At about six times the size of England, or approximately the size of California, the tangled, sweltering Amazon Basin rarely fails to capture the imagination of anyone who ventures beneath its dense canopy. In the lowland areas, away from the seasonally flooded riverbanks, the landscape is dominated by red, loamy soil, which can reach depths of 50m. Reaching upwards from this, the primary forest – mostly comprising a huge array of tropical palms, with scatterings of larger, emergent tree species – regularly achieves evergreen canopy heights of 50m. At ground level the vegetation is relatively open (mostly saplings, herbs and woody shrubs), since the trees tend to branch high up, restricting the amount of light available. At marginally higher altitudes, a large belt of cloud forest (ceja de selva) sweeps the eastern edges of the Andes, stunningly beautiful and the most biodiverse of the rainforest zones.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Peru features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

24 breaks for bookworms

24 breaks for bookworms

1. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas In 1971, fuelled by a cornucopia of drugs, Hunter S. Thompson set off for Las Vegas on his “savage journey to the heart of …

02 Mar 2017 • Eleanor Aldridge camera_alt Gallery
20 pictures of Peru that will put the country on your bucket list

20 pictures of Peru that will put the country on your bucket list

Peru is has long been a favourite destination on the South America backpacker trail, but there's more to tempt you here than the oft-photographed llamas and …

05 Aug 2016 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
15 things everyone learns backpacking South America

15 things everyone learns backpacking South America

South America has become a favoured destination for the intrepid backpacker, and while it’s impressive in the astounding diversity of its nations, there are a…

02 Mar 2016 • Steph Dyson insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month