Cusco is the archeological and tourism hub of Peru with a little over a million visitors year per year gracing the city’s ancient streets. This was the hub and birthplace of the Inca Civilization that would dominate Peru until its fall at the hands of the Spanish conquistadors.For its popularity, this is often where you will end up or prioritize your visit to Peru. If you are interested in Nature, you will also be drawn to the Amazon Rainforest, which covers almost half of the South American continent and is the world’s largest container of wildlife. Cusco Jungle Tour will show us the natural and scenic wealth that you should not miss if you are traveling in Cusco. Let´s start. Puerto Maldonado is a city located in southeastern of Peru, capital of the Department of Madre de Dios, on the edge of the confluence of the Madre de Dios River and the Tambopata River. It is one of the main commercial centers of the Amazon. It has the official title of Capital of Biodiversity of Peru in merit to important records of flora and fauna found in the forests of the department. Most visitors book a tour in Puerto Maldonado and surrounding areas such as the Tambopata National Reserve come via Cusco or Lima, from where it is very easy to reach.
HOW TO GET TO PUERTO MALDONADO?
- By plane from Cusco or Lima: The most popular and most convenient option is to take a flight to Puerto Maldonado from Cusco (near Machu Picchu) or the capital, Lima. The duration of direct flights from Cusco is less than 1 hour and from Lima a little over an hour and a half.From the airport you can take a motorcycle taxi for a couple of dollars, which is a three-wheel motorcycle with a roof, to the city center, the Main Square, or you may have a transfer included in your accommodation.
- By bus from Cusco: A popular option for travelers on a low budget is to go to Puerto Maldonado from Cusco by bus. It is very economical and the journey goes through beautiful landscapes - the Andean highlands, cloud forests and the jungle.The trip lasts about 12 hours (before the completion of the works of the Interoceanic Highway took about 30 hours) and costs about $ 20 each way.The bus station in Puerto Maldonado is about 10 minutes from the center, the Main Square, by motorcycle taxi.
- By bike: For sports lovers, you might want to take a mountain bike tour from Cusco, which can be booked with us. The tours last three days or more.The tours go through Andean landscapes, picturesque villages, cloud forests and finally, the jungle. You'll have to be in good shape to be able to do this and have already gotten used to altitudes of up to 5,000 before you start. Some bike tours like those at the Wasai Tambopata lodge include rafting.
National Reserve of Tambopata - Candamo.
Located at the confluence of the "La Torre" and Tambopata rivers, with an extension of 5,500 hectares of virgin forest. It stands out for its richness and variety of birds (approximately 600 species), butterflies (900 species) and dragonflies (115 species). If you are thinking about what can I do in Tambopata?, we have the answer , let´s see this 5 natural beauty places located in Tambopata :
- Sandoval Lagoon.- monkeys, caimans, giant river otters you will have a nice memories of a trip to the Peruvian jungle.
- Huitoto Lagoon.- This place is wonderful, a beautiful lake of dark waters where the sunrises and sunsets are fantastic, surrounded by exuberant nature, full of trees, where the birds fly without fear, a place where the river wolves live and play relating to everything that surrounds them.
- Apu Victor Lagoon.- Taking a boat ride through its waters you can see turtles, birds and also some anaconda.
- Cocha Perdida.- a small ecosystem where species such as birds of infinite colors coexist,with Andean lion and otters. ·
- Butterfly Tambopata.- is a spectacular place where you can see hundreds of Amazonian butterflies. It also has a nice cafe, very cozy, with craft beers, juices, soft drinks and delicious sandwiches and snacks. In addition, the cafeteria has Wi- Fi connection.
National Sanctuary of the Pampas del Heath.
With an extension of 109 hectares. It was created in 1983. Here is the quoted horsehair wolf. It is a natural reserve that has dense forests of palm trees, with meadows of grasses. During the rainy months from December to April, the area is flooded and the pampas are transformed into swamps. Among the animals that dwell in the area stand out: the swamp deer, the maned wolf, the anteater, wild cuys, the jaguar. In addition to a significant number of bird species, such as: white woodpecker, toucan toco, parrots and macaws.
