Peru's Amazon & Southeastern Jungle
This guide tells you everything about where to stay & eat, what to see & do, the culture, the history, the festivals, art & cuisine. The Amazon rainforest is the largest tropical rainforest on earth. With the Brazilian Amazon being cut down at an ever-increasing rate to make room for cow pastures, Peru's portion of the forest is still relatively wild (although, also disappearing at far too great a rate). Some government officials would like to expand logging operations in the area, so much of the forest could be destroyed in the near future. The Peruvian Amazon is losing roughly 750,000 acres of forest annually to logging, mining, oil drilling and other multinational business ventures. More than 90% of the indigenous populations have disappeared, along with two-thirds of the languages they spoke. Many tribes are on the verge of extinction and survive only in extreme parts of the forest. Pacaya Samiria National Reserve - The 8,100-square-mile park is Peru's largest single reserve and the best place to see wildlife and isolated tribes in the Northern Amazon region. Highlights: Canopy Walkway - Near Explorama's ExplorNapo Lodge. One of the most renowned wildlife viewing platforms in the world. Belén floating city - A wooden shantytown that rises and falls with the river. See one of the most unusual communities in the Americas. Exotic dining - Will it be a tapir steak tonight or curried alligator? How about roasted monkey? Lake Yarinacocha - Search for pink river dolphins and then take part in a shamanic ceremony. The Southeastern Jungle gives access to three of the world's best natural reserves: the Manu Reserve, the National Park of Bahuaja-Sonene, and the Tambopata Reserve-Candamo. The combination contains six million acres, making it the largest natural reserve of its kind on the planet. More than 1,250 different species of butterflies, 20,000 types of plants, 1,000 species of birds (13% of the world total), 200 varieties of mammals (7% of the world total), 120 species of reptiles, and 400 types of fish have been identified here. Highlights of the Southeastern Jungle: Manu Reserve - One of the most diverse areas on the planet. Manu is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Macaw clay licks - See hundreds, if not thousands, of macaws and other parrots feeding on the clay cliff sides at the world's largest clay licks. Giant river otters - Playful and extremely rare; you'll be lucky if you can spot one of these. Puerto Maldonado - Take a break from wildlife viewing and see how life operates in the Southeastern Jungle's largest city.
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