With amazing wildlife, vibrant flora, and unique local jungle communities, the Peruvian Amazon beholds exciting adventures for any traveler.
Let’s take a deep dive into the lush Amazon rainforest and discover areas to explore, best time to visit, travel essentials, and top multi-day tours.
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How Big Is the Peruvian Rainforest?
The Amazon rainforest stretches across 2.1 million m² (5.5 million km²) and about 13% of that area is found in Peru.
While this makes up 60% of the entire country, only 5% of its population lives there. Getting to know the unique culture of the indigenous people in the Peruvian Amazon, however, is one of the top 10 things to do in Iquitos, and an overall great reason to add the rainforest to your travel itinerary.
The bird’s eye view provides a better understanding of how big the Amazon jungle really is.
Top 3 Destinations in the Peruvian Rainforest
The Peruvian Amazon is a vast area and, depending on which part you visit, you’ll get different highlights.
Let’s take a look at the three most popular destinations that travelers choose for their Amazon adventure.
Puerto Maldonado is a town in southeast Peru where the Madre de Dios River intersects with the Tambopata National Reserve. The waterways around Puerto Maldonado provide an entry into a very diverse region.
While it’s possible to arrange a tour that includes more adventurous activities, the area is most popular among travelers who prefer to stay in a jungle lodge.
Hidden deep into the Peruvian jungle, Iquitos is one of South America’s best locations to observe tropical wildlife and get an authentic Amazon jungle experience.
Accessible only by flight, Iquitos is the most adventurous and accessible option to explore the jungle. In fact, Iquitos is the only place in Peru where you can visit the actual Amazon river and not a tributary.
Because of its unique location, Iquitos offers the opportunity to see rare wildlife like the pink river dolphin and visit indigenous villages.
When doing excursions on the Amazon river, you’ll almost always have encounters with friendly locals.
Manu National Park
The Manu National Park is a UNESCO-certified park in the Madre de Dios region.
With so many unique birds in Peru, the park is one of the greatest places for birdwatching and enjoying a variety of activities such as hiking and meeting members of the local communities.
Visiting the area requires a permit so you need to plan your trip months in advance.
|Iquitos||Puerto Maldonado||Manu National Park|
|Easy Access (Nearest airport)||✔️||❌||❌|
|Variety of wildlife||✔️||❌||❌|
|Variety of activities||✔️||✔️||✔️|
When Is the Best Time to Visit?
The Amazon is a year-round destination that experiences a warm, tropical climate with high humidity. Because the Amazon is a tropical rainforest, the weather in Iquitos (and often the rest of the jungle) experiences a certain level of rainfall throughout the whole year.
Traveling in the low-water season (December to May) often means that most hiking trails are easily accessible and you can get deeper into the jungle.
Visiting during the rainy seasons (June to December) is possible, too. Some trails might be underwater, meaning that you’ll spend more time on a boat than on land. That said, traveling by boat gives you the chance to get closer to the wildlife of the Amazon river.
Pedro is the local parrot we met in the lodge while doing our 3-day jungle tour in Iquitos.
Peruvian Amazon Travel Tips
Working out what to bring on your trip through the Amazon jungle can be an overwhelming task, especially for first-time visitors.
Here are some travel tips to help you plan an enjoyable adventure.
What to Pack
Because of its high humidity, the Amazon is a perfect environment for mosquitos, so be sure to pack a mosquito spray.
Along with the basics (waterproof day pack, sunscreen, and mini first-aid kit), here are some other essentials that you should take on your trip.
Remember that the temperatures in the jungle get quite high, regardless of the season.
The key to success when wondering what to wear in the Amazon Rainforest is to have dry-fit clothing, long sleeve shirts, (zipper) outdoor pants, and a t-shirt.
When visiting the Amazon jungle, rubber boots (provided by the lodge) or hiking boots are a good choice. For your free time at the lodge, you can bring flip-flops, sandals, or normal shoes.
Prepare yourself to make some new friends in the jungle!
In the lodges, there is electricity at certain times of the day so you can charge your devices. Some handy things to pack include your camera, as well as a good pair of binoculars.
As with most other destinations, remember to bring your passport as well as any tickets/payment confirmations that you may need during your trip.
The Amazon rainforest is a safe destination as long as you take precautions such as checking the availability of life jackets on your boat, avoiding tap water, and bringing personal medication (if needed).
Currently, vaccination against malaria and yellow fever is not required. With that in mind, it’s best to schedule an appointment with your doctor before leaving, as well as apply sufficient insect/mosquito repellent and wear long-sleeved shirts and pants.
In many different tours you can explore local communities and experience first-hand how people live in the Amazon jungle.
Exploor Peru Tour Packages
Exploring the Amazon is the trip of a lifetime and joining a multi-day tour is a fantastic way to make the most of it and get a memorable experience.
Check out the following video to see what our Amazon tours are like:
Here’s a walkthrough of our most exciting tours in Peru’s Amazon rainforest.
After meeting with your guide and putting your luggage in storage, you’ll head out to the port of Iquitos where you will take a scenic boat ride through the Amazon River. You’ll make a stop at Monkey Island before heading off to your lodge.
In the afternoon you’ll get to visit the beautiful Yanamono Reserve and witness diverse flora and fauna.
Back at the lodge, you will have some time to rest before catching your first Amazon sunset.
Later in the evening, you get the chance to take a magical open boat tour through the Amazon River. Once it’s dark and all lights are shut off, you can indulge in the incredible experience of simply listening and enjoying the enhancing sounds of the jungle.
As you can see, there are only 2 things surrounding you when staying at our lodge: the Amazon jungle and the Amazon river.
On day 2, you’ll be able to enjoy some birdwatching and visit a riverside village of an indigenous tribe. You can also take part in a small piranha fishing expedition and, if you’re lucky, get a glimpse of the rare pink river dolphin.
In the evening, you’ll take a scenic jungle walk and observe frogs, timid snakes, and sloths.
On your last day of the Amazon tour, you’ll take a boat to Yanamono Island to enjoy the majestic Victoria Regia water lily before returning to the lodge for lunch and check out.
Day 1 – Day 3
Just like the 3-day trip in Iquitos, this 4-day tour gives you the unique opportunity to experience the same exciting activities, including visiting Monkey Island and Yamono Reserve, meeting a local community, and taking a fascinating nighttime boat ride.
What many of our travelers like most is the local community visit.
With the 4-day tour, you get an extra day full of jungle adventures.
After breakfast, you’ll paddle on the Amazon river until you reach a small side river. There you’ll be able to witness the serenity and calmness of the surrounding nature without any noises that might scare off the wildlife.
Afterward, you’ll return to the lodge for a farewell lunch and check out before heading back to Iquitos.
Ready to Explore the Untamed Wilderness of the Amazon?
As one of the most biodiverse places on the planet, Peru’s Amazon rainforest offers some of the most stunning wildlife and range of jungle adventures in the world.
Whether you’re an adventurous traveler or a nature lover, the Amazon jungle is a destination sure to bring you an experience that you’ll never forget. Feeling inspired to learn more about the Peruvian Amazon? Here’s all you need to know about Iquitos.