Peruvian Rainforest

Until recently, the source of the Amazon River was a hotly debated topic. Five years ago, researchers officially determined that the source of the river is in Peru. The Peruvian Amazon, and its surrounding rainforest are also considered to be the more undiscovered portion. The rainforest in Peru can be accessed from two main points: Puerto Maldonado in the southern part of the country, and Iquitos in the north. I chose to visit the former and stay at the Inkatera Reserva Amazonica. The trip there takes some coordination – a flight to Puerto Maldonado, a transfer to the dock, and a 45-minute boat ride in basically a large, motorized canoe to the reach the resort. Regardless of the accommodations you choose, there are several important factors to keep in mind when visiting the rainforest.

1. The rainforest is a haven for mosquitos, and there are some blood-born illnesses that these creatures can pass along. Before you head to the rainforest, talk to your doctor about the medications and vaccines needed. Certain parts of the rainforest may require proof of a yellow fever vaccine for entry.

2. Load up on bug spray and sun block. Both of these are absolute essentials in the rainforest. You?re close to the equator, so it?s very easy to burn. The bug spray relates back to suggestion #1. Mosquitos may bite through lightweight clothing, so apply even if your arms and legs are covered. Reapply both frequently.

3. Bring a lightweight rain jacket. Depending on the time of year, it can be quite warm in the rainforest, and it?s virtually always humid and damp. You want your arms covered to ward off bugs, but you want something light and breathable (how light depends on the time of year) to stay as cool as possible.

4. Bring long pants: again, this protects against mosquitos and other bugs. Something water/weather proof is ideal. Jeans are not.

5. You?ll get dirty/muddy/sweaty. Your accommodations may (as the Inkaterra does) provide mud boots for your activities. If not, bring something that will protect your feet/legs from mud and that you don?t mind throwing out when you get home if not easily washable. Accommodations should be able to tell you in advance what they do or do not provide.

6. Check with your hotel about their electricity availability. Even a high end resort such as the Inkaterra turns off electricity several times each day (and from 11-4 over night) because the entire place runs on a generator, and they want to save electricity when possible. If your accommodations do something similar, you may want to bring a reading light if you plan to relax and read or write during your stay, or something else to do during your down time that doesn?t require bright lighting.

7. The rainforest isn?t particularly easily accessible. Most likely, you?ll fly into a nearby town and then get a transfer to a boat dock where you?ll take a boat to your hotel. Because of this, you may not be able to bring a large suitcase, so check with your accommodations. You may have to pack a smaller bag to use for your time in the rainforest.

8. Unless told otherwise, rainforest accommodations are generally quite casual. Check with your hotel on this, but most likely, you need nothing more than your clothes for activities and something clean and casual to wear to dinner.

9. Meals may be on a specific schedule, especially if the accommodations regulate electricity. If you like to snack throughout the day, or have specific dietary needs due to blood sugar, you may want to pack some non-perishable snacks to bring for your time in the rainforest.


  1. wordgathering Said,

    Sounds like a good combination of adventure and comfort. What it does not sound like, though, is a good place for wheelchairs.

  2. chimeratravel Said,

    You are correct. Definitely not a place for wheelchairs. Though I have to say as a whole, it seemed Peru was more accessible than I thought, in the sense of lots of ramps on sidewalks and such. The rainforest, though, was a different story.

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