Puerto Maldonado is the main city in the Madre de Dios region in the Peruvian Amazon and the gateway to Tambopata National Park and Manu Park. Tambopata National Park (also known as “The peruvian Eden Garden” is considered to be one of the parks with the biggest biodiversity in the world.
The history of Puerto Maldonado started way before the Incas. Remains of millenary and enigmatic civilizations have been found in the region.
In the middle of the 19th century, Colonel Faustino Maldonado made the first map of the zone. Before dying in the rapids of the Madre de Dios River, he carved his name into a tree at the confluence of the Madre de Dios and Tambopata Rivers. This is nowadays where the city named after him, Puerto Maldonado, is located.
The history of Puerto Maldonado begins as a rapidly growing town due to the rubber boom in 1902 after the construction of a road from the coast to the headwaters of the Tambopata River. After the rubber fever ended, mining and logging which still continue to this day took over. Fortunately measures are being taken to protect the environment.
Budget: Wasai Puerto Maldonado Hostel – Lovely hostel featuring both shared and private bedrooms located in the middle of the nature, right next to Maldonado river.
Mid-range: Hotel Enai – Comfortable hotel offering spacious rooms with a view of the river. Enjoy the modern and typical style of the hotel in a stunning natural environment.
Splurge: Sotupa Eco House – Authentic eco lodge in the jungle. You will be able to observe many animals inside and outside the hotel!
Although it may actually rain in the jungle at any time of the year, Tambopata region tends to be drier from May to October, and the rainiest months are usually November and December. The advantages of traveling during the dry season are that the natural soil will not be too muddy and that you can do activities such as trekking.
The disadvantages of this season are warmer weather, fewer bird activities on sunny days, more difficulty finding amphibians and more time traveling in rivers due to low water levels.
The main place to visit when coming to Puerto Maldonado is definitely the Tambopata National Park. The reserve is located between the valleys of the Tambopata and Heath rivers. Its surface area of 274,690 ha, has a very rich biodiversity.
There are 632 bird species, 1,200 butterfly species and 169 mammal species, 205 fish species, 103 amphibian species and 67 reptile species. It brings together the typical flora of tropical regions.
To enter, prior authorization from INRENA (an agency of the Peruvian ministry of agriculture) is required. You can take a tour to visit this natural wonder in a few days.
Within this National Park, you can also go to Collpa de Guacamayos. This place is the scene of a moving spectacle, when every morning, a large number of guacamayos (macaws), parrots and parakeets gather and twirl around the world’s largest “collpa” (clay lick), before undertaking the “Colpeo” ceremony, which consists in ingesting the clay found in the ravine.
Keteka grants access to authentic activities run by local tour operators and guides. You can book and secure your place in advance, and we will take care of everything else. We’ll let you know where to go or where you will be picked up and at what time.
Land – If you are coming from Lima, you first have to take a bus to Cusco and then another one to Puerto Maldonado. The journey from Lima to Cusco takes from 8 to 10 hours and costs S/(30 to S/50 ($9 to $15), while a ride from Cusco to Puerto Maldonado takes 10 to 12 hours and costs from S/55 to S/75 ($16 to $22).
Air – There is an international airport in Puerto Maldonado. From there you can find daily flights to Lima (via Cusco). Flight time: 2h30-3h, prices: from $129 to $250 (one way).
There are also flights from Cusco (45-55 min) that cost from $116 to $154.