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Most tourists associate Peru mainly with the Inca ruins, the beautiful coast, and the high Andes. However, not everyone knows that 60% of the country is covered by the Amazon rainforest, a virgin, green and dense jungle.
Today we want to tell you about the jungle of Puerto Maldonado, a virgin environment that you will be able to visit in only 3 days, but we are sure that it will be completely worth it.
Where is Puerto Maldonado?
Puerto Maldonado is on the banks of the Madre de Dios River, in the south of Peru and only 55 km from the border with Bolivia.
The city is not the biggest attraction, but you can definitely feel the pure climate of the local culture. If this is your first time in this part of the country, just go for a walk and see how people live there.
The tours to Puerto Maldonado (Peru) are one of the most popular activities in the whole country, and due to the proximity to Cusco, a totally recommendable activity.
When is the best time to go to Puerto Maldonado?
The dry season lasts from May to November and the rainy season from December to the end of April. During the dry season, you will probably feel the air is stifling and stuffy, although it can always appear on a rainy day.
In this season, the water level of the rivers is lower, the plants do not flower as intensely and the animals hide from the high temperatures during the day.
However, during the rainy season, the air temperature becomes very tolerable, but it can rain heavily for several days without interruption. The soil is much muddier, which makes walking a bit problematic.
The advantage of the rainy season is the guarantee that you can admire the plants with their brighter colors and the animals in their natural habitat.
To sum up, the weather in Puerto Maldonado can be unpredictable. It is probably better to choose a date far away from the change of season, but the decision depends a little bit on you and your availability.
But how to get to Puerto Maldonado?
Currently, there are two ways to get to Puerto Maldonado after your tour in Cusco, the choice depends on your preference! You have to think about how much time you would like to spend on the trip and how much you want to pay.
The first option is a direct flight with the LATAM airline, which takes about an hour. Flight prices vary depending on the date, but for a one-way ticket, you can expect to pay between $58 and $287.
If you are not in a hurry, or simply want to make your trip more economical, you can choose a bus! The road is long and tiring because it is about 755 kilometers. However, this is the road chosen by most travelers.
There are several operators to choose from: CIVA, Expreso Los Chankas, Movil Bus, and Cruz del Sur. The trip takes about 10 hours and the price range is between 9 and 50 dollars. The bus travels mainly on a mountainous and winding road, so if you have dizziness, we advise you to get some pills or a Sea-Band (a bracelet against dizziness) in advance.
What to do in Puerto Maldonado?
We can assure you that you will not be bored during your trip to the jungle of Puerto Maldonado. One of the stops is a place called Collpa de Guacamayos Chuncho, where hundreds of parrots gather every day around 5:00 in the morning to start their breakfast.
When they peck at the reddish and yellowish slopes of the river, they sing, play, and fly near the islet from where you can watch them. With a little luck, you can observe up to 13 species of parrots in this area.
Another activity will be to visit the beautiful Lake Sandoval, about 30 minutes by boat from Puerto Maldonado. The trip will continue through the jungle, with a walk of about 4 km through totally virgin places, with the nature of the jungle in all its splendor.
Finally, the trip will end with another boat excursion to the beautiful Lake Sandoval, an incredible adventure!
The whole route, although long, is beautiful, with a touch of mystery. During the day, you can hear the incredible sounds of the apes by the lake.
What should you take in your backpack?
It’s true that if you book an organized trip you don’t have to worry about mosquito nets or food, but there are some things you should always keep in mind.
First of all, appropriate clothing for the walks in the jungle. These will be ankle-length shoes, preferably with rubber soles, long, lightweight pants, long-sleeved cotton T-shirts, and a waterproof hood.
Also, you should always carry sunscreen, a small flashlight, and insect repellent.
Vaccinations before the trip and things to take into account
Before your trip to Peru, it is important to remember that the conditions there are often different from the standards we know from our surroundings. Food and water can contain bacteria and germs that our body cannot handle on its own.
Therefore, it is very important to avoid tap water and food from street vendors.
Also keep in mind that depending on when you travel or from where you travel, some vaccination may be necessary: Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B, Yellow Fever, Diphtheria, Tetanus, Typhoid, or Rabies are the most common.
However, Howlanders always recommends that you visit your doctor first so that he or she can tell you which vaccinations you should get in order to take the utmost precaution.
You should also be aware that if you travel by plane, border control may ask you for a document to confirm that you have been vaccinated.
In addition, although the guides will always inform you about it, you have to be careful of bugs like spiders and ants.
In case you feel something on top of you, you should first find out what it is. A reflex hit insect or animal can bite you, and it can end up very badly.
Finally, here is the most important advice: Never organize a trip to the jungle on your own! The jungle is not a game and is totally unknown territory for any traveler.
Even if the local people of Puerto Maldonado offer to take you, keep in mind that they will do it without any kind of security, so we recommend that you always do it with an official guide from the agencies that work there.
We believe that this is an unforgettable adventure and that the Peruvian jungle is a place that needs to be visited at least once in a lifetime. Do you dare to visit Puerto Maldonado and the surrounding jungle?