Hi. I'm going to be in Lima in late August and am hoping to explore the Peruvian section of the amazon rainforest. Does anyone have experience in this area? Is it better to get in from the north ie. Iquitos or try closer to Cusco? Which is more accessible or spectacular?
Also, which jungle tour company provides the best value for money? I'm hoping to go for an extended expedition, say 5 days or more...
Thanks in advance guys.
My knowledge of the area is limited, but afaik Puerto Maldonado (more or less on the same latitude as Cuzco) can be reached by bus, boat and plane; Iquitos can only be reached by plane from the Peruvian side.
On the whole I'd say that the Peruvian Amazon is not as good a destination as in Brazil. Up north, only the area around Iquitos is really safe (with traces of Sendero Luminoso reportedly still active in other regions), but that is not too spectacular. The situation gets better down south, but there infrastructure is really poor, so getting there and getting around takes a LONG time. On the upside, it should be possible to cross into Bolivia there (near Chive) so you don't have to backtrack.
The Manu area in Peru is probably the best area in the country with high biodiversity and many sorts of habitats.
You can reach Iquitos by boat as well by the way, from Pucallpa. Just in case.
Had spend 2 weeks in Iquitos and liked it very much.
there are many tour operators to deal with.Take your time while comparing prices there are big differences between some agents.I had to pay $30 for a single cabin and other people where charged $45-60 pp by double occupancy at the same lodge.
the higher rate was not because the rooms where bigger or had more comfort then mine,all rooms at the small lodge had the same size,same basic interior.