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Puerto Maldonado: everything you need to know

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Puerto Maldonado: everything you need to know

Puerto Maldonado is the southernmost city in the Peruvian Amazon, nestled in the middle of the jungle, it offers all the possibilities and plans for a vacation in total contact with nature.


Located on the banks of the Madre de Dios and Tambopata rivers, it has access to the Interoceanic Highway that connects it with Brazil and Bolivia. It has many activities for family vacations, with friends, and even as a couple. It is not one of those places to go on a weekend, it requires taking your time because there is much to see, the distances are not short and the jungle has its rhythm and its time.


You can enjoy the eco-tourist corridor created by four native communities where you can enjoy kayaking, jungle beaches, walks through native forests, paintball, swimming pool, among others.


It also has an incredible butterfly farm called Tambopata, which is home to more than 600 species of butterflies, the vast majority alive and fluttering colorful in a dream garden. By the way, did you know that Peru has the Guinness record as the country with the highest number of butterflies?


If you want to see the city from above, we recommend the Biodiversity Tourist Viewpoint, inspired by a chestnut tree and 47 meters high, it offers a magnificent panoramic view of the entire city, the rivers and the jungle that surrounds it.


Tourist Attractions

Among the tourist attractions of this city, one can mention interesting sites, predominantly natural, such as the Tambopata-Candamo National Reserve; It has a total area of ​​5,500 hectares, a territory in which it is possible to recognize more than five hundred different species of birds, as well as almost a thousand different types of butterflies, 115 types of dragonflies, 205 varieties of fish; more than 1,200 different plant species, among other natural resources that increase the value of the Reserve.


Another point of interest in this beautiful city is the Pampas de Heath National Sanctuary, which comprises more than 100 hectares of territory. In that one, which is reached after navigating the Madre de Dios River, and which was created in 1983, is one of the least known ecosystems that Peruvian territory presents: that of wet grasslands. Among the variety of animals that this Sanctuary presents are: red and green macaws, three varieties of anteaters, the ravine caiman, the maned wolf, jaguars, among others.


To these places of interest is added the Manu Biosphere Reserve, which has almost 1,900 hectares and is made up of three sections: the Manu National Park, the Manu Reserved Zone and the Transitional or Cultural Zone. In the place, an average of 20,000 different plant species have been counted, as well as more than a thousand varieties of birds, a greater number of butterflies, among other living beings.


Another attraction of the city is Lake Valencia, which can be reached after four hours by boat, from Puerto Maldonado, where you can practice fishing, and around the lake, you can find different native communities.


Typical dishes

Whoever visits this city, also, taking advantage of the fact that it is the capital of the department where it is located, can enjoy the most exquisite typical dishes of Madre de Dios, such as Tacacho with Cecina, as well as juanes, Inchicapi de gallina, asado picuro, carachama broth, among others. Whoever visits the place, cannot fail to try, likewise, the traditional drinks of the city, among which it is possible to mention the cocona soft drink, the pihuayo soft drink, the aguajina drink, the masato and the chapo, among others.


What to do in Puerto Maldonado?

Although this city serves mainly as a starting point for tourists who want to go deep into the jungle, Puerto Maldonado also offers some interesting activities. So that you do not miss any detail, we leave you the best attractions inside and outside the city.


Tambopata Butterfly Farm

Did you know that Peru holds the Guinness record for the country with the most species of butterflies in the world? Just 3 kilometers south of Puerto Maldonado is the first hatchery in Peru where live butterflies are exhibited. In 600 square meters, you can explore and learn about the habitat of impressive Amazonian butterflies, which live surrounded by beautiful flowers and native, ornamental and medicinal plants.


How to get there: due to its proximity, the easiest thing to do is take a taxi in the city center. In addition, the butterfly farm is located just 150 meters from the Puerto Maldonado airport, so you can take the opportunity to visit it upon arrival or before taking your flight back.


Amazon Shelter

As in many corners of the Peruvian jungle, in Puerto Maldonado you will find centers that are responsible for rescuing animals and rehabilitating them so that they can return to their natural habitat. An example is Amazon Shelter, a place where you will find from monkeys to crocodiles, toucans or sajinos that coexist in total harmony with their environment.


