The department of Madre de Dios hosts within its vast territory some of the most astonishing natural areas in Peru, including Manu National Park (declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1987), which covers an area of almost five million acres (almost two million hectares) and constitutes one of the most valuable living laboratories of wildlife on the planet, as well as the Tambopata National Reserve, less remote and more accessible than Manu, and with stunning jungle lodges located along the river. The macaw clay licks found in this ecosystem are famous for the enormous flocks of macaws and parrots that gather to feed on the red clay of the riverbank in the golden light of early morning, creating a spectacular display of color and sound on the edge of the Tambopata River.
Max 33ºC / 91.4°F
Min 17ºC / 62.6°F
The rainy season is from December to March.
This jungle region can be accessed via regular flights from the cities of Lima (1 hour and 30 minutes) and Cuzco (30 minutes) and overland via Lima-Arequipa-Cuzco-Puerto Maldonado (38 hours), Lima-Nazca-Abancay-Cuzco-Puerto Maldonado (34 hours), Cuzco-Puerto Maldonado (13 hours) and Puno-Puerto Maldonado (15 hours).
Manu National Park is home to 800 species of birds and around 200 types of mammals, many of which are in danger of extinction, such as the magnificently graceful jaguar.
Sandoval (Tambopata) is an oxbow lake that is home to abundant birdlife and many species of aquatic fauna and lizards. The surrounding vegetation is dominated by palms that can grow up to 100 feet / 30 meters, and many species of orchids can be found in the forest.