The Amazon is famous for its biodiversity, curious wildlife, and impenetrable jungles. But, when you think of the Amazon Rainforest, you probably think of Brazil. What a lot of people don’t know is that portions of the Amazon are also in Northern Peru, and even extends into parts of Colombia! The Peruvian Amazon is waiting to be explored, so here is why you NEED to go there!
The Wildlife is Amazing – The Amazon is easily one of the most biodiverse places on the planet, and the Peruvian portion covers almost 60% of the country! While exploring the Amazon Basin, you’ll come across dozens upon dozens of colourful and rare species. On an expedition here, you might come across tiny poison dart frogs, armadillos, river dolphins, caiman lizards, iguanas, ocelot, and countless species of monkey (this could include howler monkeys, saki monkeys, and even night monkeys)!
You Can Swim in the Amazon River – The tea-colored waters of the Amazon River feels like a spa treatment when you swim in it! Your hair and skin will be left feeling soft and smooth from the acidity levels of the river! Plus, who else can say they’ve been swimming in the Amazon? Talk about a bucket list moment that’ll be a great story to tell for years to come!
There’s Stellar Birdwatching – There are so many types of bird in the Peruvian Amazon, that I dedicated an entire section to them, separate from the rest of the wildlife species! The Amazon is home to over 1,800 species of bird, of which many are endemic (this means they don’t live anywhere else in the world). The Peruvian section of the Amazon is a particularly popular hotspot for avians, with 575 types of birds choosing to live there. Flying above, or high in the trees, you might encounter hummingbirds, macaws, parrots, toucans, King Vulture, Spectacled Owl, or even the “punk-esque” Hoatzin!
You Can Try Peruvian Food – For culinary hotspots around the world, Peru might not necessarily be at the top of the list. But believe me, Peruvian cuisine has developed over the last decade, and is up and coming for food lovers! The many dishes you can try within the Peruvian Amazon were created by the local indigenous people! A particularly popular dish across the country is Juane, which features rice, beans, olives, meat, and hard-boiled egg wrapped in bijao leaves. There’s also tacacho, which is fried plantain with chicharon and served with chorizo! One of the favorite dishes from Peru is ceviche, which is seafood with chilies, onions, and lime juice. It pairs perfectly with Peru’s national drink, the Pisco Sour.
Lodges Offer Lots of Activities – The local accommodations within the Peruvian Amazon often offer package deals. The cost includes your accommodation, meals, transport, and fun daily activities for you to try! This could be anything, such as zip-lining through the canopy, night hiking, dolphin river cruises, learning weaving practices from the local women, and cultural visits to the local villages! This allows you to explore much of the Peruvian Amazon, and takes away the stress of doing all your daily planning. You’ll get to relax and really experience what the Amazon has to offer!
It’s Remote – While the Brazilian Amazon is filled with explorers and adventurers galore, the Peruvian Amazon is vast and remote. You’ll find the occasional fellow traveller staying at your lodge, and the local village people, but other than that, you’ll be the only ones in the jungle! This is your chance to go completely off the grid, disconnect with the world, and reconnect with nature.
Amazon Shamanism – In the Peruvian Amazon, shamanism has been passed down through generations. Those who practice shamanism are known locally as curanderos. The practice utilizes what occurs naturally in the jungle as a way to help heal ailments and cleanse the body of impurities. Each plant in the Amazon serves a certain purpose in shamanism, and many have been co-opted by Western medicine to create familiar pharmaceuticals. If you get the opportunity to learn from a curandero, you might be able to participate in a traditional, sacred shamanic blessing ceremony. During the ceremony, a curandero will use traditional herbs and tobacco smoke to cleanse the body! It’s truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
The Peruvian Amazon is the perfect destination for those who want to disconnect, get back in nature, and have a completely unique travel experience unlike any other! From the wildlife, to the food; from ziplining through the jungle, to learning from a traditional shaman! On this expedition you’ll get the chance to explore Chachapoyas, Gocta Falls, and Kuelap!
Post written by Demitria Rounis