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Puerto Maldonado – Tambopata – Manu

Tambopata Peru

The Puerto Maldonado city is situated on the banks of the Madre de Dios River in the Peruvian Amazon and is the capital of the department of Madre de Dios. Also this beautiful place was recognized as the capital of biodiversity in Peru in honor of the important records of flora and fauna found in its dense Amazon forests. 

Nowadays Puerto Maldonado city is the starting point for trips and excursions to the Tambopata National Reserve locatedbetween the basins of the Tambopata and Heath River.

  • Location: Puerto Maldonado is located to the southeast of Peru on the shores of the Madre de Dios river in the Peruvian Amazon.
  • Extension:
  • Altitude: 183 meters of elevation
  • Climate:This region has a hot and humid climate with an average temperature of  25 °C  the maximum and the minimum of 8 °C
  • Access: By road from Cusco to Puerto Maldonado (532 km) the bus ride takes 18 hrsfollowing the interoceanic highway. By air there are daily flights from Cusco (30 minutes) and from Lima (02 hours) in the airlines of LAN Peru and  Star Peru.


Tambopata Reserve 

The Tambopata Reserve covers an area of ​​274 690 00 hectares and was created by the Peruvian government in 1990 to protect the rich biodiversity in the watersheds of Tambopata and Candamo rivers. In this reserve were recorded 632 bird species, 1300 butterfly, 169 mammals, 205 fish, 103 amphibians and 67 reptiles. 

To visit the Tambopata Reserve the starting point is the Puerto Maldonado city to get to the Ecolodges located alongTambopata and Madre de Dios rivers. The Ecolodges offers comfort for all their guests and the most of them include in their prices the meals, lodging and ecoactivities like excursions to the  lakes, visits to the parrot clay lick, nature walks, birdwatching tours, kayaking, fishing, canopy etc.

Among the most visited places in Tambopata have:

Lake Sandoval (Tambopata)

Sandoval Lake Tambopata

Sandoval Lake Tambopata

The Sandoval Lake is located at10 kms from Puerto Maldonado. The Lake Sandoval is rich in wildlife and is surrounded by extensive marshy area where aguaje palm tree and other trees such as mahogany and kapok grows. Also this lake is inhabited by different types of birds and animals such as tapirs, alligators, turtles, otters (river otters), toucans, macaws etc. The boattrip takes 20 minutes from Puerto Maldonado and after a short walk for about 30 minutes to reach the lake.

Lake Valencia (Tambopata)

Monkey Tambopata

Monkey Tambopata

Located at 60 Km downstream of the Madre de Dios river and the boat trip takes about 4 hours. The flora and fauna around this lake is varied. additionally the lake is suitable for anglers lovers.

Lake Tres Chimbadas

Located on the left bank of the Tambopata River at 55 km from Puerto Maldonado, a distance that is covered by boat trip of 3 hours. Before arriving at the lake you have to walk along a pedestrian stretch for about 30 minutes.The landscape around the lake is rewarding because it offers lush vegetation populated bird.

Macaw Clay Lick (Colorado)



At 150 km from the city of Puerto Maldonado (8 hours by boat) is located in theTambopata National Reserve, on the left bank of the Tambopata River. The place is recognized as the largest clay lick in the Peruvian Amazon. Every morning is visited by five species of macaws, parrots parakeets that flit before pecking clay ravine and after 25 to 30 minutes they fly away to return the next day. Occasionally, also is visited by mammals like sachavacas, capybaras squirrels and on the trees you can see several species of monkeys like the red howler, capuchin, marmoset and occasionally spider monkeys.

Other Attractions

Butterfly house

Located near the airport, is a nice exhibition center of butterflies where you can see the different life stages of butterflies.

Tropifauna Serpentarium:

A place dedicated to the local conservation and enviromental education, and was established with the purpose of contributing to the population and to promote respect for wildlife and flora, essentially exhibits snakes. Currently has more than 60 animals, corresponding to more than 22 species, including different types of reptiles and amphibians and also a minor feline known as “margay” (Felis Wiedeii).

Manu National Park

The Manu National Park is one of the most extraordinary places in the Amazon rainforest by having the greatest biological diversity of the planet that is why was declared by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve. Its wide range is due to its geographic location extending from the Andes to the Amazon basin. This altitudinal range results in a variety of habitats from the part of the highlands, cloud forests, rainforest, rivers and lakes. In its pristine forests you will find huge trees that exceed 40 meters in height and observe the most striking wildlife like the Cock of the Rock, the Jaguar, Giant Otter, Spider Monkey, Black Caiman, Harpy Eagle and seven species of Macaws. Furthermore beautiful butterflies, colorful frogs, insects and so much more .
This place is one of the few areas of the world that still host groups of people living in an ancestral way in harmony with their environment.

  • Location: Manu National Park (PNM) is located between Cusco region and Puerto Maldonado, in the the eastern chain of the Andes and include the Manu River Basin and part of the Madre de Dios River.
  • Extension: The Park extension is 1716295.22 hectares divided in three zones; the intangible zone, the reserved area for tourist use and research and the cultural area also for tourist use.
  • Altitude: The altitude varies from 365 m (1200 ft) in Boca Manu in the Amazon plains to the 4020 meters (13200 ft) in the Andean highlands.
  • Climate: The average temperature varies according to height, and in the lower part is about 24 ° C. (75 ° F.) and the upper parts of about 4 ° C. (39 ° F.); Likewise the annual precipitation in the cloud forest exceed 4,000 mm. (156 inches) while in the Andean highlands descend to 1,000 mm. (39 inches). The most recommended time to visit is from April to November (dry season).
  • Access: To get to the Manu National Park can be accessed from the city of Cusco and Puerto Maldonado.

Route (1) from Cusco by land and river: The most used route, is following the route to Paucartambo, entering by the Andean zone of Manu National Park passing through small villages like Patria and Pilcopata to reach the Port of Atalaya from where the journey continues boat on the Madre de Dios river until the control point of Limonal the gateway of the national Park of the Manu River. The other option is to continue from the port of Atalaya by road passing through the town of Salvacion to take boats at various points of the Alto Madre de Dios River.
Route (2)from Cusco by air: From Cusco you can take a 40 minutes flight to the native community of Diamante, near the village of Boca Manu. The airport is only 30 minutes outside the park,offering easy access to the lodges and camps of the Manu River.
Route (3) from Puerto Maldonado: From Puerto Maldonado you can drive to the village of Santa Rosa on the Interoceanic Highway and then to Puerto Carlos, where there are boats to cross the river Inambari. Then continue by car to Boca Colorado village. From here the trip continue by boat during 6 to 7 hours on the Madre de Dios River passing Boca Manu until the access of the Manu River. The most of the groups that visit the Manu Park often use the route 1 , and this route is mostly used as a return way to Cusco.

Important Note: Manu National Park is divided into three areas and they are: The Intangible Zone, The reserved area for touristic and research use, and Cultural area also for tourist use. The reserved area is the most recommended and can only be accessed with an authorized travel agency, while cultural area does not need. Usually the tours that include the reserved area are more expensive.

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