Puerto Maldonado: the easiest gateway to the Peruvian Amazon
Puerto Maldonado is the ideal base to explore the hidden treasures of the lush Amazon jungle. Located in the Madre de Dios region – less than 1 hour flight from Cusco – Puerto Maldonado is the easiest gateway to the Peruvian Amazon. As soon as you get off the plane, you are already in a rainforest environment and minutes away from starting your excursion to the Madre de Dios and Tambopata Rivers.
All year round Puerto Maldonado enjoys an average temperature of 25º C and in the rainforest many indigenous species of plants and animals can be found, such as the wolf and the marsh deer.
The main ecotourism areas accessible from Puerto Maldonado are: the Tambopata National Reserve, the Bahuaja-Sonene National Park and the Manu Reserve
Tambopata National Reserve – Candamo
This reserve is located at the junction of the La Torre and Tambopata rivers and covers an area of 1.5 million hectares. The Tambopata National Reserve hosts one of the most bio diverse ecosystems in the Peruvian Amazon: 151 dragonfly species, 1122 butterfly species, 570 bird species and 29 species of tiger beetles.
Bahuaja-Sonene National Park
The Bahuaja-Sonene national Park covers more than 1.1 million hectares and is the third largest park with the only humid tropical savannah in Peru spanning the regions of Madre de Dios, Puno and Bolivia. In this Park is located the stunning Macaw Clay Lick Colorado. The presence of clay and mud rich in minerals is due to the river erosion. In such colpas (licks) different birds like Macaws, Parrots and Parakeets gather every day to eat the clay and create a very colorful unique spectacle known as “colpeo”. For approximately 25-30 minutes these birds ingest these beneficial minerals to supplement their diets which apparently also act as an antidote to the poisonous effects of some wild fruits.
The most important species found in Bajuja-Sonene are the giant anteater, the giant otter, the bush dog, the black caiman and the harpy eagle.
This protected area is situated 10 km from the city of Puerto Maldonado. Lago Sandoval is undoubtedly one of the main destinations around Puerto Maldonado. Lago Sandoval is about 3 km long, 1 km wide and 3 meters deep. It is surrounded by large palm swamps and wetlands where the aguaje palm grows among other exotic plants. Amongst important plants we find platanillos (parrot beak), ungurahuis, kapok trees, mahogany and Mauritanian palm trees up to 30 meters high. This is a habitat for a variety of birds such as cormorants, toucans, macaws, parrots, egrets and horned screamers, as well as colorful