Containing some of the world’s finest and most biodiverse rainforest, the RESERVA NACIONAL TAMBOPATA is one of the most easily accessible parts of relatively pristine Amazon rainforest. Described by National Geographic as one of the planet’s seven “iconic natural sanctuaries”, it is within easy reach of many of the lodges in the Puerto Maldonado region.

Transformed into a reserved zone mainly due to the scientific work of the adjacent Explorer’s Inn lodge, the area covers around 250,000 hectares, and is next to the Parque Nacional Bahuaja-Sonene, itself more than 1.5 million hectares. The expansion of the National Park is a major success for conservation in Peru, but despite this there are fears that the government has plans to open up the park in future to gas and oil exploitation.

It’s only possible to visit the National Park on a tour with a licensed operator. Tours organized from Cusco or Puerto Maldonado can enter en route to one of the major macaw salt licks (colpas) in the region. The licks are the best places to see wildlife in the jungle, since their salts, minerals and clay are highly nutritious, attracting large numbers of wild birds and animals.

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