The astonishing Tambopata national reserve

Are you looking for Amazon tips in Peru? You are in the right place. This article will provide detailed information about Tambopata National Reserve, how to get there, and what to expect during your visit. I will also explain where or how to book a tour package without overpaying online. Continue reading!

It is one of my unforgettable adventures in Peru. A long journey took me to Puerto Maldonado, the gateway to Tambopata National Reserve. The most beautiful natural areas of Peru, and to discover the secrets of the Peruvian rainforest.

I spent three days in the jungle, which was a fantastic experience. But it wasn’t my first time in the Amazon. I visited Cuyabeno National Reserve in Ecuador several years ago, which is why I wanted to experience a jungle in Peru.
But before we go into detail, here are some practical tips you should know.


When is the best time to visit Tambopata Amazon?

Peru has a dry season and a rainy season. Generally, the dry season runs from May to October. And these months are often the best time to visit the Amazon. However, the night temperature went very low when I was in Tambopata in June. I arrived here at midday, and it was scorching heat. But at night, I didn’t know it could be so cold. Other travelers who went to Iquitos were also surprised by the low temperature at night. So if you are visiting at this time of the year, bring a jumper.

What to pack for Tambopata

Before my trip to the Amazon, I was already traveling for two weeks in Peru. So I was prepared for my jungle trip.

Here’s what you need:

  • Trousers – You will do a lot of bushwalking in the Amazon region, which is part of the program. Long trouser protects you from insect bites. 
  • Long sleeves – Protect your arm from mosquitos, especially at night if you are sitting outside.
  • Jumper or a raincoat – I visited in June, and it was cold at night. 
  • A walking shoe – Rubber shoes are good if visiting during the dry season.  
  • A torch: You’re going on a night walk in the forest, so bring a flashlight.
  • Mosquito repellent: The mosquitoes in the jungle are like cannibals. So get a mosquito repellent.
  • Reusable water bottle: There’s free water at your hotel, but you must bring your bottle to refill. 
  • Medications: You will spend days in a remote place far from everything. So take some medicine just in case you need them.

And by the way, you are in the outlying area without internet connections, which is good to be away from social media for a couple of days. So you have to find something to entertain yourself. To fight against boredom, you can download some movies from Netflix and watch them offline.


Canoeing at Sandoval lake
Canoeing at Sandoval Lake

Make sure you’ve had the right shots when visiting Amazon!

Better be safe than sorry. Stay healthy during your trip to the Amazon. A trip to the Amazon in Peru means exposing you to some strange disease. Preparation before visiting the jungle is for your good. So a visit to your doctor before your trip will help you plan when you get the needed shots. You will need yellow fever, hepatitis A and B, and typhoid. 

Now let’s dig into the Peruvian jungle!

How much does a trip to Amazon in Peru costs?

A trip to the Amazon can sum up to a thousand dollars. But it depends on the chosen tours and how many days you spend in the jungle. So, for example, if you google for an Amazon package, sometimes it doesn’t show the price, so you’re required to fill in the form online to get quoted.

And some prices online are insanely high. And for solo travelers, it isn’t very cheap at all. So do the homework and find the best company to save some money. 


Read more >>>How safe is Peru for a solo traveler?

I even called one of the travel agencies in Lima through their Whatsapp number and inquiring the price. I thought it could be cheaper. But they quoted me 378 USD for three days which is too much. I didn’t give up yet and continued searching for reasonable prices until I found an excellent blog mentioning the best way to book a trip to the Amazon is direct to a local operator in Puerto Maldonado. 

They also said that if you have time, don’t book in advance and arrange the package when you get there, which is good if you are flexible. In my case, I wanted to set my trip in advance because I didn’t have so much time. 

However, if you take a trip to Puerto Maldonado without booking beforehand, you will find all the tour agents in Avenida Leon Velarde. It’s a bummer that some local agencies don’t have a website. But no worries, below I provide three of the local operators where you can book the Amazon package.

Three local operators listed below

Check the prices of these local operators in Puerto Maldonado, whom I’m in contact with, and you can book a package directly with them without a hidden fee. They also have a WhatsApp number which is easy to contact through their phone. 


