Machu Picchu and the Inca ruins may claim most of Peru’s popularity, but the Amazon Basin boasts most of Peru’s land space. Much of the Peruvian Amazon Basin is untouched, but tourism is beginning to carve out a spot for itself here. In this vast and wild area, it is now possible to take a dugout canoe with an outboard motor through the winding tributaries to the Napo and Amazon Rivers, view toucans and squirrel monkeys directly overhead and, if you’re lucky, pink river dolphins, caiman, giant otters and much more.
The Peruvian Amazon Basin encompasses some of the world’s most important and diverse nature reserves, including Reserva Nacional Pacaya-Samiria, Manu Biosphere Reserve, Parque Nacional Tingo María and Tambopata-Candamo Nature Reserve. Here, visitors have the opportunity to spot an impressive mix of wildlife, participate in community-based tourism, learn about medicinal plants and visit macaw clay licks.
There are several different tour options in the Peruvian Amazon Basin. The main choice is between river tours on which you travel for several days in a row and stop to camp out or sleep with indigenous communities, and multi-day stays in jungle lodges, which range in quality from rustic to hotel standard. Most Amazon tour companies are located in the cities of Iquitos and Puerto Maldonado.