Tambopata or Iquitos? What part of the jungle to visit if I travel to Peru

rainforest in peru

This post is also available in: Español

If you’re planning a trip to Latin America, the Peruvian Amazon should be one of the first places to visit in Peru. (after visiting Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley, of course!).

Considered one of the most diverse areas on the planet, it represents more than 50% of the country’s entire territory, which is why you may have doubts about which part of it to visit.

That’s why we’re going to tell you about the Tambopata jungle (also known as Puerto Maldonado) and the Iquitos jungle, so you can choose which one you prefer and add it to your Peru itinerary.

lodges in the shore


In the province of Tambopata, very close to the city of Puerto Maldonado, lies this impressive natural park of the same name, covering 274,690 hectares.

The reserve has diverse habitats, including the Amazonian lowland rainforest, riverine forests, and oxbow lakes. It is home to over a thousand species of butterflies, hundreds of species of mammals and birds and many other varieties of trees and plants.

It is also crossed by three rivers: the Malinowski, Tambopata, and Madre de Dios rivers. So if you like nature and biodiversity, this is the place for you.

bird in the Tombopata rainforest


The Iquitos flooded jungle is the ecoregion that surrounds the city of Iquitos and through which the Amazon, Nanay and Itaya rivers and the Moronacocha Lake flow.

A good idea is to go on a tour of the Iquitos Jungle. It usually starts from the city of Iquitos itself, which is also impressive in its own right.

During the tour, you can stay for three days in the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, navigate through its rivers, walk through the jungle, discover all its sounds and animals… in short, live a unique experience in the jungle of Iquitos.

local guide iquitos in a boat

Choosing between Tambopata or Iquitos

At first glance, they seem like two very valid options for visiting the Amazon rainforest if you’re travelling in Peru. And the truth is that both Tambopata or Iquitos are impressive places.

Although you should bear in mind that the greater accessibility of Puerto Maldonado makes it a major tourist attraction. This means that wherever you go you’ll find people visiting. In addition, many of the wild animals in the area are already ‘trained’.

So if you’re looking for an authentic and somewhat more environmentally friendly experience, visiting the Iquitos jungle is the way to go.

Sunset in Iquitos along the Amazon river

Now that you know these two areas of the jungle better, you can choose which one to visit during your trip. All you have to do is pack your bags for the jungle.

Peru is waiting for you!


Celia loves animals and traveling, and if she can combine both and escape anywhere with her dog, her happiness is assured.

She loves nature in general, and the mountains in particular, so it is normal to find her on her days off with her trekking poles on her back. In Howlanders blog he gives us tips and recommendations that he has learned in each of his trips.

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