  1. Carlos Expedition Puerto Maldonado
  2. Puerto Maldonado Tours
  3. Tambopata Jungle Tours Peru

I booked a package with Puerto Maldonado Tours to Sandoval lake for three days, which cost me 189 USD. And as a solo traveler no single supplement for a double room

Once your booking is confirmed, they will request a full or advance payment. Be aware that if you pay with a credit card, there’ll be a 4% additional cost. In general, it is so in Peru. Some merchants charge you by paying with a credit card. So it is better to carry cash during your trip to the country to avoid credit card costs. 

Money Tips in the Amazon in Peru!

There’s no ATM in Tambopata, so bring enough cash, but you can withdraw some money in Puerto Maldonado before hopping the boat to the jungle.

What’s included in the tour package to the Amazon in Peru?

It includes pick up to and from the airport and bus station. You give your arrival time during the booking, and if there are changes to your schedule, you can always change them later through email. 


Canoeing at Sandoval lake
It’s so relaxing sitting in a canoe while viewing animals

You get a knowledgeable local guide who gives you a lot of information about the area of Tambopata National Reserve. I didn’t spend any extra penny during my three-day stay in Tambopata. Everything was all-in. However, to avoid misunderstanding, better to ask during the booking if the entrance fee to Tambopata National Reserve is included in your package.

Meals and drinks are in the package price, except if you want to order an alcoholic beverage, this can be an additional cost. 

The accommodation included in the price was pretty good. MonteAmazonia lodge is about one hour by motorized boat from Puerto Maldonado. It’s beautifully situated by the lake, with a swimming pool and hammocks. The rooms were simple but equipped with an electrical socket by European standards, so there was no need for an adaptor for European visitors.

The package for three days & two nights in Tambopata

There’s no time to waste. The program starts immediately after settling down at your accommodation. So if you arrive in the morning, you won’t miss one of the programs. I saw some travelers arrive late in the afternoon. So much better to take the morning flight to Puerto Maldonado.  


Day one:

11:30 am – You start in the rainforest and walk for one and a half hours. The guide will give some information about what trees are in Tambopata. It’s an instructive walk; you learn about trees in Tambopata only if you are interested.

2:30 pm – You are going to the monkey island, where you have the chance to feed the animals. The guide will provide the food, so you don’t have to bring anything except your camera to capture this moment while feeding the monkeys.

 6:30 pm – You’re going on a night excursion to spot caymans. Sitting on a boat in the dark was weird if you couldn’t see anything. Trust your local guide, and you will not be disappointed. These people are experts in finding animals in the jungle.

Day two:

5:30 am – very early, right? A day excursion to National Reserve. You will miss the lunch at the hotel, but you get a lunch packet. During the boat trip in the morning, you may experience the sunrise, and of course, if it’s your lucky day, you’ll see giant otters in the lake. The skipper will drop you off at the Tambopata national reserve, where you will go for a long walk.


Wearing comfortable shoes will help to outlive the long walk. Anyway, you don’t walk to a speck of dirt. These are beautiful boardwalks, and to enjoy the surroundings. Only the sounds of the birds you hear around—one of the best days during my trip to the Amazon. 

After walking for hours, we arrive at a place where a canoe is waiting. From here, we slowly paddle to Sandoval Lake – it’s been a nature reserve for several years and offers an opportunity to see animals.

6:30 pm – You’re going for a night walk in the forest. It sounds creepy but exciting in the dark. It’s amazing how many species you will discover at night, such as the tarantulas.

Tips!

Wear trousers, long sleeves, and a hat during the night walk. If you have a hooded jumper, put this on to protect your arm. You don’t want insects hanging on your hair, do you?


Day three:

It would be best to inform your guide when your flight is so he can arrange the boat to bring you back to Puerto Maldonado. Then he sets you up for an early activity. You’re going for canopy, zipline, and kayaking on the last day. However, if these weren’t included, you can still do the zipline for 40 soles, the same price for kayaking. Ask your guide if you want to do this on the last day and pay with him.

One of acitvity in Amazon - canopy walk
Not for people with a fear of heights

What to expect at Amazon in Peru?

