I am going to Peru for a short time and visiting Machu Picchu. is better to visit the Amazons+ in Puerto Maldonado or Iquitos?
If you’re only in Peru for a short time and will be visiting Machu Picchu and Cuzco already, Puerto Maldonado will be more convenient. You can fly there from Cuzco in about 40 minutes, I believe. It also tends to be more affordable. If you go to Iquitos you’ll spend a lot of time in transport.
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We were in Cuzco and flew to Peurto Maldonado. Very short trip (35 minutes). We stayed in the lodge in Tambopata area and had a nice time. I was told that Macaws are more frequent in this area than Iquitos and the river is less travelled (hence less crowded and you don't have to travel far to see wild life).
I recommend you to take The jungle part of Iquitos it is really Nice
and in Cusco Machupicchu sacred valled City Tour ,maras moray
Observing Macaws around Tambopata is best during the peak activity periods on the clay licks, which starts in August and slowly declines through Nov-Dec. This coincides with the time that chics are hatching. You need to be careful when you book and where.
In Iquitos, you can see wildlife in Pacaya Samiria, which is the second largest park in the entire Amazon.
GO TO THE AMAZON JUNGLE
when i went to peru, my tour package included, lima, nazca lines, cusco, machu pichu and amazon from the peruvian side.
everything was beautiful, one of a kind but the most memorable part of the trip was the 2 night 3 days at the amazon jungle
and if i ever go back it will be to stay in the jungle for 1 week or so
u will never experience anything like itEdited: 03 May 2012, 21:09
Did you take a boat up the river to a lodge? or did you stay closer in? Where did you stay? I am going in June and would like to plan as much as possible before i leave
Puerto Maldonado is especially good if you have but 2 or 3-nights for a visit to the Amazon. As another post reported most lodges are near the city and you can be at a lodge within a couple hours by boat. There are scores of lodges up and down the rivers, from backpacker places to “5-star” resorts.
If you have 5 or more nights for visiting the Amazon I personally believe it is best to get to the most remote area possible and that would be up the Amazon River from Iquitos. Consider staying at a research center rather than a tourist lodge as there are a couple in the Pacaya Samiria area. generally research centers have fewer guests at a time so you are not with a large group tromping though the rainforest.
Some of the wildlife in the Iquitos area is similar to that of Tambopata and both have their own endemic birds/animals.
Macaw clay licks are mostly in Tambopata/Manu. Pink Dolphins are Iquitos. Varieties of monkeys are both and the Uakari “red-faced” monkey is Iquitos. Giant Otters are best at Tambopata Sandoval Lake. Anaconda and caiman are best in Iquitos.
Indians: Puerto Maldonado has local Indians. Remote Iquitos has Indian communities that rarely see very many tourists.
For the Iquitos area: every year the Amazon River rises significantly March-April. This year a major flood has left 400+ Indian communities with water up and over the roofs of their homes. The river is just now beginning to recede.
Plans are underway to ask for volunteers to help with humanitarian relief: people who have a flexible schedule and can join a small group for a specific area/project.
If you are interested in using a couple days of your trip to the amazon to help an Indian community: I am organizing small groups to help the San Juan de Yanayacu Indians, about 90-some km up the Amazon River from Iquitos.
Accommodations are near the Indian community at a research center. Everyone is sharing the cost of boat/fuel/food/supplies.
You can have time to see wildlife on the trails around the center, one of the best areas.
Drop a line if you are interested in helping