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Puerto Maldonado Tours & Trips

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Just like Iquitos to the north, Puerto Maldonado in southeastern Peru is considered a gateway to the Amazon. All of Adventure Life's Amazon river cruises depart from Iquitos, but if you're not crazy about the idea of spending your nights on the water, then we also feature a number of land-based tours based out of Puerto Maldonado. Your tour will feature all of the staple activities like kayaking, visiting a parrot clay lick, hiking through the rainforest, and even visiting an indigenous community, among other fascinating activities. If you want to get the full Peru experience, then consider combining your Amazon vacation with a few days in the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu and then head over to the capital city of Lima on the arid coast. 
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Puerto Maldonado Travel Guide

Puerto Maldonado Highlights
  • Canopy Walks: Ascend into the emerald heights of the Amazon rainforest on captivating canopy walks. These suspended pathways grant you an exclusive view of the monkeys and birds that thrive in the upper realms. Witness the capuchin monkeys and toucans as they traverse their natural habitat, providing a rare insight into their captivating behaviors.
  • Kayaking Oxbow Lakes: Embark on a serene kayaking adventure through the Amazon's oxbow lakes. Glide silently through the waters, granting you up-close encounters with captivating creatures. Watch in awe as giant river otters play along the shores, yellow-spotted side-neck turtles bask in the sun, and caimans stealthily glide beneath the surface.
  • Hiking Adventures: Explore the vibrant Amazonian ecosystems on immersive hikes that traverse marshlands, flood plains, and terra firme trails. Guided by expert naturalists, you may spot elusive jaguars, tapirs, and anteaters, revealing the rainforest's captivating web of life.
  • Macaw Clay Licks: Experience the mesmerizing spectacle of a macaw clay lick, a phenomenon where vibrant birds congregate to supplement their acidic diets with essential minerals from the clay. Witness hundreds of parrots and macaws in a dazzling display of colors, an unforgettable testament to the intricate ecological balance of the rainforest.
  • Canoe Cruising: Drift along the meandering waterways in a canoe, embracing the tranquility of the Amazon's lifeblood. Allow the current to carry you deeper into the heart of this untamed paradise, unveiling hidden corners and extraordinary wildlife at every turn.
  • Conservation Efforts: Engage with vital conservation efforts that safeguard the delicate balance of the rainforest. Participate in projects that protect endangered species, restore fragile ecosystems, and promote sustainable practices. Gain a profound understanding of the interconnectedness of all life in this remarkable ecosystem.
  • Night Jungle Walks: Embark on night jungle walks, a journey into the enigmatic world of nocturnal creatures. Guided by the soft glow of moonlight and expert guides, you'll witness the rainforest come alive with the rustling of night prowlers, the haunting calls of owls, and the gleaming eyes of nocturnal reptiles.
Puerto Maldonado Climate

July-December –
Low water Season

78-104ºF (26-40ºC)
  • Lower rivers
  • Less precipitation
January-June –
High water season

73-86ºF (23-30ºC)
  • Higher Rivers
  • Cooler Temperatures
  • Expect intermittent daily showers, occasionally pretty heavy
When to Visit 
Low Water Season
Better trail access
  • Better fishing & birding 
  • Fewer mosquitos
  • Great time to see the caiman crocodiles
High Water Season
  • Better river accessibility & navigation
  • More mosquitos
  • Good time to swim in blackwater creeks
Getting to Puerto Maldonado 
There are just two main ways to get to Puerto Maldonado, in the southern Peruvian Amazon - by air or by land. 

By air:
Flights to Puerto Maldonado depart throughout the day from both Cusco (1 hour away) and Lima (1 1/2 hours away).

By land: 
You can take a 12-hour bus ride from Cusco, which is a more economical option but also considerably less comfortable than the plane, since it is a much longer and more winding journey.
Sites to Visit Close to Puerto Maldonado

Nestled in the heart of the Peruvian Amazon, Puerto Maldonado offers a gateway to a world of natural wonders and breathtaking landscapes. Here are some must-visit sites near Puerto Maldonado that promise an unforgettable Amazonian adventure:
  • Monkey Island: Just a short boat ride from Puerto Maldonado, Monkey Island (Isla de los Monos) beckons with its lively inhabitants. This haven for monkeys allows you to witness various species in their natural habitat, including capuchins, howlers, and tamarins. As you observe their playful antics and social interactions, you'll gain insight into their intriguing lives.
  • Tres Chimbadas Lake: Venture a little farther from Puerto Maldonado to Tres Chimbadas Lake, where tranquility reigns. Glide on calm waters as you spot the majestic giant river otters – a rare and captivating sight. The lake's lush surroundings provide a sanctuary for diverse bird species, offering ample opportunities for birdwatching enthusiasts.
  • Madre de Dios River: Flowing through Puerto Maldonado, the Madre de Dios River is a lifeline that connects the region. Its meandering waters offer a glimpse into the intricate ecosystems of the Amazon rainforest. From serene boat cruises to thrilling kayaking expeditions, the river serves as a conduit to explore the beauty and biodiversity of the surrounding area.
  • Lake Sandoval: Embark on a short boat ride and hike to reach Lake Sandoval, a pristine oxbow lake near Puerto Maldonado. As you traverse the rainforest, the lake emerges like a hidden gem. Its mirror-like waters reflect the dense foliage and towering trees, creating a surreal backdrop. Keep your eyes peeled for colorful macaws, elusive jaguars, and the elusive black caimans that call this area home.
Puerto Maldonado: Your Gateway to the Peruvian Amazon Jungle

If your heart yearns to explore the captivating depths of the Peruvian Amazon Jungle, look no further than Puerto Maldonado – the ultimate portal to this unparalleled natural wonder.