How to get there: Amazon Shelter is located 25 minutes south of Puerto Maldonado, so you can get there by taxi or motorcycle taxi without any problem.


Tambopata Ecotourism Corridor 

The perfect place for those who are thinking of a family trip. Four native communities of Madre de Dios came together to create this corridor that offers endless activities: kayaking, jungle beaches, walks through native forests, paintball, swimming pool ... there is something for everyone!


How to get there: kilometer zero of the corridor is in the same city of Puerto Maldonado and the route continues along the banks of the Tambopata River. You can go taking small walks or taking a motorcycle taxi and stopping at the points that interest you the most.


Biodiversity Viewpoint

In a city in which the traditional houses practically do not exceed the first floor, it is surprising to find itself as a construction like the Mirador de la Biodiversidad. This tower is perfect to have a panoramic view of Puerto Maldonado and, above all, to enjoy an incredible sunset.


How to get there: the Biodiversity Viewpoint is located in the heart of the city, so you can get there on foot or, if you prefer, take a motorcycle taxi.


Tambopata National Reserve

We begin the tour of the most important natural areas that surround Puerto Maldonado with the Tambopata National Reserve, the closest to the city. The fauna and flora of this place are fascinating: up to 632 species of birds, 1200 of butterflies, 103 of amphibians, 180 of fish, 169 of mammals and 103 of reptiles have been found.


In addition, its spectacular suspension bridges and large bodies of water, such as Lake Sandoval, Sachavacayoc and Valencia, attract attention. But to truly be fascinated with the fauna of this national reserve, visit the Collpa de Guacamayos Colorados, where hundreds of macaws, parakeets and parrots gather to feed on its clay walls 50 meters high by 500 long.


How to get there: whenever you visit the jungle you have to bear in mind that you must do it with the help of a specialized guide, since the paths are convoluted and it is difficult to move through it without getting lost. Therefore, we recommend you take our Full Day Adventure in Puerto Maldonado, which includes shared transportation, bilingual guide (Spanish and English), lunch and entrance ticket to the park.


Tahuamanu Province

On the border with Brazil is the province of Tahuamanu, another place to enjoy different landscapes related to nature. After taking a walk through the city, we recommend visiting the surrounding towns, where you can ride a horse, go by boat through the Colibrí lagoon and even visit the native community of Belgium and its shiringa forests.


How to get there: the cities of Iberia and Iñapari, of great importance in this province, are located three and four hours from Puerto Maldonado. The path is made through the interoceanic highway, a route with photographic landscapes.


Bahuaja-Sonene National Park

Can you imagine what it is like to walk through a humid tropical savanna? Either way, it seems like a good plan, doesn't it? Well, in Peru you can do it in the Bahuaja-Sonene National Park, a place where animals as fascinating as the giant anteater, the black lizard or the harpy eagle live.


How to get there: the best option to visit Bahuaja-Sonene is to depart from Puerto Maldonado. Here you will have to take a motor boat on a tour of four or five hours with splendid landscapes around you.


What is the best time to visit Puerto Maldonado?

Puerto Maldonado and in general, the Madre de Dios region, is divided into two seasons: dry and rainy. Each of them has its benefits and drawbacks: while in the dry season you can do more activities related to trekking, during this time there is less bird watching. In the rainy season, however, you may encounter more birds, reptiles, and amphibians. Therefore, the best time to visit Puerto Maldonado depends on your tastes and what you are looking for on this trip.


How to get to Puerto Maldonado?

Puerto Maldonado is the starting point for various excursions to the southern jungle of the Peruvian Amazon. Therefore, the first thing we want to tell you is how to get to this city.


Whether you are traveling from Lima or from Cusco, the fastest way to get to Puerto Maldonado is by plane (in 90 and 30 minutes, respectively). But if you are in Cusco and you prefer to travel by bus, you can also do it. The tour takes approximately 10 hours through the interoceanic highway that connects Peru and Brazil.


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