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The Jungle accounts for over 50% of Peru's area but only about 5% of its population. This huge disparity can be explained by the areas inaccessibility. Most roads to jungle towns and cities are in poor condition, and to reach the Amazon from the highly populated coast requires crossing the Andes. The inaccessibility of most of the jungle means that much of it is still intact and in many cases virgin. The Peruvian Amazon contains the most biodiverse areas in the world, with incredible vegetation, birdlife and wildlife

Puerto Maldonado is a small jungle town in the south of Peru, close to the Bolivian and Brazilian borders. It is located on the chocolate-brown Madre de Dios and Tambopata Rivers, and the nearby jungle lodges offer excellent opportunities to explore the surrounding jungle. Although most of the lodges lack hot water and electricity in rooms, they are attractive and have good food. They also include guides to show you around the jungle area near the lodge.

Jungle Lodges

A jungle lodge is an excellent way to see the jungle in relative comfort, staying in accommodation made from local materials. English speaking guides take you on excursions through the forest, on the river and on ox-bow lakes. Llama Travel has 4 jungle lodge options, depending on the level of comfort and part of the jungle you want to visit.

Our standard jungle lodge, the Hacienda Conception is beautifully set on a small lagoon within 819 hectares of rainforest. Rooms are situated within the main building of the complex, all rooms have ceiling fans and are en-suite with hot water. Cabañas are also available for a supplement. Due to the secluded surroundings, there is limited electricity and lighting is by kerosene lamps. Jungle excursions from this lodge include nature trails through terra firma forest, dugout canoe rides down oxbow lakes, visits to clay licks and sky walks across the 300-metre high canopy walkways.

The Reserva Amazonica jungle lodge is located one hour down river from Puerto Maldonado, on the shores on the Madre de Dios River. The lodge is the most comfortable in the area, with screened bungalows with en-suite facilities and hot water. The jungle excursions include a visit to the 300-metre long canopy walkway, offering a different view of the forest, 30-metres up from the jungle floor. You also visit Lake Sandoval, a beautiful, large, ox-bow lake. This has been converted into a wildlife reserve, and the lake is inhabited by a range of animals, including giant river otters, although these are best seen in the early morning or late afternoon.

The Refugio Amazonas is located close to the Tambopata Reserve, 3 hours upriver from Puerto Maldonado. The accommodation is more basic than in the Reserva Amazonica, with simple rooms with en-suite bathrooms with hot water. However, as the lodge is more remote, there is more primary forest in the area. The jungle excursions include visits to the Sachavayoc oxbow lake, to a parrot lick and to a peccary clay lick. The lodge also has a 25-metre canopy tower.

If you would like to explore the deeper jungle, a visit to the Tambopata Research Centre is a wonderful experience. Located in the Tambopata National Reserve, where there is no human habitation, the lodge is located in primary forest and offers an excellent opportunity for spotting jungle wildlife. One of the highlights is the world's largest macaw clay lick, where hundreds of parrots and macaws of up to 15 species gather on clear mornings. The best months for the lick are July - November. Accommodation is simple, in basic rooms with shared bathrooms.