Embark on an Immersive Amazon Tour
To embark on your immersive Amazonian odyssey, your journey begins in Puerto Maldonado. From this vibrant hub, meticulously crafted guided tours and riverboat transfers seamlessly transport you into the heart of the rainforest. Accompanied by seasoned naturalists, you'll delve deep into this ecological sanctuary, unveiling its hidden secrets and unraveling mysteries with each deliberate step you take.

Stay in a Jungle Lodge
Nestled within this awe-inspiring landscape, your retreat awaits in a jungle lodge – your sanctuary and launching point for an extraordinary rainforest expedition. Awaken to the harmonious melodies of birdsong, set forth on nature trails that wind through the luxuriant expanse, and immerse yourself in the untamed beauty that envelops you. Your sojourn at the jungle lodge transforms into an intimate communion with the verdant panoramas and extraordinary creatures that call the Amazon jungle home.
Where to Stay in Puerto Maldonado
For those hoping to take an Amazon river cruise, look into the port town of Iquitos, where all of our Adventure Life Peru rainforest cruises depart from. Puerto Maldonado is the Amazonian town where we base our land tours, from the following lodges & wildlife centers.

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What is the Tambopata National Reserve

Step into the Tambopata National Reserve, an untouched haven within Peru's Amazon rainforest. Here, a symphony of life unfolds amidst lush landscapes, offering explorers an immersive encounter with biodiversity in its purest form. Traverse winding trails that lead you through dense rainforests, where every step uncovers hidden gems – from delicate orchids and towering kapok trees to playful monkeys. Get ready to discover a kaleidoscope of avian wonders, witnessing vibrant toucans, macaws, and iridescent hummingbirds in their natural habitat.

Tambopata boasts an astonishing diversity of species, from the elusive jaguar to the charismatic giant river otter. With over 600 bird species and an unparalleled tapestry of flora and fauna, this is a place where the interconnected web of life is always on display. Marvel at the intricate dance of survival and symbiosis.

Tambopata River: The Tambopata River weaves its way through the reserve, a lifeline that sustains an astonishing array of life. Embark on boat journeys along its gentle currents, unveiling a world where capybaras graze along the shores, caimans lurk beneath the water's surface, and the majestic jaguar leaves its mark in the soft riverbank soil. Glide silently on serene oxbow lakes, where giant river otters and exotic waterfowl create a mesmerizing ballet of movement and color.

How to Get to Tambopata National Reserve
To embark on this unforgettable Amazonian odyssey, begin your journey in Puerto Maldonado. From there, guided tours and riverboat transfers provide a seamless gateway into the Tambopata National Reserve. Accompanied by expert naturalists, you'll journey deep into the heart of this ecological sanctuary, uncovering its secrets and mysteries with each step.
Peru’s Top Sites and Treks - Andes Region

While visiting Puerto Maldonado and the Peruvian Amazon, make sure to include some of Peru's most beloved treasures, located in the Andes region.
  • Machu Picchu: Crafted by the ingenious Inca civilization, its precisely hewn stones whisper tales of a bygone era. This UNESCO World Heritage Site, perched at 2,430 meters, exudes an air of mystery and grandeur, its terraces and temples offering a breathtaking panorama of Inca ingenuity and the surrounding peaks.
  • Cusco and the Sacred Valley: Cusco, the once-capital of the Inca Empire, showcases a blend of colonial splendor and indigenous charm. Explore ancient temples and vibrant markets, and experience the city's pulsating energy. The Sacred Valley, with its terraced landscapes, ancient ruins, and traditional communities, offers a serene introduction to the fascinating Andean life.
  • Rainbow Mountain: Aptly named for its kaleidoscope of hues caused by mineral deposits, the Rainbow Mountain ascends to heights over 5,000 meters. Set against a backdrop of snow-capped peaks, the vibrant bands of color offer an otherworldly spectacle that will leave trekkers awestruck.
  • The Inca Trail: Tread upon the very path forged by Incan emperors and pilgrims centuries ago. This iconic trek weaves through cloud forests and alpine terrains, culminating at the Sun Gate, where Machu Picchu reveals itself in all its glory. Traverse the Andes through ancient stone pathways and connect with the spirits of the past.
  • Alternative Treks: Uncover lesser-known gems such as the Salkantay Trek, Cordillera Blanca Trek, Cachiccata Trek, Ausengate Trek, Choquequirao Trek, or Ancascocha Trek, with their breathtaking high-altitude landscapes - some surpassing 4,600 meters - and panoramic views of the Sacred Valley, and other ancient sites. Meanwhile, the Lares Trek winds through indigenous communities, allowing travelers to engage with local culture. Each route reveals its own secrets, connecting trekkers with nature, history, and the vibrant spirit of Peru.

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