Over the past few years, tourism into the Amazon jungle in Peru has become more and more popular. There are a number of ways you can experience this yourself and a visit to the jungle can open your eyes to how varied and extensive this country really is. Some of the most endangered and exotic animals in the world can be found within the Amazon Rainforest.
Whether you choose to find a tour guide company (several are included in this book) or you plan on getting there yourself, making the trek can be one of the highlights of your Peruvian adventure. If you plan to make that a part of your trip, then there are a few things you should keep in mind.
How to get there
You might need to fly
Peru is a large country and getting from the Andes to the Amazon River basin can be quite a challenge unless you are backpacking and have all the time in the world. The best way to reach small villages and towns that allow you entry to the jungle are often out of the way of many of the main roads. Flying is often the best option, and several flights leave from Cusco to places like Iquitos a few times a day. These domestic flights are often inexpensive and can get you from one end of the country to another.
Bus or train
While the bus or train might be slightly cheaper, it also tends to be a much longer journey with unpredictable schedules and arrivals. If you have plenty of time to explore (and Peru definitely offers the traveler multiple opportunities to experience something new), then taking your time can allow you to see many aspects of the country hidden from view when you fly. However, public transportation can be much trickier in Peru, so it is highly recommended you take this on only if you feel comfortable with it.
You can find valuable information at Rome2Rio.com, and you can check out the timetables for the bus and train at the sites listed on the Peru guide pages of this website.
Where to stay
After spending time and money to get to the jungle, one way to really enjoy it is to spend time in it. Even the most intrepid traveler should think long and hard about how she or he should spend time there and where to rest.
We recommend eco-friendly lodges that not only provide a place to stay, but also offer a sustainable and educational experience. Be warned that these might cost a little more compared to the rest of the hotels or hostels you might have been paying for. Despite that, many of these lodges work to preserve the rainforest and teach visitors about the importance of taking care of this vital resource.
Here are 3 options to consider when looking for a jungle escape with meaning:
Lambayeque 774, Puerto Maldonado
+51 1 2422708
Great staff, a pool, and much more make this spot one of Peru’s favorite lodges. You’ll find plenty of activities and fun things to do from the moment you arrive. The staff wants you to understand the importance of your decision to choose an eco-friendly option.
Saucepampa, Santa Teresa, Santa Teresa
+51 084 630877
This reasonably-priced lodge offers a great in between from the jungle and Machu Picchu. Also, it’s one of the best places to book some quality tours with an environmentally-friendly bent. With views of the mountains and easy access to the jungle, it’s a great choice for millennials.
Avenue La Marina #340, Iquitos
+51 065 25 3301
This cheap option has everything you need to enjoy your time in the jungle. They are also very into providing guests with some of the newest technology so you can post your Instagram photos of your time away. It also includes a waterslide and pool.
Camping or other forms of accommodations
Camping in the Amazon might seem like a brave and exciting thing to do, but I don’t encourage it. The jungle isn’t always a safe place without a guide or someone who can help you navigate. Also, you might not know the correct ways to help conserve the area—this can lead to fines and trouble with the local police if you aren’t careful.
For a cheaper alternative, look and see if you can find lower prices on the offseason. Not only are there likely to be fewer people in both the Amazon accommodations, but there are also likely to be fewer hikers near Machu Picchu, as well. LATAM Airlines offers reduced flights during shoulder seasons as an option.
Please remember to be kind to the jungle when you are there. Try not to disturb any wildlife, pick or take plants with you, or use harmful substances. This will go a long way to keeping the jungle a destination for future travelers and generations.
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