The Peruvian Amazon is the portion of the Amazon rainforest confined within the country of Peru. The area stretches from the east Andes to the borders of Ecuador, Columbia, Brazil, and Bolivia. Notably, the region comprises more than half of the total area of the Peruvian countryside; it is the second largest jungle after the Brazilian Amazon.
The region is typically divided into two distinct ecoregions: the lowland jungle and the highland jungle. The lowland jungle is the largest portion of the rainforest and stands, at times, nearly 400 meters above sea level. The temperatures in the highland jungle are slightly colder than those of the lowland jungle yet there are many more endemic fauna because of the isolation caused by the rugged terrain.
The Peruvian Amazon is one of the most biologically diverse and spectacular regions in the world. The country has the largest number of bird species and a third of mammals with 44 percent and 63 percent respectively inhabiting the area. 2,500 species of butterflies and 1,800 species of birds call the rainforest home.
The Amazon River begins at the confluence of the Ucayalli and Maranon Rivers in the Maynas Province of Peru. Iquitos, the capital and largest city of the region serves as the gateway to the river. The city sits on the banks of the river and is only approached via plane or boat as it is encroached on at all sides by the rainforest. Iquitos is steeped in tradition, founded as a Jesuit mission in 1750, the city experienced a population boom in the 1860s when the government was moved there. Kraig Becker, in an article entitled Adventures in the Amazon, wrote:
On Saturday nights the Plaza de Armas, one of the major town squares, is lit up like a carnival, with music playing, bright lights flashing, and food and drink in abundance. On Sunday morning, the same plaza hosts an elaborate flag ceremony, with soldiers and sailors stationed in the city, marching the square, while the flags of Peru, the Maynas Province, and the city are run up the pole to great pomp and circumstance. Locals line the street watching the proceedings, as if they are watching the weekly ceremony for the first time.
Iquitos isn’t the only destination in the Peruvian Amazon. The MV Aqua Cruise takes passengers on a journey through the heart of the Peruvian Amazon, providing for the most unique of bespoke adventures. Setting out from Iquitos, you board the luxurious vessel and set out along the river. Each stop has alternative options for excursions so you can have your own customized travel experience. For example, on the third day of the journey, you disembark on the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve where you have two options:
Option 1: Travel by skiff from Yanayacu Creek all the way to remote Chingana, a small creek where giant river otter usually nest. These handsome animals were killed in great numbers for their pelts, and are now threatened with extinction. On this excursion, you will also see howler and capuchin monkeys, the squirrel-sized monkeys called tamarins, pink and gray river dolphins, and a vast variety of birds. We will also take you deep into the jungle, where you will encounter wildlife and learn first-hand about the important medical value of jungle plants. And we will show you famous Kapok Trees (ceiba pentandra), the tallest trees in the Amazon Basin. Enjoy a generous picnic lunch at the park Ranger Station No. 2, before we begin our journey back to our vessel.
Option 2: This morning a Park Ranger will tell about the sustainable management projects in Amazonia, and take you to visit one of the projects. After lunch and a siesta, you are likely to see the two different kinds of freshwater dolphins—including the unusual pink ones—found in the Amazon. Later, keep your eyes directed toward the jungle canopy, where you can spot at least several kinds of primates—among the 13 species of monkeys resident in the National Park. Perhaps you will catch a glimpse of tamarins and howlers, dusky titi monkeys and pigmy marmoset monkeys. Watch for alligators, and keep your binoculars at the ready, as you are likely to see more than 200 species of birds.
If you are looking for a custom designed travel experience, consider contacting us to design the perfect luxury travel excursion for you. We look forward to fielding any questions you might have and providing you with the most unique travel experience on earth.