Reserve of the Manu.
Recognized as such by UNESCO in March 1973. It has an area of 1,881,200 hectares. It consists of three areas:
- The Manu National Park (1'532,806 hectares), intangible zone.
- The Manu Reserved Zone (257,000 hectares) to carry out tourism.
- Bajo Manu (91,394 hectares), a cultural zone inhabited by human groups.
There are beautiful lakes such as Valencia, Manu, Sandoval, La Pastora, Tambopata, Madre de Dios, Cocococha,and Tres Chimbadas; There are also the rivers Manu, Tambopata, Madre de Dios, La Torre, Manuripe, Las Piedras and Tahuamanu. The reserve is an ecosystem that has had an unalterable evolution for thousands of years, presenting one of the largest varieties of flora and fauna in the world, estimating in more than a thousand the total bird species of birds in the park and about 200 mammals. The plants vary between 2 thousand and 3 thousand species, considering that there is a 10% not known by science. To enter the reserve it is necessary to request an authorization to the National Park Direction and to visit it it is required to have at least one week.
Located 60 kilometers and four hours by motor boat from Puerto Maldonado. On the road, on the banks of the Madre de Dios River, it is possible to observe gold seekers, the native settlement of the Huarayos and a very varied flora and fauna. In the lake you can fish corvinas, dorados and maidens, among others. The main native communities are Amaralari, Arasaeri, Kisambaeri, Pukirieri, Sapiteri, Toyoeri, Wachipari, Arawak, Machiguenga and Piro-Mashko.
In Puerto Maldonado, the summers are short, very hot, wet and mostly cloudy; The winters are short, hot and partly cloudy and oppressive throughout the year. During the course of the year, the temperature generally varies from 18 ° C to 32 ° C and rarely drops below 13 ° C or rises above 36 ° C.
- In Puerto Maldonado, the average percentage of the sky covered with clouds varies extremely during the year. The clearest part of the year in Puerto Maldonado begins approximately on May 6; It lasts 4.8 months and ends approximately on September 30. On August 4, the clearest day of the year, the sky is clear, mostly clear or partially cloudy 70% of the time and cloudy or mostly cloudy 30% of the time.
- A wet day is a day with at least 1 millimeter of liquid or precipitation equivalent to liquid. The probability of wet days in Puerto Maldonado varies considerably during the year.
- It rains during the year in Puerto Maldonado. Most of the rain falls during the 31 days centered around January 24, with an average total accumulation of 294 millimeters.
The best time of year to visit
- To describe how pleasant the climate is in Puerto Maldonado during the year, we calculated two travel scores.The tourism score favors the days cleared and without rain with temperatures perceived between 18 ° C and 27 ° C. Based on this score, the best time of the year to visit Puerto Maldonado for general tourist activities outdoors is from the end of May to the beginning of September, with a maximum score in the third week of July.
There are woven products made with "tamshi" or "tamishi", aerial root of great resistance, usually used in the moorings of the structure of the huts, hats, bags,ornaments are also made with this fiber.Also you will see an interesting range of jewelery articles maden with seeds of the zone. Another famous material of some souvenirs is the wood, carved or turned like furniture, kitchen utensils and vases are worked. In addition, chestnut coconut products are produced, such as chests, candles and ashtrays. Recently canvases are made with figures of people and animals, as well as landscapes. It is possible to find typical native crafts, such as arrows, bows and spears decorated with colorful feathers.
TYPICAL DISHES AND DRINKS
Despite being a department with few inhabitants, Madre de Dios has its own food, prepared based on the food provided by the place. The best known are the patarashca, a fish wrapped in banana leaf cooked on the grill; the motelo soup, prepared with turtle meat and served in its own shell; muchangue, made with turtle eggs, accompanied by parboiled green plantain; timbuche or chilcano, broth based on fish often like palometa, sapamana, mojarreta or gusasaco and tacacho, grilled plantain served with chicharrón pieces mixed with chopped onion. About drinks, are many typical of the region but the most representative is the famous masato, a fermentation based on yucca and the chapo, another drink is a mixture of banana with milk.