Puerto Maldonado Tourist Attractions
A short half hour flight from Cuzco and situated at the junction of the Tambopata and Madre de Dios rivers, Puerto Maldonado is a key jumping off point for tours of the Amazon ranging from a couple of days to week long adventures. A former rubber boomtown, now gold mining and tourism sustain this relaxed Amazonian town.The Reserva Nacional Tambopata and the Parque Nacional Bahuaja Sonene are the two main protected areas and are well serviced by many jungle lodges. The Reserva Nacional Tambopata jungle lodges are located approximately a one hour boat ride from Puerto Maldonado. The other area, Parque Nacional Bahuaja Sonene, is located across the river from the Parque Nacional Madidi in Bolivia takes about four hours to reach by boat.Visitors are likely to see many different kinds of flora and fauna. Monkeys are ubiquitous as are the mosquitoes! Other animals commonly seen are turtles, caimans, the ever lovable capybara, parrots and with a fishing line, piranhas.
Bahuaja Sonene National Park
The Parque Nacional Bahuaja Sonene (Bahuaja Sonene National Park) was established in 1996 and contains an area of over 274 thousand hectares. This large area contains both river basins of the Tambopata and Heath rivers. The Parque Nacional Bahuaja Sonene is home to a wide variety of animals including the savannah dog, harpy eagle, maned wolf and black caiman.Peru's tropical humid savannas are found only in the Parque Nacional Bahuaja Sonene. The famous Heath Pampas are also found within the Parque Nacional Bahuaja Sonene and is a very unique ecosystem that is widely studied.Access is via boat on the Tambopata River. Keep in mind that the Parque Nacional Bahuaja Sonene is in an area with a rainy season running from December to March. Accommodation is in rustic jungle lodges located nearby.
Tambopata National Reserve
Founded in 1983 and located at the junction of the La Torre and the Tambopata rivers, is the Reserva Nacional Tambopata (Tambopata National Reserve). This 5500 hectare reserve contains a wide variety of flora and fauna.A major hotspot for birding along with the Manu Biosphere reserve, the Reserva Nacional Tambopata has over 600 known species of birds. Other species frequently sighted include butterflies jaguars, parrots, parakeets, and caimans.Easily accessible via a two to four hour boat ride from Puerto Maldonado, the Reserva Nacional Tambopata is well set up for the tourist. There are several jungle lodges servicing the Reserva Nacional Tambopata ranging from high end to very rustic.