ANDINA TRAVEL PERU Plazoleta Santa Catalina #219 Cusco-Perú Tel +51 84 251892 / sales@andinatravel.com

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Amazon Peru

‘The Amazon rainforest is the largest tropical ecosystem on the planet, covering an area of South America close to the size of the continental United States. It houses the greatest abundance of life on Earth and thousands of indigenous people rely on this forest for their livelihoods. The Amazon’s forests are so vast they help moderate our planet’s weather patterns and provide natural protection against climate change.’[1] Generations to come will long cotinue to be fascinated by this astonishing forest and its importantce in preserving life on Earth.

The Amazon rainforest has the power to move individuals to do beyond-imaginable things. Ed Stafford, Guinness World Record holder, walked along the Amazon River from its spring in Peru to where it flows to the Atlantic ocean in Brazil. This challenge took him two years. ‘The Amazon River is over 4,000 miles long forming the largest river basin in the world,’ which is why ‘20% of the world’s freshwater flows through the Amazon.’[2]

Amazon Anthem

‘Anthem for the Amazon is a music video collaboration between the Amazon Aid Foundation and Rhythm of the Universe to unite the world in a compelling call to action to save the world’s greatest rainforest through the universal language of music.’ The Amazon rainforest as much as being a unique natural ecosystem is also a great university of wisdom with local people being books in a library that can teach many lessons on the ever more crucial subject of people living in harmony within nature.

We invite you to come, let yourselves be embraced, and listen to the soothing heartbeat of the Amazon.

Visiting the jungle requires some preparation:

Vaccines – visit a specialized physycian at least 6 weeks prior to your trip. Fortunately, malaria is extremely rare in Manu and Tambopata.

Bring money in small bills.

A bag pack is much more practical than carry-on luggage that requires pulling – it will not get dirty on the muddy paths and you will have free hands. Remember muddy path are the forest’s red carpet to welcome you at this special occasion. Also add small day pack for daily use to carry you water and camera.

Pack long sleeved and long legged clothes ideally in light safari colors that don’t scare off the wildlife. Don’t forget: broad-brimmed hat,  sunglasses, sunblock, raincoat or poncho, camera, and quality binoculars.

Repelent – we agree with Jeff Cremmer a professional wildlife photographer that mosquitoes are the nastiest of all jungle wildlife. There are natual environment friendly alternatives to chemical repelents (El Mangal recipe below, or there are more on-line).

Headlamp is recommended over a flashlight. It will leave your hands free, it shines longer and stronger.

Footwear – hiking boots or sneakers & rubber boots – practical for getting off a boat stepping into water and for walking on the muddy paths (lodges usually include them in the service). The local guides often walk through the rivers and around the forest barefoot, but they know where to step so that they do not to hurt their feet by roots or fallen branches.

Electricity tends to run for limited hours.

Often there is no hot water in the jungle acommodation, because the jungle’s weather is warm all year long. Drinking warer is usually included in the service. To be extra sure doubleckeck with your operator.

MANU National Park

Do not: contact, donate clothes, food, toys etc., take pictures (a camera could be interpreted as a weapon) the so-called not-contacted native tribes. ‘Of the 160 societies that live within the Amazon rainforest, nearly 50% have no contact with the outside world.’[3] Report any eventual incidents to the local Ministry of Culture.

Manu and Tambopata

There are two great options to visit the jungle near Cusco: Manu National Park and Tambopata National Reserve. There is an overwhelming variety or trees, as well as of animals like monkeys, birds like macaws or toucan and Peruvian National Gallito de Rocas, insects like butterflies and spiders, frogs, fish, turtles, otters, caiman, snakes, tapir, capybara, peccary, and of course the rare jaguar.

Manu means earth or soil in the local Machiguenga language – one of the as many as ‘195 known languages spoken within the Amazon Basin.’[4]

‘Peru’s Manu national park contains at least 1,307 species of butterfly, twice the number found in the United States.’[5] One entrance to Manu lies about 7 hours ride from the city that crosses the Cordillera Urubamba mountain range, so the packages typically include transport from and back to Cusco, as well as lodging, meals, and activities like birwatching at a clay lick, a night walk, learning about the trees, a visit to a lake, etc. In Manu we cooperate with Manu Paradise Lodge.

Tambopata itineraries start from the town of Puerto Maldonado, the capital of Madre de Dios Peruvian province. You can get there by plane from Cusco or Lima, or by bus. Movil Tours or Cruz del Sur operate first class overnight buses between Cusco and Puerto Maldonado. The journey takes about 10 hours. If you are travelling with children Refugio Amazonas Lodge is the best choice. They have a unique rainforest trail designed for children and a playground (and hot water!). In Tambopata the tours and activities are quite similar to those in Manu, but if you really want to see a jaguar the best chances, about 18%, are in Tambopata Research Center.

To peek deeper into the Peruvian Amazon right now browse through Jeff Cremmer’s book: 67 Questions About The Amazon Jungle. Almost every picture in the book was taken at the Rainforest Expeditions lodges in Tambopata, Peru.

Last but not least, selva the Peruvian jungle region is rich in exotic fruits, medicinal plants, coffee, and cacao.

El Mangal – Quillabamba

Not too far from Machu Picchu in Maranura, Quillabamba there is an organic agroturism paradise-like lodge El Mangal. The accomodation is in bungalows and there is also a pool. The family grows award-winning cacao very well known to the world-class chocolate makers. It is the chuncho variety. This cacao species pod is quite small, which is why it is very rare to find an pure plantation worldwide. In 2013 chuncho cacao from El Mangal won ‘the price for single best origin bar at the European Gold Awards’. Adolfo Figueroa rescued old cacao trees when he bought the land more than 30 years ago. He will give you a tour among the different cacao or coffee trees and teach you how to prepare real natural chocolate or coffee.[6]

Leave plastic bottles and insect repellents behind and relax in a chemistry-free environment surrounded by the aroma of the exotic fruit trees. And don’t worry about the insect bites, because Ross Figueroa, a truly remarkable woman – an ecologist that plants a tree everyday, has her own all-natural repellent recipe based on: paico, lime, hierba luisa – verbena, and achiote – all native plants.

Unblock and enjoy. Because, ‘wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit.’ – Edward Abbey

What was the best part of your junle experience?

 

[1], [2], [3], [4], [5] amazonaid.org

[6] Los Guardianes del Cacao (The Guardians of Cacao) by Astrid Gutsche, Planeta, 2014

 

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