With such a diversity of wildlife species, many of them being represented in the highest concentration, no wonder eco tourism has exploded in a number of Latin American countries. Today jungle regions are more accessible than ever, featuring an extensive choice of eco options and lodges. Extending to the Brazilian and Bolivian Borders, the southern Amazon region is believed to be the least spoiled Amazon rainforest in Peru.
And though it is easily accessible by land from Cusco, travelers on their Amazon vacations consider it to be an extremely difficult route. Iquitos is the getaway to the northern Amazon basin, lying some 2,000 miles from the mouth of the Rio Amazonas, regarded as the second longest river on the planet. The only way to get to the area is by airplane from Lima.
The best time for Amazon vacations is the dry season that usually runs from May through November. However, some parts of jungle don't have a rainy season, with many lodges remaining open all-the-year-round.
One of the biggest protected natural areas in America, Manu - a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site is still recognized as time consuming and complicated destination for Amazon vacations and rainforest expeditions that last a week or even more involving significant air and land travel. It encompasses the least explored and accessible forest in Peru that wasn't penetrated until the early 1900s.
Manu's surface area of diverse habitats includes cloud forests, lowland tropical rainforests and Andes highlands, while a single hectare of its forest claims to have 10 times the number of wildlife species as compared to temperate forest in North America or Europe. Travelers who consider Manu for their Amazon vacations are sure to find here the highest plant, mammal and bird diversity in the world and enjoy 20,000 plants, 1,200 species of butterflies, 1,000 species of birds, 200 species of mammals and 13 species of primates. As Manu travels are expensive, it is advisable to arrange a trip in Cusco rather than a home country.
Tourists without budget or time to reach Manu, usually find the Tampobata Nature Reserve a worthy alternative for their Amazon vacations. This massive tract of subtropical rainforest in Madre de Dios is approximately one-third the size of Costa Rica, and features more species of butterflies and birds than any other place of the size on the planet. Available here are more than 13 endangered wildlife species, including the giant otter, jaguar, harpy eagle, ocelot and giant armadillo. In addition, Tampobata Reserve Zone is more accessible in terms of travel time and coast. Lodges can be found either along the Rio Madre de Dios, or the Rio Tambopata.
A nice option for budget travelers, Puerto Maldonado is a humid and fast growing place, whose major industries are based on rainforest exploitation surrounding Puerto Maldonado. For most visitors Puerto Maldonado is a wonderful getaway to jungle, with groups booked on Tambopata package tours blowing through town with almost no notice.
The region boasts a diversity of wildlife, including parrots, macaws, herons, caimans and turtles.