View from tower in central Puerto Maldonado
To reach this wonderful city on the edge of the Amazon, we took the most dangerous overnight bus ride of my life (that includes Nepal in the raining season), and a 7 hour bus layover in Juliaca. DO NOT ever go to Juliaca. They hate the Peruvians of Spanish descent and tourist even more. The businesses were hostile, people openly mocked our Spanish and attempts to communicate, and everywhere we looked was met with harsh glares. Peru as a whole if full of lovely and friendly people, and before we got to Juliaca, locals in other towns warned us it was just a brutal smuggling hub that they avoid at all cost. I can attest to this.
Madre de Dios river and the Amazon area was extremely busy, and muggy. Mopeds replaced cars as the transport of choice and large markets/crowds slowed down to a more local feel. A must see stop in Peru.
- Stay at Corto Maltes for Amazon tours (Caiman & tarantula hunting, river otters, birds, jungle tour, monkey island, lovely staff, and more) $250 person
- Bring deet! My companion got bit 50+ times in 3 days
- Be aware that power in the Amazon comes and goes
- Amazon guides are one of the few exceptions to tipping, 10% of the overall cost is a good spot to be if they did a good job
- Be aware of military checkpoints, they are normal and will return your passport after scanning it
- Rent a moped. 5 sol should get you a few hours to buzz around town, just be careful!