In Peru, all the territories that are located to the east of the Andean Mountain Range that includes the rainforest and hydrographically all the rivers are tributaries of the Amazon River basin are called Amazon.It is a huge geological depression in which the large plains, mountains, small mountain areas, the floodplains in the time of flood of the rivers predominate. Locally some call it "mountain", Amazon jungle or jungle. Historically, it is associated with the myth or legend of El Dorado and the Canela country and at the beginning of the 20th century with the rubber era. It occupies 62% of the Peruvian territory and its population density is very low (8%). The Amazon is considered as the largest reserve of biological natural resources on Earth (including the Amazonian territory of Brazil), besides being the first source of oxygen generation on the planet. In addition, there are other major sources of natural resources such as oil fields, natural gas and gold sinks.
In the Peruvian Amazon, the following are registered:
- 64 tribes and sub-tribes of native and aboriginal human beings.
- 14,712 species of animals (8,000 unique), 700 kinds of butterflies, 282 birds, 625 insects, 250 reptiles, 2,000 fish, unique mammals, etc., many of them endemic.
- 20,000 or more botanical species, having found up to 100 species in an area of 1 Km2
Protected Natural Areas in the Amazon recommended for sightseeing
- National Reserve of Pacaya Samiria - Iquitos
- National Reserve Allpahuayo Mishana - Iquitos
- Tambopata National Reserve - Tambopata
- Bahuaja Sonene National Park - Tambopata
- Manu National Park - Cuzco
- Regional Mountain Range Conservation Area - Tarapoto
- Forest of Protection of the Alto Mayo - Moyobamba
The Amazon of Peru is divided in turn into three large areas, defined by its geography and climate:
The High Jungle:
Also called Rupa Rupa. The territories of the high jungle or yunga extend along the eastern flank of the Mountain Range, between 3,800 and 800 m.a.s.l, right on the Amazon plain. Its climate is hot and very humid, becoming cold as it approaches the Andean heights. Here it rains more than anywhere else in the country (up to 5,000 mm per year), which allows numerous torrents and cascades of crystal clear water to form. Its relief is mountainous and complex, with narrow valleys and deep gorges, always covered by an impenetrable jungle. In its higher parts, generally shrouded in fog and drizzle, cloud forests are located, while in the lower areas are the hills that form the so-called "mountain brow" or in spanish "ceja de selva". The vegetation in the yungas is perhaps the most exuberant of the tropics, with many orchids, giant begonias and arboreal ferns. This is also the home of the cock of the rocks, the national bird of Peru; the spectacled bear, the only species of South American bear; the yellow-tailed woolly monkey, which until recently was believed extinct; the quetzals, the duck of the torrents, more than twenty varieties of hummingbirds and several dozen species of fruit birds.
The Low Jungle:
Also called Omagua. The low jungle or tropical rain forest, located between 800 and 80 m.a.s.l, the most diverse habitat on the planet, covers two thirds of the Peruvian territory. In him lives most of the species of plants and animals of the world. It has a hot and very humid climate, with rains between December and March, and frequent showers throughout the year. Here abound the great rivers (Amazonas, Ucayali, Madre de Dios), source of food and communication among the peoples. There are also numerous lakes, in addition to marshes or "aguajales".The flora of this region is composed of more than 20,000 species of plants (fine wood trees, fruit useful to man and medicinal plants). The fauna, on the other hand, is extraordinarily rich and varied. Among the most conspicuous inhabitants of the tropical forest are the monkeys, such as the maquisapa and the coto; the felines such as the tigrillo, the cougar and the jaguar; the sachavaca or tapir, and the largest rodent in the world: the ronsoco. Its waters are populated by large fish such as paiche and zúngaro, two types of river dolphins and several water turtles. The low jungle shelters about a thousand different varieties of birds: from the imposing harpy eagle to the tiny hummingbirds; large reptiles such as the black alligator and the anaconda; and still unknown numbers of frogs, spiders and insects.
The Palm Savannah
At the eastern end of the department of Madre de Dios, right on the border with Bolivia, there is a small region with very special characteristics. Its appearance is that of a huge plain of tall grasses and palm trees that draws attention in the middle of the rainforest forests. It is known by the name of Pampas del Heath, due to the river that runs through them and serves as a boundary between the two countries. Currently these territories are protected within the Bahuaja Sonene National Park. The climate here is very hot and humid, with a marked rainy season during the summer. Sometimes the rains are so intense that they flood large areas of the savannah until they become a huge lake; only the tops of palm trees and termite mounds are a refuge for the smaller creatures. Many of the animals and plants that live in this region are unique and adapted to survive without problems in the great pasture: the deer of the marshes, the largest of the cervids of Peru; the rare wolf of mane, which resembles a long-legged fox; the yellow-billed toucan (the largest in the country), and the elusive white carpenter. The sachavaca, the jaguar, the giant anteater and the colorful macaws also cohabit in this ecoregion.
Where to sleep in the Amazon: who said fear?
