species of fish have been recorded. These include piranhas, the fish that have gained an undeserved reputation for ferocity thanks to their depiction in Hollywood movies.
Caimans: Of the six species of caiman known to science, four inhabit the rivers, wetlands and lakes of Tambopata. Our nighttime boat excursions offer a great chance to spot these apex rainforest predators as they hunt for prey.
And so, the key question you should ask before you book your eco-lodge experience in the Peruvian rainforest is: How healthy is the tropical forest around the eco-lodge where I am planning to stay? The presence of animals like those seen in the forests we help to protect is a sure indicator of the health of the ecosystem in general. And at Tambopata Ecolodge, we have ensured the continued health of our jungle home by establishing a Private Conservation Area to preserve the surrounding forest into the future, and to provide our guests with a rainforest vacation they will never forget.