Choosing The Right Amazon Experience With Limited Time In Peru

Arrival in the Amazon

Arrival in the Amazon

Want to add the Amazon onto your next Peru Adventure? The Amazon region of Peru takes up roughly half of Peru and is home to never-ending forests, winding rivers and abundant wildlife. It is contains multiple wildlife reserves and refuges for endangered species, like the maned wolf and marsh deer. This region is also home to indigenous communities that promote ecotourism in regions with some of the richest biodiversity in the world, such as Lake Sandoval, Lake Valencia, Manu National Park, Tambopata National Reserve and Bahuaja-Sonene National Park, the only tropical, humid savannah ecosystem in Peru.

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The Amazon is split up roughly into two parts: the North and the South. Choosing between these two regions can be difficult when first planning a trip to Peru and is often a question we receive. Which is better for a more limited time frame? How much flexibility will I have? How does the pricing compare?

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In the north, while there are some land lodges, travelers will primarily find Amazon river cruises as the focal point. In contrast, in the south, all Amazon experiences are lodge-based. With a short amount of time, and wanting to fully maximize time, money, energy and overall experience, I typically recommend the South and visiting one of the lodges reached from the jump-off point of Puerto Maldonado. Our favorite lodge is Reserva Amazonica and its sister lodge Hacienda Concepcion. For those travelers with a limited time frame, I recommend the lodges in the Southern Amazon (near Puerto Maldonado) over the cruises in the Northern Amazon (near Iquitos) for several reasons :

Reserva Amazonica

Reserva Amazonica

  • Cost: the cruises can come out be around $700-$1000 per person per day, while you can stay at Reserva Amazonica (the higher end of the two lodges) in a Superior Cabana for $710 TOTAL per person all inclusive for 4 days and 3 nights. If you wanted to go for the more simple of the two lodges, Hacienda Concepcion, you could stay in your own Cabana for 4 days and 3 nights for $600 TOTAL per person).

    Cabana at Reserva Amazonica

    Cabana at Reserva Amazonica

  • Logistics/location: The cruises are in the north and run on set schedules. To get there, you have to fly from Cusco to Lima, spend the night in Lima (due to flight times) and finally to Iquitos to start your cruise. When you come back from the cruise, you will most likely have to spend another night in Lima as well. The lodges are located outside of Puerto Maldonado, just a 35 minute plane ride from Cusco. You can leave in the morning from Cusco and already be doing jungle activities by the afternoon. Also, there are convenient direct flights from Puerto Maldonado to Lima as well, so on your final day you can still do morning activities at the lodge, transfer back to Puerto Maldonado and fly to Lima in time to catch your flight home (usually international flights from Lima to the US leave late at night).
  • Activities: On the cruises, you have a fixed schedule of activities each day (ie not much flexibility). At the lodges, you have a whole excursion menu to choose from everyday (all excursions are included in the rate) and you can pick and choose what best reflects your interests and do what you feel like doing each day to make the most of your time while in the Amazon. Please also note that all activities at Reserva Amazonica and Hacienda Concepcion are shared between the lodges. So, it doesn’t matter which lodge you stay in- you will have the same opportunities.
Sunset in the Amazon

Sunset in the Amazon

Want to book your next adventure to the Peruvian Amazon? Contact us!

Your friendly South America expert,
Gretchen

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2 Responses to Choosing The Right Amazon Experience With Limited Time In Peru

  1. Josephine lowe says:

    Hi there, thankyou for all the information. We now have the possibility of staying for five days and four nights. We are most interested in seeing as much wildlife as possible and prefer simpler, less expensive accomodation, like the hacienda Concepcion rather than Reserva Amazonica. What itinerary would you recommend for the 5 days. We are not looking for adventure activities but, as I said, opportunities to see wildlife. We arrive on the 24th November at Puerto Maldonado at 12.25 pm and need to book a return flight to Lima on the 28th November. We look forward to your advice

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