Peru: Tambopata Reserve – Cruising up the Tambopata River

Switching all the Andes and altitude and cold and tourist hordes, it’s time for some Peruvian Amazon jungle exploration. Tambopata River is one of the sources of the Amazon, with various rivers originating in the high Andes and altiplano of Bolivia and Peru and then flowing 4000km to Manaus in Brazil, meeting the Rio Negro there to create the true Amazon. High upstream on the Tambopata River, close to Bolivia and with the view of distant mountains, lies the most remote nature lodge in the Amazon basin – Tambopata Research Center (it’s actually primarily a study center for the jungle and macaws, funded by the limited number of tourist activities). Just getting here is an adventure – it’s an 8 hour boat ride upstream from Puerto Maldonado, eventually enterin strict reserves of the Tambopata and Bahuaja Sohene National Parks. Along the ride – capibaras (world’s largest rodents) on the banks, caymans sunning themselves, rare birds, and spectacular rainforest scenery.