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Visit the Amazon at Iquitos or Puerto Maldonado

Draper, Utah
2 posts
Visit the Amazon at Iquitos or Puerto Maldonado

I am traveling to the areas as part of a spate tour. I am interested in seeing the Amazon, however, travel to Iquitos will require a full day of transfers and air travel, long boat ride, etc. however, you get to see the actual Amazon River. If we go to the amazon jungle by way of Puerto Maldonado, we see only a small tributary, but a more inclusive jungle experience. Which is better? we are only doing a 3-4 day trip.

4 replies to this topic
Cusco, Peru
Level Contributor
752 posts
44 reviews
1. Re: Visit the Amazon at Iquitos or Puerto Maldonado

Depends on the rest of your itinerary - if it is based around the south then Tambopata (out of Puerto Maldonado). For 3-4 days probably Tambopata is best in any case as for the Iquitos area to see anywhere near the same variety of wildlife they recommend at least 5 days with 8 being ideal.

Iquitos: Amazon River & river dolphins.

Tambopata via Puerto Maldonado if you can go for 4 days: macaws, possibiltiy of seeing a jaguar, more landscape variety.

Which time of year are you planning on visiting? If it is from now to March I have posted some tips for travellers to the rainforest during the rainy season here on TA, here's the link: http://bit.ly/2gJYRxj

Draper, Utah
2 posts
2. Re: Visit the Amazon at Iquitos or Puerto Maldonado

we are going end of January. We already have our airfare set in and out of Lima arriving at midnight on the 20th and leaving at mignight on the 28th. we are pretty much set on going to Machu Pichu and the sacred valley. 3-4 there. so maybe the south area makes the most sense? because the air travel and transfers take an entire day just to get to Iquitos. we were just looking at getting a full experience of the amazon river and jungle.

Cusco, Peru
Level Contributor
752 posts
44 reviews
3. Re: Visit the Amazon at Iquitos or Puerto Maldonado

Yes, definitely the southern Amazonian rainforest for that time period. It is best to fly into Puerto Maldonado form Lima at the beginning or out of Puerto Maldonado to Lima at the end of your itinerary. For 3 days remember that your first & lat days are basically getting to & from your lodge, so I recommend 4 days. January is rainy season so please look at my TA post with tips on rainforest travel at this time of year & be prepared for disruptions in your itinerary due to rain. I would not recommend Lake Sandoval due to the long muddy path in the rain at this time of year, so a lodge up the Tambopata River would be a good idea & for 4 days one of four lodges would suit. Unfortunately I cannot give specifics here for fear of being called advertising.

Iquitos, Peru
Level Contributor
21 posts
12 reviews
4. Re: Visit the Amazon at Iquitos or Puerto Maldonado

Actually you need to ask yourself, do you want to see the Amazon River or just see it's much smaller tributaries near Puerto Maldonado.

Actual width comparison of two rivers

Amazon River At Iquitos : 4000 meters

Madre de Dios in Puerto Maldonado : 400 Meters

That's 3600 Meter difference between the two rivers

So Pm is Amazon Rainforest but it is not the Amazon River. In the Amazon River region of Iquitos, the river is several kilometers wide ( not less than 400 meters like in PM). All year round near Quebrada Oran, the Amazon is 4km wide

There are two species of freshwater dolphins in the Iquitos areas as well as the giant Lily pads. Aside from that, the extensions of flooded forest here, dwarf the entire Madre de dios and Tambopata put together.

In some areas here in Iquitos, as I post this message, the river and flooded forests stretch from bank to bank tens of kilometer so wide! ( one section near Tamshiyacu is 70km wide with the floods)

The airlines and special interest in Cuzco funnel the "Amazon River " tourists to PM, making your choice easier if you do not have the cash to fly LIM-CUZ-LIM-IQT-LIM. There are still no direct flights from Cuzco to Iquitos thanks to special interests in Cuzco and PM.

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