Jungle Tours Peru, Pto. Maldonado is located in the southeastern corner of Peru, near the border with Bolivia and Brazil. It is the most accessible rainforest from Cusco; 98% of the territory is comprised of virgin forests. It is the territory with the lowest population density, 60,000 inhabitants in 80,000 km2 (19,768,400 acres) of jungle. There are three protected areas located in this territory including Manu National Park and Reserved Zone, Tambopata-Candamo Reserved Zone and Bahuaja-Sonene National Park.
Together they comprise 3.5 million hectares (8,648,500 acres) of protected rainforest ecosystems, and represent the greatest and richest area for biodiversity in the world.
The capital of the region is Puerto Maldonado, is the most important town of the southern rainforest. It is located at 210 m.a.s.l. at the junction of the Tambopata and Madre de Dios rivers. River access is available from the towns of Riberalta in Bolivia (5 hours) and Assis in Brazil (242 kms.).
Recently, both government and non-government agencies have proposed the development of tourist services and attractions in Puerto Maldonado, "The Capital of Biodiversity". The height of the tourist season in Puerto Maldonado is from May to November. Puerto Maldonado is the starting point for trips to Tambopata, Piedras and the lower part of the Madre de Dios Rivers regions. Sandoval Lake is an exceptional place to observe a diversity of wild fauna including macaws, small parrots, herons, kingfishers, hoatzins, caimans, turtles and giant otters.
Sandoval Lake is located 8 km (4.97 miles), or about one hour away, from Puerto Maldonado (including 15 minutes by speedboat down the Madre de Dios river). Valencia Lake offers excellent opportunities to watch birds and observe nature. It is located 60 km (37 miles, 3.5 hours by boat) from Puerto Maldonado, close to the Bolivian border, down the Madre de Dios River.
On this trip it is possible to visit nearby indigenous communities. This is the only area showing these unique features within the Peruvian rainforest and because of this, it was initially considered as a National Sanctuary. Native Communities you can find here more than five language groups and over thirty racial Types spread out throughout the entire province. Some of these groups live away from their original clans and have mixed with the outside population, but there are still large groups who live in their own reserves or communities. Other Lakes exist many lakes that they do not form part of the tours routes, generally those are smaller than Sandoval and Valencia Lake but have great quantity of fish and fauna.
WEATHER & WHAT TO BRING
The jungle is generally hot and humid year-round. On the open river, it gets quite hot and the sun is very intense, so bring plenty of sunblock. However, occasionally a cool wind blow down from the Andes (called a ¨friaje¨) causing temperatures to drop dramatically (even to 48 F.degrees or 9 C. degrees at nigth). This is fairly rare, but your trip leader will usually have enough advance warning of the weather patterns from our staff in Puerto Maldonado. A 100% waterproof rain gear is always necessary.
CLOTHING AND EQUIPMENT LUGGAGE
1 large duffel bag that should be strong, durable nylon of about 30" x 14" with full length zipper and handles.
1 day pack, large enough for rain gear, water bottle, photo equipment and personal items.
1 small padlock for each duffel or pack. It is important to pack light for this travel.
The rule is a maximum of 44 lb. (20 kilos) per person.
Please limit your total jungle gear to the following:
1 rain suit (jacket & pants) or poncho.
1 jacket/windbreaker (rainjacket can double for this) and/or sweater/sweatershirt.
2 long cotton or other lightwear pants.
2 long sleeve, tight-weave cotton shirts.Underwear and shocks.
1 pair of shorts or bathing suit.
1 wide brim hat for sun and rain.
1 pair of lightweight hiking boots.
2 pair of tennis shoes or similar. Bring at least 1 old pair that can get dirty.
Use subdued colors in the jungle, as bright colors may scare wildlife. Long sleeves and long pants are very important for protection from sun and insects.
Binoculars - a must. Plastic water bottle (1 qt.) 1 towel (thin, quick drying) Toilet kit. Personal first aid kit. 6 large plastic bags or stuff sacks (to compartmentalize clothes, laundry, wet items within your duffel). Flashlight with spare batteries. Pocket knife. Sunglasses.
Camera gear and film Hand lens. Make sure that you pack several plastic bags to protect camera equipment from sudden downpours during outings or canoe trips. Reading material, journal. Tape recorder for recording jungle sounds. Cord (clothesline, repairs, shoelaces, etc.) Drying agent or silica gel to pack inside your camera case.
HOW IS THE FOOD
Only offer canned food. Also supplement your diet with a supply of rice, potatoes, noodles, dried beans and quinoa. Bring bottled water.
Try the native cuisine. Support local skills and services. Be appreciative of the local culture. Do not buy products made from endangered species, such as ivory, tortoise shell, animal skins and feathers.
Daily flights from Lima via Cuzco.
The airport is 7 km out of town.
We only recomend driving roads or going on river trips, to adventurous travelers who are prepared and experienced.