Everything you have paid for was worth it. When you arrive in Puerto Maldonado, you already feel that you’re in the jungle, especially one of the staff welcomes you; neatly organized. It’s a gratifying adventure, and that’s what I needed after two weeks of traveling around the country. Leave civilization behind and be isolated in the jungle for three days. 

We must not forget that Peru is a diverse land with many cultural treasures, and the Amazonian nature is breathtaking. 

Read more>>>Hiking rainbow mountain in Peru: things you need to know.


The number of animals you see is very diverse and too many to mention. In addition, nowhere on earth you find the massive rainforest as in the Amazon. For the second time, I experience Amazon in South America. My first one was in Cuyabeno Reserve in Ecuador. Both of these were unforgettable experiences.

How to get to Tambopata

You have two options flying or overland. First, you must reach Puerto Maldonado and then take a motorized boat to Tambopata. There are flights to Puerto Maldonado from Lima and Cusco. As far as I know, only Latam Airlines is doing this route. At first, I considered flying. But when I changed my planning, I went with the bus instead. If you book the flight weeks in advance, it isn’t so expensive and takes you to Puerto Maldonado in a short time.

As for the cheapest option going for a long trip by bus, but this only applies if you departed in Cusco. Different bus companies run between Cusco and Puerto Maldonado, leaving from the central bus station in Cusco (Terminal Terrestre)but it’s a night trip of 8 to 10 hours

The long-haul buses in Peru, how comfy are they?

If you wonder what it’s like traveling by bus in Peru? Well, I’ll give you my honest opinion about the buses in Peru. Please don’t go for the cheapest buses. I heard some people who didn’t want to spend more bucks complaining about the comfort they got onboard. If comparing the flights and buses, you can still save some money if taking the road trip, even if going with one of the luxurious buses. 


Some buses in Peru it truly equipped with comfortable seats that you can fully recline. Additionally, each seat complies with curtains for your privacy and a plugin for charging devices on board. Of course, there are pros and cons. The cons – you were on the way for a long time, so you must have enough time if traveling by bus. While the pros – it is so much cheaper than flying.

One of the best buses to Puerto Maldonado
One of the luxurious buses in Peru

Keep in mind is easy to purchase a ticket online. It’s no need to go to the station – you can buy it in advance or the day before you travel. However, speaking about booking your ticket in advance, be aware that there are so many websites and confusing which one to choose. For a trustworthy site, I go for 12Go, a more reliable company. 

Luggage tips

It is sensible to leave the suitcase in Puerto Maldonado and only carry the necessary items in a backpack. The travel agencies have luggage storage where you can leave your bags.

Taking buses from Cusco

If you decide to go by bus, your trip starts at Cusco. There’s only one big station you wouldn’t miss that. Taxi drivers know exactly where to drop you off if you say Autobus Terminal Terrestre. And to remind you, once getting out of the taxi, you’ll be approached by people who try to get you into their bus. I just ignored them and continued to walk to the main entrance. Once you enter the station, you’ll see long rows of counters, each with the name of the bus company.

If you have a ticket already, you need to check in and get your boarding pass (which sounds like a plane boarding pass), but not quite. You will get a boarding ticket which includes a slip. And with it, you need to go to a separate counter where you must pay 1.50 soles tax. You can’t escape the tax because they’ll check it before boarding the bus. In Puerto Maldonado, the tax cost 3:00 soles.

Be prepared for a long ride.

It’s going to be an 8 to 10 hours trip, depending on which buses you go. I went with Transzela, which took me ten hours to Puerto Maldonado.

Arriving at Puerto Maldonado

I arrived in Puerto Maldonado at 7:00 in the morning. If you booked a tour for Tambopata and have let them know your arrival time, someone will be waiting for you with a transfer. They will bring you to their office in the center, where they’d gather everyone. Once in the office, you can leave your stuff and go for breakfast. The boat departs for Tambopata around 9:00 am. There is no transfer to the pier, so we have to walk for approx 20-minute. But there are tuk-tuks if you don’t feel like walking. And so my adventure in the Peruvian Amazon started once we got on the lake, it was a fantastic trip!

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