Discover the hidden depths and rich bio-diversity of Tambopata Nature Reserve

24 June, 2020 | Reccy Guide

Spanning more than 274,000 hectares of pristine subtropical rainforest, the Tambopata Nature Reserve is a wonderland of rare flora, untouched rivers, and fantastical creatures. Nestled deep in the Amazon Basin of southeast Peru, this tropical wilderness is home to more species of birds and butterflies than any other similar sized area on earth, and twice as many types of insects.

Explore trip itineraries, accommodation, transport, required gear, fitness plan, insurance and more

Spend time exploring its lush labyrinth of trails and you will glimpse electric Blue Morpho butterflies resting on giant orchids, or discover thousands of parrots and Macaws descending on one of the world’s largest salt licks.

Although one of the best known areas in Peru, Tambopata remains remarkably unblemished by human interference. The sheer diversity of forest and numerous pristine lakes makes the reserve a haven for endangered animals with an estimated 13 different species residing here. Giant river otters, jaguars, black caiman, and giant armadillo all call the area home, and can sometimes be spotted on hikes through the jungle. 

Despite the wild nature of the reserve, it is relatively easy to visit as part of a tour. Ranging from three to eight days, these tours are the safest and best way to discover the area, and visitors will be amazed by the amount they learn. 

The colonial city of Cuzco is the gateway to southeast Peru, and makes the perfect starting point for an adventure into the wilderness. Characterized by Incan archaeological remains and Spanish colonial architecture, this golden city provides fantastic access to Machu Picchu, Rainbow Mountain, and of course, Tambopata Nature Reserve. 

There is a host of tour operators which run all-inclusive trips to Tambopata from Cusco. Most of them are based in the city center, and offer similar packages from around $100 a day per person. 

On day one of your tour, you will be greeted by a tour rep either at their office, or at the central bus station. From here you will drive to Puerto Maldonado, the capital city of the Madre de Dios region. After a pit stop you will journey to the pier, and travel along the stunning madre de dios river, deeper into the jungle. You will see native villages dotted along the banks, mining activity and of course, get a taste of the diverse wildlife waiting for you within the reserve.

The length of your boat ride will depend on the location of your overnight lodge. Some tours, such as the six day expedition by Tambopata Jungle Tours Peru, spend the first night at a camp around four hours from port. Others, such as the Cusco Journeys’ three day tour, provide accomodation at a lodge just 40 minutes away. 

With the time saved with this option, tourists have time to get their adrenaline pumping with a visit to the hanging high canopy bridge and zip line, followed by an excursion to Monkey Island. 

The second day of your tour will be spent exploring one of the many unique attractions within the reserve. One of the most popular (and spectacular) is the Chuncho Macaw Clay Lick. This gigantic clay cliff attracts thousands of parrots and macaws, who fight to perch on its craggy contours and feast on the salt-filled clay. The sight and sound of these gaudy birds is one of the most memorable in South America, and is well worth the pre-sunrise alarm to experience. 

Most tours also include a peaceful journey down Lake Sandoval, a hotspot for wildlife. If you are lucky, you may catch a glimpse of a giant otter, which can grow up to six feet long! One of the most exciting ways to explore this bio-diverse water way is by canoe. 

If you are a keen hiker with a good level of fitness, then consider opting for a tour which includes guided hikes or night-time walks. 

Exploring after dark is a fantastic way to see creatures which would otherwise remain obscured should you confine your walks to daylight hours. One of the most interesting and common inhabitants is the tapir, which are best spotted from a raised platform. Your guide will be equipped with specialist lights, and be able to lead you to the best areas for catching sight of them. 

Lodges vary in the level of comfort they provide, with most (but not all) featuring hot water showers and some sort of mattress. The majority are dotted either along the Río Tambopata, or the Río Madre de Dios, east of the city. The first option is the best for spotting wildlife. Many tours will transfer you to different accommodations each night, to be closer to the area you will be exploring the next day. 

Tours generally include a transfer back to Cusco on your last day.

Stay Updated With Us
Recommended For You

Lake Humantay: A tranquil, blue pool in the high Andes

A day trip to Humantay Lake, located in the Andes, reveals one of Peru’s greatest treasures. This stunning alpine lake glows a bright turquoise underneath the sun and draws visitors from around the world. The 9 April, 2021 | Reccy Guide

A day trip to Machu Picchu, South America’s most famous and intriguing archeological site

Set high in the Andes mountains, veiled by dense vegetation and rising mist, the most iconic citadel in South America awaits. Machu Picchu has captured the imaginations of travelers for more than a century, and is without a doubt the biggest tour…...

1 April, 2021 | Reccy Guide

Explore Sunnegga: A Family Paradise in the Swiss Alps

The Swiss Alps around Zermatt contain some of the highest, most well-known peaks in Europe. Travelers come from every corner of the world to explore this incredible area and partake in a wide array of outdoor excursions. From hiking and trekking …...

25 June, 2020 | Reccy Guide

Adventure to Rothorn Summit from Zermatt by Cable Car

Visitors to the Swiss Alps have endless opportunities for exploration and adventure. The Valais region, home to the Pennine Alps, boasts some of the highest peaks and attractions in Europe. Of course, many excursions require extensive planning, e…...

25 June, 2020 | Reccy Guide

Breathtaking 360° Views of the Alps at Matterhorn Glacier Paradise

The Alps stretch throughout Europe, arching from France, through Switzerland and Italy, and then heading east toward Germany and Slovenia. Travelers who wish to explore these world-renowned peaks often have to narrow down which country and town t…...

25 June, 2020 | Reccy Guide

Explore the Alps in Style on the Gornergrat Railway

The Pennine Alps, located along the Swiss and Italian border, draw millions of visitors each year. Boasting nearly 30 mountain peaks that reach heights of 4,000 meters or more, this portion of the countryside is magnificent. Skiing, mountaineerin…...

25 June, 2020 | Reccy Guide