The most frequent accommodations of the Peruvian Amazon are the "lodges"; they are complexes located in the jungle (normally, built in height to keep them in flood season), whose facilities are made of wood and other natural materials. In the lodges you stay on an all-inclusive basis for different activities in the jungle, such as walks or boat trips to see birds, insects, reptiles and other wild animals, always accompanied by a guide.
Vaccines and medications:
There is no vaccine against Zika. Unless you have previously put them, you will need the following:
- Yellow fever: It is injected in a single dose in the international vaccination center. It is effective as of the 10th day and lasts 10 years.
- Malaria: There is no vaccine as such, but preventive drugs.
- Typhoid fever: It must be injected two weeks before the trip and lasts two years. There is a pill version that must be taken a week before the trip and lasts five years.
- Hepatitis A and B: The hepatitis A vaccine is given in two doses at least 6 months apart. The hepatitis B vaccine is given in 3-4 doses over 6 months.
- As the deadlines in some cases are very long, you should go to your international vaccination center with enough time. In addition, they have the latest information on the vaccines needed for each country.
For a stay of 3-4 days, we advise you to put the following in your backpack:
- Basic kit (take it on during the entire trip, you never know).
- Special mosquito repellent for tropical areas
- Sun protection cream with a high factor and easily absorbed.
- Cap or hat
- Poncho for the rain (carries a strong poncho, not the typical plastic that looks like a shopping bag: when it rains in the Amazon, it really rains).
- Sneakers or trekking boots (although for long walks they will give you high rubber boots).
- Two or three breathable long-sleeved shirts and some 100% cotton shirt.
- A long pants of strong and breathable fabric and quick drying.
- A shorts and short-sleeved shirts to walk around the lodge and put on when you shower.
- Underwear and socks to spare (you'll probably shower more than once a day).
- Swimsuit and towel drying fast.
- Flip-flops (to walk around the lodge).
- A small backpack for excursions.
- A couple of canteens or empty water bottles to fill in at the lodge before going on a field trip.
- Photo camera and spare batteries: essential!
- And finally ... a book. Fortunately, there is no connection to the Internet or anything like it, so take advantage of your free time to relax reading a good book with the sounds of the jungle in the background.
The Peruvian Jungle
The Amazon River basin is surrounded by an immense tropical forest called the Amazon. Almost 60% of the territory of Peru is occupied by this dense jungle. Of the rest of the countries, only Brazil has a greater extension of Amazonian forest in its territory. The Peruvian jungle is the area of the country with the lowest human population, but one of the areas in the world with the greatest biodiversity. Within the Peruvian Amazon there are five major destinations:
The "capital" of the Peruvian jungle, where you can see the Amazon River itself and amazing species, such as the pink dolphin. Located in the north of the country, you lose one day to go and another to return. Even so, when someone thinks about the Peruvian Amazon, they are thinking about Iquitos.
The Manu National Park is in the south of Peru, at 4,000 meters high and is one of the destinations that is currently being strengthened. The obvious problem is the possibility of suffering from altitude sickness or altitude sickness.
In eastern Peru, it is the most recommended option for family trips due to the infrastructures and options offered by this city.
Located not as far north as Iquitos, it stands out for having a somewhat cooler climate than other destinations in the Peruvian Amazon.
The center of this zone is Puerto Maldonado, where the Tambopata River empties into the Madre de Dios. Located southeast of the Manu, this area is of low jungle, and one of the least visited of the Peruvian Amazon.
- Juane: Moyobamba native dish that resembles a very large tamal based on rice, chicken or chicken and egg. Where the rice covers like a blanket the chicken already seasoned and the egg in pieces. A dish with a very pleasant flavor that can satisfy the most demanding palate.
- Tacacho with cecina and sausage: Emblematic dish of the Peruvian jungle. It consists of green banana (fried or roasted) which is crushed and mixed with lard. It is accompanied with cured meat (dried and smoked pork) and with sausage (sausage based on thin intestines of pork stuffed with ground meat from the same well-seasoned animal).
- Patarashca: Ideal for fish lovers. A delicious river fish seasoned with spices typical of the Peruvian jungle, wrapped in a leaf and roasted in charcoal. A perfect combination that causes the fish to have a special aroma and flavor.
- Chicken inchicapi with peanuts: Exquisite soup from the Amazon, which has as a peculiar ingredient the chicken raised in a corral (domestic chicken), liquefied or ground peanuts, corn, cassava and cilantro. An incomparable soup that is worth enjoying.
- Fish casserole: This dish consists of a stew or stew based on varied fish and molluscs, such as: hake or corvina, squid, mussels, grouper, prawns, octopus .They are all mixed with boiled rice and vegetables (pepper, carrot, tomato, etc.)
Drinks from the Amazon:
- Chapos: It is prepared with ripe bananas that are then boiled and liquefied with milk and sugar to taste.
- Aguajina: Refreshment based on aguaje, which is diluted in water and then added sugar.
- Masato: Drink made with fermented cassava, which is left to rest with the objective that the starch of the tuber becomes sugar.
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