Puerto Maldonado – Gateway to the Amazon
The jungle city of Puerto Maldonado is perched on the banks of a river that feeds the mighty Amazon. A frontier city, it is close to the borders of Bolivia and Brazil that share the tropical rainfo...
The jungle city of Puerto Maldonado is perched on the banks of a river that feeds the mighty Amazon.
A frontier city, it is close to the borders of Bolivia and Brazil that share the tropical rainforest with Peru.
The city is typically known as a gate way to the rainforest, as the city hosts the airport and the Tambopata river port. The city has a direct road connection to Cusco making it a popular choice for people visiting the sites of Peru.
The city though has a number of attractions of its own that makes a day in the city worthwhile. You can also use the city as a good base to explore nearby sites, parks and animal areas.
The centre of the city, like most in South America, is the Plaza de Armas.The square is a central meeting place, with a large towered building that overlooks the square, ideal for an afternoon ice cream and photos.
The city also hosts a large obelisk tower, decorated with detailed art work. For only a few soles you can go up and get views over the whole city and the surrounding Tambopata and Madre Dios Rivers.
You can also visit the area where the two rivers meet, on the eastern part of town. It has become popular for photo takers and so a few places to buy ice creams have popped up.
Interestingly the city also hosts a small zoo. Here you can visit in the day, however in the night it is also used as a local night club – so be prepared to dance with a monkey!
The city is also host to a market where you can buy a range of local good and some goods that maybe less than legal. You can also buy all the things you need before you enter the jungle in the city.
One of the big draws though to the city is the Tambopata reserve park that is nearby. It's rich biodiversity makes the place attractive to visitors, however it is not cheap as a permit is needed for entrance.
A good alternative would be to visit the Tambopata Candamo Reserved Zone. Here you can see what the jungle looks like without having to pay the park entrance fee.
There are many lodges within the actual city of Puerto Maldonado. These are best if you like your comforts such as hot water and electricity.
Lodges that are in the reserve zone as usually ecologically run, with no main electricity connection and no hot water. Light is usually from Kerosene lamps and electricity from a small generator or solar powered when needed.
These remote lodges give you more of an opportunity to explore and experience the rainforest zone. Many have their own tours directly from the lodge and are surrounded by trails that you can explore independently.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
This guide to Peru’s Amazon and Peru vacations was written by a Peru travel expert at Peru For Less, specialists in high value, fully customizable tours and packages.