Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Guide For Peru Amazon Travel

By Julio Riess

Anyone planning for Peru Amazon travel should know that it is far beyond exotic. It is a thrilling outdoor adventure expedition that ordinary travelers can undertake deep into the unspoiled Amazonian rainforests. People on this tour can expect face-to-face encounters with schools of pink dolphins, a giant anteater or two, and hordes of colorful wild birds and reptiles.

Almost every foreign visitor will enter and leave the country through the capital city of Lima. This means that people heading for a rainforest tour must take a connecting domestic flight from Lima to Iquitos or Puerto Maldonado, both of which are outside the Lima Region and quite a long way off. Puerto Maldonado is the capital city of the Madre de Dios region, while Iquitos happens to be the Loreto Region's capital.

One of the most popular rainforest destinations in Peru is the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve, for which the gateway city is Iquitos. It is also the main starting point for all Amazon River cruises in the country. Puerto Maldonado is a gateway for visitors heading to Tambopata National Reserve, Sandoval Lake or Manu National Park.

One thing to keep in mind is that around 65 percent of land in the country is given over to the rainforests, so most of the land is completely inaccessible by road. The only way to explore the jungle and follow the river is to fly in or drive as far as possible and then take a boat. Also, the vast distance between Iquitos and Puerto Maldonado makes it well nigh impossible to cover both areas in a limited timeframe. It's best to plan for an eight or ten day tour that covers just one of these two regions.

Travelers who do not want to undertake strenuous physical exertions may prefer Iquitos. A cruise is a languid affair that allows for exploring the monstrously huge river and rainforests from a comfortable perch on a riverboat. The Pacaya-Samiria reserve, 114 miles from Iquitos, can be easily reached after a quick drive and a short boat ride. It is the largest reserve in Peru, filled with an unimaginably diverse array of wildlife including 130 mammalian species and 330 different types of birds. Not to mention an army of reptiles and amphibians.

Puerto Maldonado has its own teeming hordes. It also has quite a few advantages that add more depth to the tour. For instance, these rainforests are close to Cuzco, so visitors can combine an Inca Trail trek and a visit to Machu Picchu with the Amazon jungle adventure. Also, Tambopata National Reserve is famed for its birdwatching, so birders can tag along with expert local ornithologists who double as tour guides.

Puerto Maldonado can also be used as a base for forays into other rainforest destinations such as the Bahuaja Sonene and Manu national parks. The famously beautiful Sandoval Lake is just a short distance away. To top it all off, Puerto Maldonado has some excellent tourist infrastructure, including Amazon lodges.

The Peru Amazon travel experience is an opportunity of a lifetime. In order to make the most of this chance, it is critical to choose the right tour and destinations in the itinerary. It is even more important to find the right provider who can open up the wonders of the Amazon and offer a hassle-free experience.

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